Located on the fringes of Muscat the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, The Chedi is a property synonymous with seclusion and luxury and one that’s talked about in almost mythological terms. Guests who visit the twenty-one-acre oasis where the craggy Hajar Mountains meet the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean scream the praises of this tranquil resort, while the rest of us enviously hope for an opportunity to visit one day.
Could The Chedi be Muscat’s best-kept secret? An ultra-exclusive hideaway targeting a clientele of worldwide jet-setters. It certainly appears to be the case when team Out & About visited for a recent weekend stay. The unrestrained luxury and high levels of service begin from the moment we touch down in Oman, as we’re transported via private limousine into the very heart of luxury. We didn’t expect the Chedi to be situated in such close proximity to the city centre, but upon passing through the white-washed perimeter walls, it feels as though we’re miles from civilization.
The hotel lobby presents an Omani charm with the scent of oud drifting out into the star-scattered sky, while a collection of rainbow coloured glass lanterns are suspended overhead, painting a picture straight out of the stories of 1001 Arabian Nights. The Chedi’s architecture is Moorish in style but emanates a sense of Zen-like serenity and it’s this hybrid of Arabian and Asian that provides much of the properties appeal. We’re gifted a handy map to help us navigate the expansive grounds and as our hands brush against door handles inlaid with mother of pearl, we know we’re in for a real treat…
With 158 guest rooms and suites available we had the priviledge of staying in one of the 38 Chedi Club Suites. These standalone units sleep a maximum of four guests and offer the feeling of a private villa, generously sized and tastefully decorated in traditional Omani stylings. Taking a minimalistic approach, the living area features majlis seating that easily converts into divan style beds. The bedroom juxtaposes mahogany against the ample natural light streaming through the shuttered windows, while a king size bed provides the utmost comfort, superseded by a silver dome housing a large Arabic lantern. It’s not all traditonal with modern touches found in the technological aspects, a Nespresso machine and two 42 inch flat screen televisions.
The bathrooms are literally the stuff of dreams (#TubGoals), with double vanities, a separate rainfall shower and a sunken tub big enough to fit an entire family! Acqua Di Parma toiletries heighten the sense of luxury and pampering and are almost as appealing as the slippers and robes which forgo the usual ‘fluffy’ texture in favour of a more kimono-like approach. The benefits of the Club Suite mean free limousine transfers, laundry service and complimentary mini bar.
The benefits of the Club Suite also entitle guests to complimenatry limousine transfers, laundry service and a mini bar (replenished daily) complete with glass decanters of liquor for an additional touch of class. Each Club Suite sports a small outside terrace with reclining sunloungers from which you can glimps the sea through natural sand dunes and meadows of pampas grass. Booking the Club Suite also provides access to the Chedi Club where afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails and canapes are provided.
Many guests select The Chedi as a hideaway from the world, if only for a day or two. With discreet levels of service and a respect for privacy, guests are valued in a way shown by few properties in the region. Set amidst tranquil water gardens inspired by the oasis falaj system, perfectly shaped hedgerows and curved archways, the property is flanked by a 370 meter stretch of private beach and it’s refreshing to see a natural coastline in the Gulf unencumbered by the construction that blights Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
With three swimming pools on site, the Long Pool is a symbol of The Chedi that been used in magazines and on postcards for the best part of a decade. At 103 meters in length, the body of water holds the title for the longest swimming pool in the Middle East. Lined by slender palm trees mapping out the trajectory of the water, a polished black-tile finish adds an uber-cool vibe to the monochromatic stylings of cabanas and lounge furniture. Two of the temperature controlled swimming pools are reserved for the use of adults only (the Long and Chedi pools) but the Serai pool, situated close to the beach is conveniently shaded for families with young children. A health club and spa, which at 1,500 SQM is the largest in Muscat, features a state of the art gymnasium and a number of treatment rooms (two of which are conveniently set up for couples). Continuing the Zen approach, the treatment rooms are home to jacuzzi baths and steam rooms, meaning all your wellbeing needs are taken care of in one place. Slatted windows look out to sea, helping to add to the sense of serenity and relaxation which is easily achieved by the variety of treatments offered.
A health club and spa, which at 1,500 SQM is the largest in Muscat, features a state of the art gymnasium and a number of treatment rooms (two of which are conveniently set up for couples). Continuing the Zen approach, the treatment rooms are home to jacuzzi baths and steam rooms, meaning all your wellbeing needs are taken care of in one place. Slatted windows look out to sea, helping to add to the sense of serenity and relaxation which is easily achieved by the variety of treatments offered.
Those in search of fine dining have six restaurants, two lounges and a myriad of cuisines. to choose from. Breakfast is held in The Restaurant and offers both buffet and a la carte dining beneath Omani arches and crystal chandeliers. The Restaurant is also home to the Chedi’s popular Friday Champagne Brunch, a more sophisticated and restrained affair than the ritualistic party-orientated brunches of the UAE. Dine al fresco on freshly grilled seafood at the Beach Restaurant which is one of THE places to dine in Muscat while taking in the sun set over the Indian Ocean. The Long Pool serves up distintive Asian fare and represents our personal favourite of the Chedi’s dining options with the pool area taking on an ethereal quality after dark.
The Chedi is the ideal place escape for a few days and situated less than one hours flight from the UAE, it’s perfect for a long weekend. The beauty of a resort like this is the proximity to Muscat’s main attractions – Mutrah Souq, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque of the opportunity for dolphin watching – while promoting a feeling of complete isolation. At almost fifteen years old, The Chedi is now beginning to show minor signs of wear and tear BUT with such exclusivity and Arabian hospitality on display, you’ll barely notice.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of FACT Magazine.
Out & About UAE were guests of The Chedi. Views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE.