Just a few hours drive from Dubai and only a two hours’ drive from Muscat lies the Al Hajjar mountain range in Oman. Compared to USA’s Grand Canyon, this cool mountain area lures many travellers for its dramatic scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore many of its hiking trails, while others can take in beautiful views from the luxury of their resorts.
We chose the latter option on a family trip. Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar mountain resort offers stunning vistas and much more! We had rented a Land Cruiser at the Muscat International Airport and drove first to Nizwa town at the base of Al Hajjar mountains. After a quick look at Nizwa Fort, we drove further 1.5 hours to Jabal Akhdar for our resort. Our 2-night stay at Anantara resort made the beginning of our 6-day Oman road trip itinerary.
Stay at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort
Think a secluded five star resort on the rim of a great canyon, with panoramic views!
There are a total of 115 luxury villas and rooms, with canyon and garden views. Within rooms, there is a choice of canyon view rooms on the ground floor or the first floor. The choice within villas is even more to suit different families, from a garden pool villa to a cliff pool villa, available as one bedroom or two bedroom options.
We had chosen the Canyon View room and were happy with the size and amenities offered. The bathroom was luxurious to say the least. And the spacious room opened into a balcony with engaging views of Jabal Akhdar area. The resort has spacious grounds where many pomegranate, olive and other local plants are grown giving it a cool feel.
Food at Anantara
There are 5 restaurants within the property to entice your taste buds. The breakfast spread served at Al Maisan catered to a wide selection of international, south asian and middle eastern dishes. The kids loved the Italian fare at the poolside dining restaurant Bella Vista. We also tried the fancy fine dining Al Qalaa restaurant that serves middle eastern cuisine with a twist.
The Al Burj lounge seemed perfect for a nightcap minus the kids, so we didn’t get to try it. Al Baha offers casual dining in the courtyard and the resort can also arrange special dining experiences at various spots. We even tried the efficient in-villa dining one evening. The resort provides enough variety and options both in cuisine and dining spots for a few days’ stay.
Activities at and around Anantara
The five star resort does offer a luxury spa facility on its premise, but I can’t write about my personal experience, not having tried any of the excellent treatments. It would have been nice to indulge in a traditional hammam experience amidst serene Omani architecture.
We did not try do any of the easy-to-moderately-challenging guided hikes that were offered by the resort. The mountain area was experiencing unseasonal rains which restricted all outdoor activities to mornings. And the one morning that I could make some time for an outdoor activity was spent in trying the ‘via ferrata‘: 200 metres of going around the cliff edge as well as trying Oman’s first zipline. It was either that or the rock climbing on Jabal Activity Wall.
There is an excellent infinity pool to relax in and take the views, plus we also spent some time at the tennis court and the snookers table. We spent a lot of time enjoying the pool and the mountain views. Certainly helped to relax before our overnight trip to a Desert Camp.
What puts a smile 🙂
The location, definitely.
The resort is perched on the canyon rim and offers breathtaking views. One particular spot that they advertise heavily is the viewing platform from where Princess Diana once stood and viewed the panorama.
Recommended for families?
Even if you don’t book a villa, the room does have a sofa that converts to a comfortable bed for one child. The restaurants provide enough options to satisfy even a fussy kid.
My daughter loved the infinity pool at Anantara with breathtaking views of the canyon, she also tried easy cycling around the resort.
The superb kids’ club kept both the 8-year old and the 4-year old busy for the large part of the day.
So this is definitely recommended for families.
Website: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Tel: +968 2521 8000
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. We paid for our stay at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort in full. As always, all opinions are my own.
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