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Family friendly stays

21 Sep 2020

Conde Nast Traveller, in its September 2020 issue, has listed the seven best family-friendly hotels and resorts of Oman. ‘From pirate tents and a trampoline centre to volleyball courts and hiking trails, these hotels make the most of Oman’s natural landscape and extend the country’s gentle hospitality to guests of every age,’ it states. The top seven include:

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara
A villa resort in Salalah, set between the sea and a freshwater lagoon on Dhofar’s south coast, this beachfront oasis is an example of architecture and décor inspired by the area’s coastal fortresses. In addition to the premier and deluxe rooms, there are 96 villas, including 88 private pool villas that are perfect for families. Younger guests will love the kids’ and teens’ clubs, children’s pool and gaming room, and the whole family can enjoy the infinity pool, private beach, water sports and tennis, volleyball, petanque and beach football facilities. While the kids are kicking a ball around, indulge in a signature treatment at the Anantara Spa, which features Salalah’s first hammam and razul treatment rooms.

Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Set in lush gardens and nestled between the Al Hajar Mountains and the Sea of Oman, the 250-room Al Bustan Palace reflects authentic Omani culture and hospitality. The hotel’s 1km private beach is the country’s longest and five outdoor pools include a 50m-long infinity pool. The Ritz Kids programme educates and entertains with face painting, beach- themed crafts and tie-dye painting. The fun continues in the guest rooms, where little ones can have their own pirate or princess themed tent, which comes with personalised activity books, decorations, toys and balloons. Parents will be pleased to see nutritious and varied items on the bespoke kids’ menu, available at all the restaurants.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Set 2,000m above sea level on the rim of a canyon in the Saiq Plateau – making it the highest five-star resort in the Middle East – Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar’s location lends itself to adventures. From mountain biking and visits to local villages to watching the night sky from the resort’s stargazing platform, the unique setting will excite even the least excitable teen. In addition to a shaded children’s pool, donkey rides and a cinema under the stars, the Asfour Kids Club offers crafts, nature walks, games and a playground, while older kids hang out at the Jabal Teens Club with Xbox games, a billiards table and an internet café. A cookery school, climbing wall, painting and photography classes and a range of sporting activities including archery and hot yoga keep the whole family occupied – with stories to share at mealtimes.

Grand Hyatt Muscat
In the heart of the tony Shatti al Qurum district, with direct access to a pristine, palm-fringed public beach, Grand Hyatt Muscat is well-placed for exploring the palaces, mosques and souqs of the capital. That is, if you can tear yourself away from this fun resort, where activities run the gamut from floodlit tennis to SUP Yoga, and where little ones can play in a river or the toddler splash pool. The hotel has 280 rooms and suites overlooking the Gulf of Oman and the Al Hajar mountains, including two- and three-bedroom Crown Suites with four-poster beds and jetted spa marble tubs for adults (a babysitting service is available).

Kempinksi Hotel Muscat
Set over 6km of beautiful coastline, this luxury beachfront resort is brilliant option for family-friendly adventure. Junior VIP guests can check-in to Dippy’s Clubhouse, offering a wealth of activities and entertainment for children aged 12 and under. As well as a main play area where supervised games and activites take place, there’s a multimedia room and reading room indoors, and outdoor play area and children’s pool for some alfresco fun. A weekly junior cooking class allows little ones to embrace their culinary streak.

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort &Spa
The resort, split between two hotels, is home to Oman’s first dedicated family hotel, Al Waha. Its 262 guest rooms include interconnecting family rooms, with a DVD player and Playstation in the twin room. Cool Zone Kids Club offers games and activities from 9am to 10pm and the Adventure Zone, an expansive supervised soft play area with ball pits and drop slides, is adjacent to Springbox, the country’s first trampoline centre. There’s also a dedicated children’s pool, a lazy river and the aquatic play area, Splashpad. It’s worth noting that some areas of the hotel are adults-only, including CHI spa, where mum and dad can unwind knowing that the kids are having the time of their lives.

Six Senses Zighy Bay
For privacy-seekers, Six Senses Zighy Bay on the northern Musandam Peninsula offers 82 natural stone one- and two-bed pool villas set amid palm trees, away from prying eyes. Family movies on the beach at Cinema Paradiso are accompanied by five flavours of popcorn and 40 varieties of ice cream, while Arabic cooking classes for adults are complemented by cookie- and cake-making for little ones. For kids aged four to 10, Chaica’s Club offers regionally themed activities like sandcastle-building, treasure hunts and local cultural lessons, while the Al Feetean teens’ club helps them burn off that sugar high with hiking and biking, wadi swimming, moonlight kayaking and even teaches photography skills. All of which means you have more time to yourself to try paragliding, go snorkelling or diving, or unwind at the Six Senses Spa.


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