One of three hotels within the acclaimed Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, Al Bandar (‘The Town’) is the resort’s focal point and takes its inspiration from Old Muscat, reflected in its architectural details and array of dining options. With the panorama of the Hajar Mountains in the background, the resort looks out over a private, sandy beach and the sparkling Gulf of Oman. Here an array of watersports can be enjoyed to complement relaxing afternoons spent reclining under the date palms, punctuated by refreshing laps of the pool. Sports facilities and scuba diving courses are extensive here, and the Al Bandar is also the pick of three hotels for spa lovers, with the onsite CHI Spa and Water Oasis boasting some of the finest facilities in Muscat.
Guests have signing privileges at all restaurants across the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, meaning there is plenty of variety for those choosing not to travel into the city to dine. Particular highlights include enjoying the freshest catch of the day at beachfront Bait al Bahr, the comforting Arabian cuisine and live cooking stations at Al Tanoor, or Iberian sharing platters and shisha at Tapas. There are several lounges for evening drinks, including a rooftop terrace providing uninterrupted sea views for late-night cocktails.
Al Bandar’s spacious rooms have been designed in a classic, understated style. Select a Deluxe Terrace Room for easy access to the palm-filled gardens, or a Deluxe Sea Facing Room to enjoy a more expansive panorama from your private balcony. A selection of suites are furnished in a similar style, but offer expanded living areas and balconies.
Al Bandar offers a more relaxed vibe than the purely family-focused Al Waha, but it does strike a good balance. Children are still welcomed here (unlike at adults-only Al Husn) and there is a dedicated family pool, but they can also take advantage of neighbouring Al Waha’s Cool Zone Kids’ Club catering to children up to the age of eight, or the Adventure Zone with its drop slides, climbing wall and Play Stations. Mini-golf and watersports (including beginners scuba diving) are just some of the other activities that families can enjoy together.
- Couples and families
- Spa enthusiasts
- Watersports lovers
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
- Absorb the views of the shimmering Gulf of Oman from your lounger under the date palms
- Pamper yourself with a frankincense and rose wrap at the spa, with its attached hammam, hydrotherapy pool and saunas
- Set out on a leisurely paddle along the coast in a glass-bottom kayak
- Visit the Turtle Care Project to learn more about Oman’s four different species of nesting sea turtle
- Join one of the guided snorkelling expeditions in search of colourful marine life
- Take your marine adventures up a notch with hydro-sport jet packs, water skiing, wake surfing and wake boarding
- Dine on soft shell crab or grilled lobster against the backdrop of the Omani Gulf at Bait Al Bahr
- Hone your tennis skills on one the four floodlit courts, perhaps employing the services of one of the professional coaches
- Take a relaxing drift along the Lazy River, inspired by traditional falaj irrigation systems
- Learn the basics of scuba diving in the pool and in open water, or join more advanced diving courses taking in wreck dives or underwater photography skills
- Enjoy evening drinks in the refined surrounds of the Piano Lounge, or under the stars on the hip rooftop terrace of the B.A.B. Lounge
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
- Venture into central Muscat with a private guide to discover its rich cultural attractions and the lively Muttrah souq
- Set out on a cruise in search of the gulf’s shoals of playful dolphins
- Take a 4x4 adventure through the Hajar mountains to Nizwa, Oman’s UNESCO-protected former capital with a beautifully restored old quarter
- Spend a day snorkelling around the Daymaniyat Islands, a pristine marine paradise