Oman: Living High at the Beach

Apero hour under palm trees, their trunks wrapped in golden lights. Reflections dancing in adjacent pools. Guests lounging in comfy sofas and chairs on an elegant, marble-floored courtyard. Multi-lingual, attentive waiters serving drinks and tasty snacks. It was impressive, pure posh.

As we soaked in the classy ambience at the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort, conversation turned to past travels. “I liked those places we went to where the roads were not paved,” Bob said. We have had many exciting adventures to third world countries where, not only are the roads not paved, but sometimes the electricity fails, hot water is non existent. We reminisced about some of our favorites: Trekking through the sand with only a flashlight to guide us through the blackness, dodging ruts and driftwood branches, to a tiny, primitive beach shack in Myanmar where the fresh fish was fabulous and the family proprietors became our friends; Riding ancient, rickety bikes through back roads of Senegal, following Abou, our congenial bicycle guide, who invited us to his wedding, a colorful, spirited event deep in the boon docks; Ducking out of our lakeside tent in Kenya for a middle-of-the night trek to the toilet on the other side of a field when a guide’s spotlight shone on a bloat (group) of hippos heading in our direction.

We saw lots of goats in Oman, including artistic versions at Al Husn.

So, what were we doing in this 5* plus beach resort in Oman? It was our last hurrah, a final fling. We knew that with advancing age and medical issues, those adventures we cherish were no longer feasible. Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. Arthritis is taking its toll on my aging body. We decided to treat ourselves to a first class voyage. (We traveled in January. The trip was booked long before Covid 19 changed the world. )

Bob tests the waters. Al Husn hotel in the background.

Everything about our two-week trip was ultra – except airfare. That was, per usual, economy with extra leg room seats. 

The Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa is about a half hour from the new, state-of-the-art airport of Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The resort is part of a complex of three hotels. Our hotel, the priciest, was built atop a beachside cliff.

We booked half board at Al Husn. The all-inclusive price was expensive, but with all the over-the-top amenities, seemed reasonable.

Al Husn with the infinity pool and the Gulf of Oman
Our spacious room’s fruit basket was refilled daily. There was no extra charge for drinks, including beer and wine, and snacks from the mini bar. We rarely indulged as copious food and beverages were offered throughout the day.


Starting with breakfast: Mind boggling. Several rooms brimming with all manner of buffet selections to suit the tastes and customs of numerous nationalities, from Asian favorites, to smoked fish to sausage and eggs. The array of fresh fruit was gorgeous and intriguing – things I had never seen before.

There was also a breakfast menu, which, in addition to standard selections (scrambled eggs, pancakes etc.) featured specials that changed daily. I tried a different one each day. During breakfast a waiter or waitress came to offer the smoothie of the day, not to mention coffee refills.

No need for lunch after that, especially since breakfast continued until 11 a.m. You could linger on the terrace and enjoy sea and cliff views.

The private beach for Al Husn is small, nestled between the walls of cliffs.

More pampering at the pool or beach. As you arrive, an attendant greets you and leads you to a lounge chair, presenting you with, not just towels, but a mini cooler filled with bottled water, fruit juice and a refreshing facial spray. The lounge cushions are extra thick. Some of the lounges are king bed size. In the afternoon about 3 p.m., an attendant strolls by offering sherbet, featuring the flavor of the day – strawberry, mango, banana…

Bob found a poolside hideaway.

Since our hotel was atop a cliff, its beach, a walk down a pathway, was small, however, its infinity pool was huge. And, we could use the wide sandy beach of the adjacent hotels along the shore

High tea treats.

Not long after the sherbet pause, it’s time for a British break, high tea. Oman was a British Protectorate from 1891 – 1951. Tea (you can opt for coffee) is served from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on the same restaurant terrace as breakfast with the photo-perfect views. This time a waiter arrives at the table with a glass case enclosing three savory and three sweet treats. They were different every day, and  we ate them all.

No time to work up an appetite for the aperitif snacks. Apero hour is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fortunately the snacks are petite, but delicious. Music is normally featured during the apero hour, but in honor of the recent death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who ruled the country for almost 50 years, music was banned in the country for 40 days. Even with music, Al Husn would be quiet.  No children are permitted at this hotel.

Cliffs at sunset.

Among the three hotels, we had our choice of six restaurants. Our package included dinner and wine at a buffet restaurant with amazing selections. We dined there a few times, but also tried the others: Italian, seafood, international, Moroccan and Middle Eastern. At these, we had had a budget of 25 rial ($65) per person. We had to pay for exceeding the limit which we often did. We like wine – very costly in Oman. A glass was about $19.50. But, hey, this was our splurge trip, and we did limit ourselves to one glass each.

Arabia influences the interior of Al Husn.

Al Husn means castle. We indeed felt like royalty during the 10 days we spent in this luxurious ambience. At times it seemed too much.   Yet, we enjoyed the serenity, the beautiful surroundings—not to mention all those amenities.

The complex of three hotels has 640 rooms, 180 of which belong to Al Husn. The staff, from 800 to 1,000 employees depending on season, represent 44 different nationalities.

Yes, it was a major splurge, but every penny well spent. As my wonderful husband often says, “You can’t take it with you.”  Covid aside, this was our last big trip and a perfect finale.

Orchids in the lobby at Al Husn
For more on Oman, use the search option above right for Oman.  There are three posts:  Oman’s Mighty Mountains, Oman: Luxury in the Desert and Introducing Awesome Oman.  Still more to come — Muscat, the fascinating capital.  If you want to know more about Senegal or Myanmar, do a search on those countries. I wrote several posts on each.

Today’s Taste, upper right,  features a refreshing summer salad, Cucumbers in Sour Cream Dill Sauce.  Click on photo for recipe and scroll down for more recipes.

If not a talesandtravel follower, sign up, upper right.  Your address is kept private, not shared.
Please comment.  Click below then scroll down to Leave a Reply at bottom and add your thoughts.



27 thoughts on “Oman: Living High at the Beach”

  1. I was hooked as soon as I saw that first photo. You didn’t even have to write another word…I wanted to be there!
    I’m so glad you didn’t delay your trip. Who knew the world would change so dramatically in just a few weeks?
    What wonderful memories you created!


  2. It sounds great but I was planning on saving my money for an elaborate family crypt.

    My wife and I are very anxious to travel – everyday is the same now. Last week I was so desperate to get out I volunteered to accompany her to Target and Costco. It was a mistake. I think I had a serious anxiety attack in Costco. Seriously, this trip sounds amazing.


  3. What an experience! I would have loved to be there with you. Perhaps I can talk one or two of my sisters into traveling to Oman with me someday. So glad that this trip was good for you and Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oman is definitely worth a visit . There is so much more than the beach as I have related in my posts on the mountains and the desert . I am glad we experienced luxury at the beach, but also glad we got to see more of this gem of a country.


  4. Dear Leah ,you certainly saved the best blog for your last one ,
    Truly amazing photos ,the text brought tears to my eyes ,
    Thank you for sharing your tales and travels with us ,we will miss your adventures ,
    Stay safe ,lots of love Tony & Hazel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tony and Hazel, but please don’t give up on Tales and Travel. I will — must — continue to post — more tales and less travel perhaps. It’s good for my brain, and inspires me to take better photos.
      We miss you. Stay safe and healthy,


  5. Yes indeed – you can’t take it with you, and you have shared so many adventures with us these many years. Perfect timing in advance of the current shutdowns – and best wishes to you both – it will be nice to be in Nice….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We certainly can’t complain with so many great adventures behind us. We lucked out with the timing on Oman, just under the wire. Correction: We are not in Nice, but on the coast in Cap Martin, just adjacent to Menton and the Italian border. It is lovely.


  6. What wonderful travels you have had and I’ll miss reading about your adventures. Thanks for taking me on so many journeys. You have so many wonderful memories to be cherished and I wish you both all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Heather. We do cherish the memories. Even without major trips, talesandtravel will continue. There is much in this gorgeous area where we live to write about,
      not to mention more tales. Don’t give up on my blog,


  7. What a wonderful Grand Finale. You and Bob have certainly had some wonderful adventures. I’m glad that you could visit us and we in turn could visit you. Stay well and safe my dear friends. Love Meg

    Meg Downie 0428 502 839 03 9874 5021 Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Meg, Our visit to you down under counts among our favorites. We won’t make it back there, but you are likely to make it to France. It would be wonderful to see you again.


  8. Last hurrahs kind of choke me up. We likely have traveled our last adventure trip also. Like you two, we are glad to have each other and have seen the world together. Lucky us, I would say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very lucky us. Ultimate Africa was definitely one of our favorite trips. We are so glad we met you and Bob. You and your amazing travels have been an inspiration to us.


  9. Ten days of luxury in an absolutely gorgeous setting! Glad you two were able to enjoy this well deserved trip.
    And, you were lucky to have gone just prior to the confinement.
    What lovely pictures and commentary.
    A wonderful blog, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Karen. I fear there will no more big adventures with Bob. He has been the perfect travel companion. I am very lucky and grateful. If Covid ever gets under control, and Kellie can come to stay with her Dad, I look forward to a mini adventure with you.


  10. Absolutely first class! So much beauty! I love the contrasts of the blues and the desert tones. Happy that you were able to have this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your luxe trip is well deserved and looks wonderful. I’ll miss your postings from future trips, but wish you and Bob well living in Nice. Not a bad spot to wind down a life of adventure none of us can match. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for staying tuned to
      Tales and Travel, Gloria. The blog will not die. I will keep posting….more tales and less travel. Don’t give up. Correction: We live in Cap Martin, not Nice, just adjacent to Menton and the Italian border, and indeed a beautiful place to wind down.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: