Eid Mubarak to everyone. Hope you had a relaxing long weekend and enjoyed the festivities with your friends and family.
We had a short and wonderful Eid break at the Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissa Resort and Spa in Muscat-Oman, where we enjoyed lots of sun and beach and ate plenty of delicious food. The resort comprises of three luxury hotels (Al Waha is a 4*, Al Bandar is a 5* and Al Husn is a 6*). We opted for Al Husn as we were attracted to the fact that no children under the age of 18 are allowed to stay there, which is perfect for a childless couple seeking calm and quiet after a hectic month, like us.
We decided to drive to Muscat, promising ourselves a scenic road trip through the land of forts and castles. Obviously we didn’t wake up as early as planned and with last-minute packing still to be done we didn’t actually hit the road until 9:30am, a big mistake that we later realized when we arrived at Al Wajajah border crossing, which is the 3rd checkpoint you will have to pass in and out of the UAE if you are exiting through Hatta. Eid rush out of the country was overwhelming, we queued for two hours to get to the counter so Angel can get his visa stamped. I didn’t need a visa, because I am a GCC National, but I had to wait with him. It irritates me how one of us always has visa issues when we travel because we hold different passports. it is what it is….
For the last 20 minutes of waiting time I watched two women (an Arab and an American) argue which one of them should present her papers first because they both were carrying babies!
We were out of that mayhem at 1:30pm totally exhausted after being on our feet for two hours. It was 42C degrees outside and we had survived the whole morning on a strawberry smoothie. My road trip buzz was suddenly killed and I hoped to god that our destination was going to be at least worth it.
Note to self; never go to Oman in August again, except to Salalah during Kharif season.
My “extremely careful” husband must have stopped for gas at least 3 times on the way. I didn’t think it was necessary as a gas station seemed to pop on the side of the road at least every 15 minutes. What I should have monitored more carefully was my liquid consumption! The Omani petrol stations are no “Emarat”, they don’t have the same facilities we are used to here in the UAE, hence none of them had a toilet that I could use for the next three hours!
What Angel liked about them is the fact that he could pay for gas in Emirati Dirham, as in the rest of the country, you don’t really need to change your money to Omani Reyals in Oman, which he clearly forgot to do!
We arrived at our hotel around 5:00pm. We were greeted with cold towels and refreshments. We handed over our IDs and were escorted to our room before we even completed the check-in process. The receptionist came to our room later to get that done and she earned herself a generous tip.
The room was spacious and looked great. It sported a beautiful beach view, a complimentary mini-bar, a L’OCCITANE toilet set (including bath salt) and free internet.
After getting acquainted with the room and catching our breath, we headed to the concierge desk to book some activities outside the hotel. Initially we wanted to hire a guided tour to the city of Nizwa, but then we thought we should get adventurous and drive there ourselves.
For the next day we bought a morning snorkelling trip to Turtle Beach through Extra Divers , a dive centre located right next to the hotel; they also offer boat rides and diving lessons.
After snorkelling we spent the afternoon lazing with a book by the gorgeous infinity pool. Here is where you appreciate the Hotel’s exclusivity to adults, the fact that no kids were to be seen or heard anywhere nearby was extremely gratifying, It totally justifies the pricey tag it comes with.
I mean, I love kids, but not this time…
In the evening we had a couple’s massage at the luxuries Chi Spa. It started by identifying our elements and picking our compatible massages oils, we both turned up to be metals, although I still think that I am earthy, the therapist thought differently so I played along….
We were allowed to use the rest of the spa facilities like the steam room and Jacuzzi as part of our treatment, then we were handed our personal kits and asked to change into our robes. On our way to the treatment room Angel said to me “you are the first woman who manages to get me to the spa. 🙂
Note to Angel: sun burns + massage oil = don’t go very well together…
We arrived back in Dubai at sunset. It welcomed us back with this amazing view of Dubai’s skyline.
until the next journey..