During my years of traveling, I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going sometimes and I have trained myself to love it. In a city like Dubai, where everything moves as fast as jolt of happiness, sometimes the slightest things can change the directions of our lives. I’ve been trying to plan a getaway that was neither too far or too close but eventually, fell for Oman thanks to a little karma that came my way and I realized how every little thing happens for great reasons.
It was a 50 minute flight from Dubai International airport to Muscat and we were very lucky to have taken the hotel’s advise and ditched our cars. Thanks to the closure of the Hatta/Oman borders, it has become almost impossible to cross over with your vehicle. On landing, we checked into Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Our story in Muscat, Oman comes in a very simple way. It brought us into stop mode. Our lives are so often made of routines that at any time, if we we want to celebrate life, an effort must be made, however long it takes. In Oman, the hotel and country made it easy for us to go by our day as the Omanis would do. With a lot of calmness, we blended into the pace of the country and its people. Everything moved exactly how it’s meant to move and the capacity to over think was in-existent.
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton hotel was a 40 minute drive from the airport. We were welcomed with the act of friendship performed by the “coffee man,” the cultural host of the hotel. His craft spans spice stalls and centuries to immerse guests in new experiences and the local way of life. Inside, look up and see the 30 meter high dome with the 15 meter hanging chandelier that the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said first built in 1985 in which the hotel was initially to host the GCC conference. Look around you, and you are surrounded in the Al Hajar mountains.
We spent 3 days at Al Bustan Palace hotel and had a visit to the recently opened Six Senses Spa, where I stopped in for a morning massage. The 5 outdoor swimming pools helped us come up with our own new word called ‘pool hopping’ which is exactly how it sounds. We even took a boat out to sea to find some dolphins and snorkel. The Omani hospitality and generosity is famous. Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. It is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. Which is exactly what the Omanis have. They have a certain ‘joie de vivre’ in their soul which makes the vibe very relaxed.
Breakfast was served at Al Khiran terrace restaurant with a special theme night for dinner. Lunch was always by the pool or the beach and it was always just simple. Nothing was rushed. We were going nowhere. We stopped and had all the time we needed with no watch in sight.
There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.
*Recommended for those traveling with kids, families, couples and those looking for a relaxing getaway
*Water activities is available, excursions such as snorkeling and dolphin watching is also recommended.
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel | P. O Box 1998, Muscat114Oman | Phone: +968 24 799666
Offers: Pay 2 nights stay for 3 Valid through December 31st 2015