Salalah is a city known for its ancient history, archeological remains, frankincense trees and beautiful beaches. Salalah is famous for its annual monsoon festival, the ‘Khareef Festival’, when you can see the best of the city with festivities all around that include performances, food, music and games. The drive to the city is known to experience zero gravity which is a mystery! It is a beautiful, raw destination to travel to if you are looking for adventure, exploring, time away from crowded area and those who enjoy the beautiful beach!
HOW TO GET THERE
There are only 2 airlines I explored from Dubai, which are Oman Air and flydubai. I have flown with flydubai on my occasions and worked even closely with them and so, decided to book through their website and was able to also accumulate my airmiles! It was an easy 2 hour flight from Dubai to Salalah airport.
You can log on to www.flydubai.com to find out more about their routes from Dubai.
BEST TIME TO GO
There is a special season celebrated in Salalah and it’s called Khareef Season which is translated to Monsoon season. This is when the country is at its greenest and waterfalls and sink holes fills the earth which is June to September, however,those are the hottest months yet the most popular months and hotels are usually full and peak rates. Yet, it is still the most celebrated season. I decided to visit post the peak season, I wanted to avoid the humidity and the heat and was only looking for some relaxing beach time, so from October to April, the weather is still very pleasant.
WHERE TO STAY
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara was my first experience staying in Salalah and it was exactly the sort of holiday break I needed. A beautiful beach side infinity pool along the coast of Dhofar with its own private beach set way only 15 minutes away from Salalah airport and a great kids club for Chloe, who is 5 years old.
I flew to Salalah with my parents and our goal was to achieve the most relaxing weekend and we did exactly that.
The hotel celebrates a year old in November 2017 and have 4 different categories of room from a deluxe suite (garden or sea view), premier sea view rooms, pool suite rooms (with private pools) which could also be connecting rooms for larger families. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, lagoon or picturesque gardens, each guest room will be equipped with interactive LED TVs, luxurious bath products and mini bars. Ensuite bathrooms include rain shower and separate bathtubs, walk-in dressing room and terrace or balcony, with the villas enjoying separate living areas.
I stayed in the 1 bedroom pool suite room which offered privacy and my very own pool. The rooms where spacious enough and the toilet has a door that leads to the pool as well!
We were picked up by the hotel’s personal pick up chauffeur on time, the Omanis are one of the friendliest people you could ever encounter. Love for their country and humble. Omani people are ethnically diverse, the Omani citizen population consists of many different ethnic groups. The majority of the population consists of Arabs, with many of these Arabs being Swahili language speakers and returnees from the Swahili Coast, particularly Zanzibar. Because of their hospitality, tourists from all over the world flock here.
The same night of my arrival, I had realized I’ve forgotten a memory card for my camera. Taxis are easily accessible from the hotel and the hotel organized one in 10 minutes. Being 15 minutes away from the airport, getting around into town was not difficult.
The hotel has 3 restaurants and recommend you try the Mekong (Asian) being Anantara’s signature Asian restaurant, Mekong will offer guests cuisines from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Unfortunately doing our stay, we did not book ahead of time so it was fully booked for dinner. Breakfast was served in the all-day dining Sakhalin which was rich in choices from Gluten free/vegan/Arabic/Continental and American.
The Anantara Spa has
- luxurious treatment rooms
- Indoor and outdoor tea pavilion relaxation areas
- Hammam treatment room (Soon to open)
- Rasul treatment rooms
- Ayurveda treatments
- Female salon and nail spa
- Traditional Thai massage suite
and I highly recommend booking a signature spa massage and insider tip, ask for Sheena! She is the Marry Poppins of masseuse!
Al Baleed Salalah, Oman
Tel: +968 2322 8222
THINGS TO DO IN SALALAH
Visit The Waterfalls
The waterfalls can only be seen during Khareef season which is Monsoon season. There are some really nice waterfalls at Ayn Khor (عين كور), Ayn Hamran (عين حمران), Ayn Tubrook (عين طبرك), Ayn Athoom (عين اثوب), Wadi Darbat (وادى دربات) and Wadi Ayn (وادى عين).
Paddle boarding at Wadi Darbat
Also another Monsoon activity only but make sure this is on your list! Unfortunately, when we were there, we were not able to do it but it has been recommended several times!
Beach buggy drive at Al Baleed Salalah
A fun and exciting experience at the hotel by the indian ocean! You need to book with the hotel concierge or the activity center. Drive into the water and onto the sand and enjoy the thrill!!
Sunset at Cliff Taqa
This beautiful landscape is one of the most beautiful places to see the sunset and capture it with your camera! Also a huge spot for drone lovers! Here is where the Arabian peninsula tapers southward towards Africa.
Al Mughal Blowholes
The beauty of storms and Monsoon season is watching these blowholes explode! Through an underground channel, sea water rushes in at high pressure and jets out in a geyser-like spout on the cliff. Corresponding with the force of the waves, the spouts can rise several metres high! Tourists from all over the gulf come to this beautiful place to watch the incredible show!
Drive to Ayn Sahalnoot and Wadi Sahalnoot
Wadi Sahalnoot is just 15km from Salalah and it gets resplendent in greenery during Khareef every year. The valley has impressive and beautiful natural scenery. While you drive on the meandering roads of this valley you can see greenery all around during Monsoon season. The roads are narrow with sharp bends so one must be cautious while driving.
Visit the fruit huts
Driving into the hotel, we came across the fruit huts that reminded me of Sri Lanka. The fruits are fresh and the coconut water is very popular.
Massage at Al Baleed Salalah
Your last day could be adventurous or relaxing. You could head out to the highest peak for sunrise or sunset views, explore old town and the areas around Kotor and Boka Bay, you could even drive to Ada Bojana for kitesurfing lovers and explore the beach site. On your last day, you could relax in Prcanj and get to know the people living there or even take a boat to St. George Island and do some beach hopping by boat. If you are looking for shopping, then Tivat is the area where they have Regent Port Hotel and shops are located around the property. It’s a beautiful walk and an impressive port!
The stretch of mountains on both sides of the route offer a spectacular backdrop. The beach is ideal for barbecues and picnics as there are some hut-like sitting areas onsite. I am certain that on Monsoon season the backdrop gets even more dramatic with the crashing of the waves and the mist into the mountains. The stretch of beach was extremely one of the most impressive ones I have seen in the gulf!
Dress code: Oman is a conservative Muslim country so please dress accordingly out of respect to the Omanis – It’s also wise to always exercise sensitivity when taking photos.
Tour Guide Info: Mohammed is an excellent tour guide and took his time in talking about the culture, history and the nature in Oman +96899485070
Visa: Foreign nationals must obtain a visa to enter Oman, which can be secured on arrival at Muscat International Airport or online through the Royal Oman Police (ROP) website. Currently, there are two types of entries available: Single-entry 10-day visa on arrival ($13) or single-entry 30-day visa on arrival ($51). We suggest checking the ROP website before planning your trip, as Oman’s visa regulations change frequently.
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