Need to know
86, including two villas.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Late check-out (until 6pm) is charged half a night's stay.
Double rooms from $610.39 (OMR235), excluding tax at 17 per cent.
Rates include a buffet and hot à la carte breakfast and a daily-changing, three-course table d'hôte dinner.
Oman’s rich traditions and ethnic influences are evident in the hotel, decorated with copper ornaments, initricate mandoos chests and fort-like doors. In nearby Bahla village, potter Mohammad and his son throw the eye-catching ceramics dotted around the lobby, lounges and library.
Guests staying over the festive period 2016 must attend the hotel's Christmas Eve dinner (OMR65 an adult, OMR30 for 7–12 year olds, free for under-7s, excluding taxes) and/or New Year's Eve dinner (OMR70 an adult, OMR35 for 7–12 year olds, free for under-7s, excluding taxes).
At the hotel
Spa, gym, lounge, library, board games, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, free bottled water, tea and coffee, Alila bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Spread out between the main building and low-rise clusters dotted around the grounds, rooms are decorated in soft nutmeg and rich chocolate tones, with dark carved-wood furniture, stone terraces and hand-woven baskets hung on the walls. Hand-painted by a local artist, a juniper-tree motif adorns the bedrooms. Bathrooms are vast and light-filled, with views over the picturesque wilderness and a majestic ovoid bath carved by water from a block of pale marble. With shaded balconies and spectacular views from the tub, Ridge View Suites are secluded and have the best vistas, but we also loved Horizon View Suite 83, with its colourful rugs and spacious outside seating area. Jabal Terrace’s vast wooden outdoor deck is a must for stargazers; for a blow-out retreat, the sprawling Jabal Villas each have their own steam room, private pool and Jacuzzi.
Surrounded by a rough-hewn stone and wood deck, the heated infinity pool is all seductive curves and jaw-slackening canyon views; cosy up in the stone cabanas built into the hillside, perfect for basking à deux. Behind a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass, the small indoor heated plunge pool is framed by imposing stone columns, inviting loungers and mood-setting candles.
A temple to healing and soothing therapies, Spa Alila has seven treatment rooms (including one for couples), a Vichy shower and changing rooms equipped with a steam room and Jacuzzi. Sourced from villages in East Bali, unrefined coconut oil is mixed with sweet almond, kukui nut and wheatgerm oils for out-of-this world massages. Locally grown herbs and essential oils are used in the signature treatments, an almost edible menu of scrubs, wraps and masks featuring coffee, ginger, cinnamon and lemongrass. Don’t miss the avocado hair cream bath, an intensely hydrating scalp mask made all the more blissful by a deep neck and shoulder massage.
It’s cooler and wetter in the mountains than on the coast, but you’ll still need sunscreen. Mosquitoes can thrive after winter rains; bring repellent to avoid the nuisance. There’s no need to pack a rucksack: each room has one ready for memorable hikes.
You’re free to light up in the grounds, but there’s no smoking inside. Alila toiletries make use of the region’s abundant pomegranates, wild roses and juniper trees; ask staff to run you a romantic rose-water bath to soak in after dinner.
The hotel’s grown-up elegance and remote location are best suited to adults; if you’re keen to bring a mini Smith, under-6s stay free in cots or existing beds.
Alila’s commitment to treading lightly is evident in the discreet architecture, built from local stone in accordance with LEED environmental design principles. Solar power is used to heat the water, which in turn is recycled to irrigate the grounds.