Muscat, Oman

The Chedi Muscat


Calm Omani minimalism


Gulf-side garden estate

Walk around Oman’s Chedi hotel in Muscat and you’re minded of the Alhambra, with its gently arching halls, majli-inspired lobby and updated Moorish water gardens. But laze by one of its perfect pools or repair to the sublime spa and you’ll note that the swarming crowds of that particular palace couldn’t be further from your reality. This is standard-bearer for understated luxury and quiet minimalism.

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Need to know


158, including 38 suites


12 noon (though late check-out up to 6pm is available for half the room’s nightly rate). Earliest check-in, 2pm.


In the 13 suites of Muscat’s largest spa you can treat yourself to jet lag-busting restorers, romantic bathing rituals, Himalayan warm stone massages and all manner of rejuvenating facials.

At the hotel

Private beach, spa and health club, tennis courts, boutique, 21 acres of landscaped grounds and free WiFi. In rooms: TV, CD player, iPod dock, minibar with free drinks and snacks, Acqua di Parma bath products.

Our favourite rooms

In all rooms, neutral tones and dark fixtures are the order of the day, with the occasional carved wooden detail. Any room facing seawards offers cinematic views of the Gulf of Oman from the widescreen windows. The Chedi Club Suites have sunken terrazzo baths, private terraces and are close to the regal Club Lounge so you can be the first in the queue for the decadent champagne brunches it hosts.


There are three, including the region’s longest, a 103-metre-long moody marvel lined by palms and black double day beds. The Chedi pool overlooks the beach – perfect for wallowing with a view of the waves and, with a quick scamper across the narrow sands, you can splash among them. On the very hottest days, head for the Serai pool; it’s ample awnings provide welcome shade in and around the water.

Packing tips

Bikinis, swimming shorts and the usual beachy essentials are fine for the pool. For day trips and evening time, it’s the smarter side of smart casual: trousers and shirts for men; long skirts and dresses for women, and something to cover your shoulders. If you're planning any desert adventures, sturdy shoes are a must.


Pick up a little shiny something from the boutique to accessorise your evening wear – locally-crafted jewellery, ornaments, art and clothes are all available to buy.


Welcome. Extra beds (US$66 a night) and cots (free) can be added to all rooms. Staff will happily adapt the restaurant’s dishes for children. Babysitting is available for US$12 an hour during the week ($14 an hour at weekends); book two days in advance.

Food and Drink


Top Table

Visit in the cooler months (October to April) and you can sit in the tree-lined courtyard where, under starry skies, mezze and kebabs are served to the rhythmic sounds of traditional Omani musicians.

Dress Code

Long, flowing cottons, light linens and neutral-toned chic to match your surrounds

Hotel restaurant

The three pools each have their own cabana serving drinks and food, with Mediterranean fare by the Chedi pool, Asian flavours at the Serai pool and Japanese-cum-Malaysian nourishment to help you reach the other end of the Long Pool. Fine dining is done in the elegantly arched, and simply-titled, Restaurant. Its four open kitchens serve an impressive array of Arabian, Indian, Asian and Western cuisines – from lamb tagine to Wagyu beef. For an al fresco affair, opt for the Beach Restaurant, a romantic waterfront patio where fresh seafood and fine wine are paired with a sea breeze and lapping waves.

Hotel bar

It’s not about where you get your drink; it’s where you take it. Poolside is prime cocktail territory, sip fine wines and watch the waves from the patio and retire to the outdoor Shisha Lounge with something stiffer.

Last orders

The restaurants serve food and pour drinks until 10.30pm (11pm on Thursdays and Fridays). If you’re looking for a nightcap, the lounges – one indoors, one in the courtyard – serve drinks and snacks until 1am.

Room service

Available 24 hours a day and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options, a dessert and nighttime menu. The seafood grills and mezze plates tend to satisfy mild munchies.


Photos The Chedi Muscat – Muscat – Oman
The Chedi Muscat
North Ghubra 32 Way No. 3215 18th November Street


British Airways ( and Emirates ( fly into Muscat International Airport daily and the Chedi is a 15-minute drive away. Taxis regularly shuttle between the airport and the hotel’s driveway entrance.


Arrange a transfer or hire a car; the hotel has free parking and Avis ( rental cars are available at the airport. You’ll see the Chedi signposted regularly on the road into central Muscat. If you’re feeling decadent, a private car with a driver can be hired through the hotel’s concierge service, otherwise taxis are plentiful.

Worth getting out of bed for

With its cultural riches, wondrous waters and adventurous surrounds, Muscat has a broad appeal. If you need to ease yourself in, head to the spa for an uplifting Himalayan crystal body polish and you’ll be raring to go.

A walk along nearby Shatti Al Qurum beach at sunset is a Muscat highlight (if you can dodge the locals’ footballs). A 90-minute drive east brings you to Wadi Shab, a deep, palm-flecked sandstone gorge lined with blue-green pools that adventurous types will find irresistible for cliff-diving (don’t worry – locals are on hand to point out the safe spots). The road back takes you past the Hawiyat Najm Park, home to the Bimmah Sinkhole which was supposedly formed by a meteor and is well worth a swim in.

Off the coast of Muscat you’ll find exceptional snorkelling and diving in the warm sea, where turtles, rays and the occasional whale are likely companions. The Chedi’s concierge will be happy to arrange special dolphin-watching trips, too.

In the city, browse a treasure trove of Omani art and cultural curios at private museum Bait Al Zubair, home to one wealthy family’s impressive historical collection. Or settle in for some lung-busting operatics at the Royal Opera House Muscat. If you’re a fragrance fanatic, follow your nose to the headquarters of Amouage, the world’s most expensive perfumery. It’s been hand-crafting its range in Muscat for generations, using more than 120 natural ingredients, and coffee-aided tours are available throughout the week (Sunday to Thursday).

20 minutes away, the Muttrah Souk is alive with traders and patient browsers can unearth all kinds of good-value gold and silver gifts. Nizwa Souk – a 90-minute drive away – hosts a livestock auction each Friday morning, where the stubborn animals provide plenty of amusement.

Local restaurants

The oven-fresh bread and just-caught seafood draws expats and locals alike to Turkish House (+968 244 88071), a 15-minute drive away. A few minutes further towards Qurum beach is Mumtaz Mahal (+968 246 05907), an award-winning dress-up-and-dine North Indian restaurant, also with seafood aplenty. If it’s a romantic dinner à deux you’re after, Al Angham (+968 22 077777), in the grounds of the Royal Opera House, does modern Omani cuisine in lavish surrounds. Try one of their private dining rooms for a memorable meal. For something a little more laid-back, Kargeen Caffe (+968 246 99055) is a Muscat favourite. Expect a mix of Omani dishes, Arabic grills and western snacks along with coffee, shisha and limonana, the ubiquitous lemon-mint drink. If you’re in need of stronger refreshment, Left Bank (+968 246 93699) is a western-style bar with chrome fittings, an extensive cocktail list and regular DJ nights.  


Photos The Chedi Muscat – Muscat – Oman

Anonymous review

Mr & Mr Smith have just returned from a stay at this Omani luxury hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their souk souvenirs and Amouage perfume, a full account of their Gulf-side break will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from the Chedi Muscat

There’s a relaxed cocktail bar at one end and a private beach, lapped at by the Gulf of Oman, at the other. In between, elegant arches are decorated with smatterings of Balinese pottery. And that’s just the pool.

But don’t mistake its double-Olympic-length splendour for the kind of brash bling offered in Oman’s gulf-side neighbours, because the Chedi is very much a sanctuary of serene minimalism, inspired by its heritage-rich surrounds. From the material-draped indoor courtyard to the trickling fountains in the quiet quads, this is a place to seek peace.

The rooms are high of ceiling and large of window, accented with light linens and dark decor. The grounds are carefully coiffed and simple scenes of Omani life decorate hallways. Even the gym is calmer than your average spa space. We’d call it an oasis if that weren’t the stalest of clichés.

It’s a place to dine and to recline, to save your energy for the adventures for which you are so perfectly placed; moseying in Muscat, sauntering round a souk, driving through the desert, snorkelling in the sea…

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Chedi Muscat’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The pools, the food, the service

Don’t expect

Total seclusion - the hotel is often quite full.


Stayed on 20 Mar 2015

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