Anantara resort. Getting to know Oman in only four days is almost impossible. This country’s cultural and also culinary variety is so big that it offers tourists and people thirsty for Oman’s knowledge a lot to see and to experience. In the North a unique mountain landscape, and in the South a very beautiful wadi region formed by nature and called ”Wadi Darbat”.The northern part of the country enlaced by the Oman gulf, the East and the South bathed by the Arabic Sea. Where to start best?
Photos & text: Irina Tschigwinzew
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort – Oman on the rocks
From Oman’s capital Muscat a road leads through mountainous landscape toward North. Its mountains are overwhelming and our destination is their highest summit called “Jebel Al Akhdar“– the green mountain. Here at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, a de-luxe oasis created by man on the Saiq Plateau of Jebel Al Akhdar, we will pass the first days of our Oman trip. Despite its situation in the middle of the mountains, the resort is not completely isolated from outside world. Three small and old villages being still partly inhabited plus a small town are neighbouring the resort site. These old villages snuggled against the mountains and their natural shape are the first surprising thing you discover, when looking closer from the hotel rooms’ terraces. The view is breath-taking, as this nature is unique.
At the next moment, however, you come out from your thoughts and imaginations of a solitary and far removed as well as strange everyday village life to touchable perfectionism. The Resort’s suites are by no means excessively equipped. The outfits are on the contrary almost simple, but very tasteful. Dark, natural colours, traditional Oman ornaments reflecting Arabic culture, and only a few eye-catching details completing the picture. One would love starting the stay lying in this comfortable bed viewing the mountainous landscape and trying to sound out the mysterious resonance of the mountains through the open terrace doors.
An oasis in the Saiq Mountains – Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
A walkabout through the Resort gives you a good insight, where what happens and where to retreat untroubled even outside our own hotel room. The atmospheric reading room would e.g. be just the right thing to get away from the action, when you don’t want swimming in the pool or sunbathing. Here you can really close the doors behind you and find yourself in a wonderful world of exquisite books. On the other hand, have a chess match with other lovers of this game.
A garden takes you around the whole Resort. Now and then, you see a gardener taking care of the plants and saplings, a nice pavilion right in the middle spending a lot of shadow for relaxing. Even though these pavilions are located in the hotel’s public area, they nonetheless offer some privacy and a wonderful view of the complete garden lay-out. Sun worshippers find their place at the swimming pool. Also here the magnificent view of the mighty mountains are the highlight. Here you find a completely different kind of “vacation at the pool”, and with some luck, you see wild mountain goats running below the pool and gazing curiously at you above them.
The walk through the garden takes you to the suites in a private area of this luxurious Resort, where there are some villas. These are equipped very comfortably and have an own infinity pool with a one of a kind view of the unique plateau.
Evening cinema, musical entertainment, nightly star watching and a few offers more belong to the guests’ entertainment choice. A daily changing program is on the agenda be it for adults as for children. Just for fun, without any obligation. For the smallest guests there exists also a daycare facility, where they can play or learn.
Sport, wellness & culture: Activity-Program at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Naturally, there are also activities developed outside the hotel walls of the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort. The small old villages Al Aqr, Al Ayn and Ash Shirayjah, seeming so distant upon our arrival can be visited by foot on a guided tour. The local guides will tell you on your way about everyday life of the remaining inhabitants, the way of life on the mountain plateau during the last years and the changes brought about by the Resort. It is fascinating and interesting to walk through the narrow lanes having a look at the partly well preserved ruins and the rugged or modernised houses. A mixture rich in contrast raising many questions and keeping many secrets. In the lanes you meet the few villagers very rarely, as people here lead a very reclusive life.
Pomegranates are widely diffused in northern Oman, as Mediterranean climate prevails making fruit growing possible.
Yoga & Co.
Who is not yet exploited enough, may continue on the Jabal Activity Wall. An experienced team supports sporting people in their exploration of this optimally secured climbing wall. Something you should not miss at all is a tour of the Oman Grand Canyon. The groups consist of a maximum of four persons, and a small lunch will also be provided on the way. Early in the marvellous morning sun yoga lessons are given to small groups, and not in the closed walls of a studio, but on the mountain terrace “Diana’s Point”. Relaxation, quietness and refreshing drinks await you afterwards right by the pool. Diversion on a creative level you will find on a photography tour. Landscape and outdoor photography is a nice attraction for beginners.
Asia Wellness & Detoxing
For all around relaxed body feeling the wellness area is just the right thing: massages, saunas, hammam, detox and much more. The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort’s wellness area is a very nice, pleasant and intimate place for indulging oneself in body care and being completely on your own. Even nutrition can be changed to pure balance. The specially elaborated wellness cuisine for interior wellbeing is by no means dull, but a culinary highlight in a soft way. You must not even renounce delicious desserts.
Arabic, Italian, Asian – Culinary experience & exquisite interior design
In the evenings at the very atmospheric ambiance lounge “Al Buri – The Tower” and on the outer terraces delicious drinks taste three times as well, and the life musicians’ accompanying Arabic sound abduct you from the Saiq Mountains into the dream world under the Oman sky. The best non-alcoholic Yasmin Rose Cocktail is available just in this place. The Resort’s three restaurants are convincing with stylish equipment, very courteous service, local, but also international cuisine. At the “Bella Vista” you are dining the Italian way, at the “Al Qalaa” you get regional cuisine, and all Arabic and Asian specialties are served at the “Al Maisan”.
At the „Al Maisan“a delicious breakfast is served early in the morning, but also a huge Asian Buffet in the evening.
At the „Al Qalaa“ you get all kinds of traditional food, which you should try by all means.
The deluxe resort Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in the middle of the Saiq Mountains is surely a highlight for connoisseurs, but not a final stop, for Oman has much more to offer. Hence, it is recommendable to plan a longer trip for getting to know the different aspects of the country. The second part of our trip takes us from the massive mountain landscape directly to the sea in the South.