Hotel near business center
Centrally located in the heart of Muscat's elegant Ruwi business district, the hotel's beautifully landscaped gardens set it apart. With conference and leisure facilities second to none, not to mention an appealing selection of fine restaurants, it's no wonder the Sheraton Oman Hotel is an enduring favorite. It is has nice swim pool. the disadvantages about it that is it is not close to beaches like most hotels in Muscat. they have bar and night clup.
Indian food at its best
Situated not far from the Sheraton Oman in Ruwi , which we used as our marker when driving to Ruwi . The restaurant is basically situated in the business / banking district and is accessed up a small flight of steps .The interior is extremely cosy and all tables are covered with freshly laundered linen . Seating is comfortable and there are areas suitably intimate for couples or suitable for families . I believe there is a special room for large families or for parties .Not previously being partial to Indian cuisine I can only say that my next visit to Muscat will involve as many visits to Woodlands as possible . Everything is authentic , wonderfully spiced . The predinner table breads etc were divine as was my Chicken Masala and my wife's Korma . All the dishes are exceptional
"Arrival / travel / accommodation"
Molly and I are 63 and 68 years old respectively .Left our home near Wakefield ( England ) 02 December 2002, travelling by train to London Kings Cross and then by tube to Heathrow . Flew by Qatar Air leaving LHR at 20:15 arriving Muscat at 09:30 local time , via Doha . Air fare ( economy ) was £310 inclusive each . Met at the airport by driver with car from Al Maskry self drive and taken to offices at Al Ghoubra to complete formalities . Car hire for 12 days to be OR 100 inclusive of insurance and 2500 free kms .Car was Nissan Sunny Ex , automatic etc and in excellent condition .The entrance and exit to the Airport
( Seeb ) was user friendly , although the road from the Capital ( Muscat ) was busy in both directions . Local street map was provided and we set off for our first hotel , the Crowne Plaza at Qurum Heights . If you are accustomed to driving on the left it would be an idea to study the organisation of roundabouts in Muscat before venturing into busy traffic , especially if you are uncertain of the area . We found that the standard street map , although detailed did not cover all Muscat and the beach road from Qurum to Shatti was not shown . Maybe the laterst version will correct this .
"Hotel accommodation / Dining"
Stayed first three nights at the Crowne Plaza . Took a suite on the 5 th floor with very good view over the beach and also Qurum . Cost was OR60 per night inclusive of tax and breakfasts . This appeared a better bet than a standard room with mediocre view and facilities at OR30 +tax and without breakfast . Buffet breakfast ( continental) cost OR4.5 +tax (17%) per person .The beach was difficult to access from the Hotel by the way . We drove the short distance to the beach road and easily parked ( no charge ) and then accessed the beach from there .The food provided by the hotel was good . The Iranian restaurant meal cost OR 20 inclusive for both of us for 3 courses. The varied evening buffets cost approx . OR7.5 +tax per person , drinks not included included . General impression was of a 4 star hotel starting to get a bit frayed at the edges .
The next 6 nights were at the Al Bustan Palace . This is opulent almost beyond imagination . Took an Arab room on 5 th floor with magnificent sea view over the pool . This made our stay . Cost was OR70 + tax per night . Full buffet breakfast cost OR 6.5 +tax per person . Everything about the hotel is excellent plus . The private beach is a joy for strolling and the large swimming pool temp controlled at 29C . The private beach and the facilities are not matched by any other hotel in Muscat and probably by not many other places in the Middle East . This was a major reason why we decided against the Hyatt in Muscat when we viewed their facilities . The evening varied buffets cost about OR 9.5 + tax , an excellent meal for two in the Chinese restaurant OR19 inclusive for two , and a 3 course a la carte meal in the Al Marjan about OR 15 + tax per person , excluding drinks . The Al Maha piano bar is sumptuous and draught beer about OR2.8 +tax per pt . Other drinks priced accordingly .
For the final three nights stayed at the 3 star Asas Oman Apartment Hotel in Qurum . The better class apartments are in the second block and we rented a 3 bedroom apartment at OR48 inclusive per night ( no breakfasts included ) . The second block apartments were good but the one bedroomed / two bedroomed in the first block looked in need of refurbishment . Breakfasted at the Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza which are quite close instead of using the hotel dining room . Evening meals were taken (a) at the Al Ghazi pub in the Intercontinental - bar snack - fish and chips . The draught beer is OR1.6 inclusive during the happy hour from 18:00 to 19:30 . The atmosphere is excellent in the pub . Bar snacks about OR 3 + tax .
(b) at the very excellent Woodlands Indian restaurant in Ruwi . This is not to be missed . Total cost for two about OR 13 for my best ever Indian meal .
(c) at the Automatic ( Lebanese ) in Qurum . Did not rate the experience .Presentation particularly poor .
(d) Sheraton Oman Hotel in Ruwi . Their varied buffets are excellent , as good as in any other hotel , if not better and priced at OR6.5 + tax per person .
During our 12 night stay did not venture too far from Muscat . Spent some time exploring the vicinity of the capital .and discovering the whereabouts of the various hotels and building up confidence in driving around . Found navigating a bit daunting initially due to some deficiencies in our street maps . Much admired the floral displays at the roadside , general tidiness , lack of graffiti and the wondrous structures at the roundabouts . Drove to Nakhal which took about one hour plus . The highway out of Muscat past Seeb airport and onwards is fairly boring , being mainly a busy highway and not a lot to view on each side . Again the turn off to Nakhal and the subsequent drive proved fairly uninteresting until we reached Nakhal and viewed the mountain ranges and the fort . Did not proceed any further due to dusk falling and the need to return to Muscat . Apparently the drive south to Sur is much more scenic . Perhaps on a further visit we should be able to explore the coast line and interior more fully .