Oman
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel

Wedged between the Sea of Oman and the Al Hajar Mountains, this palatial hotel is glamorous and family-friendly in equal measure.

Surrounded by gracious lawns and palm groves, it has its own white sandy beach, 5 excellent dining venues and various pools including one for children. The lobby is opulence personified, with gilded walls, soaring ceilings and a giant chandelier. Accommodation ranges from fun swim-up rooms to convenient family suites.

Facilities & Activities

Expect top-notch service from the moment you arrive in the grand hotel lobby and are greeted with coffee and dates. Friendly staff are on hand to help with everything from organising day trips to laying candlelit tables on the edge of the beach.

The resort’s prime location on its long and private stretch of sand means there are a host of outdoor activities at your fingertips. Hit the sea in a kayak, go snorkelling or simply cool off in one of the 6 pools (there’s a children’s pool and entire Family Aqua Land that younger guests will love). Windsurfing and paddle boarding are also available for an extra fee.

The sumptuous spa is spread over 3 floors and designed in the style of an Arabian fort. It has numerous treatment rooms including 6 hammam rooms, infrared saunas, ice fountains and steam rooms. Treatments range from stress relief massages and invigorating body scrubs to facials incorporating Vitamin C and papaya enzymes. The spa also features a ladies-only gym.

The resort has 4 tennis courts and runs a tennis program. There’s also a fitness centre and yoga studio, with private and group yoga classes. Other facilities include a gift shop and beauty salon.

If you want to venture out, hotel staff will help organise trips to nearby attractions like Al Alam Palace, Muttrah Souk (a traditional market) and the National Museum of Oman.

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Dining

You’ll be spoilt for choice – the Al Bustan has a variety of cuisine, with 5 dining venues – including scenic beachside options, all offering excellent food.

For a romantic option or simply good food with a sea view, The Pavilion is ideal. It’s set on the sand and has a focus on seafood and grilled meats. Their Friday brunch is a highlight.

China Mood offers authentic Chinese cuisine in a smart interior with dark wood panelling and ornate furniture. Dress up for the occasion and watch the performance of the tea sommelier, then tuck into everything from Beijing duck to Yangzhou-style fried rice.

Overlooking the pool, the Al Khiran Kitchen offers all-day dining with both indoor and outdoor seating, while the Al Maha Jazz Lounge has a 1920s vibe with an evening music repertoire and premium cocktail menu. There is also a poolside bar, Blu, overlooking the sea. Private dining experiences can also be arranged in the comfort of your own room or suite.

Rooms

The hotel’s 250 rooms and suites are stylish and contemporary, with a nod to Omani heritage. Even the smallest room type feels spacious, with lots of natural light flooding in through tall windows and sea-facing balconies. Some rooms have direct access to the lagoon pools, and connecting rooms are available on request. Expect plush terry robes and slippers, and marble bathrooms with Asprey amenities.

The Suites are a cut above – they feature extra luxuries, such as separate dining and living areas, walk-in wardrobes and even bigger marble bathrooms. Private lagoon access and interconnecting suites can also be arranged. The Presidential Suites are the largest, sleeping 4 people. The Executive Suites, which each sleep up to 3 guests, can be connected – ideal for larger families.

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Family

Young guests are well catered for here. When they’re not busy splashing in the dedicated children’s pool, they can take part in the Ritz Kids program – a collection of daily, child-friendly activities. With an emphasis on art, movement and cuisine, the activities include sailing theory, seashell collecting, swimming classes, kids’ yoga and make-your-own pizza.

A children’s menu is available, featuring everything from grilled organic chicken breast to banana splits. Youngsters will love the fun indoor tent, and birthday parties can be arranged.

Other family-friendly touches include the spacious guest rooms and suites, with connecting rooms, cribs and rollaway beds available on request.

Sustainability

Marriott International is committed to a range of sustainability and social impact goals by 2025.  These include 80% of their hotels giving 15 million hours of volunteer service to support their communities.    Further targets include reducing their environmental footprint in the same time frame eg reducing carbon intensity by 30% and landfill waste by 45% and responsibly source 95% of products from meat to sugar and 100% of eggs from cage-free sources.

Location

The Al Bustan has an enviable position, with a private beach – including the sultanate’s first private ladies-only beach. There’s also plenty to do if you choose to step outside the hotel’s grand gates. Just under a half-hour drive from Muscat, the resort is ideally located for exploring the nearby capital, desert and wadis. You could arrange day trips to Muttrah Souk (a traditional market), Al Alam Palace and the National Museum of Oman.

Muscat International Airport lies 25 miles West of the hotel, and complimentary transfers are provided. The journey takes around 40-60 minutes, depending on traffic.

 

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