After a few weeks I needed to leave Dubai to renew my visa. There were a few options but 8 hours on a bus by myself, in the summer heat didn’t really win me over. Everyone kept telling us how beautiful Muscat was, and it seemed like the perfect excuse for a weekend break after a few weeks of craziness.
Getting to Oman was really, really easy. It was the first time I’ve flown living within 20 minutes of an airport – without the usual hassle of traffic and parking it made the whole process a lot smoother. After we landed, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of tall buildings that I’ve become so used to seeing, in fact our hotel the Sheraton was the tallest building, the second thing I noticed was mountains, an actual change in terrain – Dubai is beautiful, but very flat.
It didn’t dawn on either of us that we were going out of season. Our hotel was very quiet when we arrived, and the staff were very, very happy to see us. It’s the little things that make me fall in love with a hotel (literally. Provide me with mini things and I may never leave) so I was loving the refreshing towel we got at check in.
I know that given my last post, you might be thinking that I wouldn’t want to see another hotel room for a while, but we have history with the Sheraton Brand. The back story is: I am a terrible sleeper, it can take me ages to get to sleep and once I’m there I’m a light sleeper – my husband is one of those people who can fall asleep in seconds – it’s a gift and one I sincerely hope any children we may have inherit but once he’s asleep he does an excellent fog horn impression and loves to fidget. We were staying in Stockholm Sheraton and found their beds are literally the best beds in the world. As a Superking size, we didn’t need to see each other – He could kick to his heart’s content. So I was looking forward to another Sheraton bed, where you literally don’t know the other person is there. Who says romance is dead?*
We had one of our first lie ins in a long time, but realised we’d missed the opportunity to see the Mosque while we were there, and were too late for the morning souk, we decided instead to go for lunch at an awesome Omani restaurant, Bait Al Luban, http://www.baitalluban.com ,where the food and ambience was great and we had another taste of the amazing level of hospitality. If you ever go I recommend ANY of the fresh juices, and the aubergine clouds.
Well fed, we waddled into the midday heat, and it really hit home that we were there out of season. Nothing was really open, and the only Tour bus wasn’t about to go for another two hours, like the true British tourists – we ran back to the air con of our hotel. Our hotel had a lovely spa and we again witnessed the beauty of great staff with little to do – the female pool assistant took me on a guided tour of the changing room, showing me all the settings in the shower (there was a crazy amount of settings). We made the most of the facilities and got hot stone massages where a very small Thai lady beat us up. She didn’t but we both ticked “medium” so I worry for anyone whose ticked “Firm” they are braver than me.
We continued the decadence with room service, where I was delighted by the tiny bottle of hot sauce (I wasn’t joking, miniatures are genuinely the way to my heart), and started to make a lot of Beyoncé references that he didn’t get. I love him, but sometimes it makes me sad when I realise he’s just never going to get any of my brilliant Beyonce jokes.
The next day we got up for the big red bus tour, and it was lovely to see Oman – it really is beautiful and we will definitely go back when it’s a little cooler and explore it more fully ourselves. It was also yet another hospitality moment – when the bus was late, some staff from the hotel drove down to see us and bring us tissues and iced water.
In Summary Oman was beautiful, but don’t go when it’s boiling or if you do definitely don’t tick “Firm.”
*It’s not just us, there’s actually a separate website for buying their beds.