Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
When you stay at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Sayq, you’ll be within the region of Ar Ridaydah Castle.
Make yourself at home in one of the 115 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and LED televisions. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have rainfall showerheads and complimentary toiletries.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. Encounter the local wildlife with a safari, then enjoy recreational amenities including an outdoor pool and a spa tub. Additional amenities at this resort include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). Guests can catch a ride to nearby destinations on the area shuttle (surcharge).
Food & Drink
Enjoy a meal at one of the resort’s dining establishments, which include 4 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. While enjoying a refreshing dip in the resort pool, you can order your favorite drink at the poolside bar. Full breakfasts are available daily for a fee.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include limo/town car service, a computer station, and express check-in. Event facilities at this resort consist of a conference center and meeting rooms. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free valet parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort Oman
Our first reaction when arriving to the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort was one of disappointment. Due to lack of research on my part or just the romantic image in my head, we thought the resort was beautifully isolated on a mountain plateau. The Resort is certainly on a magnificent site, perched high with breathtaking mountain views but it is on the outskirts of a town.
The journey to the Resort could be considered ‘challenging’ since access is via an impressive mountain route which can only be used if driving a 4x4 vehicle: this restriction is certainly valid. We chose to book transport to and from the airport (a two hour drive) with the Resort, which was efficient and very comfortable albeit quite expensive at 185 OMR for the round trip (£380.00 approx).
The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort has been beautifully designed, being in total harmony with its natural surroundings: ‘fortress like’ in design and with wall rendering taking the colour of the local stone. The entrance is very grand leading into a central atrium of lofty proportions which affords an enticing glimpse of the enclosed gardens and water features.
Reception/Concierge processed our arrival without problem, although several clients arriving at the same time appeared to fluster the team with some arrivals being treated to hot towels/tea /dates whilst others were largely ignored: this was a shame being the first impression of the resort and unfortunately displayed an inconsistency in approach. Later dealings with the Reception Team proved them to be efficient and professional.
Accommodation is basically two sides of the rectangle having two storey buildings with ground floor and 1st floor rooms; the remaining accommodation consists of villas/apartments with private small swimming pools. The basic rooms are excellent; being generous in size, cleverly designed and furnished, with spacious well equipped bathrooms and a large terrace with mountain views. The beds were very comfortable with quality linen and soft furnishings. The quality and range of toiletries and extras that were provided on a daily basis is outstanding,
Housekeeping was again something that needs highlighting. Every day (stayed 6 nights) the room was meticulously cleaned, beautifully and consistently arranged in a manner that was witness to a well trained and professional team: every day felt like the first.
The gardens have been well designed and planted with appropriate plants for the altitude and climate. Once again the design blends naturally with the environment and use of local stone within the gardens is very attractive. Not as yet completely well established but will soon will be at their best.
The resorts facilities continue the theme of excellence and clever design. The swimming pool and two separate Jacuzzi’s are sited to provide the most magnificent panoramic views of the mountains and valleys, truly spectacular. The Spa, which is free to use excluding treatments, provides a generous Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room in separate female and male areas. The Spa, was managed in a efficient, professional and elegant manner, all facilities were of good quality and well maintained and the Spa was kept spotlessly clean.
For us the major flaw with this establishment was the catering and to a lesser degree consistent standards of service.
The breakfast buffet is served only in one restaurant. A very good selection of fruit, cereals, yogurt and many more cold options are available. Bread/bread roll selection was good but all those we tried were not substantial and just collapsed into nothing when cut or broken. Hot items are plentiful and the usual option of freshly cooked, eggs and omelettes is available. Always the problem of hot buffet food items is keeping them hot and this management has yet to solve this dilemma.
There is a choice of two restaurants for evening dining. The Al Maisan serving a buffet style menu and Alqalaa, which claims to serve authentic Arabic Cuisine. The buffet for the most part is ok based on quantity rather than quality. However, the salads are fresh and varied and the typical Arabic mezze dishes taste as you expect them to taste and are well presented. The soups we sampled were also very good.
Firstly, I would like to say that the entire female/male kitchen brigade we had contact with were charming and helpful without exception. However, the major problem for us was to find a main course that was appetising, not over seasoned or overcooked. Rice, vegetables and pluses were fine but the meat, chicken and fish dishes were without exception overcooked during the duration of our stay. It is accepted that most meat, chicken and fish dishes are grilled (here all on the same grill when we saw this being prepared outside the restaurant). A great many people really enjoy barbecuing and eating food cooked this way but often the result is overcooked dry food. This is what we found in meat, chicken and fish prepared in both restaurants. Beef and chicken was also used in a variety of stews but the overall result was neither elegant nor exciting to the palate. This was the reason that out of six nights we only took a main course on two occasions, opting for just soup/salad/ice cream and fruit.
The Alqalaa restaurant claims to serve authentic Arabic dishes. The restaurant does provide this in the hot and cold mezze dishes which are very good. Main courses on offer are a different matter. I didn’t count but let’s say there are nine options of which I remember to be Lamb Shank, Roast baby chicken, Lamb Chops, Seafood skewer, a local fish and some cuts of grilled beef. We only tried the Lamb Shank, which appeared to have been precooked and reheated. The lamb was tough, needed to cut away from the bone and had no unctuous quality that nearly every family is able to produce for a normal family meal. The seafood skewer was nothing more than hard dry inedible offering.
Our first two days experience of the catering at the Alqalaa where nothing short of a disaster in terms of the poor quality and execution of the food offered and some very shoddy inconsistent service. When we brought our concerns to the attention the restaurant manager and assistant manager, matters entirely changed. Both did everything within their remit of responsibility and jurisdiction to make things better for us which they achieved without fault. However, they had no control over the menus or the food that passed from the kitchen.
The second meal we had at the Alqalaa Restaurant was fit for a comedy sketch. I had a hot mezzo dish which was good but having eaten half the dish its charm faded and became just soggy and bland. Not finding anything of culinary interest for the main menu, I ordered another hot mezze dish of prawn/ potato fritters. These enormous lumps of deep fried batter arrived with a topping of fine deep fried onion straws. The batter/coating reminded me of fried offerings from a bad fish and chip shop that I remember having eaten from over forty years ago: thick, solid inedible fatty lumps. Breaking open these revealed just a teaspoon measure of shrimp and potato; a really poor and unhealthy dish of which I was neither able nor prepared to eat.
Why are the Pizza and Pasta labelled as Live Pasta and Live Pizza? I happened across a chief: maybe American, who was prowling around the buffet area and asked why Live and not Freshly prepared or Live Station? He rather prissily said’ Sir these items are cooked Live for you, this is why we call them live’ I said that was a confusing term for me, with him replying...’That’s what we call it here.’
This response from the chef was patronising and factually incorrect, maybe this attitude is indicative of why we found the cuisine we experienced during our stay joyless and unexciting. Maybe everyone else accepts that seeing a hand written label stating ‘LIVE PIZZA and LIVE PASTA, is crystal clear but neither the pizza nor pasta are actually alive. Assuming it’s just me who finds this confusing, in the interests of honesty one label should read ‘Live Pasta Sauce’ since the pasta is ‘killed off’ prior to service when it is pre cooked and is just warmed through with whatever sauce is ordered.
In comparison, the Al Burstan Palace in Muscat, have buffet dining down to perfection. Beautifully prepared dishes, fresh appetising pasta/pizza, perfectly cooked rib of beef, cooked to order steak/fish/chicken, fresh local dishes and salads in abundance. Unlike the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort restaurants, it was a pleasure to take an evening meal in all three of the well run dining areas: truly a class operation.
Above the Alqalaa Restaurant, is a bar with an outside terrace called Alburj Lounge, where on arrival, we were informed that there is a ’Happy Hour’ between 1800 – 1900.The lounge bar interior and terrace were both well furnished and inviting, so we paid a visit on our second evening. Having taken our seat the waiter informed us that ‘Happy Hour’ (50% reduction) was only applicable to certain drinks and was limited to one drink per guest! Initially, we thought this was very mean spirited but the reality was that the service was so pedestrian and slow that to actually order/receive two drinks within the hour would require a minor miracle.
Finally, in the interests of being complete honest in reflecting on our stay at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, we now realise that a 6 night stay is too long. If, like us, you found the catering ‘wanting’, there is no local restaurant to visit. A 1k walk from the resort will uncover a HSBC bank, small supermarket, basic cafes and a petrol station.
The excursions on offer are limited in number and interest. A guided mountain hike to three local villages is good in respect of actual physical exercise but is of no real interest apart from seeing ancient/current methods of irrigation. If you enjoy rock climbing then opportunities are abundant and the guides are very experienced.
One trip not to be missed is to the town of Nizwa, to visit the Souk and nearby restored Fort. The Souk (superior quality and true artisan products can be found within the resort) is of limited interest apart from a wonderful enterprise selling dates, which claims, deservedly, to be the best in the region. The Fort is beautifully restored and very interesting. There are other Forts to visit and a famous cave but we didn’t see these.
Oman is a country well worth visiting, breathtaking dramatic scenery, superb beaches, sympathetic architecture, excellent infrastructure, wonderful humble, generous and kind people. What the Omani people have managed to achieve over the last 50+ years in respect of infrastructure, education, health care and quality of life is utterly staggering.
Would we return to this Resort? Probably not but will certainly return to this beautiful and unique country.
Don’t expect Dubai: Oman is the hidden jewel of the Middle East and the crowing glory of Oman’s Green Mountain is Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar. The resort is perched on top of Al Jabal al Akhdar (The Green Mountain, also referred to as Jebel Akhdar), a landscape of tiered farms irrigated by Oman’s ancient aflaj system, which affords it UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Entry-level Premier and Deluxe Canyon View Rooms feel every inch five-star, and are among the most well-appointed at the resort. Space is utilized perfectly, with the key differences from the next room grade up being one walk-in wardrobe, rather than two, and a balcony rather than a terrace with pool, but those mountain views are just as beguiling. Cliff Pool Villas feature the same décor and bedroom layout, with the addition of a lounge and private in-villa infinity pools – wide, pleasantly warm, and spilling into mountains for as far as the eye can see. The most atmospheric spot is the Courtyard by night, when the central fire-pit is lit between 7pm and 10pm. Grab a cup of the resort’s own Mountain Blend tea from Al Baha café (imagine Earl Grey infused with rose), along with sweet treats if your tooth is so inclined, and nestle into the Courtyard’s deep armchairs with a good book. Nose around and you’ll discover a small library hidden by the two luxury gifts shops.
Beyond the gym, yoga classes are taken to new heights at Diana’s Point: Meet here at 7am to strike some early-morning postures.
The staff is amazing. Great job Anantara !
We stayed here for four nights and had a mixed feeling about it
On a positive the room was lovely and the views over the mountains were amazing!!!!
And while the location on top of a mountain was beautiful you were also on top of a mountain with little else to choose from and they know this so the prices are insanely expensive. I am sure they have a lot of visitors here who don't mind paying, but 24GBP for a glass of wine with lunch but I thought it was really bad! In Muscat we only paid around 9GBP.
On the plus side they had a lovely bar and happy hour from 6-7 which we only find out by chance and the strawberry martini was gorgeous!
Very limited choice for food though with the Italians only open until 6pm. Dinner was either an International buffet restaurant which we only used for breakfast (I am not a lover of buffets) and an Arabic restaurant - the food here was really good but so expensive!!
For lunch a starter portion at around 20GBP and a bowl of soup at 15GBP???? Also every activity was to pay for - a walk was 160GBP for a couple which was only 2-3 hours and 18 mins drive away. We actually did this ourselves and I know they would have given us more local information but seriously doubt it would have been worth the price.
Service was good and the people are lovely but the prices really spoilt the experience as you really felt they took your eyes out of the sockets!
I suggest they offer a few free walks or at least one or two things such as the sunrise yoga that the other hotels offer for free but here was 30GBP.
so be warned!
Spent 2 nights at the resort, which is beautifully set in the mountains. Great reception and entrance hall, spa facilities and active leisure centre. We stayed at the Pool Villa which was simply fabulous.
However, some issues just do not tally up:
1. Guests are exposed to 2 dining options only, a buffet style and an outstanding Arabian dining experience. The buffet food is old-fashioned, a creamy mayonnaise sickly layered 80's Waldorf Salad, dried out pasta, no healthy options are available- only via room service! We were speechless and suggest you avoid this buffet dining experience as it is horrendous.
2. Maintenance issues: please revamp your dusty old shop with cool great local arts, crafts and beautiful gifts, instead of shabby dusty touristic souvenirs. Our beautiful bath tub got clocked up and maintenance had to assist. The lighting requires a whizz guide to know which one to switch on or off.
For the amount of money you pay, this is not close to 5 star in the requested areas.
The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort offers luxurious comfort and a spectacular view. The crew is very friendly and courteous. The hotel area is beautifully planted and well maintained. A very nice place to relax!