The Mediterranean climate, ideal for growing Oman’s famed damask roses
Spa Alila incorporates ancient Asian healing traditions
The clever design maximizes the stunning mountain and valley views
The location, just an hour from Nizwa, one of Oman’s oldest cities
What To Know
No alcohol is served at the resort
The property is a winding, 2.5-hour four-wheel drive from the Muscat airport
No pets allowed (including service animals)
WiFi is free
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
A dramatic mountain retreat with a gorgeous infinity pool, an Arabic restaurant and views of Al Hajar Mountains
Inspired by ancient Omani forts, this game-changing luxury resort sits on a clifftop overlooking a gorge, with views of the ruggedly beautiful Al Hajar mountain range. Minimalist yet sporting all the luxuries a worldly globe-trotter seeks, the design is low-slung and discreet, using muted, earthy tones and motifs to channel the surrounding landscape, such as the lobby’s damask roses (a nod to the region’s blooms). The fortress-like doors are crafted from solid wood, and the grounds feature aflaj water channels inspired by Oman’s traditional irrigation system. Eighty-six rooms and villas are spread out across the clifftop to take full advantage of the views (including a valley planted with pomegranate, date and peach trees), and natural textures and materials are the order of the day — down to the walls, which are hand-painted with a juniper tree design. The public areas are big on pared-down charm too: The highly photogenic infinity pool and the generous fireplace in the lobby both provide chic mingling spaces, while the woodsy, convivial Juniper restaurant serves up traditional Middle Eastern delights like mezze plates, tagines and kebabs. Repair to the spa sanctuary for a dreamy Shirodara treatment or just bliss out in the steam room, where the air is scented with a heady mist of frankincense and juniper berry that will transport you back to ancient Oman.
In the Area
Oman is a veritable treasure trove for history and culture buffs, and you’d be remiss not to explore the region’s many world heritage sites. Set the GPS for Nizwa, about an hour’s drive away, and tour the Nizwa Fort, an impressive 17th-century monument set among lush date palm groves. (Some historians believe it was built on the site of a castle from around 845 AD.) For a taste of local Omani life, stroll through one of the Nizwa souks, bustling marketplaces where you can buy everything from spices to gold jewelry. Not far west is the Bahla Fort, a UNESCO-listed site built during the 13th and 14th centuries. If self-navigating feels a bit daunting, sign up for the resort’s “Alila Experience,” guided adventures that range from the high-brow — exploring the lush Saiq Plateau — to the raucous — a visit to the Friday goat market in Nizwa.