Luxury Holidays in Oman: An Overview

Blessed with spectacular mountain, desert and coastal scenery, a luxury holiday in Oman is a calm and relaxed affair, in stark contrast to in glitzy neighbouring United Arab Emirates.

Image of Ra D'Arcy Clark
Image of Isabel de Galleani

Isabel, Louise Fitzgerald and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • This is one of the best short(ish) haul winter sun destinations around, complete with beautiful landscapes to explore and a selection of seriously luxurious hotels
  • There's a hotel for everyone: families will love The Shangri La and The Al Bustan, which vaguely resembles the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter. The Chedi's where uber-cool couples should head - you're guaranteed to feel like a celebrity
  • No luxury holiday in Oman is complete without a night's stay in the desert - the rolling dunes are beautiful, and there are plenty of exciting activities to get stuck into. The mountains further north make for a great backdrop for a 4x4 ride

Luxury Holidays in Oman: The Detail

Original Travel tipped Oman for the big time as far back as 2003 and the country continues to be a firm luxury holiday favourite. Members of the team have repeatedly visited the top-class beach hotels in the vicinity of the capital, Muscat, and in the Musandam Peninsula (an exclave at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, both of which make for ideal honeymoon and/or winter sun destinations.

The hotels in Oman offer spa treatments, excellent restaurants, and activities aplenty so you'll never want for luxury on your holiday. We can also arrange snorkelling, and peaceful dhow trips along the coast. For something a little more active there are other watersports including excellent diving, while an exclusive private guided safari through the dramatic Hajar Mountains and into the desert takes in some of the best scenery that the country has to offer.

Did you know

  • Oman is the only independent Arab state, ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744
  • The ruler of Oman is known as the Sultan
  • Traditionally, Omanis eat their food on the floor or ground with the food spread on a cloth
  • Oman is the only country in Arabia where bullfighting is a tradition
  • Until 1970 there were no hotels in Oman at all!
  • Oman is famous for its intricate doors - even the simplest houses have beautiful doors

While enjoying a luxury Oman holiday, be sure to visit oasis villages where traditional rural life continues largely unchanged beneath dense clusters of date palms, see the second largest canyon in the world, and travel on up to the scenic Jebel Akhdar ('Green Mountain') for panoramic views towards the Arabian Sea and the desert of the Empty Quarter. Visit medieval forts that look just how castles should, and spend the night under the stars at a Bedouin camp amid the huge, rolling dunes of the Wahiba Sands. After washing off the desert dust with a swim in one of the natural swimming pools that form in the wadis, head for the coast, where you can sail on a traditional wooden dhow accompanied by dolphins and watch rare giant turtles coming ashore at night to lay their eggs.

In the south of the country, the coastal oasis town of Salalah is the perfect base for exploration of a region made rich by the fabled frankincense route. The south is also home to the enormous and mysterious Empty Quarter, the largest sand sea in the world and the site of Wilfred Thesiger's epic journeys with the nomadic Bedouin.

Several members of the Original Travel team have travelled in (and even been on honeymoon to) Oman. We revisit existing properties and new lodges on a regular basis, constantly explore new regions and work with only the very best guides, dive outfits and drivers so you can fully explore and appreciate this truly beautiful country while on a luxury holiday.


Top picks for Oman

Dhow ride

Dhow ride

Muscat

Spend an afternoon and overnight on a traditional dhow for the perfect romantic getaway from Muscat’s hotels.

What to do

Dining at Desert Night Camp, luxury hotel in Oman

Desert Nights Camp

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Located in the heart of the Wahiba Sands, a vast expanse in the Omani desert, Desert Nights Camp is the ultimate desert refuge, with an added dose of luxury.

Where to stay

The View

The View

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The View just got even better. Where this eco retreat once had 15 tents, some of which were in a second row behind the first, an eight month makeover now means there are 30 stylish pods spread over a larger area, and all of which have stunning views of the extraordinary canyon scenery.

Where to stay

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The luxury resort is perched 2,000 meters above sea level, making it the highest five star resort in the Middle East. Only two hours’ drive away from Muscat International Airport, the Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar is a tranquil oasis perfect for a relaxing escape.

Where to stay

Alila Jabal Akhdar, luxury hotel in Oman

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The spectacular Hajar mountain range is one of the (many) highlights of Oman, and at the centre of the range sits the magnificent Jebel Akhdar or ‘green mountain’. Long seen as somewhere to explore on route between the capital Muscat and the ancient market city of Nizwa, the opening in 2014 of the Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel means the mountains now have a supremely luxurious place to stay in their own right.

Where to stay

Dolphin Spotting, Muscat

Dolphin and Whale spotting

Muscat

The waters of the Arabian Gulf are home to a staggering number of dolphins and migrating whales.

What to do

Diving Oman

Diving Oman

Oman

Oman has some excellent and – relatively – unspoilt diving along long stretches of its coastline, and there are sure to be new dive sites discovered in the coming years.

What to do

The Tomb of the Prophet Bin Ali in Oman

Salalah & the Empty Quarter

Oman

Of Wilfred Thesiger fame, this is desert as it should be, with soaring dunes as far as the eye can see.

Where to go

Beach

Beach

Salalah & the Empty Quarter

Original Travel has exclusive access to the private camps on the beach near Salalah and the Empty Quarter.

What to do

Anantara Al Baleed

Anantara Al Baleed

Salalah & the Empty Quarter

This beach-front oasis is the first luxury hotel in Salalah and the hotel has been designed to reflect Dhofar’s rich heritage.

Where to stay

The Gardens of a Muscat Mosque

Muscat

Oman

The Omani capital is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the Middle East.

Where to go

4x4 Adventure

4x4 Adventure

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

A tailor-made guided desert safaris is the ideal way to take in the very best scenery that Oman has to offer, and Original Travel can personalise an itinerary to suit your exact requirements.

What to do

Pool at Al Bustan Palace, luxury hotel in Muscat, Oman

Al Bustan Palace

Muscat

Fully renovated in 2008, the hotel has the most comprehensive facilities in the region, including a 1km curve of sandy beach and acres of tropical gardens dotted with palm trees.

Where to stay

A Gnarled Tree in Musandam

Musandam Peninsula

Oman

The Musandam Peninsula is an exclave of Oman, cut off from the rump of the country by the UAE.

Where to go

Nizwa & the Livestock Market

Nizwa & the Livestock Market

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Friday sees the ancient Omani capital of Nizwa come to life for the weekly livestock market where farmers and traders arrive from as far afield as Salalah with their animals to barter and trade at one of the finest traditional markets in the Middle East.

What to do

Empty Quarter 4x4 Adventure

Empty Quarter 4x4 Adventure

Salalah & the Empty Quarter

A four-wheel drive tour into the breathtaking Empty Quarter, of Wilfred Thesiger fame, where a mobile camp awaits.

What to do

Explore the Saiq Plateau

Explore the Saiq Plateau

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Now that there is some seriously comfortable accommodation in the Hajar Mountains, we recommend extending your stay in the region to explore more of the extraordinary mountain scenery.

What to do

Pool at Shangiri- la Barr al Jissah, luxury hotel in Muscat, Oman

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah

Muscat

Situated on a dramatic stretch of coastline just outside Muscat, the hotels are set amid 124 acres overlooking a private bay, with rugged mountains to the rear.

Where to stay

Everything worked out just great.

Thanks for your e-mail, and THANK YOU for the lovely Welcome Home package, that really is so nice of you! We had a fabulous time, and everything worked out just great. All great fun, and just a really wonderful trip!

Dena

Start creating your tailored trip today

Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

Close