It is not often I return to the same country for holiday in one calendar year. Oman is the exception! The second trip was taken with family and we almost had an identical itinerary than my previous trip, except for the 3-day stay at Alila Jabal Akhdar for Christmas.
Our stay at Alila Jabal Akhdar is the highlight of the trip. The hotel is beautiful. The architecture blends beautifully to the mountainous terrain it is built on. The hotel is built on Al Hajar mountain range.
The rooms are bright, spacious, and decorated with local Omani crafts and styles. It was a perfect balance of minimalism and wamth. The common areas are decorated under the same principles. The bathroom is to die for! If I ever have my own big house one day, Alila Jabal Akhdar’s decor will be my inspiration!
On one afternoon, we had a performance at the Rose lounge of local music. That was a treat! I never got around asking what it was all about though.
The meals were delicious and it was a grand affair every dinner. I tried a few more arabic dishes that I was not familiar with, such as bastourma and matboucha. They offer Omani set menu incorporated local dishes, such as lamb shuwa. Breakfast was more an international affair, but it incorporated local produce as such pomegranates, and cucumber and tomatoes grown in the nearby greenhouses.
We were there during Christmas time, and they had many complimentary activities during our stay. We went hiking every day. On one trek we crossed the wadi and visited an abandoned village. On another trek we passed a few villages and continued on uphill to catch the sunset over the mountain range.
We also tried the newly installed via-ferrata trek. We tried the level 1 (easiest). It was unnerving in the first five minutes, and it was challenging at about two / three spots. This was my last adventure for a while (upon returning from this trip, I was diagnosed with pinched nerves and severe slipped disc at the neck. I did the via-ferrata with numb limbs unaware what was happening inside my body). I felt safe at all times, despite my conditions.
I did the trekking and via-ferrata with my sister and brother-in-law. It was made possible because their kids were content to spend their time in the kids’ club, Play Alila, making new friends. They, themselves, had a chance to do a discovery walk organised by the kids’ club.
On our last day, I tried the sunrise yoga on the yoga deck. It was challenging because it was chilly and the muscle could not warm up fast enough, but the venue is beautiful. It is hard to capture the feeling of wonder seeing cliffs and mountain face while doing one’s yoga. I admitted I wanted to take an instagram-worthy photo afterwards (a challenge given my condition and lack of fitness). You can see the pitiful attempt here.
Then, we breakfasted and jumped into the cold and warm pool at intervals. I was doing it Icelandic style. I got a cold from the cold pool (deservedly so), but it was satisfying to be the first crazy one to do it.
It was really hard for me to leave the hotel. It was pleasing to the senses, and it was perfect for the active bunch. If you ever find yourself in Oman, do not miss Alila Jabal Akhdar. You would not regret it.