Middle East 2016: Introduction

by | May 17, 2016 | International Travel, Travel

We’ve long wanted to visit the UAE and Oman, and we’ve really wanted to try out the Etihad First Class apartments. When seats became available this winter we booked a relatively quick trip for the weekend after Easter that would take us to Muscat, Oman on Qatar Airways, then return us on Etihad with an all-day layover in Abu Dhabi.

oman-map

Oman was a beautiful country to visit with a great contrast of blue-green sea abutting rock headlands along the coast, and large dusty mountains and canyons in the interior.

Unusually for us, the flights themselves were a draw on this trip.

Grand Hyatt Muscat

The Muscat hotel market is fairly high-end and expensive, so after looking around we reserved the Grand Hyatt with a combination of a free night plus cash and points.

About two weeks before our trip we emailed the hotel to book Friday brunch, a popular activity in Muscat. However, the first responder told us that brunch was closed for a private event, and that there would be an option for an Italian Brunch. We had to email a second time to discover that the price was higher (24 OMD). We found it quite surprising that the hotel was so indifferent and wouldn’t have a better option for hotel guests, but I think it sums up their general attitude.

We arrived to the front entrance where they had free valet parking, a nice perk. The doormen took our bags and pointed us to the front desk. Thankfully our room was ready, and we did receive a nice upgrade to a suite. The front desk clerk originally pointed the direction, but after we got lost he escorted us – thankfully – because the hotel is quite large and rather maze-like after a long flight. Once we got there we found a very large, if a bit dated, room.

the ginormous bedroom
bedroom side of the suite

The bedroom itself was huge, with two large closets and a comfortable bed. Complimentary water bottles were located in several spots around the room, and we were quite grateful for them over the next few days. The bathroom was similarly massive, with a tub and separate shower, though the sink area could have had more room for our toiletries.

our entry lounge  spacious bathroom
living room; master bathroom

The living room had a desk with convenient plug access for charging our electronics, plus a nice seating area as well.

Just off the bedroom was a nice patio with a view toward the ocean.

our view toward the sea
view from our balcony

Overall our room was quiet and comfortable, more than enough for us.

The pool area was fairly nice, with lots of seating both in the shade and sun. Getting to the ocean was quite easy, but the beach itself is very small and public, so it was better for walking rather than lounging. The Grand Hyatt does have a private lounge chair area on a grassy spot but it just wasn’t that interesting to us.

Being a resort, food and drink are way overpriced, so after looking at a menu we skipped dining at the hotel altogether in favor of other restaurants.

Overall we liked our stay at the Hyatt, as it had a decent location and the rooms were comfortable. We’d consider staying there again the future.

Tagged with: hotels | middle east 2016 | Muscat | oman

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

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Valencia, Spain (Mar+Apr)
Palma, Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Long Island, NY (July)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)
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Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)
Grand Rapids, MI (Nov)

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Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
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Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
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Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
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Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)