Unlock a world of wonder, culture and adventure with Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
I'm sitting in a chic white Jeep with beige soft leather chairs, there's wifi, water, branded silk cushions, dates and magazines. Normally I'd start flipping through them, but this 2-hour drive I found myself too captivated by whats outside that I couldn't help but look outside the window for the entire trip.
I'm off to a luxurious start driving through winding roads, pass impressive mountains and rugged hills that remind me of out-of-this-world hollywood movie scenes. While the beautiful landscape passes me by through my jeep's tinted windows, I start to feel an exciting tingle to visit the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, located all the way up in the famous mountain region of Oman. To access the Anantara, you will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle and there's no way around it. There's a police checkpoint at Birkat Al Mouz and nobody is allowed to drive up the mountains without a four-wheel drive vehicle. I definitely recommend to book the hotel transfer, their drivers are well-experiences and know how to safely navigate their way up.
Jabal al Akhdar, means "the Green Mountain", and is one of Oman’s most beautiful terrains. It's a landscape of terraced farm fields watered by Oman’s traditional Aflaj System, which has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There's so much to see and feel here! The highest point can be found all the way up at 3000 meters, which marks the highest point in Oman and Eastern Arabia. Most parts of Oman are flat and characterized by deserts, however this elevated mountain region keeps cooler, more moist and even has some seasonal rainfalls. That's why this region has developed farmlands for fruit and vegetable such as pomegranates, apricots, grapes and peaches but also flowers such as roses. This area is well-known for its expensive Damask Rose. Fragrant rose water is one of Oman's luxurious goods and its water extraction is done by local farmers that have lived in these mountain villages for hundreds of years.
I'm reaching the Anantara and am impressed with its Omani Fort inspired architecture while we pull up and drive through a massive historical wooden gate. My luggage got taken care of already while I was escorted to the reception and walked through fragrant mists of rose water and frankincense. I'm seated on a comfortable sofa with silk cushions and receive a beautiful welcome with rose macaroons, infused face towels and sweet treats. Everything about the arrival experience oozes elegance and class, what a wonderful and personalized check-in. I realize straight away that traditions and hospitality are extremely important to Omanis, a warm welcome indeed.
The reception and entrance area is lavishly decorated in Arabic style with lush flower bouquets, chic doorways, and lanterns that make me wonder where Aladdin was. It's late afternoon and I'm guided to my room walking through the golden rays of what looks like it's going to be a magnificent sunset. I marvel at the massive courtyard with comfortable couches and a lit fire pit. Throughout the hotel gardens lanterns and fire pits are lit every evening in a ceremony. This beautiful ritual for nightfall spreads a wonderful and calm atmosphere.
I walk past the courtyard and gardens and catch a glimpse of and incredible infinity pool right on the canyon's edge. Swimming here offers incredible views of the majestic canyons right at the edge of this heated pool and there's even a jacuzzi. Day beds, sofas and loungers are spread out on the pool deck offering spacious privacy in every corner. The sunset is close, now my favorite time of the day, golden hour, has begun and the entire landscape, rocky hills and the hotel is touched by warm golden light.
I reach my room and am impressed straight away. My luggage was already prepared in my walk-in closet and everything smelled wonderfully like roses. The canyon view room I stayed in feels luxurious in every corner from the bed sheets to the carved furniture. The bathroom amenities impressed me as well since guests are presented with luxurious bath products by Amouage and Elemis. In the spacious bathroom with separate shower and bathtub, there’s even a soap and bath salth menu from which I can select the scent of my additional, organic amenities. The choices are ginger flower (my favorite), patchouli, vetiver and cedar wood. I've never seen a soap menu being offered before, a special touch indeed. I open my balcony door, step outside and freeze in instant awe. The view is incredible- powerful cliffs, magnificent light plays of the evening sun and a mystical horizon. I cannot wait to go to Diana's point for sunset cocktails.
Walking along the modern glass walkway I hear that Princess Diana and Prince Charles visited this cliff back in 1986 when there was nothing except unfettered nature. Anantara has therefore named this spot "Diana's Point" and it is said that Prince Charles painted this view. The hotel now provides easels, pencils and paint in some suites to recreate his experience. At the end of this fantastic view point sunset drinks await and another crackling fire is lit. The air tastes clean and fresh, the fire warms me and I try to take it all in while I watch the sun setting behind faraway mountain tips - my mind starts to wander the winding mountain roads and I feel like a princess for a short moment.
Dinner is served in several restaurants guests can choose from. On my first night I enjoyed a sumptuous buffet in great company of Jessi and Firaz from Anantara's Sales & Marketing Team at Al Maisan. They are so at ease, warm and friendly, it seems like people living in this marvelous location can't help but be happy. The interiors are comfortable, spacious and invite to spend evening chatting and reminiscing. I feel right at home while I look up to the stars on my way back to the room from dinner, full of awe I wonder if I've ever seen so many star constellations in one night sky.
6am, it’s a new day and the early bird, you know it. I was told that in the morning hours during the colder season from December to March there are beautiful clouds to be spotted filling the canyons below the Anantara with fluffy cotton candy clouds of morning mist. I am extremely lucky that during my visit large clouds wander the valleys and move gently along the rocky cliffs. For a good hour this spectacle of nature directly from the infinity pool edge of Anantara’s Royal Mountain Villa. This extraordinary villa is set over two floors with a total of three bedrooms, a kitchen, spacious terrace and outdoor living space, dining area and one of the most amazing infinity pools I have ever seen - and I’ve seen quite a few amazing ones over the years. For special occasions or a larger group such as friends or family traveling together, Anantara’s Royal Villa will be just right for you. I stayed here for a day and really felt the luxurious spaces from the second I stepped inside. This extraordinary villa can accommodate 9 people, enough space for everyone to feel at ease and enjoy the villa.
On my way to breakfast I spot a Yoga session at Diana’s point. What a location to start the day with some Yoga and morning mediation. The morning breeze is fresh and a bit chilly, Omani locals must love this area for its much cooler climate up here. Summers can reach extreme temperatures but since the Al Jabal Al Akhdar region lies 2000 meters above sea level, temperatures drop close to zero degrees Celsius during winter and mild summer temperatures only rise up to 25 degrees Celsius. A great spot to beat the heat and still enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and rock climbing. I recommend to pack accordingly because I didn't and it can get quite chilly in the evenings, even during summer. I visited the resort in January and while dresses and sandals were perfect during the day, I was happy for some long sleeves and scarfs in the evenings.
Should you feel like a relaxing Spa treatment during your stay, the resort has one of the world’s best spas available. They’ve won several awards and a treatment is a must if you find the time. Even if you don’t opt for a massage, the complimentary facilities such as relaxation areas and pool and worth a visit. There’s Hammam, aroma steam saunas and separate treatment rooms for men and women.
The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar has three restaurants and a cafe to offer, of course there is also a luxurious in-villa dining concept, but the resort feel so special, I’d definitely recommend to dine around the beautifully decorated restaurants. For a special evening, candle light dinners under the stars and above the clouds can be arranged at Diana’s Point, surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Another evening, I went to dine at Al Qalaa restaurant and had what has probably been the best Arabic food I’ve ever had! Don’t forget I lived in the Middle East for a year so I know my creamy Hummus, this restaurant however was so exquisite that I’m still dreaming of the incredibly tasty variety of dishes. May favorite: The Omani Lobster, the restaurant is decorated like fine dining, and surely tasted the part.
During the day, there’s so much to do and explore. The resort has its own rock climbing wall, the “Jabal Activity Wall” which I’ve heard is quite the thrill. I really wanted to give it a go but couldn’t since my foot was still broken from my Myanmar Pagoda fall. So I took it easy and went for the ancient three village walk. Pack your hiking shoes ( and not your flip flops like me) and off you go on a canyon adventure full of culture and ancient history. Most of the houses and sheds here have been abandoned over the years. It’s so interesting to walk the paths of time and generations of mountain farmers in these tiny streets. A local Omani is guiding and leading the way, I keep on falling way behind because there’s so many pictures to be taken! Most walkways were Falaj water systems, we balanced along them and that’s why you need proper shoes 😉 So many beautiful doors, architectural features and rural motives can be found here, a great experience! The three village hike costs about OMR 50 per couple, the local guide tells ancients stories and tales while explaining the farming terraces of ‘the green Mountain’.
The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort promises elegant luxury and outstanding service and keeps its promise throughout your stay, definitely worth a visit, or two, or three...
Thank you to the Anantara Team for having me, it was amazing!
For booking inquiries visit https://www.anantara.com/de/jabal-akhdar
or contact email@example.com
Through my Lense