Top of the world in Arabia usually means Dubai. Like the Burj Khalifa. But to really get high in the Middle East you need to venture into destinations unknown, to where a remarkable five-star lodge awaits you in the mountains.
JW Marriott Marquis is the world’s tallest five-star hotel – it has 1,608 rooms! The 321-metre Burj Al Arab claims to be a seven-star hotel but we’ve experienced better service pretty much everywhere we’ve ever been.
Dubai does big and brash and beautiful. Oman does wild and remote and a whole different type of beauty.
Introducing Alila Jabal Akhdar
At Alila Jabal Akhdar you will holiday 2200 metres above the ground, at the end of a very steep road only accessible by four-wheel drive. That’s a lot higher than you can go in Dubai’s synthetic world.
Arabia’s mountains are not like those in Europe. They’re red and rugged, carving jagged scars across the landscape, a sharp serrated knife rather than a Toblerone. These are mountains for explorers, except where do you stay?
Before Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman holidays centered around the three big experiences – beach, city and desert. You’ll find amazing camps in the sand dunes. Do you know Oman has an Indian Ocean coastline? And a coast on the Arabian Gulf? So there are beautiful white sands all over as well.
Into Oman’s Red Mountains
Alila Jabal Akhdar did something different. If tourists were prepared to visit the desert for a retreat, why not offer them an experience in the mountains?
Dramatically perched in the Al Hajar Mountains, this unique mountain resort celebrates its wilderness surroundings. Silence is dominant. The vistas roll on and on. Hospitality is famously good in Oman and it is combined here with a very contemporary approach to hotel design.
There’s no bar, but a great spa. Suites are stylish and spacious, all featuring private terraces. The rustic, nature-inspired architecture, built from local Omani stone, is faithful to the region’s heritage. Yet Alila Jabal Akhdar is comfortingly familiar as well.
A Five-Star Retreat for Explorers
Such a setting is liberating for adventurous couples and friends. It’s also perfect for exploring as a family. An infinity pool overlooks the valley, guided walks visit small villages and abandoned settlements, and there’s a full range of mountain activities. This is not just a great hotel, it’s a great base.
How about intimate dining on a cliff edge overlooking the gorge? Or a mountain cave adventure, where you climb on bolted iron steps? Hike up Oman’s highest mountains, spend lazy evenings beneath a starry sky, and explore the culture in traditional towns and villages nearby.
We love how the resort is encouraging explorers to travel further in this rather unexplored country. It’s spreading people away from overcrowded beaches and busy city attractions, to beautiful places of the world where few visitors have ventured.