What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
A bit bland and crowded
The lazy river was probably the best part of the stay as the kids enjoyed it. The food was ok, service slow, but the rooms were clean and well maintained. The burning incense as you walk into the lobby was irritating.
Like Mr Kipling cakes its 'exceedingly good'
Al Waha is one of 3 hotels in a beach resort complex some 30km east of Muscat. It is isolated with no Restaurants or supermarkets anywhere near. You can use the facilities of all 3 hotels, but in the main we predominantly used Al Wahas - especially the Samba Restaurant. We were half board, but because there are loads of Eateries to chose from, you get an allowance based on the Buffet Restaurant at Al Bandar. 20 Rial for a Buffet (£40 in real money) was overpriced. I'm never keen on Buffets, but I have to admit the food quality was extremely good - on the one occasion we used it. For the other 6 nights we dined in the Samba Restaurant, where the staff service, food quality and menu choice was top notch. My only quibble was the cost of beer (£10/pint) and wine (£15 for 250 ml which was at best average quality), but alas it was the same prices in all Restaurants. Unless you have a car you have to bite the bullet and pay the Resorts high prices . There is one free daily shuttle bus to a Muscat Mall - but you only get 2 hours on the ground before you have to return - and one shuttle to Muttrah souk - again a couple of hours on the ground but as most of the Outlets are selling 'tat' its not worth the trip. A taxi one way to Muscat is 14 Rial or £24 so again pretty expensive. The Check-in staff at Al Waha were most helpful - our flight was in early am but we were able to get our room straight away. The Concierge was also very helpful. The rooms are pretty big but unfortunately hardly ever got the sun. Regarding sunbathing the location of the mountains meant that the sun had gone by 16.00 but the numerous palm trees gave good sun protection during the day. The block where our room was located hardly saw the sun throughout the day - Room 3139 - and 4 floors. If you like to sit on your balcony sipping a glass of wine and reading a book in the early evening I suggest you try to book another block. The Cleaning staff left plenty of free water bottles daily and the fitments were modern. The TV channels were, however, limited for UK guests. Breakfast was great in Samba with a section for freshly cooked omelettes and other egg dishes. The fruit was fresh and the Chefs monitored the buffet regularly so the dishes didn't crust over- even the toaster toasted in one go. But again it was the staff who were the stars, with especial mention for Wang a lady from China - bet she's glad she's not in China at the minute- who was attentive, smiling and always available for a friendly chat. We used a well stocked Gym 4 times - the equipment was state of the art and if you timed it right, always free to use. Theres a crazy golf course, table tennis and table football so geared towards kids - almost forgot the lazy river where you can float on a rubber ring at your leisure. Thec water in the pools was warm My wife and i have a motto which is never go back - its a big world out there - but we would definitely go back to Al Waha - as long as the staff don't leave and they reduce the alcohol prices. We went on two trips with Zahara Travel drivers who were brilliant - always on time, knowledgeable and good company - Quasim and Ahmed. The first was a 9 hour round trip to Nizwa and the Grand Canyon (2nd biggest canyon after the one in Arizona) which cost £320 for the two of us. 82% of Oman is mountains and that is very noticeable on this trip. Value for money? - not sure but glad we did it. Also private Muscat tour 4 hours where you visit the Grand Mosque (Wow factor), the Palace and Muttrah old town costing £110. It was a good tour and if you only have time for finances for one trip, this is the one. A word of warning. Avoid Fridays and Saturdays as these are the days when the Cruise Ships arrive. To summarise we loved the hotel and staff and the very friendly Omanis and if theres time we will return
A very wheelchair friendly resort
We recently stayed at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah resort in Muscat with our disabled child. This was our 3rd time back to the resort in 10 years and it was certainly our best experience to date. As many disabled families know, it takes a lot of energy (and courage) to travel – especially when going abroad. Will the pool be accessible? Will there be ramps around the hotel? Will there be enough accessible rooms? Do we need to hire a wheelchair or should we take our own? Should we hire a portable disability hoist to take with us? These are just some of the questions that need answering before we can even consider booking somewhere. Due to his disability, our child has a very restricted (pureed) diet. We didn’t really want to be cooking whilst on holiday, so before booking the hotel we contacted the F&B team to ask whether they could cater for our son. They were exceptionally helpful and put us in contact with all the relevant people who assured us that we were in safe hands. And when we got there, they did not disappoint. Everyday, our son was given fresh, nutritious meals just like he would have had at home; fresh fruits, lentils, chicken, fruit smoothies etc, all pureed to the perfect texture so that our child was able to eat without any issues; nothing was too much trouble for the staff. And not only did they cater well for our son, but the food that we had at all restaurants was truly amazing. With 8 different restaurants across the resort, we were spoilt for choice. The quality of the food and service from the staff was 2nd to none. The resort consists of 3 hotels (Al Waha, Al Bandar & Al Husn), which are all within walking distance to one another. However, when we stayed at the resort previously, there wasn’t a level pathway from the Al Waha hotel to the Al Bandar. This meant that I had to carry my son’s wheelchair up and down a couple of bridges (with stairs) to get from 1 hotel to the other. I’m pleased to say that this has all changed. There is now level access (via concrete ramps) all the way from the Al Waha to the Al Husn which made walking around the resort very easy. We stayed at the Al Waha hotel which is the more family orientated of the 3 hotels in the resort. We booked the Speciality Suite which at 1100 sq ft was more than adequate. There was enough space in the living area for my son’s wheelchair and other mobility aids without the room feeling too cramped or messy. This room also had the benefit of a small kitchenette which meant that we could keep our child’s utensils sterilised all the time. There was a 2nd bathroom (off the living area) which we could use to bathe my son. We had called the hotel beforehand to ask whether they could provide a shower chair, and this was already placed in the bathroom when we arrived – 5* service. The bedroom itself was a good size and included a king size bed as well the usual desk, large cupboard area and good size bathroom (shower, bath, 2 sinks etc). Prior to arrival we had asked the hotel for a rollaway bed in the bedroom and this was arranged as requested (still leaving plenty of space in the room). The house keeping team also took the initiative of putting the bed guards in place. The Al Waha hotel has 2 pools (kids and a very large adults/family pool) as well as the Lazy River. Other than the Lazy River, the pool area is totally accessible with ramps coming from both sides of the hotel, plus an additional concrete ramp to get from the Al Waha hotel to the Al Bandar hotel and the beach area. This is a vast improvement from when we were last at the resort in 2012. Well done Shangri La Barr Al Jissah for making these changes and becoming such a wheelchair friendly resort in Muscat and enabling the disabled traveller to be included in as many of the resort’s facilities as possible.
Nice, but could be so much better
Currently staying at Al Waha, and I must say that not much has changed in 7 years, when we spent a month in the hotel when waiting for our villa, also in the Shangri-la to become available. The rooms are now looking tired and in need of a refresh. What is surprising, is how quiet it has become compared to what it used to be, which may be a good thing in a resort mainly catering to families. The restaurants and food remain top notch, as do the staff who typically go out of their way to be friendly and welcome you. The only irritant, was the need to ask 3 times as a Golden Circle member at check-in as to whether we’d be upgraded, given the hotel is extremely quiet at the moment. Otherwise, for a winter break in the sun, the Barr Al Jissah is a great choice
Not enough value for our money
We went for Christmas time, so it may well be that prices were at a very peak. However, for those prices the value is simply not there. A plus is the food and service are in my view the view on the Al Waha side (unfortunately not so nice on the Al Bandar side which is directly visible). The lazy river is fun and the structure is overall nice (room, gym, beach service). Great minus are: 1) the wifi which is poor, absolutely poor, and it does not matter that the staff or the hotel management may say about this! 2) the prices are killer, the room is not worth them, this hotel overall is just not a 5 star by other places standard (this is a 4 star hotel, maybe a little more, but certainly not a 5 star !!); however, 10 euro for a bottle of water at dinner is unacceptable in my view... and not even in a 5 star 3) state off the maintenance is improvable (beach maintained so so, the cliff walk is closed) Overall a nice place but disproportionate prices will not urge me to go back
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