If only I could live on top of a mountain, that would be my goal in life if I ever get to retire… There are so many beautiful untouched places in Oman and this is definitely one of them. I ended my vacation in Oman by spending the last days 2000 meters above sea level in between the mountains at the Alila resort. Getting there was a heck of a ride but it was SO worth it! I’ve been blessed enough to have visited many amazing resorts including the Banyan Tree in Koh Samui (Thailand) which was absolutely stunning! The resorts I’ve been to were all unique in their own way but I must admit, the Alila resort was definitely one of a kind! The mountains, the rustic interior design with Arabic influences, the fresh air and not to mention the calmness… It’s the perfect place if you really need a break! I sat for hours on the terrace of our room and not once did I hear any sound or noise at all, it’s completely quiet.. So peaceful!
I took so many pictures and video’s during my stay on the mountains, it was absolutely breathtaking! Below you’ll find my photo diary and some important information if you’re ever planning on visiting the resort (which I highly recommend!)
How to get there
Since the resort is 2000 meters above sea level, it takes about 1,5/2 hours by driving uphill to get there. This means, you need to have a 4×4 car. If you don’t have a 4×4 car, there’s a police checkpoint at the bottom of the mountain where you can park your car and the hotel driver can pick you up with a four-wheel drive. The mistake that Ryadh and I made was by going there past sunset which I don’t recommend if you’re not used to driving off road and on steep roads. The best time to drive to the resort is during the day. Not only are the roads more clearer but you also get to enjoy the beautiful mountains on the way and you’ll see some donkeys along the roads 🙂
There’s one large infinity pool that overlooks the beautiful Jabal Akhdar mountains. There are two outdoor jacuzzi’s and one indoors that overlooks the main pool and mountains. There aren’t enough words to describe how beautiful the pool area is so I’ll just leave it up to the pictures to do the talking 🙂
One word: AMAZING! I don’t think I’ve ever had had so much fresh air in my life! It’s hard to believe that during this hot and humid season you can still get fresh air and a cool breeze on top of the mountain. You can really feel the difference! The higher you get above sea level, the cooler, fresher and less humid the weather gets. I do recommend wearing a high sunblock since the sun is quite strong. The good thing is that you don’t feel the heat of the sun because of the cool breeze. The crazy thing is that one evening I actually got cold when I sat outside, I had to wear long trousers and a hoodie… and this in May? I’m so tired of the humid weather so I loved it! 😀
The resort has 1 restaurant and 1 lounge/cafe
– Juniper Restaurant; This restaurant offers a breakfast buffet and in the evening you can dine a la carte. The variety of the food in the breakfast buffet isn’t very wide as I’m used to in many buffet restaurants but it’s just enough! Which is a good thing, why waste food anyway? You can taste that each dish is made out of the best and highest quality ingredients. They serve the best fruit smoothies, delicious cheeses, nuts and the best croissants ever! They also serve egg dishes of course along with waffles/and-or pancakes & french toast. My favourite egg dish was the sourdough bread with scrambled eggs and Norwegian smoked salmon, yumm! The restaurant has a terrace outside which of course overlooks the beautiful mountains. In the evening you can dine on the terrace as well but I do recommend applying a mosquito repellant all over your body because the mosquitos there have no mercy! The dining menu offers dishes with Middle Eastern and North African influences. My favourite dishes where the pumpkin soup and chicken tajine with the olive couscous salad. There are also many gluten free and vegetarian dishes available.
– Rose Lounge; This is where you can have lunch when Juniper restaurant is closed in the afternoon. The lounge is located right next to the Juniper restaurant which means they both offer the same stunning view. The best time of the day to relax here is during sunset, you’ll have a beautiful view over some snacks and beverages. Oh, and they serve the best grilled chicken burger!
We stayed in the Mountain View suite, it’s a one bedroom with a huge bathroom + bath (with mountain view), there’s a walk-in closet, small living room, terrace with large sofa overlooking the gorgeous mountains. There’s free wifi access, flat screen TV, and a desk! There’s also of course room service available and the buffet restaurant (Juniper) is only 3 minutes walking distance as well as the main pool. The interior design of the rooms and entire resort are amazing! It’s very rustic, eco friendly with Arabic influences yet luxurious at the same time.
The resort has a gym and a spa although, I didn’t really spend any time at the gym (ahum, lazy) Ryadh and I did try out the Alila Spa and we had one of the best couples massage ever! Before your massage you get to choose which out of 3 oils you prefer for your massage, I chose the Cedar oil which was lovely. After the massage you can relax in your own steam room and jacuzzi. The spa also offers their own range of products which is all produced from the highest quality ingredients.
The resort offers hiking tours and a visit to the goat market which I heard is worth visiting… Unfortunately our stay was a bit too short to participate in those activities but it’s definitely on our list for the next time!
Animals & insects
Luckily I didn’t see many insects in the resort. There was just this one time in the evening when Ryadh and I were about to open the door to our room and there was this gigantic grasshopper on our door!! I’ve never seen an insect before in that size, not even in Thailand! It was as big as my head!… Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but it was really big! Of course he didn’t do anything because he was more scared of us. Other than that we saw some cute donkeys along the roads and mosquito’s, a lot of mosquito’s! So I definitely recommend packing a mosquito repellant if you’re on top of the mountains…