Hotel review: The Radisson Blu Muscat, Oman
Despite being a frequent visitor to Oman, I never take its charms for granted, which is why I was delighted to be invited to visit the Radisson Blu Muscat for the weekend. I’ve stayed in a variety of places in and around Oman, from luxury hotels (see my favourites here) to unique camping spots (several listed here) but it’s been a long time since I actually stayed in the city itself and I was keen to head to back.
The one hour Fly Dubai flight from Dubai to Muscat is over before it begins and with the hotel being so conveniently located only 15-20 minutes from the airport, we were poolside by lunchtime. A popular business hotel in the capital, the Radisson Blu also caters to leisure travellers on the weekend offering a surprisingly calm and tranquil escape in the centre of the city. It’s not hard to see why when you take in the hotel’s relaxing and intimate pool area, and outdoor terrace and bar.
The hotel is also one of only a handful to offer a bubbly brunch in Muscat, which we were strongly recommended to try. Accustomed to lavish and excessive Dubai brunches as we are, we arrived at the restaurant with very minimal expectations, and were immediately impressed by the quality of the food available. There were a good selection of delicious dishes, as well as some irresistible made-to-order counters, including mountains of steaming fresh mussels at one end, and light and fluffy banana fritters and mango ice cream at the other. The desserts were what really stood out for me though, to the point where I had to find the pastry chef at the end to compliment him on his work – the home-made meringues and the choux pastry used to make fresh cream eclairs was incredible, it took me right back to my childhood!
If you read this regularly, you’ll know that my preferred travel style involves lots of exploring and activities, but this trip was more about relaxation and recuperation. In fact, on this occasion, the only time we left the hotel was to head to Mutrah Souk for a wander and some photo opportunities. It was exactly as I remember it from the last time I went six or seven years ago, unassuming little shops selling everything from frankincense and perfumes to traditional dress and Omani walking sticks, and a small scattering of juice and coffee bars. It’s worth noting that the souks (markets) close at around 9.30/10pm so when we went at 8.30/9pm there was really very little to see, and even the coffee shops looked like they were aching to get closed for the weekend.
For us, we were happy to go back to the Radisson Blu and stay there for the remaining days. The whole hotel shares the city, indeed the country’s, laid back and welcoming atmosphere which left us feeling amazingly refreshed after only a two night stay. For anyone in search of a hotel in Muscat, whether for business or pleasure, the Radisson Blu Muscat should be at the top of the list.