The Chedi may have first opened in 2003, but this five-star beachside resort is still the most exclusive address in Muscat, Oman.
Part of the GHM group, featuring contemporary luxury properties around the world, it is no surprise the hotel has been graced by both film stars and royalty. It's a walled sanctuary situated 15 minutes outside the city centre which is accessible by the hotel's fleet of luxury limousines, perfect for guests wanting to keep a low profile.
But how does it cater to the business traveller? For those coming from Muscat International Airport, the limousine service picks you up from arrivals and deposits you at the grand hotel lobby within 20 minutes for an added extra.
Guests have a choice of five categories for rooms, the most exclusive being the Chedi Club suites at 470 Omani rials (Dh4,484) plus taxes. The suites are situated next to the longest pool in the Middle East and all of them offer views of the beach or the three pools and the Al Hajar Mountains.
The Chedi Club Suites are ideal for hosting meetings, as they feature a large living room with its own TV and table. The large high-definition screen can be used for presentations, connectable through USB and HDMI ports, and the Wi-Fi strength is both powerful and fast. Situated by the TV are three pin plug sockets, although adapters are available on request. A complimentary mini- bar means you can also serve guests drinks.
For larger meetings, there are two dedicated meeting rooms: The Salalah Room, which can accommodate up to 30 people and can be hired out for 100 rials per day and the slightly more intimate Nizwa Room for 75 rials. A business centre in the hotel also has computers and printers. For after hours, the gym looks more akin to a library, with candles, books and art surrounding high-tech cardio equipment.
During my stay, Muscat was hosting the sailing race America’s Cup, and it was easy to understand why. The wind was so strong, that relaxing by the pools or beach was virtually impossible.
However, although the hotel may be facing competition as newer establishments open up in Oman, its established reputation still makes it a clear winner in the luxury stakes.
q&a plenty of perks to be had
Jonny Clark expands on what The Chedi Muscat has to offer the business traveller:
Where are the best places to get work done outside the room?
Both the long pool and the beach pool areas are quiet, each featuring Wi-Fi (albeit patchy). For some privacy, head to The Club Lounge, which also offers complimentary Wi-Fi and newspapers along with afternoon tea and evening drinks and canapés.
What about the restaurants?
The main restaurant, with an outside space called the Arabic Courtyard, features a range of cuisines, including Indonesian, Indian, Arabic and contemporary dishes, although the curries are truly the restaurant’s winning fare. The main restaurant also features a private dining area with a large dining table and private entertaining space. Outside, options include the poolside cabanas and shisha lounges, but to seal the deal head to the more intimate The Beach restaurant as its fine dining seafood tasting menu will be guaranteed to impress a client with stunning views across the Gulf of Oman. Book a day or two before, as it’s often fully booked.
Is there a laundry service?
Yes and a trouser press and iron is provided in the room.
When should you go?
Avoid the hot months and try to book low season. Better deals are usually found at the start of the year, and in October-November.
Any other tips?
Opt for one of the top levels of rooms, as the complimentary perks, such as afternoon teas, minibar and drinks, all make up for the additional cost.
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