The understated hotel caters to stressed-out professionals looking to mix business with pleasure
The Chedi opened almost 15 years ago in 2003, but the five-star resort has retained its top spot among luxury hotels in the Gulf. The epitome of contemporary minimalist elegance, this hotel simply does not go out of style.
It boasts the immaculate design for which its owner, GHM Group, is known. From the pristine gardens and walkways of the hotel grounds, to the photo-ready swimming pools and slick interiors, everything is built on clean lines and muted colours. The buildings are almost exclusively white with black wood slatting – a modern, international take on Arabic architecture.
For the business traveller seeking a weekend haven of calm, The Chedi is unrivalled in Muscat. Located just 15 minutes from Oman’s international airport, the hustle and bustle of Thursday night tourism melts away during the short drive to the hotel.
On arrival, guests are greeted with a sweet Arabic juice and invited to relax in the low-lit Bedouin-style lobby, with the musky scent of incense infusing the surroundings.
A buggy will take you to your room. We stayed in a Club Suite, contained within its own mini-villa and affording a list of complimentary benefits including mini-bar, fruit basket and laundry service, afternoon tea from 3-5pm, evening cocktails and canapés and access to the Club Lounge – a more corporate setting with faster wifi than the rest of the resort, as well as computers, desks and newspapers so you can browse over what is happening in the outside world. Elsewhere there are two meeting rooms: the 30-capacity Salalah Room, and the more intimate Nizwa Room.
Rooms are luxurious but understated; sleek and sophisticated. This is a smart hotel for the business traveller or stressed-out professional couple, not the honeymooners or the holidaying girl’s group. For daytime relaxing, guests might choose to recline on one of the comfortable loungers on their sizeable balconies, or visit any of the three pools – which are really what sets the hotel apart from newer entrants to the Gulf’s luxury hotel scene.
At 103-metres, the Long Pool is twice the size of an Olympic pool and the longest swimming pool in the Middle East. The water is black so it looks more like a natural pond and blends with the monochrome surroundings and stylish day beds. Running parallel to the beach is the Chedi Pool, a more lighthearted pool with shady daybeds and a bar and café.
The Chedi may be facing competition as other luxury establishments open up along Oman’s rugged coastline, but its established reputation means it is sure to stay ahead of the game for many more years to come.