I recently found myself hiking through the craggy summits and steep gorges of the Omani mountains during a March rainstorm. Over the next two months, those same showers will turn this soaring mountain range into a blanket of light-pink rose bushes. At the center of this natural magic show, tucked away on the edge of a 2,000-meter-high panoramic cliffside, sits boutique design hotel Alila Jabal Akhdar, which I had the pleasure of exploring for a few days. Read on to discover more about this high-end, culturally enticing property.
Alila Jabal Akhdar is located two hours outside of Muscat, Oman in the dramatic Al Hajar mountain range. This means the two-hour drive (Insider tip: Be sure to try the sesame-covered dates provided as a road-trip snack), which can be arranged through the hotel for AED 771/SAR 787 each way from Muscat International Airport, lands you in a remote destination graced with breathtaking views of rugged limestone landscapes where sheep and goats graze carelessly and traditional Berber homes still sit abandoned on the rock face.
Style & Character
The hotel’s architecture honors traditional Omani design and the rich cultural traditions of the region. With local stone and wood at the core of the property, mirroring the gravel plains on which the hotel was built, as well as dark wood furnishings and Juniper leaves hand painted by a local artist to accent the walls of the 78 rooms, six suites, two royal villas, and public spaces, the resort’s exterior and interior blend into a luxurious and rugged ecocentric aesthetic. My Mountain View suite felt inviting but minimal, with the real gem of the space being the chestnut-colored outdoor deck that looks out onto a mountainside shrouded in clouds, which fall nearly at eye level.
Service & Facilities
Alila Jabal Akhdar has two restaurants on property, Juniper Restaurant and Rose Lounge. Juniper’s menu is influenced by traditional Arabic cooking, while Rose Lounge serves lighter bites and refreshments. Don’t leave without tasting the mezze platter and lamb burger. A stunning outdoor infinity pool, an indoor pool, and a sleek gym overlook the mountain range, and complimentary activities such as hikes, which range from “easy” three-hour trails to all-day excursions, cooking classes for those interested in learning more about local flavors, and various specialty packages depending on the season are available for guests to choose from. From April 1st until May 2nd, the hotel is offering a ‘Rose Season’ package, which includes a scented rose-petal bath, a Balinese massage with scented rose oils, and a guided tour of the property’s rose terrace.
Made from plant extracts and including products such as aloe-and-cucumber body scrub and rose, geranium, and lemongrass bath gels, the hotel’s line of original products is used during spa treatments and is available for purchase to recreate your experience at home. Post-treatment, guests can relax in the spa’s charming garden or enjoy a hot jacuzzi or steam bath in the peaceful spa facilities.
Rooms start at AED 2,290/SAR 2,338 per night, based on two adults sharing the Mountain View Suite for a minimum booking of two nights per stay for the ‘Rose Season’ package.