Sunday, July 31, 2011

4 Star Hotels in Oman

When it comes to planning a leisure holiday, accommodation is on top of the priority list, but 5 star hotels are not affordable for every vacationer coming to Oman. Many travelers are on a fixed budget, and even if they want the luxuries of a 5 star property, they are not ready to shell out premium rates for their stay in the country. The ideal solution to this is booking you and your family a room or two in one of the 4 star hotels in Oman. If you are living abroad and visiting this lovely country for some days, chances are you enter through Muscat. The Seeb international airport in Muscat sees incoming traffic from all over the globe, and is a great city to start your journey to discovering Oman. Some of the best 4 star hotels in the city are the Crowne Plaza hotel, the Radisson SAS hotel, the Ramada, and Hotel Muscat Holiday. Terrifically well placed, these properties are convenient and reasonably priced, not to mention full of world class amenities and comfort for your dream vacation. Once you have explored the many sights and shopping options in Muscat, you can take
an overnight trip to Nizwa. Nizwa fort is hailed to be one of the greatest architectural sights in Oman, and a must see. Another close-by attraction is tanuf housing the awe-inspiring waterfalls within some steep mountain sides. Having been the capital of the Sultanate in the 6th and 7th century, it is located about 165 kilometers from Muscat. The Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel is a 4 star property here that could be an accommodation option or you could check into the 3 star Jebel Akhdar hotel or the Falaj Daris hotel.
When you plan your itinerary for places in Oman, it is wise to know that there are good 4 star hotels in Barkha. Al Nahda Resort & Spa located here is popular among spa tourists that visit Oman to relax and unwind. The Al Sawadi Beach Resort is another option that won’t let you down. Sur is another must-see place with the Sur Plaza Hotel that offers only the best to its guests, while the Crowne Plaza of Sohar also promises the same. But in case you want a unique hotel experience in the desert, nothing can beat the Desert Night Resort in Sharqiya Sands. It can be a task to plan your vacation and get the bookings and arrangements in place before you come here. Best way to avoid travel related stress is to get in touch with a
reliable travel agency that can plan your holiday for you. Just let them know that you wish to stay at all 4 star hotels in Oman and leave the rest to them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spa Hotels in Oman

Seeing the busy life everyone leads today, nothing has everyone more excited than talks of taking a well-deserved luxury holiday, and when it involves traveling to a beautiful country like the Sultanate of Oman, plans soon turn into itineraries. With the increasing number of good spa hotels in Oman, it is luring in tourists from all over the world. Offering great deals on travel as well as accommodation, the country has made its way onto many a travel lists of visitors looking for some pampering and personal care. Even though, what attracts most people to this country, are its scenic treasures and historical sights, spa holidays revitalize and reinvigorate the traveler to embark on the many exploration tours of this undiscovered land.

Some of the top spas of Oman are housed in 5 Star hotel properties, namely Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa (Al Husn, Al Bandar & Al Waha), Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay, The Chedi Muscat, Al Nahda Resort & Spa and Al Sawadi Beach Resort. Most spas have their own menus for the types and duration of treatments offered; you can choose from soothing massages to beauty treatments like facials, which are given by experts in the field to help you relax and rejuvenate all your senses. While the price for treatments may vary, if you feel that you might go a bit over your set budget by indulging in too many of the fascinating menu at hand, it could be a good idea to take advantage of some discounts or special packages offered by these set-ups.

Most of the 5 star hotels have their comprehensive websites that highlight special offers from time to time. You can also go ahead and find out more information regarding spa holidays in Oman through your tour operator. Tour operators are the first to know of great accommodation packages at spa hotels in Oman. If your primary goal of travel is to benefit from the various treatments offered here, you could get a package that includes stay and a few spa treatments. Remember that the more treatments you book, the better discount you will get, and what is life without a little pampering and leisure in a place like Oman, which is known for its hospitality and beauty above all else.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cruises in Oman

Maintaining a beautiful balance between what is historic and what is modern, Oman has opened its doors to the world. With a wide range of sights to see, things to do, and places to go, this huge country has a little something for every traveler, regardless of his or her age or preferences. One of the most popular things to do in this glorious country is to embark on one of the many cruises in Oman.

By cruises, you may think of luxury high end ships that have their own pool on the top deck and a  discotheque near the lobby, but these cruises are something different altogether. In Oman cruise means being on one of the traditional fishing boats, which are known throughout the land as Dhow. Dhows are integral part of Oman being a seafaring nation. There are different types of dhows depending on their shapes and capacity. Some of the better known types of dhows are Al Ghanjah, Al Boum, the Shashah, Al Badan, the Baggarah, Sohar, the Huri, Al Sambuq, the Abubuz, and the Shu’i. Dhows can be spotted all along the coastline of Oman, and while a major Dhow building industry can only be noticed in Sur, ports like Sohar, Sur, Muscat, and Salalah have large fleets of dhows, which are used for purposes like trade, fishing, and tourism. The dhows used primarily for tourism can be seen widely in Musandam and Khasab.

The peninsula of Musandam is about 500 kilometers away from the capital city of Muscat, and takes an average of about six to seven hours by road. Another way of coming to this beautiful place is by taking a flight from Muscat, which takes 45 minutes. There are regular flights to Musandam and can be booked in advance through your tour operator. Musandam is also called the ‘Norway of the Middle East’ as the inlets are likened to Norway’s Fjords and offer an amazing bird’s eye view. The mountains here are as high as 2000 meters out of the Arabian Gulf. The patterned and textured mountains of the region create a striking view in combination with the contrast of blue waters and the marine life of Khawr Ash Shamm. This dhow ride is one not to be missed on your trip to Oman. Booking your dhow in advance is a must and the ideal months to visit are from November to March.

Cruises in Oman are perfect for a romantic getaway. Oman not only provides the ideal backdrop for love stories, but the Omani hospitality also magnifies its charm.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Discover Oman

Mentioned in legends and stories of Arabia, the history of this magnificent country dates back to 3000 BC. Being strategically located, the country has been a meeting place for cultures from the world over. To discover Oman, one can either embark on a journey from place to place in this widely spread country covering 309500 square kilometers, which may take a month or two and still make you feel like you haven’t seen it all, or book yourself on a Discover Oman tour arranged by most of the country’s well known tour operators and travel companies, and truly see what its all about.

Most of these discover Oman tour packages can be booked on the Internet in advance so that the tour operator can arrange for a pick up from the airport itself, to transport you to your place of residence or hotel of choice. The Discover Oman tours are mostly 10 days long, but your journey to discovering the country starts from the minute you set foot on Oman’s land, while the more practical leg of the tour starts from the next day when you are taken around to see the country’s capital, the city of Muscat. Muscat can be defined as a modern commercial hub in the midst of a traditional setting. Places to see in the city include the Grand Mosque and Bait Al Zubair Museum, waterfront Corniche, the fish market, Muttrah Souq, Al Alam Palace, and the Portugese forts Mirani & Jalali.

After you are done soaking in the pleasures Muscat has to offer, a 4 day excursion to other sights in Oman, the second leg of the tour, starting from a drive to the hot springs at Nakhl, spectacular Wadi Bani Auf, see  the textured mountains near the village of Bilad Sayt, to the mud houses and date plantations in the village of Al Hamra, from where you could drive to Jabrin Palace followed by the Roundtower Fort and head towards Izki and Sinaw. Passing Wadi Bani Khalid is a chance to swim in the blue pools of fresh water, which is ideal before hitting the Wahiba sands for an amazing sunset.  Visiting Sur, Sineslah fort, Bibi Miriam’s tomb, Bimah Sinkhole, Wadi Arbayeen, and Quriyat should be a must.

The third part of the tour starts from Khasab, visiting the Khasab Fort, Jebel Harim a 2087 meters mountain in Musandam, Birkhat Khalidiya Park, and includes a dhow cruise for some water activities, seeing the fjords, and dolphin watching. And the last leg of the tour starts from Salalah and includes the fishing village of Taqa, Khor Rori creek, Mirbat, Nabi Ayoub,which is the tomb of the great prophet Job, and Mughsail beach.

This 10 day journey is undoubtedly the best way to discover Oman.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Travel to Oman

‘Ahlan Wa Sahlan’, meaning Welcome is what the Sultanate says to every visitor, regardless of their purpose of visit. People travel to Oman for a number of reasons. Some travel to see its amazing beauty and landscapes, others travel for business related reasons, but the common factor is the undeniable magnificence and hospitality that Oman renders to its guests. The promotion of the travel and tourism industry here is undertaken with √©lan by the government and the response is tremendous not just from the Middle-East but also from across the globe.

There is a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy in Oman. With deserts, seascapes, mountains, and wildlife, the country makes for an adventure buff’s favourite destination. Popular tourist activities range from photography and video shooting, water sports, desertsafari, rock climbing, trekking, to camel racing, horse riding, bird watching, camping, bull fighting, game fishing, turtle watching, dolphin watching, and sailing.

The country guarantees a feast for the eyes and satisfaction to the traveller’s soul. Out of the many small and big surprises the Sultanate has in store, an ideal tourist must-see list contains places like Muscat, Sur, Nizwa, Western Hajar Mountains, Sohar, Sumail Gap, Ibra, Wahiba Sands, Nakhi Rustaq Loop, Salalah, Masirah Island, Musandan Peninsula, and Jebel Akhdar.

Travelling to Oman is fairly easy, no matter what part of the world you belong to. If air is your chosen mode of transport, be pleased to know that the country is well connected to all major destinations of the world through airlines such as Oman Air, Emirates, Gulf Air, Air India, Lufthansa, KLM, British Airways, Swiss Air, Qatar Airways, Sri Lankan, etc. Citizens belonging to most countries can get a single entry, one month visa upon arrival into the country by paying a nominal fee.

Once you are in Oman, travelling around the country can be done by either public transport like bus and taxi, or by renting a car with or without a chauffeur. Public transport is great and there are regular bus services to most destinations in and around the country. Taxis are also a convenient option for in-city travel, but the best choice is to rent a sturdy rental car that you can drive around. Road signs here are easy to follow, locals
are helpful and friendly, and car rental companies provide international standard services to make your holiday or business travel a success.

Also remember that no travel to Oman is complete unless you do a little souvenir shopping, and what better place to pick up some ethnic ornaments, exotic perfumes, etc than in one of the many souqs that the country houses.