December 31, 2021
The Best of Oman: Culture, Adventure & Luxury
Oman is a fascinating destination of ancient culture and diverse natural beauty, with rugged mountains, desert sand dunes and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
A great way to experience the best of Oman is on a private Oman tour that combines private cultural touring and our favorite luxury resorts throughout the country: in the seaside capital, Muscat; atop cliffs in the Al Hajar Mountains; on a private beach at remote Zighy Bay; along the southern coast in colorful Salalah; and at a Bedouin-style tented camp in Wahiba Sands.
Most of our travelers begin their private Oman tours in Muscat, where the luxurious Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel is one of our favorite resorts. Set between the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains and a private beach on the Gulf of Oman outside Muscat, it’s an ideal base for private touring in the region.
Favorite features of the Al Bustan Palace include the landscaped gardens, six swimming pools and the private beach. Guest bedrooms have views of the mountains or the sea, and some have private terraces that open onto one of the pools. The expansive spa—with architecture that evokes an Omani fort—offers many treatments that incorporate Omani wellness traditions and local ingredients.
Another favorite resort in the Omani capital is The Chedi, Muscat. Minimalist design combined with Omani architectural elements characterize the understated luxury of this beachfront resort on the outskirts of Muscat.
Whitewashed low-rise buildings overlook the Gulf of Oman.
The landscaped gardens and water features create a tranquil environment.
Sophisticated restaurants at The Chedi serve Western, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines.
Spending time in the dramatic scenery of the Al Hajar Mountains is a must when touring in Oman. One of our favorite spots is the clifftop luxury resort Alila Jabal Akhdar.
Constructed from local stone and wood to blend in with the surrounding landscape, the resort is inspired by traditional Omani mountain forts.
Tranquil rooms and private terraces provide incredible canyon and mountain views. Minimalist interiors feature local artisan crafts and artifacts.
The pool is a wonderful place to take in the spectacular views.
Another favorite resort with a breathtaking location in the Al Hajar Mountains is the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort. Rooms at this luxury resort are light and airy with latticework accents and balconies with canyon views.
The cliff-edge infinity pool and viewing platform are highlights. The viewing platform is named after Princess Diana, who visited the site in the 1980s and reportedly loved the incredible mountain views.
The superb spa features Turkish and Moroccan wellness therapies that incorporate local ingredients like damask roses and pomegranates.
Artisans of Leisure arranges private excursions in the Al Hajar Mountains, including hiking, village visits, challenging via ferrata excursions, tours of terraced rose farms and rose water processing facilities, mountain biking, yoga, landscape painting and cooking classes, as well as hiking excursions to Jebel Shams and Wadi Nakhr.
We also arrange private touring of Nizwa and UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Bahla Fort and the ancient aflaj (irrigation canals) system.
Another highlight of Oman is spending the night at a private Bedouin-style camp among the dunes of Wahiba Sands (Sharqiya Sands). Seeing these spectacular shape-shifting dunes at sunset and stargazing in the darkness of the desert night are not to be missed experiences in Oman. The exclusive desert camps we use for our travelers have beautifully furnished tents with beds, carpets and private bathrooms.
Time in Wahiba Sands offers visitors a glimpse into the Bedouin way of life and the opportunity to watch the changing colors of the desert throughout the day, followed by stargazing at night. The Bedouin-style camps come with Omani majlis (lounge area) with vibrant cushions and beautifully furnished tents with beds, carpets and private, open-air bathrooms.
A stay at our private Wahiba Sands desert camps include camel rides, tours of the dunes and memorable candlelit meals featuring Omani cuisine, Bedouin music and more—all surrounded by the incredible dunes.
Our preferred resort in Salalah is the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. Set between a private beach and a freshwater lagoon, the resort’s Omani fort-inspired buildings contain private villas, a full spa and several restaurants.
The Anantara is an ideal base for exploring subtropical Salalah and its beautiful coastline, historical sites and UNESCO-listed archaeological sites and frankincense trade routes.
On the Musandam Peninsula near Dubai is the Six Senses Zighy Bay. Situated between mountains and a private beach, this luxury beach resort has a rustic-chic aesthetic.
Low-rise stone villas with roofs made of date palm sticks evoke a traditional Omani village.
Restaurants at the Six Senses serve organic produce from the resort’s garden.
The resort has a highly regarded Six Senses spa with a range of wellness treatments and comprehensive programs.
Artisans of Leisure can arrange for travelers to arrive by paraglider or private vehicle transfer. We also arrange water sports in the area, such as snorkeling and scuba diving, yacht charters and dhow cruises along the coast, private touring in the mountains, private dinners on the beach and more.
Contact Artisans of Leisure to plan a private Oman tour featuring the top cultural highlights and our favorite luxury resorts and tented camps.