Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is on track to open the spectacular 680-room Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat, Oman, in October, 2005.
Set in 124 acres of landscaped gardens, the resort will be the largest and most comprehensive in Oman and will comprise three separate and distinct luxury hotels, a private beach, the innovative CHI Spa (a concept designed by and exclusive to Shangri-La), swimming pools and four tennis courts. The fully integrated resort, currently under construction by hotel developers, Barr Al Jissah Resort Co. SAOC, is located 15 minutes from the Ruwi business district and Muttrah, the old city of Muscat.
The three hotels within the resort will be known as Al Husn, Al Bandar and Al Waha. The name Al Husn traditionally refers to a large castle that is used as a residence of the chief or ruler of the tribe and will be an ultra luxurious, boutique-style hotel. Al Husn will offer guests exclusive access to its own private gymnasium and beach. All 180 rooms and suites in the hotel are seafacing and have private balconies or terraces and offer broadband access and satellite TV.
Al Bandar will be a deluxe five-star hotel encompassing most of the banqueting and meeting facilities, with the design of the 198 rooms reflecting the vibrancy of Muscat’s long history as a key trading post for traders and travellers. Most of the resort’s restaurants and bars are located here including a souk, a piazza, and conference and meeting rooms providing a wide variety of meeting options and a ballroom with a seating capacity of 700 people.
Al Waha will be the largest of the three hotels with 302 rooms designed to appeal to families and offering many recreational and activity-oriented areas. A variety of water sports will be available including an accredited Dive School, and additional services and facilities will include a baby-sitting service, kids’ club, children’s pool and restaurants designed specifically for holidaying families. A ‘lazy river’ (manmade stream) will connect the swimming pools between Al Bandar and Al Waha.
The resort will also include a Heritage Village – a separate museum that will house cultural and historic items of interest – and an open-air amphitheatre with seating for up to 1,000. Before construction began in 2003, the developers discovered archaeological remains dating from 1,000-2,000 BC. All findings were subsequently verified by international experts and preserved before construction proceeded. In addition, every consideration has been taken to preserve and enhance the local environment and natural habitats, including a turtle cove and ‘turtle ranger’ who will advise visitors of the appropriate times and most unobtrusive areas from which to observe the turtles in their natural habitat.
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