Tamsin Wressell heads to The Chedi Muscat for a respite from the bustling souks of the sandy city
Ancient Balinese massage
What is it?
A full body massage that includes gentle stretching, reflexology and aromatherapy to relieve tension, improve blood flow and ease the mind through deep relaxation.
My treatment starts with a Balinese footbath and gingery welcome drink before I’m ushered to the massage table. My therapist begins by lightly stretching out my limbs and using pressure point techniques until I’m completely relaxed and ready for a full body massage. I’ve chosen uplifting oil with lemongrass and, once the massage is over, my therapist recommends a peppermint tea to compliment the oil’s refreshing properties. I’m shown to the relaxation room, with vast windows that offer views across the sea and the beach below. Engulfed in complete silence, my mind feels pretty peaceful.
The combination of light stretches and pressure point techniques made the firm massage easier to handle, and I left feeling like real work had been done to relieve the built-up tension in my shoulders.
With 13 treatment suites, this is the biggest spa in Oman — but its main selling point is the huge gym, which spans the length of the building. Screens are placed throughout to section off a couple of machines at a time, giving privacy and a sense of personal space.
Whitewashed Omani-style buildings are scattered amid landscaped gardens, and three pools are dotted along the beach. One stretches out 103 metres, making it the longest pool in the Middle East, and features an infinity edge spilling over to the hotel’s private beach.
The Chedi has six restaurants and two lounges, but as I’m visiting out of season, I have a choice of three. The Restaurant offers fine dining in a chandelier-lit room, complete with live piano music. I tuck into Arabian dishes (the feta cheese ball starter and Omani seafood grill are must-tries) most evenings, but there’s also a huge selection of other international cuisine on offer, including an impressive sushi menu. The same selection is offered at The Chedi Pool Cabana, a more casual poolside setting. For lunch, I enjoy seafood at The Beach Restaurant, with Mediterranean-inspired food overlooking the beach and one of the pools.
I’m staying in a Chedi Suite, which means I’m also upgraded to complimentary return airport transfers, enjoy access to The Club Lounge (where drinks and snacks are on tap) and have a minibar and fruit basket that’s restocked daily in my room. Palm trees shelter my ocean-view balcony, and parakeets nestle among the leaves. Omani and Asian influences give the villa a subtle, minimalist feel with dark woods and light linens. There’s a huge terrazzo sunken bathtub in the bathroom and a separate room for a powerful rain shower.
The attentive and friendly staff ensure my stay is comfortable as possible, and the little touches — like the birthday cake they’d left for me in my room — make all the difference.
The Chedi Suites are ideal for couples, but business travellers and groups of friends/family also stay at the hotel.
Rooms at The Chedi Muscat start from RO 200 (£398) per night for a Superior Room in low season, with a Chedi Club Suite starting from RO 475 (approx. £946) per night in low season. These rates are for a B&B basis and are subject to 17% tax and service charge.
The 60-minute ancient Balinese massage is OR 48 (approx. £95).
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