Category Archives: Beaches

Wadi Shab Resort: “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea”

boat and resort   The family and I were recently invited to Wadi Shab Resort (between Quriyat and Sur in Tiwi) by the manager, Suman.  Just the week before, one of my friends’s mentioned that she stayed there with her friend and enjoyed it so we didn’t hesitate to accept the gracious offer to check out the place in exchange for an honest review.flowers at resort  The manager wants to get the word out that the resort is now open for business, or a “soft opening” as they like to call it here in the Sultanate.  He thought it would be nice to advertise the resort and what it has to offer here on this blog.outdoor seating for each room  There are 34 guest rooms available at the resort: 17 standard rooms, 14 deluxe rooms and 3 luxury suite rooms.  All the rooms have a direct view of the sea; one of the best beach locations on the whole Eastern coast.the pool  We really enjoyed the small pool at the resort.  With such a great beach location, we were surprised that they even had a pool. Definitely a bonus!fun in the poolgreat views  With fantastic views of the Sea of Oman and the majestic Hajar Mountains in the back, you couldn’t ask for a better location.  We have been saying for years whenever we visit the East Coast that they need a hotel between Quriyat and Sur and we’re glad that there is finally such a place!beautiful viewsresort facing seathe stairs down to the beach  It’s just a short walk down to the beach.babe and beach  The gorgeous beach at Wadi Shab Resort.Attention signanother look at fabulous beachfantastic beach at WadiShablove this beach    As much as I loved the beach at Wadi Shab Resort, I wish I had brought my reef boots as it was hard on the feet at some points.a long beautiful beachresort from sea  The beach along Wadi Shab Resort must be about 5 kilometers long.  Give yourself an hour or more to go exploring the coast towards Tiwi as there are some fabulous cliffs and rock formations. (I will be posting about this in a separate post when I get the chance.)view from our room  This is the view from our room in the early afternoon.sunrise at wadi shab resort  And this is the view from our room just after sunrise.Wadi Shab Luxury room  We were very satisfied with the room.  The bed we slept in was unbelievably comfortable and the rooms had all the amenities one would expect from a 4 or 5 star resort in Muscat.  Room amenities include: Flat Screen LED tv with many satellite channels (the other room had another flat screened tv as well), fridge (2 in luxury), telephone, hair dryer, safe box, electric kettle and complimentary tea/coffee, alarm clock, iron on request, baby cot on request and free wifi access in rooms and public areas.sitting room  There are actually 2 rooms that come with the luxury suite including a large sitting room with pull-out sofa-bed.  The minifridge items are not overly priced like other hotels/resorts in the Sultanate. Example prices include chocolate bars for 300 baizas, softdrinks for 300 and mineral water is complimentary.  We were also surprised at how low the room services were. (I had a burger and fries for 1.5 OR as a quick example.)luxury bathroom  No complaints about the bathrooms.  I like the large walk-in showers.  It was nice to see that the luxury suite came with 2 bathrooms.restaurant and clouds  Yes, they do have a restaurant at Wadi Shab Resort. It’s quite simple but it does the trick!  That’s the restaurant in the pic above with the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains.  The indoor seating is the box-like orange section while the boat looking section is outdoor seating.  It’s pretty clever to have their restaurant shaped like a boat and it looks quite charming lit up at night:nighttime dining  They have a nightly buffet if/when there are enough guests staying at the resort.  We don’t know what it would cost for the dinner buffet as we only learned when trying to pay the bill that the manager arranged for our bill to be taken care of.  Sweet!  There is also the option of Beach Barbecue (BBQ) if you ask the resort in advance.breakfast buffet  This is the restaurant inside during the breakfast buffet.  Reserving the room is easy on their website and meal options are quite cheap (just learned)and can also be selected online (or later at the hotel) including breakfast buffet (4 OR/person), lunch (5 OR), dinner (6 OR), half board (10 OR), or full board (150 OR).  The breakfast was great and we enjoyed a lovely scene of fishermen at work with their nets early in the morning:fishermen at wadi shabbeautiful coastline  Another beautiful morning view from the restaurantapproaching hotel  This is the sight you’ll see as you approach Tiwi and the turn-off for Wadi Shab Resort.  We were concerned that we might have problems locating the resort but there are clear green signs in several locations letting you know you’re going in the right direction and also informing you as to how many kilometers to the resort.resort from highway  This is what the resort looks like along the Quriyat-Sur coastal highway.  It took us 2 hours to reach the hotel from our home in Muscat – 30 minutes till we reached the Bouscher-Amerat mountain road and another hour and a half along the Muscat-Sur highway (no need to drive through Quriyat!!!).  Once you make the turnoff and drive back in the direction of Muscat, you should be able to see the resort in the distance like in this pic:resort from exit  You might want to read another review from another blogger who was there around the same time as us.  The blog is “Omanly” (“ideas to improve the tourism of Oman”) and they shared their thoughts on Wadi Shab Resort here.Suman and Ahmed  A big thanks to Suman (pictured here with Ahmed who works the frontdesk) and the entire staff at Wadi Shab Resort for giving us the royal treatment during our unforgettable stay!Wadi Shab logo    Be sure to check out Wadi Shab Resort’s website at www.wadishabresort.com .  Tel: +968-2475-7667, Fax: +968-2475-7668, email: wadishab@travelcity-oman.com

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“Sailing-Car” on Shatti Al Qurum Beach

sail cars    The light of the sun on the wave-beaten sand,

gives the brilliance of midday to my eyes as I stand.

when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but a miniature “car” and a sail in full gear!sailing along qurum  Cool ride or what?! 🙂  I’ve love to have me one of them!

The Climb up to Al Sawadi Tower

sawadi 1  Sawadi Beach is a gorgeous place to visit in Barka – about a hour and a half from Muscat along the coast as you drive towards Sohar.  We’ve enjoyed several trips to this beautiful spot and I wrote a post about the watch tower and public beach there almost exactly 3 years ago. Time to post a more recent trip – one in which I decided to climb all the way up to the tower.  It was a moderate hike and the views at the top were well worth the effort!sawadi sign

sawadi 2

sawadi 4

sawadi 5

a lot of stairs

sawadi sunset

sunset and dhow

tower through trees

approaching tower

black and white of fort

side view of fort

sister in law at fort

climbing up to main tower

inside stairway

pattern in stairway

what a view

look up

the splendour of sawadi sunset

last pic as sun fades in horizon

Barka Fort, Southern Batinah Region

Barka Fort

Barka Fort is located about 80 kms from Muscat in the Walayat (like district) of Barka in the region (like state or province) of Al Batinah.fort and cannon

Cannon looks pretty impressive from the front till you see it from the side…graffiti on cannon

I wonder what the local punks have written on this cannon. What a shame!fort front door

Like 99% of all forts I visit in Oman, this one was closed as well!  Are they really taking tourism seriously when so many of these places of interest are constantly closed?!zoom in looking up

black and white of tower

fort flag and old gentleman

flag in the wind

look wayyyy up

wider shot of fort

surroundings

from side tower

fort is right along the ocean

birds on beach looking north

It’s nice that the fort is right along the beach, but I wouldn’t recommend swimming here (especially the ladies) as it’s a conservative small town.  Another reason I wouldn’t recommend it is that there were several local young men that kept paying my sister-in-law far too much attention as we walked around the fort and one guy was even parked there for the longest time is his heavily tinted windows just gawking. Creepy!beach looking south

bird over beach

Barka Map

As you can see from the map here, other places of interest in Barka include: Al Sawadi Coast, Bait Al Naaman Castle, and Al Falaij Fort.  Barka Fort isn’t the most exciting place in the Sultanate so I wouldn’t recommend coming here unless you plan (going to/coming from) another destination.

Seems that some Barka local residents and citizens are directly or directly involved in human trafficking- Read this article from Gulf News!

“New Year Hot Deal” at Shangri-La’s Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa until Feb. 10th

New Year Hot Deal

Here’s a great deal we took advantage of while my sister-in-law was in Oman for a visit this month. 85 OR for a room (we booked 2) at Al Waha Hotel at the Shangri-La which includes all taxes, wifi and buffet breakfast.  The Shangri-La continues to be one of our favorite all time hotels here in the Sultanate. Here are a few pics from our latest stay:our room

2nd room

And the view from our room(s)…view from our room

lazy river

The ladies enjoying the lazy river.gorgeous pools

ahhh the beach

from kayak

part of Waha Hotel from a kayak (more on kayaking in a future post!)beautiful flowers everywhere

lizard and resort from pool

path along resort

splashpad

Our 2 year old loves the Splashpad!giant checkers

This giant checker board is new since our last visit!Shangrila Marina

A shot of the Marina where Extra Divers Dive Centre is located.  They offer diving courses and excursions, boat trips, snorkelling and dolphin watching.new view of beach

AHHH, the Shangri-La!