Category Archives: Sifah

Jebel Sifah Carnival this Thursday, March 7th, 3-7pm

Jebel Sifah Carnival  This sounds like great fun for the family this weekend.  If you’ve never driven out to Jebel Sifah to Sifawy Boutique Hotel located there (or enjoyed lunch or dinner at one of their restaurants: As Sammak restaurant or Al Sabla), this sounds like the perfect excuse to head down there this Thursday.  The beach and village of Sifah are other good reasons to check out the area and it’s a pleasant coastal ride through Bandar al Khiran as well. Sounds like fun and hey, admission is free! 😉

Advertisements

As Sammak (“The Fisherman”) Seafood Restaurant in Sifah

Located about an hour’s drive from Muscat as one heads towards Yiti, As Sammak (Arabic for “The Fisherman“) is owned and operated by Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Sifah.  It officially opened for business in September 2010 but there aren’t too many reviews for this place.  Most that I found are outdated.

I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal thing but one of the drawbacks to eating here was the number of flies bothering us as we tried to enjoy our food.  During our first visit there a week earlier, the owner closed the restaurant due to the unbearable number of flies. 

Flies may have been the #1 drawback, but it doesn’t take away from As Sammak’s #1 highlight which is LOCATION!  Meters away from a gorgeous beach, a daily trip out with the family couldn’t ask for more.

The “El Marina” was so delicious!  Grilled & fried Hamour, calamari and jumbo prawns for 12 OR.

Side dishes that come with the set menus

My wife and sister-in-law shared the “Al Bahreya” (9 RO).  It’s basically the “catch of the day” plus all the side dishes.

Make sure to bring your bathing suit along!  The Sifawy Boutique Hotel is just a short walk down the beach.  Be sure to drop in and check the hotel out for yourself.  They don’t mind people taking a look and they also have a very nice (affordable) restaurant there which I’ll write about on another post.

We really love the whole Sifah scene and will definitely be back out there time and time again.  If you haven’t taken a day trip out there and you live in Muscat, I highly recommend making a day of it!  You won’t be disappointed!

Saifat Ash Shiekh – Fishing “Village” and Beach

Apparently, some tourists get lost on their way to Jebel Sifah and this turn off about 15 kms before the destination is a critical spot that one shouldn’t turn at to reach Sifah.  Sifawy Boutique Hotel staff mentioned this very spot and they are planning on putting a sign up in the near future (to inform travelers to keep going straight).  But, this is a great place to visit for swimming, snorkeling or a family picnic!  It’s a somewhat dangerous road with many steep spots and sharp turns but after less than 2kms, you will arrive at this scene:

One thing that we love about this spot is that you can see colorful, tropical fish just a couple of steps from the shore!  Here is a short video to give you a better idea of what it’s like.

For anyone who knows Oman well, this beach is like a “mini Bandar Beach”.  It’s about a quarter of the size of the more popular picnic spot which is made even more famous with the sea-arch and 5 rials boat rides from local boatmen.  At this spot, young men will offer to take you out in their boat but be ready to haggle as they started the offer at 20 rials!  I told the young guy, “I’m not planning on buying your boat!”  He said, “This is not Bandar Beach with many tourists”!  He said he would be willing to take us out for a 15 minute boat ride for 10 rials.

The tourists seen here (from Hungary) had the right idea.  This spot is perfect for snorkeling!  This weekend when we come here I’m also bringing along my underwater camera because the tourists in this picture were telling us how gorgeous it is underwater.

If you manage to make out this far to this quaint little beach, you might as well drive another 10-15 kms to Sifah Beach near the Jebel Sifah project.  There is a lovely beachside restaurant called As Sammak Seafood Restaurant.  The beach there is much longer and offers some nice views of the surrounding Hajar mountains as well.  Here is a short amateurish video I took while there last weekend.

Scenes of Sifah

Sifawy Boutique Hotel at Jebel Sifah

The wife and I enjoyed a romantic weekend-getaway at the lovely Sifawy Boutique Hotel which opened only 2 months ago (on Sep. 15).  Sifawy means those “from Sifah” and it is the first of 5 planned hotels at the Jebel Sifah project.

It doesn’t look like much on the drive up to the hotel as there is a LOT of work going on there.  That’s not surprising as the entire project, when completed, will cover an area of 6.2 million square meters with 2,700 luxurious residences.

The hotel, once you get inside, is gorgeous and the staff very friendly.  We were delighted to see that the staff was made up entirely of Omanis!

The highlight of the hotel is definitely the pool!

During weekdays they don’t mind non-guests using the pool for free but the pool is reserved for guests only on weekends.

This is one of the 30 Marina Suites (4 are for Disabled Guests!).  This is the room we’ll be staying in over the National Day weekend.  These suites come with sweet balconies, a bedroom and a living room with a tv in each room and a spacious bathroom.  There’s also wireless internet in each room and 24-hour in-room dining (when there are enough guests…).  The daily rate for the suite is 85 OMR +8% service charge +8% for breakfast package.  The suite is supposed to be for a maximum of 2 adults and 2 kids but if you are real nice to the Front Desk Manager, he’ll let you squeeze in another person (including breakfast) at the same cost. Make sure to ask for an extra bed which they’ll bring in at no extra charge.

This is one of the 25 standard rooms, known as Sifawy Rooms.  Make sure to ask for a pool-side room if one is available because they rock!  The room came with a welcome fruit basket, kettle with complimentary coffee/tea, a nicely stocked minibar, an in-room safe, plenty of drawers and hangers, his & her bathrobes and slippers.  There is also an extremely informative book titled “Regards Oman” in each room (no, it’s not complimentary! 🙂 ) with lovely pics and info on major tourist destinations in Oman.  This room cost us 75 OMR (inclusive of breakfast) +17% service charge for a grand total of 86.39 OMR.  (When booking online at their website, be warned that you are not actually paying with your credit card online; but simply reserving the room.)

pillow menu?!  🙂

                         The pool is available 24-hours but poolside towels are only available from 7am to 6pm.

The licensed bar, The Breeze, is now open at Sifawy Hotel.  It is conveniently located right next to the pool!

If you want to book a room over the National Day holiday, you better hurry, as there are only 55 rooms at the Hotel.  If you fill our their questionnaire upon leaving, you become eligible for a free stay of 4 nights which will be announced around Christmas.  That would be sweet!

Some of the freindly staff at Sifawy.  The gentleman on the right is the Front Office Manager, Hafidh Al-Hadrami.  He was extremely helpful in answering all our questions and booking us for this coming weekend.  If you are interested in finding out more about Sifawy or wish to book a room, you can reach him at hafidh.alhadrami@sifawyhotel.com.  Tel: +968-2474-9111/+968-2469-3383.  We really loved our stay at this hotel! What an experience! 🙂