Oman’s Hidden Gem
Musandam is an oddity. It’s completely cut off from the rest of Oman by the UAE, creating a semi-enclave on the very end of the Arabian peninsular, facing Iran across the straits of Hormuz. it’s a geographically and strategically important spot, but luckily for the people living there, it’s also one of outstanding natural beauty.
Anywhere else in the world, such a spot would be littered with a range of hotels, but oddly, Musandam has very few to choose from. Until very recently, there was only one decent hotel, but that’s now changed with the addition of the Atana Musandam.
The hotel could easily be described as a tranquil reflection of the spirit of oman. Inspired by a typical Omani village, the resort offers eight clusters of low-rise buildings, housing 110 rooms and suites, each with a private balcony and/or terrace. you also get a great view of the waterway, where you can watch the daily routine of the fishermen. Beyond that is either a view of the sea or of Oman’s grand mountains.
There’s a choice of superior King Room, superior twin, Horizon Rooms or a duplex. Each is warmly designed around the traditional style, but neatly including the level of modern luxury you’d expect from a good hotel.
There are also four suites and a Musandam Suite. Each room boasts excellent high-speed wireless Internet and a range of satellite TV channels.
For food, the Atana specialises in seafood, for obvious nearby reasons. Guests can even catch a fish from the sea and then have it cooked to their preference. The signature restaurant, Al Mawra, offers an all-day dining experience, where in addition to the international cuisine, traditional Omani and fusion Omani treats are also served. There’s no alcohol at the Atana, but for that, guests can easily visit the nearby Atana Khasab, which has a fully stocked bar.
During the day there’s a temperature- controlled outdoor swimming pool for adults and children, as well as a children’s playground. For those looking to keep in shape the hotel has a fitness centre.
Away from the hotel there’s a fair bit to do whilst visiting Musandam. Dhow cruises are very popular, as you are likely to catch some dolphins playing in the boat’s wake. There’s also a dive centre and the option of a mountain safari. The hotel can arrange all of these if needed.
Although most people travel into the Musandam via a 160-kilometre drive from Dubai, you can fly in, as the hotel is only 10 minutes from Khasab Airport. From Oman’s capital, Muscat, it’s a 55-minute flight or a leisurely five-hour ferry ride.
However you choose to arrive at the Atana, you receive a very warm welcome. That hospitality continues throughout your stay, and that’s the charm of the property.
In a world of big name hotels, all claiming ultimate luxury, a hotel with a more personal feel is often exactly what you need.