It has always been a dream of mine to visit Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman, situated on the beautiful Hajar Mountains of Oman. Jabal Akhdar in Arabic means the green mountain, and you can surely see why when you drive up the stunning mountain to the hotel. Firstly, if you are thinking of planning a trip to Alila Jabal Akhdar then all I can say is that it is so worth the money, time, trip and drive to the hotel, from wherever you are in the world.
It is a one of a kind, and there is something so magical and serene about it that you will surely want to come back and experience this little gem of beauty all over again. I would call it a retreat, and it is the perfect place to escape and relax, away from our busy lives. It is also a perfect hotel for couples, special occasions and if you love adventure. I don’t really feel like it is a place that you should take children and I was surprised that there were a few there. Keep in mind this hotel is literally located on the edge of a mountain.
At 2,000m above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar is the perfect place to escape the summer heat and it is about 10 degrees cooler than the mainland. I visited in August and it was gorgeous, warm in the day but not too hot and in the evenings it was quite cool. I can’t wait to visit the hotel again in winter I can only imagine how lovely it would be sitting outside next to one of their fires.
Driving to Alila Jabal Akhdar
We drove to Alila Jabal Akhdar from Muscat and it was around a 2hr 30min drive. The only way to reach the hotel is actually by car, I would recommend organising a driver if you don’t have your own 4×4 car, as the drive is very steep and not for the faint hearted. Before you actually go up the mountain you have to drive through a check point because only 4×4 cars are allowed up. You can also drive from Dubai, which I think is around 5 hours. On the way we saw such lovely nature and views, including some donkeys and goats.
For more information on the hotel visit their website.
Booking Your Stay
We booked a 2 night stay on Booking.com. We chose a suite with a mountain view that included half board – breakfast and dinner. We were a bit disappointed when we arrived because we had specifically chosen a mountain view room because of the amazing views and balcony on the first floor. However, the staff said they had upgraded us to a Horizon view but this did not have such great views and was on the ground floor. We still wanted to stay in the mountain view and I would highly recommend that you book this room.
In the end we were given a mountain view room (after having to move around and see different options) but our balcony had fencing which actually blocked some of the view, this was not shown on booking.com images, which are misleading. When we asked for a room further along the floor which didn’t have fencing we were told they were booked. So make a request to book a room in the middle of the building as we will be doing the same next time!
Once you arrive at the hotel you are greeted by the beautiful aroma of frankincense in the lobby and throughout the hotel, as well as Arabic coffee and dates. The resort is actually quite big and has 86 rooms (6 types of rooms) including single villas. The grounds of the hotel are lovely to walk around in and there are so many great views of the mountain.
You’ll also notice the wonderful relaxing sound of running water when you are sitting outside of the hotel or by the pool. This is because there is a traditional falaj that runs around the hotel, and it is a lovely sight to see. The design of the hotel is a combination between an ancient fort and traditional Omani building styles that use local stones.
The Mountain View Suite Room
I am so glad that we chose this room, it was really gorgeous. We chose it because it is elevated and has amazing views of the mountain and the sunset from the balcony. When I book a hotel I always look for a room with a great balcony. It was a really spacious room with a lovely comfortable bed, sofa area, desk, cute walk in closet and stunning bathroom with a rain shower, a stone bath tub and his and hers sinks. I loved having a bubble bath in this gorgeous bathroom! There is also a Nespresso machine, complimentary tea and coffee and water. You will sleep like a baby, it is so quiet at night.
Breakfast with a View!
I have to say that all the food we had whilst staying at Alila Jabal Akhdar was beyond amazing, fresh and so delicious! We loved having our breakfast on the terrace area over looking the mountains at The Juniper Restaurant. There was a great selection of fresh fruits, juices, bakery items, cold cuts, mezza and amazing preserves that are actually made at the hotel (these include delicious honey and jams) – all included in the buffet breakfast. Hot breakfast items are also available upon order, we loved their omelettes and shakshuka. There was such a great variety!
The Gorgeous Infiniti Pool
We came to Alila Jabal Akhdar to relax and enjoy sitting outside and tanning by the pool. The infinity pool is huge and has views like you have never seen before, I could have spent all day swimming. We also loved the outside jacuzzis that are next to the pool. They are heated, and I am sure are great in the winter! It was so nice to relax in the jacuzzi which was next to an area of greenery, full of beautiful butterflies flying around. I tried to take a picture but the butterflies are so small amongst the greenery that it didn’t show up, but make sure you check it out. I loved that there is complimentary detox water provided next to the pool and around the hotel throughout the day.
There is also an indoor pool, which I believe is heated and is next to the gym area.
Dinner at Juniper Restaurant / Rose Lounge
Before I say anything about the dinner, I have to talk about the hotel’s brioche bread, it is out of this world!! THE BEST BREAD EVER along with the labneh and honey, it is a match made in heaven and I am still dreaming about this combo! You have to try it. Dinner options change daily, but on both nights we ordered the Omani dishes of the day and I would highly recommend it. Especially if they have Omani Shuwa – it was the best we had ever tried, the meat was so soft and spiced perfectly. The dishes are actually to share and include 3 courses, make sure you come hungry.
The hotel provides complimentary activities that change on the daily, some of them included outdoor tours and trekking to some of the areas around the hotel with a guide, henna, sunrise yoga and afternoon tea. We loved the afternoon tea and cakes sitting on the Rose Lounge terrace, a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Make sure you check the board in the reception daily for the activities.
The hotel also offers bikes to guests, it was so fun cycling around the hotel area and exploring the grounds. We also found olives, pomegranates, and desert roses growing around the hotel. For those that are seeking adventure there are plenty of hikes available including one into the cave right under the hotel. Or if you are looking for something more relaxing book a massage at the cliff side (literally the cliff’s edge) and enjoy pure serenity.
Overall, Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman is a hotel you will never forget. I feel like it is a hotel that is great throughout the year. A truely special place, and I can’t wait to visit again.
P.S. When we were leaving the mountain heading home, it actually rained in August and this was a lovely surprise!