Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Chronic Wanderlust & Anantara

I am and will always be a traveler. I have one foot in Salalah and one foot firmly placed in the rest of the world. My heart is out there exploring, fantasizing, curious. In my free time, I look at airline websites to study the latest and easiest connections from Salalah to the rest of the world. I update my travel bucket list daily. One of the happiest days of my life was the day Qatar Airways launched the Salalah connection. 

When I'm not traveling or planning my next trip, you'll usually find me sprawled on the sofa flipping through travel magazines. During the months when I am stuck in Salalah, I comfort myself with my travel magazine subscriptions; National Geographic Traveler and International Traveller. I've been getting National Geographic Traveler for years. I decided to try out the Australian International Traveller last year. So far so good.

Yesterday I was reading the latest issue of International Traveller. In the section on the latest hotels around the world, something caught my eye..... Salalah! 

A piece dedicated to Anantara's new Al Baleed Resort, the new luxury resort opening up in the summer on the beach in Salalah. I've been following updates on the resort through various acquaintances including one of the board of directors. Someone (ehem... MM) offered to give me a tour of the construction site but I never got around to it. We snuck into the site a couple of months ago and it looks lovely. A hotel with (I think) around 30 rooms and then dozens of water villas. Yes, you can now actually rent a villa with a POOL in Salalah. 
(this is on their website for the pool villas)

All in all, very exciting. A true luxury resort, and not cheap either. For November a normal sea-view room with breakfast is around R.O 120. The pool villas start at R.O 200. In September during the monsoon it's way more expensive. The three-bedroom pool villa can cost you R.O 950 per night. Bookings start from September 1st according to their website. 

I'm looking forward to hearing about their dining options. Salalah has a very limited list of restaurants in town where one can go for a special dinner (you're basically stuck with either the Hilton or Crowne Plaza). The finest restaurant (in my opinion) is Silk Road at the Rotana, but it's 20 minutes out of town. Al Baleed Resort appears to have three main restaurants; international, Mediterranean, and Asian. They're also going to have a luxury spa and multiple activities, etc. 

They're right next door to Al Baleed archaeological site on the beach. According to my sources, staying at the hotel will gain you free entrance to multiple archaeological sites in Dhofar as well as the museum next door. 


Over and out for now.