After four nights at the Shangri La Al Husn (they were a similar price and I think Al Husn has the edge), we headed to Al Bustan for three nights. The lobby at the Al Bustan is incredible so first impressions were good. Our room was lovely, very quiet and with a large bed, however, not as modern as Al Husn. The balcony was much smaller with room only for a table and chairs. We were upgraded to a garden view, which was nice. The bathroom is also smaller with a bath over the shower. It's very clean and done really nicely but just didn't have the same appeal as Al Husn. The gowns are fluffy and the slippers comfy. The mini bar is not complimentary here. The pool area is simply stunning although the pool / beach area are very busy. We never had a problem getting a lounger by the pool but plenty were spread across the gardens due to the large number of guests. It was beautiful but just didn't feel as special or exclusive as Al Husn. The cooler box had still water but no ice. Breakfast again was lovely. They had a pork station (salami and ham), hot items, breads, pastries, yoghurts, a juice bar, eggs, waffles, pancakes, Arabic food etc as well as inside and outside dining. Again breakfast was busier than Al Husn so felt more functional than luxurious but was still delicious. All in all the service was lovely and the hotel really grew on us, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend it. However, if stuck between Al Husn or Al Bustan I would choose Al Husn all the way.
"ALittle Piece of paradise"
Sensational setting both inside and outside the hotel. Great staff and wonderful breakfasts and seafood buffet outstanding. Plenty to see and do in Oman and Eva, Guest Relations Manager organised city tour and a night at the Oman Opera House to see Placido Domingo. Rooms and bathrooms are ready for an update (we stayed in Sea View deluxe and bathroom disappointing) but hotel overall is well worth 5 stars
"Great Place for a Weekend Away"
Pros: -Beautiful scenery and hotel grounds. - Parakeets flying around hotel grounds. - The pools are really nice, including the pools that you can get into directly from your room. - The restaurant choice was perfect--excellent Chinese (the duck was delicious) and great seafood at the dressier beach-side Pavillion. - Great sundown seating on the beach, which went well with a good Vodka Tonic. - Staff were fantastic. - The shopping arcade had a very good selection of items, ranging from less expensive to really good quality items. Cons: - Hotel room decor was a beginning to look a little tired, and some maintenance could have been done in the bathroom.
Stayed at Al Bustan for last two days of a fourteen day trip to Oman. A great ending to a wonderful trip. The hotel is luxurious and exquisite but very tasteful. The staff is very pleasant, helpful and accommodating. The beach is great as is the infinity pool.
"Obscenely expensive for what it is"
Built in 1985 for the GCC summit, this architectural monstrosity with its 40 metre high cathedral/mosque style atrium and 10 metre chandeliers, is an insult to hospitality. It's faded and flyblown with carpets and soft furnishings in dire need of a clean. Embedded chewing gum and food just isn't on, anywhere in any hotel and certainly not at the prices this place charges. You work out the room charge in £Sterling and laugh. It's just daft to pay this for a night's sleep in a fairly ordinary room. But then you have to add on around 20%! Service and state taxes add up to 17% and you have to give the occasional tip as it's deeply obvious the staff don't get the 8% service charge that's put on your bill. Food and drink is as expensive as the rooms. A single dish on the beachfront restaurant (the cheap one) is about £45. Wine, of course, is doubly so. An indifferent Australian white, one of the cheapest on the menu, is £68. It costs about £8 in a UK wine shop. The more expensive restaurant is, well, much more expensive. There's a Chinese restaurant too, but comparing the menu to a London Chinatown restaurant, is too depressing. If you want to eat less expensively you need to take a cab into town as the Al Bustan Palace is remote. Fine, but that'll add £50 to the evening. There appear to be three grades of internet WiFi too. The first is FREE (their capitals), but, ahem, we're paying a lot to stay here already so how come the word FREE appears' Then there's another higher speed WiFi, that you have to pay for. Then there's a top grade WiFi, which one assumes actually works unlike the FREE one. In modern hotels this is a complete nonsense. Broadband speed WiFi is more important than breakfast. We're all on our devices 24/365. All of this would be tolerable if the service was exceptional. It isn't. There are scores of suited managers and locally costumed senior staff grinning and wishing you Good Morning and tripping over each other all the time in a disorganised way. It's as if someone's given them a book on how to run a hotel and left it at that. If you want something, especially a bit unusual, the defining feeling is, 'the answer's no, now what's the question'' Ask one of the room cleaning staff, however, and it magically, mysteriously, happens. A few Reals change hands. Everyone's happy. I won't go into details, but it's a strange place. The ruler of Oman, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has a permanent suite on the ninth floor. Well he has the entire ninth floor and you can't go anywhere near it. One or two of the lifts have 9 buttons, but they won't work for you or me. Perhaps he gets the exceptional service' My bet is he brings in his own staff. My experience is that the wealthy are prepared to pay for excellent service and quality, but this is really a *** star hotel inside what were once ***** premises. Most of the people staying here seemed to be Italians and Germans, perhaps on special deals. Lots of families with small children too, and they didn't look like regular readers of the FT Weekend How To Spend It supplement, more airport thrillers. I compared notes with a German group, six of them. We worked out that their week could have bought them a brand new top range BMW! They looked guilty. OK, the surroundings are attractive, the beach is clean. The gardens are well kept, the beach and pool staff are beyond helpful and hard working; in fact as are all the staff who actually do the work. The chaps on the door are courteous and get you taxis. All of them really do try their best and are cheerful and hard working. There are just all these managers.... To put it in perspective, a short while ago I stayed at The Chedi just up the coast. The Chedi is even more expensive than the Al Bustan Palace by quite a bit, but you know, it's much better value for money.
Credit cards accepted by the hotel: Visa - MasterCard
Check-in: 2:00 PM , Check-out: 12:00 PM