It’s boom time on Oman’s southern coast. If you haven’t heard of Salalah, you soon will.
As khareef (autumn) season rolls in for another year, visitors once again head south to soak up the Salalah’s *intense* greenery and cool-as temperatures. A slew of new resorts have planted roots there for a reason. You’ll want to get amongst it – and when you do, here are our picks of top places to stay.
The new kid in town: Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara
It seems crazy that Anantara has only *just* opened its first resort here. Expect the usual Anantara awesomeness: pool villas, top-notch spa (with the region’s first hammam), three restaurants (including Asian cuisine, natch), and a host of cool leisure activities including water sports, cooking classes and a Kids Club to get your kids out of your face for a little bit let your kids go crazy, make friends, have fun, etc.
The resort is also close to Al Baleed Archaeological site, which is well worth a visit if you’re into Instagramming ancient citadel ruins and learning more about frankincense – the biggest export around these parts, back in the day.
For a boutique break: Juweira Boutique Hotel
Small and quiet, Juweira is further from the action, but close to Salalah’s up-and-coming marina promenade. Set out in all-Arabesque-errythang, the hotel is great if you want to a) spend a little less and b) really dig the boutique hotel life. Might not seem like there’s much going on, but the bigger Rotana resort (below) is a hop, skip and a jump away if you want a busier hotel ambience (that you can walk away from when you want to get a good night’s sleep).
The life aquatic: Salalah Rotana Resort
If you like your luxury pretty self-contained, Salalah Rotana is a good shout with 400 rooms, spa, gym (pfft who uses that on holiday?!) and four eateries. But the real drawcard here is water views, from the lagoons to the manmade canals and the beach lined with palm trees for days. So SoCal. But not.
Old faithful: Hilton Salalah Resort
Pick an ocean or mountain view, then kick back. This hotel’s been around for a while (read: the rooms are basic), but it’s a solid base if you come to Salalah with ‘chill’ in mind. Sure, you can laze by the pool (be warned, drizzly days are part-and-parcel of the khareef experience), but the hotel also has some cool activities on offer, from city tours to an all-day odyssey to the Omani section of Rub’ Al Khali – The Empty Quarter.