Located a short drive from the United Arab Emirates, Muscat is a great option for a quick getaway. And with the sultanate’s first Avani hotel opening earlier this year, quick getaways in Oman can be budget-friendly too.
Promising stylish rooms and apartments that fuse modern vibes with coastal colors and plenty of traditional Omani touches, the four-star hotel has spacious rooms, with options for up to six people, making it ideal if you are a large family or large group.
The National checked in to find out what Avani’s Omani foray has to offer.
Less than a 15-minute drive from Muscat International Airport, the first Avani-branded hotel in Oman awaits.
After driving from Dubai we park ourselves in the large car park but valet parking is available and the reception staff offer smiles and a warm welcome as we enter the brightly lit lobby where the coastal turquoise colors and a intrinsic lantern chandelier set the scene.
Our room’s wooden key card is a nod to the brand’s focus on sustainability.
Located in Seeb, west of the capital, Avani Muscat has a good location for those visiting on a short stay and who don’t want to waste too much time getting from the airport to the hotel.
Although not the most exciting setting, it is a convenient location for divers and boating enthusiasts as it is only a 10 minute drive from Seeb Marina. Commercial therapy is also right on the doorstep of the hotel via Al Araimi Boulevard where there are also fountains, restaurants, cafes, a children’s play center and a cinema.
We stay in a superior one-bedroom suite that’s an impressive 66 square meters in size and features a huge king-size bed, plenty of closet space, and a bathroom with double vanity and rain shower.
The open plan suite has a spacious living room with striking silver pendant lighting, marble floors and cozy Arabesque style rugs. There is also a dining room and a generously sized kitchen which is equipped with a fridge, hob, coffee maker, washing machine and everything else you might need if you want to self-prepare or book an extended tour.
There’s no balcony, but large windows offer views of the palm-fringed family pool below.
Aimed at business and leisure travelers, this hotel is popular with locals and Arab families. Children can attend the Avani Kids Club where they have daily activities and entertainment and the courtyard pool is the center of the hotel, with cabanas, loungers, and umbrellas dotted along its periphery.
The AvaniFit studio is small, but has everything needed for a good workout and all equipment is state of the art. The AvaniSpa was not open when we visited, but is now welcoming customers.
The hotel also seems to be popular for weddings. It houses a 1,000 square meter ballroom and we see several wedding preparations going on during our stay.
The Pantry is open for light snacks and evening snacks while the Patio Bar serves a varied poolside menu. In-room dining is also available 24 hours a day and it should be noted that Avani Muscat is an unlicensed hotel.
Open all day, Trisis Restaurant serves Omani and Middle Eastern dishes as well as international dishes, many with a Creole twist. The electronic menu can be a bit tricky to navigate, with dishes appearing in sections you might not expect.
We had lunch here after a long drive from Dubai and opted for the Trisis Beef Burger (7.8 Omani Rial), which features tender Wagyu beef topped with crispy turkey bacon and served with fries. It’s a good portion and the flavors are nice, but it takes a really long time to get served. So long in fact that our other dish – a Creole green mango salad (Omani Rial 4) was long over by the time the burger arrived. The salad is tangy and fresh, loaded with mangoes, tomatoes, onions and a spicy lemon dressing.
Genuinely warm and inviting, the staff at Avani Muscat are eager to please, but don’t expect things to be fast – this hotel definitely operates on Oman time. The service at Trisis is friendly enough, but incredibly slow. Don’t be too hungry because you will be waiting a long time for your food.
The Digital Host app is a great addition to the service, allowing guests to easily request services or order room service from their phone.
Highs and lows
Recently opened, the hotel is fresh and bright and the rooms are spacious. The pool is a good size for swimming and there are plenty of sunbeds and cabanas for everyone.
The weak point is the slow service. On our last day our key no longer worked and we had to go down to reception to have it reactivated. With only one person behind reception, we waited almost 15 minutes, which isn’t ideal when you’re standing in a wet bathing suit.
The insider tip
Our room overlooks the courtyard pool, which is a nicer option than the surrounding parking lots, but one you might want to give up if you’re a light sleeper. The sound of people swimming, chatting and shouting into the wee hours can be distracting.
A budget stay a short drive from the airport and close to a major shopping mall, this is a good choice for business travelers or families who are more comfortable in an alcohol-free hotel .
The bottom line
Room rates start from 229 Dh per night. Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out is at noon; www.avanihotels.com
This review was conducted at the hotel’s invitation during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects the standards of the hotel during this period. Services may change in the future
Updated: October 23, 2022, 06:43