Perched on the rim of a dramatic gorge, Alila Jabal Akhdar christens the Sultanate of Oman’s newest luxury travel destination.
Why Go: Three years ago, Sultan Qaboos issued a decree to establish an undeveloped area high in Oman’s highest mountain range as a Sanctuary for Natural Sceneries. Called Jabal Akhdar, or “Green Mountain,” it boasts a Mediterranean-like climate and plentiful fruit and nut crops, including exceptional walnut and pomegranate varieties. Alila Jabal Akhdar makes the area—which is a 2.5-hour drive from Oman’s capital city of Muscat—accessible to luxury travelers for the first time. The investment, development, and management company Omran, which is run by the Omani government, spearheaded the project, hiring the Singapore-based Alila Hotels and Resorts to manage the property once the site is complete.
What to Expect: Constructed to look like the flat-roofed houses typical of the region, the resort encompasses 78 oversize rooms (from $325) ranging from 560 to 1,120 square feet in the main building plus six stand-alone loft suites and two large villas. Stones covering the facade and interior columns were sourced on-site during the project’s excavation. Uninterrupted views of the expansive gorge adjacent to Alila are what make the resort stand out. During their visit, guests can explore the surrounding area in one of five themed Alila Experiences.
How to Get There: The resort is a 90-mile drive from Muscat International Airport. (www.alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar)