On a blustery January morning, a flock of gulls are seemingly the only visitors to a private beach in Muscat.
The scene is one of wild beauty. Birds blast through the thermals; foaming waves pound the coastline.
But just over the dunes off this 370-metre strip, tranquility reigns. This is the home of Chedi Muscat: the Omani offering from the GHM group synonymous for its select offering of properties and Asian design elements.
One of the few premier properties in Muscat, the Chedi has – unusually for the capital – its own private beach, and this emphasis on calmness and privacy echoes throughout.
Children are only allowed at one of the pools, and all three are the deepest allowed before needing lifeguards, allowing for an uninterrupted paddle.
The hotel does not offer day passes to its pool or beach, and grants few outside reservations for its eight restaurants and lounges. The resulting feeling is one of total immersion, where the only coming and going of visitors is guests hopping from cabana to spa, pool to tennis court.
Asian elements such as small square pools dotted symmetrically throughout the property meld seamlessly with Omani influence, seen in factors that include staff – many locals work on the property – as well as aesthetic.
Rooms range from the more modest serai, with pool and city views, to private villas off the beach, each equipped with its own sunken bathtub and private terrace. A unique touch is the infinity lap pool, which is twice the length of an Olympic pool. Even the gym feels intimate, with carved wooden dividers offering privacy for those wanting to try out the Pilates machine.
Though the vibe is elegant, guests are relaxed. As night falls, bright whites are replaced by flickering lanterns, and the lick of flames from the firepit, where guests congregate to watch the sunset. It’s peaceful, serene – and everything a getaway should be.