Alila Jabal Akhdar – Oman
Standing fortress-like high in the Al Hajar mountains, perched on the edge of a deep ravine, the wood and stone exteriors of Jabal Akhdar seem part of the landscape. But they belie the sophisticated luxury inside. It’s a true wilderness retreat, the name of which means green mountain, reachable only by 4×4, and where nature and solitude are the main attraction. In spring the valleys brim with blooming damask roses, giving the mountains a pinkish hue, followed later by pomegranate, walnuts and juniper, for which the region is renown.
And inside, the smell of frankincense fills the rooms. The surrounding mountains are full of history, culture and adventure – by day, venture into the rugged landscape, and by night, be beguiled by some of the starriest skies you’ll ever see. Faultless staff look after your every need, and it takes only moments to unwind once you’ve arrived. At Jabal Akhdar you’ll experience some of the best that Oman has to offer.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its stunning location & the views that go on for miles.
Location:2000m above sea level in the Al Hajar Mountains - 2 & half hours’ drive south west of Muscat, accessible only by 4x4.
Rooms:84 characterful suites & villas.
Swimming:There are 2 swimming pools (1 outdoor & 1 indoor), & the Jabal Villas have their own private pools.
Children:Very family friendly with children's activities.
Open From:All year round.
Each suite and villa is a perfect mountain hideaway, with their far reaching views, supremely comfortable beds and ornate Omani design detail in the furnishings. With teak beams, hand painted juniper leaves on the walls, large picture windows and luxuriously large bathrooms with freestanding marble baths, many of the suites interconnect, making them perfect for families. Accommodation is split between the main building and dotted around the grounds for privacy and to make the most of the views.
Seasonal and local produce is created into flavoursome Arabic dishes and cuisine from further afield in the Juniper Restaurant. We especially love the tajines. Diners can spill out onto the terrace and feast looking out over the mountains – especially atmospheric as the sun dips and the lanterns are lit. The Rose Lounge, with its ornate décor, is a relaxing place for a light snack and to reminisce about your day’s adventures. The Jabal Akhdar also has one of the most stunning private dining decks we have seen – right on the edge of a cliff.
From adventure to culture, there’s so much to see and do in the Al Hajar mountains. Jebal Shams – the highest peak on the Arabian Peninsular has countless walks and treks, rewarding you with extraordinary and other worldly scenery. If it’s a challenge you’re after, then the via ferrata cave adventure takes you down a mountain face to the bottom of the Wadi where a freshwater pool awaits you.
The mountains are home to scores of castles and forts, so a visit to the UNESCO protected Bahla Fort and Jabreen Castle is definitely recommended, together with a trip to Niswa for its grand mosque and souq. With so much to explore from Jabal Akhdar, make sure you don’t miss what is offer right here. The large infinity pool, carved out of the rock, has some of the most outstanding views of any we’ve seen, and if you’re not enjoying the view from your private terrace, this is the place to relax with a book. There are yoga and meditation sessions, and the sublime Spa has a heated plunge pool, hammam and steam rooms, and a list of treatments using local ingredients from frankincense to coconut and juniper berries. There are cookery demonstrations and sunrise walks, and our absolute favourite, private stargazing sessions. This is a place to remember.
This is a magical destination for adventurous families, and Jabal Akhdar has a number of children’s activities – from adventure walks and scavengers hunts, to arts and crafts, science experiments and archery as well as a spa kitchen for older children. Many of the rooms interconnect and the larger suites are perfect for families.
Al Hajar Mountains, Oman
2000m above sea level in the Al Hajar Mountains - 2 & a half hours’ drive south west of Muscat, accessible only by 4x4.