Continuing past the Jawaharat A’Shatti complex, an attractive ten-minute stroll along the pedestrianized seafront walkway brings you to the rear of the Grand Hyatt, one of Muscat’s most flamboyant hotels. Owned by a Yemeni sheikh, the rather peculiar exterior looks like the bastard lovechild of a Yemeni fort and a French chateau. It’s worth going inside, though, for a look at the hotel’s fabulous interior. This is pure Orientalist chintz at its most extravagant, with soaring gold and cream pillars, a great tumbling staircase, 25m-high stained-glass windows, plus assorted palm trees and Bedu tents. The whole place is best appreciated over a superior afternoon tea at the Sirj Tea Lounge in the shadow of the impressive bronze statue of an Arabian falconer on horseback, who glares out across the foyer – the whole statue actually rotates, imperceptibly, every hour, which explains why it never seems to be quite where you remembered it.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Oman features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Life at the edge: wild camping in Oman

Life at the edge: wild camping in Oman

It's legal to wild camp in Oman. And, done responsibly, it's one of the most rewarding ways to take in the country's varied terrain. Fiona McAuslan pitched her …

17 May 2017 local_activity Special feature
Oman: a first-timer’s guide

Oman: a first-timer’s guide

Poised between the glitzy excess of the Emirates and the rigid conservatism of Saudi Arabia, Oman provides a winning introduction to the Middle East. Politica…

13 Dec 2016 • Andy Turner insert_drive_file Article
12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…

16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right