Asia + The Middle East Oman Desert safaris, dhow cruises, scuba diving, old Eastern imperial culture, beaches With its dramatic landscapes peppered with forts and oases, magnificent empty deserts, rugged mountain ranges, world-class diving and a far south that is surprisingly green (due to the monsoon that just tips the coast) Oman is emerging from its years of self-imposed isolation to reveal itself as an intriguing and beautiful destination. Its warm, friendly and un-jaded people, and its old eastern imperial culture add immensely to its appeal. However, Oman must be carefully planned and managed, since many of the hotels are very simple and their operators unused to the level of service we expect. There are traps for the unwary: for instance, the best way to explore the stunning fjords and mountains of the remote Mussandam peninsula, is by dhow. Most operators take a small flotilla around the same route – so we have found a private dhow to get you well away from the crowds. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. Discovering Omani Cuisine On a research trip to Oman, Destination Expert Auriole Potter learned about the traditional customs and history of the country's rich and fragrant cuisine. Find out more LUXURY DESERT CAMPING IN OMAN Why stay in a luxury hotel when you can have your very own exclusive beach camp on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Laura Jeffrey travelled to Oman to experience luxury desert camping at its finest. Find out more THE WONDERS OF DIVING IN OMAN On his first trip to Oman, Heny Cator soon realised that there is so much more to do than just sunshine and beaches. From desert adventures, exploring old Wadis and souks, water sports and diving... his eyes were quickly opened to discover the wonders of Oman. Find out more BUILDING TRADITIONAL DHOWS IN OMAN On an unexpected visit to Oman's last dhow building yard, Sir Angus Stirling was overjoyed to see the ancient trade still being carried on by skilled craftsmen. Find out more PARAGLIDING OVER THE DESERT IN OMAN Emily Bittan enjoyed participating in a more adventurous side of Oman- launching herself off a mountain and up into the air paragliding. With it's large peaks towering over turquoise waters, Emily para-glided straight into her hotel. Find out more Frankincense in the souk Oman During her holiday in Oman, Emily Petch, was surrounded by the sweet aroma of frankincense in the air. On a visit to a souk in Salalah she was drawn to a colourful stall selling incense and soon found herself with bags full of oud, frankincense and myrrh. Find out more So many reasons to visit Oman For Gordon Beard, ten days in Oman was the perfect break. A combination of high-end luxury hotels and guided cultural day trips ensured a peaceful yet exciting holiday. Find out more A HISTORICAL + TRADITIONAL INSIGHT INTO OMAN Having a personal guide to get you off the beaten track and under the skin of a country can really make a difference to a holiday. James Wix was bursting with knowledge after his holiday to Oman. Find out more The Perfect Luxury Family Holiday in Oman One of our clients spent an unforgettable week with her family in Oman staying at Zighy Bay. They enjoyed the perfect mix of beach along with lots of activities including diving, line fishing and a micro light flight across the desert. Find out more Luxury Beach Holiday in Oman On his first holiday with cazenove+loyd, Richard Leman was blown away by the level of service and beauty of the Six Senses Resort in Oman. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Wahiba Sands Camp, Wahiba Sands Feeling adventurous? We highly recommend staying in a private luxury camp and away from other tourists. The whole trip is brilliantly run and accompanied by such stunning landscapes making it a truly magical experience. The camp is totally mobile and is set up in various quiet locations. We recommend the desert or mountains for an incredible experience as the each option is more difficult to access. The delicious food, comfortable tents and excellent guiding ensure that it is the highlight of any cazenove+loyd trip to Oman. Find out more The Chedi, Muscat The Chedi is a glamorous hotel that is as close as one can get to 'boutique' in Oman. It is stylishly decorated throughout with sophisticated fabrics and furnishings, with Far Eastern influences lending it an authentic Omani touch. It has a number of excellent restaurants, a wonderful spa and fabulous pools and, with their border of palm trees and views over the ocean, we think it is a lovely place to sit back and relax. It is situated on the beachfront, but it is not the most attractive of beaches so most guests enjoy the beautiful swimming pools and grounds instead. Find out more Zighy Bay Six Senses, Zighy Bay Zighy Bay encompasses everything that the Six Senses brand stands for, rustic charm, excellent service and a perfect haven for relaxation. We are also pretty sure there are not many other hotels that guests can paraglide into on arrival. The resort is the epitome of barefoot luxury and it is designed in the style of an Omani Village, with a fantastic beach and stand-alone pool villas scattered in a picturesque bay, the perfect setting for a beach BBQ or romantic dinner for two. There is also an excellent kids club and babysitters so children are very much encouraged. Find out more Alila Jabal Akhdar, Al Hajar Mountains Alila Jabal Akhbar opened its doors in May 2014. Perched 2000m above sea level in the mountains, it has already become a very popular choice for adventurous travellers who do not want to compromise on luxury. Built using local stone, the design is raw and rustic, combined with sleek and minimalist interiors. The hotel overlooks a dramatic gorge with the most sensational panoramic views. Alila Jabal Akhbar is the only luxury hotel in the Al Hajar Mountains set in unbeatable scenery; its two bedroom villas make it the perfect place for families to escape the head of Muscat. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. The Al Hajar Mountains The Al Hajar Mountains, in north eastern Oman, span a distance of 500 kilometres, dividing the low-lying coastal areas from the high desert plateau and providing a rich and varied selection of flora and fauna. Whether as a day trip from Muscat or a longer adventure, we definitely recommend that you make time for this… Find out more A Sailing Trip Along Oman’s Coastline One of Oman’s best kept secrets is its 25 kilometres of stunning coastline, home to some of the world’s best diving opportunities with its extraordinary rich variety of marine life. The best way to explore these calm, turquoise waters is by boat and cazenove+loyd can select one that exactly matches your tastes, whether it’s a… Find out more Muttrah Souk Muttrah Souq is of the oldest and most fascinating souqs in the Gulf. In majestic contrast with the modern city in which it is set, you can wander down any of the small side alleys and discover a selection of tiny shops full of Omani silver, stalls of gleaming white dishdashas and embroided kumahs. Find out more NIZWA FORT Nizwa Fort is one of the most intact and spectacular forts to be found throughout Oman. Built in 1668, Nizwa Fort is vast and imposing, a powerful reminder of the town's invincibility through the turbulent periods in Oman's long history. Find out more Paragliding into your hotel Leave the airport, head for the hills by chauffeured 4x4, strap yourself in and jump out over the crescent shaped bay below. Take in the views and landscapes and land in style at your hotel (for a very well earned drink!) 20 minutes later. Find out more Exploring the Empty Quarter Also known as The Rub' al Khali this is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, it encompasses most of the Southern third of the Arabian Peninsula. There are few places on Earth where you can have this much fun in a sandpit. Find out more Tented Luxury in Oman For an exhilarating glamping experience we suggest spending a few nights under canvas in the desert, the mountains or in a teepee style tent on the coast.These privately set up camps will take you as far away from other tourists. Find out more Show All Location We know Oman better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Oman Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Best visited between October and March when Clients can make the most of the culture of Muscat combined with the rugged mountains, barren desert and sweeping coastline. April to September encounters a dry heat but with temperatures rising to 35 Celsius and beyond, so is best avoided. Oman combines well with The Maldives, UAE or even India for more of a cultural mix. Meet the Team Asia + The Middle East Venetia Chris Penny Florence Auriole We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.