A rustic visit to Oman: Antana Musandam.

A rustic visit to Oman: Antana Musandam.

While I am more familiar with Muscat and Dibba, it was wonderful to explore a side of Oman I had never previously visited.  Located in the Musandam (known for its stunning mountains and vistas), Atana Musandam is roughly 3 hours from Dubai (including a stop at the border).  We decided to break up the trip by spending a night in Ras Al Khaimah (a tip I would recommend to anyone considering the journey).

Once crossing the border, we had our cameras out to try and capture some of the stunning views of the ‘fjords’ of Oman.  Even better?  This is not a particularly well-traveled road.  Depending on the time of year, you’ll have the coast-hugging motorway more or less to yourself.  The climbs and switchbacks are nothing short of amazing.  Although there is radio reception, be sure to plan for a good road trip mix to enhance the journey.

Upon arrival to the Atana, the property was a bit more rustic than some of the Dubai hotels I frequent, but I think the more simple quality adds to the charm.  Quickly given our keys, we were escorted to a closer parking spot to our room.  A note to any of those who might be traveling with disabled or mobility challenged passengers, do ask for a room on the bottom floor for easier access.  There might be elevators available on property, but there were none in our building.

Our room, a superior King, was clearly brand new.  Stepping out onto the connected terrace, we were able to see some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains nad peaceful waterfront.  The details in the room match the overall design of the hotel and are a good fit for the experience.  The bed was large and very comfortable (something I think would be appreciated after a long day on a dhow).

The grounds themselves are well tended, and sit on a canal where fisherman pass.  There is ample parking and two pools (including one just for families).

We enjoyed our meal at the onsite restaurant, Al Mawra (which I will review in a separate post).

Atana Musandam

Some hints:

  • This is a dry hotel.  If alcohol is something that interests you, plan accordingly.  To that point, the bar at the sister property (Atana Khasab) does not open until 6:30 PM (the staff at the Atana Musandam will be happy to drive you over).
  • Have all your paperwork ready for the border crossing, including passports, car registration, copy of insurance, etc.  We had to purchase an e-dirham certificate (which is good for one year).  Although we had Omani riyals, it turned out they were not necessary.
  • If you hold a UAE visa, it will cost AED30 per person to leave the country.  It will cost you ~AED50 per person to enter Oman (you will need to fill out paperwork and pay by credit card).
  • There are two Atana hotels in Khasab.  If you’re going to the Atana Musandam, you will need to continue past the Atana Khasab (look for the the Lulu Hpyermarket once you are in Khasab).
  • Plan to book a dhow or diving trip (as there is not a lot to do in Khasab).  The hotel can help make arrangements, or you can book through some of the local tour operators.
  • If you are going to be in the room, or on property for an extended time, know that there are not a lot of English speaking channels on the in-room television.  (Load up your iPad or bring a laptop with movies).

It was fun to explore this new part of Oman and only made us more excited for an upcoming dhow trip where we will revisit the incredible landscape of our neighboring country.  With summer rates varying between OMR35-45++, it’s a bargain to get out of town for a night or two…

Have you been to Khasab?  Do you have any additional recommendations?

A to Za’atar was a guest of CTI Communications and Atana Musandam.  My opinions are my own…just ask my husband!

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