Where to stay in Muscat: A Guide to the Best Hotels in Muscat, Oman
Laying on the shores of the Arabian Peninsula, Muscat is the capital city of Oman. It has rightfully earned its place in the history books as a vital port, in the ancient sea routes that linked the Middle East with Africa and the Far East.
Distinct about Muscat, are the dazzling white buildings as you approach the city. Ranked as the 41st safest city in the world, Muscat has become a buzzing tourist hub attracting over 3 million visitors as of 2018. The city is home to many museums, souks and ultra-modern hotels providing you with a unique blend of history and modern technology.
Whether you are there for business or pleasure, Muscat definitely has something to offer. As tourist numbers continue to increase, many hotel operators have opened properties that cater to many tourists.
After traveling extensively through Oman for 10 days and a long stay in Muscat, I put together the best hotels to stay in Muscat. I got quite a few messages about this trip thus, I decided to write this in-depth guide on where to stay in Muscat. Accommodation places are categorized by location and budget.
This post contains affiliate links. if you buy via them, I’ll earn a small commission which helps me to keep this blog running. I received services for free for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Useful Travel Information About Oman
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✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at WorldNomads
⚘ Get a travel guide in order to prepare your trip. I recommend Lonely Planet Oman (get -10% off with code “PAULINA10”)
What to know before traveling to Oman?
They implement the Sharia in Oman, and it focuses mainly on the modesty and respect of others. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited and can land you in jail or deportation. However, rules are less strict in hotels.
During the Holy month of Ramadan, it is also not allowed to eat or drink in public. Always be aware of the dos and don’ts while in Oman, lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Read more: What to wear in Oman
It’s also important to know that Muscat is not a budget destination. A night in a 3-star hotel can easily cost you more than 100 $.
1. Where to stay in Muscat City Center
It’s important to know that Muscat is stretched along the coast on a strip of 50 km. There is no proper city center thus. The most interesting areas for tourists are Muttrah and Old Muscat which is home to the royal palace and several museums that have to be visited.
If you are in for the bustle, head to Muttrah, only a 10 minutes drive away from Old Muscat. Muttrah and its souk are a highlight for any tourist, offering a plethora of shopping options and lots of fun activities for the family to indulge in. Other than shopping and business dealings, you have a selection of restaurants that will cater to any palate.
Given the proximity of Muscat to the sea, seafood-based dishes are a staple among many menus. Take some time out to visit any of the local restaurants and savor Arabian catering at its best.
When looking for restaurants in Muscat, I strongly recommend Bait al Luban Omani Restaurant (Omani food): a fabulous restaurant located in a traditional Omani house.
In order to be close to tourist places in Oman, Muscat, I recommend staying in the city center.
Best Hotels in Muscat City Centre
Sheraton Oman Hotel ***** – If you are looking for a qualitative hotel close to Muscat city center, I recommend having a look at the Sheraton Oman Hotel *****. Not only is this hotel the tallest building in town, but it is also home to The Courtyard, a multi-cuisine dining establishment that appears in many lists of the best restaurants in Muscat. – Check reviews and book a room
Budget Hotels in Muscat City Center
Mid-Range Hotels in Muscat City Center
Family-friendly Hotels in Muscat City Center
Luxury Hotels in Muscat City Center
2. Best Hotels near Muscat Airport
Opened in 1973, the Muscat International Airport is the link of Oman with the rest of the world. It was initially christened Seeb International Airport before the name changed in 2008.
Oman Air and the budget airline Salam Air, call Muscat airport their home. Many national carriers from Europe, Asia, and Africa, fly in those seeking to partake of Oman’s touristic beauty. Visiting Oman has never been easier.
Throughout the years, the airport has seen several major improvements to cater to the increasing number of passengers and ever-shifting demands.
The airport even boasts the first active drone detection system. With over 15 million passengers annually, Muscat International is a hive of activity.
Whether you are on transit or planning a stay within the country, there are several hotels close by.
Best Hotels near Muscat airport
Aerotel Muscat – Airport Transit Hotel This is the in-house transit hotel, and it features spacious rooms with all the amenities akin to a standard hotel. Bookings can be made for hourly or overnight stays, depending on what is convenient. – Check reviews and book here
Budget Hotels near Muscat airport
Mid-Range Hotels near Muscat airport
Family-friendly Hotels near Muscat airport
Luxury Hotels near Muscat airport
3. Where to stay in Muscat for Beach Holidays
As a top tourist destination, Muscat boasts some of the cleanest beaches in the Arabian Peninsula.
Oman beaches are also famous over the world as one of the preferred turtle nesting sites. Each year between April and August, thousands of turtles flock the beaches of Oman to lay their eggs. The turtles normally come ashore at night and lay their eggs till dawn. As the hatchlings begin to emerge, you will get a chance to see different types of animals such as desert foxes, seagulls, and crabs.
Other than turtle watching, there are plenty of water sports that you can participate in including parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, among many others.
Al Qurrum, Qantab, and Kalbuh are among the famous beaches in Muscat that you can visit.
Qurum beach, in particular, is a favorite amongst tourists. It is considered as one of the cleanest and best beaches in Muscat. The water is exceptionally clear, allowing activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
The coastline is donned with many palm trees and runs close to 4 kilometers long. Don’t worry about the summer heat as there are many private cabanas and sun lounges that you can rent from the local vendors and hotels.
Best Beach Resorts in Oman Muscat
The Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa ***** is unique as it has two wings, Al Waha mainly for families and leisure travelers and Al Bandar which is more business-suited. While here, make it a point to visit Chi Spa and see for yourself why it is rumored to be the best spa in Muscat. – Check reviews and book here
The Kempinski Hotel Muscat *****, on the other hand, offers both short-term and long-term stays. It has its own private beach as well as villas and apartments, allowing for a more personalized stay. It is considered one of the best beach resorts in Muscat. – Check reviews and book here
Mid-Range Beach Resorts in Muscat
Family-friendly Beach Resorts in Muscat
Luxury Beach Resorts in Muscat
4. Where to stay in Muscat for Luxury travel
Oman is one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This is a six-member state organization that is responsible for both economic and political affairs within the region.
There are many reasons why Muscat is a great luxury travel destination. The Royal Opera House is also a top performance destination within the Arabian Peninsula. Many internationally acclaimed entertainers such as Andrea Bocelli and Madija El Roumi have had performances in its theatre.
Given the demands of this elite group of clients, there are plenty of luxury hotels in Muscat that you can fancy a stay at.
The Al Bustan district is definitely the best area to stay in Muscat for luxury holidays as it is quite secluded and boasts gorgeous beaches.
Best five-star hotels in Muscat, Oman
The Chedi Muscat *****
The Chedi Muscat ***** is considered one of the top hotels in Muscat. Covering an area of over twenty-one acres, the property has 158 rooms and villas within a beautifully landscaped garden. The Al Hajjar Mountains appear in the background and the pristine waters of the Gulf of Oman complete the heavenly scenery.
Beautifully designed rooms combine Arabian hospitality with the latest technology to make you feel royal. There is even the option to get picked up by a limousine from the airport. Add a 100-meter long pool and you’ll never want to leave. – Check reviews and book here
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel *****
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel ***** is one of the top 5 star hotels in Muscat. The hotel was initially a palace and was refurbished in 1985 to host the delegates of the GCC summit. Al Bustan palace muscat is one of the most luxurious hotels in Muscat.
With over 200 acres of beachfront, there is plenty of space for you and your beloved ones to participate in any of the water sports available. The hotel caters to both leisure and business travelers and has amenities suited for any activity. – Check reviews and book your room
More luxury hotels in Muscat
5. Where to stay in Muscat for Business Travel
If you are in Muscat for business, the best place to stay is the Ruwi district. Most privately and state-owned businesses have their offices in this area. Within Ruwi’s borders are many shopping areas such as the Muscat City Center.
As all the city’s activities are mainly within this area, you will not struggle to find many options in case you’re looking where to stay in Muscat.
Best Hotels in Muscat for business travelers
Best 4-star Hotels in Muscat for business travelers
Best 5-star Hotels in Muscat for business travelers
6. Best Cheap Hotels in Muscat
As with any city, Muscat has a varied demography. You have affluent areas such as Qurm and the budget areas like Al Khuwair, Ruwi, and Al Ghubra. However, it is important to know that Muscat is not a cheap travel destination.
Public transport around Muscat is well developed and you can easily reach any destination that you desire. In no-time, you’ll reach major tourist hotspots such as the Avenues Mall, the Mutrah Corniche and Bait Al Zubair.
Without breaking the bank, you can get decent accommodation while in Muscat. Some properties offer top-notch amenities at reasonable prices.
Regardless of the tag best cheap hotels in Oman Muscat, many hotels still have their own unique style of offering affordable accommodation.
Best Budget Hotels in Muscat
7. Best Hotel Apartments in Muscat
Not all vacations necessitate you staying in a luxury hotel. There are also multiple hotel apartments that you can stay at. As Oman seeks to position itself as a leading tourist destination in the Middle East, efforts have been made to cater to every taste of tourists.
All across the city, there are fabulous apartments that will give you a feeling of home away from home.
As one of the major trading hubs in the Middle East, Muscat also plays home to those on work assignments. Muscat hosts many expatriates who come on short assignments either to train the locals or work on projects when and as needed.
Petroleum Development Oman and Suhail Bahwan Group rely on overseas ex-pats to boost some of their operations. For these professionals, hotel apartments are a preferred option as compared to hotels.
Best hotel apartments in Muscat, Oman
Millennium Executive Apartments Muscat
Among the most sort after hotel apartments are the Millennium Executive Apartments Muscat. They are an extension of the newly built Tilal Complex, a new community that features residential, commercial and retail spaces.
Within the property are 115 fully furnished apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms. Each apartment is fitted with the latest home technology but maintaining the essence of Arabian styling. – Check reviews and book here
More Apart-Hotel options in Muscat
8. Best Hotels in Al Khuwair area, Muscat
Muscat is divided into districts. Each of these districts stands out for its unique population, culture and unique tourist attraction sites. One such district is Al Khuwair.
Although not one of the flashiest, it has seen massive development and is a draw to many residents and tourists alike. While in Al Khuwair, you have access to international schools, The Higher College of Technology, and a fully functional hospital among other amenities.
Given this new surge of development, Al Khuwair is quickly becoming the most sought after neighborhood in Muscat. I liked it because I really could get a sense of the daily grind in Muscat.
There are plenty of shops and tasty restaurants which make Al Khuwair one of the most interesting places to stay in Muscat. It’s particularly a great place to spend holidays in Muscat Oman if you want to mingle with the local population.
Within its borders are the Muscat Grand Mall, one of the premier shopping destinations within the capital.
Best Al Khuwair Hotels
I opted for the recently opened (February 2019) Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair****. I really appreciated the rooftop pool providing excellent views over Muscat and the breakfast buffet is a delight. However, my biggest shoutout goes to the commitment of the Hilton Garden Inn’s staff team. They really go above and beyond to make your stay in Muscat a great one. – Check reviews and book here
The Park Inn by Radisson Muscat**** is home to Sama Terraza. This rooftop area boasts a pool and a bar, and is high enough for you to overlook the entire neighborhood. Take a dip in its outdoor pool or the temperature-controlled Jacuzzi during your stay here. – Check reviews and book here
This hotel is famous for its restaurants Al Tajin Grill and O’Malleys. Al Tajin serves a vast array of traditional Arabian meat dishes and also has vegetarian options for those who dine there. O’Malleys, on the other hand, is an extension of Irish cuisine deep in the heart of Muscat. – Check reviews and book here
More Hotels in Al Khuwair, Muscat
General Travel Information about Muscat
The Muscat Grand Mall, the Royal Opera House and the National Museum of Oman are some of the best things to do in Muscat, Oman.
From museums, tasty restaurants and visits to historical sites, there are plenty of things to do while in the city center. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and a walk through Old Muscat rank top among tourist activities.
The shift towards diversifying its economy, the Omani government has put in place initiatives that promote both business and leisure travel.
Given the long history of Oman as a trading post, the Mutrah Souq should be in the itinerary of any business traveler. Having served the residents for over 200 years, it is the place to find all that you need for your trading needs. Items on sale are varied from cookery to garments, jewelry, and perfumes.
There are also plenty of curio shops that sell paintings and souvenirs. To commemorate your visit to Muscat, why not buy yourself a Khanjar. This dagger is the national symbol of Oman and is used as insignia on flags and other items.
Tourists from anywhere in the world can apply for an eVisa through the government portal.
If you are traveling from within the GCC and are a citizen of any of the member countries, you have the luxury of a visa-free travel into Oman.
Read the detailed instructions in my 10-day Oman itinerary
Muscat is a city full of wonders. From ancient buildings to ultra-modern facilities, high-end accommodation to budget hotel apartments.
Holidays to Muscat are truly magical. It is only a matter of time before we see more and more tourist numbers opting for Muscat as a destination.