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Oman Winks at the West with Opening of W Muscat

As Oman opens a Marriott W Muscat, the Middle East capital is slowly waking up to the west with such elements as the Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., has opened the W Muscat, the brand’s newest beachfront W Escape. It is the second W to open in the Middle East this year. The property is set against the stunning backdrop of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains, which form a stark contrast to the historic capital city’s lively waterfront. W Muscat sits at the intersection of the bustling Shatti Al Qurum area.

The architectural narrative of W Muscat tells the story of nomadic traditions in these parts. Its striking design is inspired by the rugged mountains and vast Omani desert, set off by the waters of the Arabian Sea.

Welcoming guests is a towering, nine-ton frankincense tree sculpture that pays tribute to Omani culture. The piece is made of solid stainless steel, welded from 28 winding pieces. In traditional Omani culture, frankincense was used to bless and welcome travelers after their long journeys. In that same tradition, guests are then ushered into the inviting Living Room (W’s signature take on the lobby) where they can relax and unwind in an Arabic Majlis, beneath an oversized installation of the Omani Kummas, chic headgears that are unmistakable marks of the Omani attire. Whether looking for a re-energizing iced tea or a cocktail, The Living Room is the perfect venue to see and be seen.

All of the 279 guestrooms and suites at W Muscat provide uninterrupted views of the sea. Asymmetrical corridors across the floors bring commissioned holographic artworks depicting a female perspective of power, love, peace and beauty.

Designed for an extra spacious and edgy stay is the EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) featuring subtle Arabic characteristics with a distinctive W edge. The corner Majlis seating showcases a Zanzibar-inspired print set against a table set for Arabic coffee or Qahwa. The ceiling features tilted white paneling, evoking the intimacy of relaxing inside a tent. A saddle-like leather chair, bold mustard yellow stool, and faux fur wall are inspired by horse or camelback travel. Stacked luggage trunks comprise the MIXBAR (the W spin on the minibar) while a trunk closet lined with exotic silk links back to the narrative of the nomad.

An enormous beachfront pool offers views of the Gulf of Oman and forms part of the W brand’s iconic WET experience. Here, guests can swim, soak up the sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is now the hottest place to cool off, take a dip, make a splash, and glow in Muscat.

The W’s AWAY Spa offers 10 treatment rooms, a steam room, a hammam and a couples’ treatment room. The design is inspired by the ancient ritual of stargazing where guests are enveloped under a bejeweled night sky with the intimacy of cave-like comfort. Guests can sweat it out at FIT which brings sea views, state-of-the-art equipment and some unique takes on fitness.  

Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar brings culinary prowess and inventive mixology to the rooftop restaurant and lounge. Overlooking the sweeping coastline of Shatti Al Qurum, the space interlocks both indoor and outdoor spaces for active relaxation. A rooftop infinity pool invites guests to enjoy the surroundings with a cocktail at the swim up bar.  Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar transforms from a daytime respite for lounging and relaxing to a scene-setting hotspot when the sun goes down.

Other dining venues include Harvest, which offers greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is designed using locally sourced produce and rotating specialties including an exclusive coffee roasted locally in Oman. The restaurant is sprinkled with silver beads inspired by the trade of pearl fishing. Char, as the name suggests, is a welcomed grill house where everything and anything meets the flame. Décor hints of an Omani Dhow with tug rope lighting adorning the ceiling and wall-side signal beams. Evocative of 1930s Shanghai, Ba Ban fuses Chinese aesthetics and modern eastern style. The menu transforms dishes from the kitchens of China, capturing the spirit of Shanghai from pre-revolution to modern times in dishes such as Peking Duck, dim-sum bar and egg tarts.

“Muscat is a fascinating and exciting city. Its cultural DNA honors millennia of tradition while looking to what’s new and next – an ideal match for the W brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Muscat marks a new chapter for both the brand and this buzzing metropolis. The hotel reinterprets Omani design and cultural traditions to create a modern, energetic and stylish Escape unlike anything the sultanate has seen before.”

The W brand was born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City and now some 50 hotels worldwide.