Review: Alila Hinu Bay, Oman

Review: Alila Hinu Bay, Oman

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NAME: Alila Hinu Bay
LOCATION: Salalah, Oman
DATE: February 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Alila Hinu Bay is a gorgeous property with friendly service, amazing food, and a relaxing vibe. However, if you're not looking to relax, you might get bored here.
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EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Hyatt Privé benefits, including a room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more, when booking a cash stay? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

Our first stop in Oman was at Alila Hinu Bay, where we spent four(ish) nights. Alila Hinu Bay only opened in 2021, and I haven’t seen too many reviews of it yet, so I was curious to check it out. Let me say upfront that I loved this property, though did get a bit bored after a couple of days. I’m also not exactly sure what the market for this hotel is supposed to be.

There are so many things I adored about Alila Hinu Bay — a sprawling property, exceptionally friendly staff, amazing Southeast Asian cuisine, and a relaxing vibe. On top of that, the resort was eerily empty, and I’d guess occupancy remained well under 10% for the entirety of our stay.

The only catch? Most of us really have to go out of our way to visit this place, and I’m not sure this area is worth making that much of a trek for. Anyway, let’s get into the review…

How we booked our stay at Alila Hinu Bay

We paid cash for our stay at Alila Hinu Bay through the Hyatt Privé program, and specifically decided to book a premium room category. We decided to book a pool villa for 180OMR (~$467), but then Hyatt Privé had a fourth night free offer, bringing down the average nightly cost to $350 per night.

Hyatt Privé rates cost the same as standard flexible rates (not member rates, advance purchase rates, AAA rates, etc.), and include the following additional perks:

  • Daily full breakfast for two in the hotel’s restaurant
  • A $100 property credit per room per stay
  • A one category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking (room-to-room or suite-to-suite) — based on availability at the time of booking
  • Early check-in (as early as 9AM) and late check-out (as late as 4PM), subject to availability
  • A welcome gift and letter

We were able to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking to the hotel’s most premium room category, which is the deluxe pool villa. Frustratingly Alila Hinu Bay doesn’t accept Globalist suite upgrade awards, so there’s no way to use those to confirm a more premium room. However, this hotel does seem to take great care of Globalist members, so others may have luck with complimentary upgrades.

Across the board, premium Hyatt properties are generally best booked through the Hyatt Privé program. Ford is happy to help with these requests, and can be reached at [email protected]

Redeeming points at Alila Hinu Bay

While we paid cash for our stay, Alila Hinu Bay is a Category 5 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night redemption costs the following number of points:

  • 17,000-23,000 points in a standard room
  • 29,000-35,000 points in a standard suite
  • 34,000-46,000 points in a premium suite

Based on current rates at this property, I thought paying cash represented the best value, especially as I’m trying to lock in lifetime Globalist status. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, and standard rooms here were around $250 per night, so paying cash was the better deal.

Even if you’re not a Hyatt loyalist, earning World of Hyatt points can be pretty easy. In addition to being able to earn World of Hyatt points with the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card (review), you can also transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

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  • Complimentary Discoverist Status
  • $95
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  • 2x points on travel purchases
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  • 3x points on Dining
  • $300 Travel Credit
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Alila Hinu Bay location

Alila Hinu Bay is located on the coast in the southwest of Oman, near the country’s border with Yemen (don’t worry, the area is very safe). The hotel is located around a 70 minute drive from Salalah International Airport (SLL), which has direct flights to Muscat, as well as other short haul international destinations in the region.

We decided to rent a car while in Salalah, and found driving to be easy — the road quality is excellent, the roads aren’t congested, and driving is fairly civil (there are speed cameras everywhere, so make sure you stick to the speed limit).

The closest town to Alila Hinu Bay is Mirbat, and that’s maybe 10 minutes by car from the hotel. I’ll talk more about that in a bit. But in general Alila Hinu Bay is truly in the middle of nowhere, and extremely remote. I have to say, driving to the hotel at around 4:30AM after some long flights was quite an adventure, especially given the lack of street lights for much of the journey.

Road to Alila Hinu Bay

Alila Hinu Bay lobby, layout, & check-in

We arrived at Alila Hinu Bay before 6AM, so obviously it was the night shift still working. Nonetheless we were quickly assisted by a front desk agent and bellman. The hotel has complimentary parking, and you can either park yourself, or have the hotel staff do it for you.

Alila Hinu Bay might just be the biggest hotel I’ve ever stayed at in terms of the size of the property. The hotel only has 112 rooms (spread across dozens of buildings), but I can’t even say how huge this property is. You could easily walk miles per day without leaving the property.

The lobby of the hotel is just near the entrance, and sits at the highest point of the property.

Alila Hinu Bay exterior

This is where reception is located.

Alila Hinu Bay reception

There’s also plenty of seating here, and there’s a little lobby bar area, with coffee, tea, and sweets. There was indoor seating, as well as a beautiful outdoor terrace, which had incredible views of the resort, especially at sunset.

Alila Hinu Bay lobby
Alila Hinu Bay lobby seating
Alila Hinu Bay lobby seating
Alila Hinu Bay lobby terrace
Alila Hinu Bay lobby terrace
Alila Hinu Bay lobby terrace view
Alila Hinu Bay at sunset

The amount of effort that went into the architecture of this place is impressive.

Alila Hinu Bay hallway from reception
Alila Hinu Bay architecture

For the most part the hotel feels like it’s fully done, but then there are some areas that feel like an afterthought. For example, there’s an area for a gift shop that’s totally empty, and then there’s something described as a “guest waiting lounge,” which just has a U-shaped couch, and then some awkwardly placed chairs and coffee tables.

Alila Hinu Bay lobby room

Our check-in process was efficient, and within a few minutes we were on our way to our accommodation.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa

We were assigned room 111, one of the property’s four deluxe pool villas. While we were driven to our room by golf cart (with luggage), otherwise we always walked. Ford managed to get his 12,500 daily steps in with virtually no effort here. The below pictures might give you a sense of how huge this property is (and this is only a small part of the hotel).

Alila Hinu Bay walkway

I’ve seen some people mention that the property almost looks like a construction zone, and plants haven’t fully grown in yet. I can see that, though frankly I thought there was a certain charm to the ruggedness. For example, I love Los Cabos, and the general “desert meets see” landscape. That’s exactly what this is.

Alila Hinu Bay walkway

The hotel’s four deluxe pool villas are all located in the same area, with two buildings each containing two villas.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa exterior
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa entrance

Deluxe pool villas are described as being 175 square meters (~1,880 square feet), though that presumably includes the outdoor space. I’d say the interior space was maybe a little more than half of that.

The room featured an entryway leading into the living room.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa entryway

You could host quite a party in the living room in terms of the amount of seating — there was a long bench by the window, and then two sofas, along with a TV.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa living area
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa living area
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa living area

The minibar area was over near the entrance, and had a Nespresso coffee machine, kettle, and mini-fridge.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa minibar area

While the mini-fridge was initially empty, we were asked if we wanted the minibar stocked. Here’s what that looked like.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa minibar

When booking through Hyatt Privé you get a welcome amenity, and we got a lovely one, consisting of a charcuterie plate, a fruit plate, some sweets, and some fresh juice. This hotel also seems to take great care of Globalists (I’m guessing they don’t get many Globalist members here).

Alila Hinu Bay welcome amenity
Alila Hinu Bay welcome amenity

On the other side of a wall was the room’s bedroom, which featured a comfortable king size bed, plus a vanity with a mirror.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa bedroom
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa bedroom

The bathroom was behind the bedroom, and featured double sinks, a partitioned off toilet, and a huge walk-in double shower.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa bathroom
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa toilet
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa shower

Toiletries were in reusable containers.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa toiletries

There was even an outdoor bathtub that was walled in, right near the shower.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa outdoor bathtub

The most impressive part of the villa was the gorgeous outdoor space, which featured a pool, two lounge chairs, and then a little covered area with a couch. We arrived at the hotel right around sunrise, so what a treat the view was!

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa outdoor area & pool
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa outdoor area & pool

The only difference between the villas at this property is the view. The deluxe pool villas have the benefit of having “direct beach access,” but don’t expect a traditional beach. The below gives you a sense of the view from our room.

Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa outdoor area & pool
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa view
Alila Hinu Bay deluxe pool villa view

Wi-Fi in the room was fast and free. Furthermore, our room was refreshed twice a day, and on top of that each night we were brought a different sweet treat in the evening. I can’t say enough good things about all the staff at this hotel, and that includes the housekeeping team.

Alila Hinu Bay nightly treats

Overall I thought the villa was great. I’m not necessarily sure it’s worth paying a premium for the deluxe pool villa, since I wonder how different the view really was. But still, overall I thought the value was pretty good. My only constructive feedback (which is hard to fix at this point) is that I wish the villa had a second half bath, as that’s always a nice feature.

Alila Hinu Bay pools & beach

Alila Hinu Bay has two pools. The primary pool is by Sea Salt Restaurant (which is the most popular place in the hotel), and this is a stunning infinity-edge pool. The hotel was deserted when we were there, so this almost felt like a private pool.

Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool seating

This pool also looks down on part of the beach. Personally I really wouldn’t view Alila Hinu Bay as a beach destination, as there are much prettier beaches elsewhere.

Alila Hinu Bay pool view

There was also a second pool closer to reception, which was a bit smaller but also very nice.

Alila Hinu Bay pool
Alila Hinu Bay pool

The hotel has quite a bit of coastline. I guess some would call it a beach, but if you’re coming here for a beach holiday, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Walkway to Alila Hinu Bay beach
Alila Hinu Bay beach

By the way, while we’re talking about pools and the beach, make sure you bring lots of sunscreen. The UV index was consistently 10-11 during the day — don’t be deceived just because it’s not that hot. Fortunately I’m married to someone who is obsessed with not getting burned, so we always used sunscreen. Meanwhile I felt like some of our fellow guests were lobster-colored by the end of their stays.

Alila Hinu Bay spa

Alila Hinu Bay has a spa in a standalone building, and it’s excellent. I’m not usually one to get spa treatments, as there are other things I’d typically prefer doing. However, the pace of life is a bit slower at Alila Hinu Bay, so we did get a couple of spa treatments.

You can find the spa menu here. During our stay they were running a 25% off promotion if you got a treatment before 3PM. For example, a 90 minute massage ordinarily costs 60OMR (~$156), but with the 25% discount cost 45OMR (~$116). I’d consider that to be pretty reasonable for an excellent treatment, especially when you consider that you can earn points for spa treatments.

Alila Hinu Bay spa exterior
Alila Hinu Bay spa

At the start of the treatment we were offered iced hibiscus tea, and at the conclusion of the treatment we were offered frankincense tea with homemade granola.

Alila Hinu Bay spa welcome drink
Alila Hinu Bay spa tea

The massages were very good, and the therapists couldn’t have been kinder.

Alila Hinu Bay spa treatment room
Alila Hinu Bay spa treatment room

As you’d expect, the spa area also has steam rooms, a small outdoor pool area, etc.

Alila Hinu Bay spa locker room
Alila Hinu Bay spa steam room
Alila Hinu Bay spa pool

Alila Hinu Bay gym

Alila Hinu Bay has a 24/7 gym. While not cutting edge, it featured a good amount of cardio and weight equipment, especially for a secluded resort. The staff did apologize that the gym wasn’t completely done yet, as they’re apparently still waiting on some equipment.

Alila Hinu Bay gym
Alila Hinu Bay gym
Alila Hinu Bay gym
Alila Hinu Bay gym
Alila Hinu Bay gym

Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant (breakfast)

Alila Hinu Bay has two restaurants — The Orchard Restaurant is located near reception, and serves breakfast, while Sea Salt Restaurant is at the main pool, and serves lunch and dinner. Let’s start with The Orchard Restaurant.

Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant

It’s nicely appointed, and has both plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant indoor seating
Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant indoor seating
Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant outdoor seating
Alila Hinu Bay The Orchard Restaurant outdoor seating

Breakfast was phenomenal. Portions were intentionally small, in order to encourage people to sample all kinds of things. You can find the menu below.

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast menu

Each morning we were offered an “eye opener,” plus coffee of choice.

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

There was also a selection of fresh juices, which we enjoyed.

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

A bread basket was also brought out each morning, containing everything from an olive spread, to a homemade chocolate and date spread, to local honey.

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

Over the course of our stay we tried quite a few things, including the fruit plate…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the homemade granola…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the shakshuka…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the Omani dango…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the eggplant fatteh…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the eggs benedict…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

And the french toast…

Alila Hinu Bay breakfast

Breakfast was a feast, and the staff were so attentive, and constantly encouraged us to order more.

Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant (lunch & dinner)

Sea Salt Restaurant is Alila Hinu Bay’s lunch and dinner restaurant, located by the main pool.

Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant exterior

It has an indoor dining area, an outdoor dining area, and then also a large outdoor bar area.

Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant indoor seating
Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant indoor seating
Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant outdoor seating

I thought the bar area in particular was nicely designed, and it was a great place from which to work.

Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant bar area
Alila Hinu Bay Sea Salt Restaurant bar area

A huge shout out to Yousef and Ukrash, two of the bartenders. These guys weren’t just friendly, but were very passionate about cocktails. We’re not just talking about them being good at making traditional cocktails, but rather they had their own twists on everything. I’ll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves, but the drinks here were a very pleasant surprise.

Alila Hinu Bay cocktails
Alila Hinu Bay cocktails
Alila Hinu Bay cocktails
Alila Hinu Bay cocktails

We were frequently offered banana chips with a delicious spicy chili sauce.

Alila Hinu Bay banana chips

As far as the food goes, Alila Hinu Bay has a Singaporean chef, and he’s incredible. The focus of Sea Salt is Southeast Asian cuisine, so you have everything from Thai dishes, to Singaporean dishes, to Indonesian dishes. And they’re all very well done. The catch is that there’s not much variety in terms of the food on property — this is the only restaurant open for lunch and dinner.

You can find the menu below (for context, 1 OMR is roughly 2.5 USD).

Alila Hinu Bay lunch & dinner menu
Alila Hinu Bay lunch & dinner menu
Alila Hinu Bay lunch & dinner menu
Alila Hinu Bay lunch & dinner menu

At the start of every meal there was some sort of an amuse bouche, which was quite substantial.

Alila Hinu Bay dinner amuse bouche
Alila Hinu Bay dinner amuse bouche

Over the course of our stay we tried quite a few of the dishes on the menu, including the smoked tofu and sprouts salad…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner appetizer

And the vegetable Tom Yum soup…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner appetizer

And the chicken satay…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner appetizer

And the shrimp with chili sauce…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner main course

And the Phad Kra Pao…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner main course

And the Kare Sayur…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner main course

And the Pad Thai…

Alila Hinu Bay dinner main course

What’s also nice is that the chef is more than happy to customize dishes, or even make something not on the menu. The chef frequently came out and checked on guests, and by our last night we asked if there was anything else he could prepare for us that wasn’t on the menu (since we had enjoyed most things already). He seemed excited by the challenge. He just asked us how many courses we wanted, and said to leave the rest to him.

He didn’t disappoint. He started us off with a delicious chicken mushroom dumpling soup. Yum.

Alila Hinu Bay special dinner

For the main we had a spicy beef dish.

Alila Hinu Bay special dinner

Then for dessert we had a coconut pistachio cake.

Alila Hinu Bay special dinner

The food at Alila Hinu Bay is phenomenal, and if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, you’ll love this place. The only catch is the lack of variety. Ford and I love Southeast Asian food, but ideally not for lunch and dinner several days in a row.

Alila Hinu Bay room service

One day we decided to order room service lunch, and you can find the room service menu here. We ordered an avocado fattoush salad, a falafel wrap, and a beef burger. We enjoyed all of these dishes, and it was nice to get some variety from the standard menu. I’d guess that they’d probably also let you order this stuff at the restaurant, though we never tried.

Alila Hinu Bay room service lunch

Alila Hinu Bay service

Across the board I can’t say enough good things about the staff at Alila Hinu Bay. We stayed at four hotels in Oman, and the service at Alila Hinu Bay was by far the best. Admittedly this was also by far the emptiest property we stayed at — at times we felt like we had the hotel to ourselves.

The staff at Alila Hinu Bay were not only attentive and friendly, but also had so much personality across the board. They showed genuine interest in guests having a great time. The staff were largely international (including from India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Philippines, etc.), and they all really seemed to enjoy their jobs. From talking to them they had mostly worked in other places in the Middle East, and many liked just how laid back this place was.

I also appreciated how hands on management was. The front office manager constantly checked on guests, as did the general manager. It was also a nice touch how the chef would constantly check on guests while dining, to see if they had any special requests.

What to do at Alila Hinu Bay

This is the aspect of Alila Hinu Bay that I’m conflicted about. Alila Hinu Bay is a relaxing property where you could easily just lounge by the pool, get spa treatments, and eat amazing food all day. But what is there to do off property?

The town of Mirbat is about a 10 minute drive away. The town has some history, given that the Battle of Mirbat took place here in 1972. The town will give you a taste for what smaller towns in Oman are like, and also has some nice coastal views, but otherwise I can’t say that I found it to be the most charming town. The town was still rather dilapidated, as it’s clear that a lot of stuff hasn’t been rebuilt from the unrest several decades ago.

Mirbat, Oman

The hotel does also offer a variety of experiences, which you can find here. For example, you can get amazing views from Jabal Samhan, or visit Wadi Darbat. These are things that are cool and perhaps worth seeing, but they paled in comparison to the experiences and views from Alila Jabal Akhdar, the other Alila property we stayed at in Oman.

So that’s the aspect of the property that leaves me most conflicted. It’s almost like someone decided they wanted to build a hotel here no matter what, and they’d figure out what guests should do after the fact.

Bottom line

I’m so happy I had the chance to check out Alila Hinu Bay, which is a property I’ve been eyeing since way before opening. There’s a lot we loved about Alila Hinu Bay, including the incredible service, amazing food, solid spa, and the amount of wide open spaces. The fact that the hotel was more or less empty didn’t hurt either.

At the same time, I struggle to answer the question of whether I recommend others visit, and whether I’d return. So a few thoughts along those lines:

  • This is definitely more of a place for people who have otherwise traveled a lot; in other words, if you’ve only ever visited a few countries, this property shouldn’t be at the top of your list
  • If you’re a World of Hyatt loyalist and are specifically seeking out good Hyatts, this is a property to consider
  • If you like good spas, great Southeast Asian food, and just chilling, you’ll love this place
  • I think there’s an element of “chicken or egg” here, in the sense that dining options are currently very limited, but presumably that’s also because occupancy is so low; I’d love to see them eventually open The Orchard as an all-day dining restaurant as well, ideally serving Omani cuisine

In conclusion, we enjoyed our stay at Alila Hinu Bay (for the first two days we loved the property, while for the last couple of days we enjoyed it but felt a bit bored). I’m not sure I need to return (simply because there are so many other places I still want to visit), but for some people I think this is a great property to consider.

What’s your take on Alila Hinu Bay — would you consider a visit?

Conversations (31)
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  1. Jamie Guest

    Ben. Wow what a thorough review. Is it just me or does the place look like something off a Bond film where the henchmen live before the finale.

  2. Rachel Guest

    Thanks for this - looking at booking a trip later this month

  3. Azamaraal Diamond

    In the fall of '04 we drove to Salalah from Abu Dhabi and stayed at the Hilton which I highly recommend. Not the same class but extremely comfortable. Driving was 1100 km of high hot desert and when arriving in Salalah the road drops to the coast and the temperature drops massively as the humidity rises. A veritable oasis in the desert.

    Salalah is a favourite destination in the summer for UAE residents to escape the heat if they don't go to the UK or Europe.

  4. Michael Barcelona Guest

    If you're in the area, you must visit Marneef Cave and Mughsail beach on the other side of Salalah, about an hour and half drive from Mirbat. Beautiful turquoise waters and incredible mountain-meets-sea landscape.

  5. Dan Guest

    I'm surprised there's no mention of the ridiculous amounts of noise caused by the pool's drainage system.

    It cuts off briefly and it's divinely peaceful and then cranks up again and sounds like there's a plane hovering overhead. Very unrelaxing.

    We're also in 111. Not a patch on Alila Uluwatu so far, but perhaps that's the "being taken over by a big brand" effect.

  6. Matrix.RX1 Guest

    I never knew OMR was the nominally strongest currency in the world!

    1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

      It’s not, that’ll be Bitcoin. Also, Kuwaiti Dinars are “nominally stronger” than Omani Rials

  7. Adam Guest

    The food looks amazing. The hotel looks a tad soulless.

  8. Ryan Guest

    Your observations mirror ours from a December visit. We also purchased outright and got the globalist upgrade to deluxe villa. About 5-10% full over Xmas. The place is mostly boring, walkways lead to dead ends and construction zones, the beach is alright but far, and the staff is still learning its way. Take for instance our tea time where the “tea sommelier” gave us a tea tasting and said the teas were all Julius Meinl...

    Your observations mirror ours from a December visit. We also purchased outright and got the globalist upgrade to deluxe villa. About 5-10% full over Xmas. The place is mostly boring, walkways lead to dead ends and construction zones, the beach is alright but far, and the staff is still learning its way. Take for instance our tea time where the “tea sommelier” gave us a tea tasting and said the teas were all Julius Meinl teas but were actually Dammam teas. The villa was the best part and I thought the resort should have done a lot more to offer frankincense type experiences. Made us wonder if we should’ve stayed at the Anantara closer in to Salalah.

  9. Gaurav Community Ambassador

    Ben--you had posted about trying to decide how to handle your early arrival, what option did you end up going with? Also typo in "desert and see" :)

  10. Andy Diamond

    @Ben, two questions:

    1. Salalah is know to have a relatively mild microclimate, with temparatures lower than elsewhere on the Arabian peninsula, in particular in summer. Of course, you visited in Winter, but did they tell you anything about the climate at Hinu Bay? Is it as mild as Salalah?
    2. Based on your report about your flight DOH-SLL, you arrived well after midnight. Did you stay in Salalah or head directly to Hinu Bay?

    1. Andy Diamond

      After reading the report again, question number 2 is answered. But I still wonder about question 1.

  11. Paul LoBo Guest

    On our way there now. I’ll let you know!

  12. Bob Guest

    Out of the way.
    Overpriced.
    Overpriced food that looks pretty lame
    Not all that luxurious, facilities look 4* at best.
    Bleak landscape bordering on ugly.

    Yeah shocker that there are no guests....

    1. Aaron Guest

      How does food look "lame"? It actually look appetizing.

  13. Jules Guest

    Great hotel review! Hope to see more OMAAT posts like this going forward.

  14. Jerry Diamond

    Beautiful. Out of the way. Not a lot to do. This kind of sounds to me like the Maldives. If you're not really in to snorkeling or diving, I don't see how this is any different. At least you don't have to pay for a $500 domestic flight, and you can go visit local towns if you so desire. Your review makes me want to go, but yeah, probably for 2 nights.

  15. miamiorbust Guest

    Much of the architecture looks very similar to Alila Uluwatu and, at least for me, would probably be the primary selling point of this hotel. Some of design elements are terrific and I suspect food is very good given it is an Alila property. Otherwise, not feeling it. If I want the similar aesthetic, Uluwatu is 1000x more interesting both in terms of setting and access to other things to do. If I was living...

    Much of the architecture looks very similar to Alila Uluwatu and, at least for me, would probably be the primary selling point of this hotel. Some of design elements are terrific and I suspect food is very good given it is an Alila property. Otherwise, not feeling it. If I want the similar aesthetic, Uluwatu is 1000x more interesting both in terms of setting and access to other things to do. If I was living in Saudi and needed some time away, this might work. As a destination if coming from anywhere outside ME, hard pass. Appreciate TPG2 flushing his money so I won't be tempted to do the same.

  16. Benedict Guest

    Long trip from NY but agree 100%. Just there for 3 nights. Driving daytime from airport, be very careful of camels on the highway!!! Staff is FANTASTIC!!! There could not have been more than 20 guests when we were there which was just fine by us. I would recommend the lagoon view (which includes lagoon and the mountains and maybe the sea) than the more pricey "sea view" (which is far from the sea and...

    Long trip from NY but agree 100%. Just there for 3 nights. Driving daytime from airport, be very careful of camels on the highway!!! Staff is FANTASTIC!!! There could not have been more than 20 guests when we were there which was just fine by us. I would recommend the lagoon view (which includes lagoon and the mountains and maybe the sea) than the more pricey "sea view" (which is far from the sea and has the walkway to the bay in front). Generous Globalist upgrade. Pool villa identical to deluxe buy deluxe view maybe better and more private. The bay beach was clean and delightfully private but they need a phone to call for service (or help). Didn't see the dolphins. Maybe after Kahreef season it will be a little more lush. Alcoholic drinks are pricey just like rest of Gulf countries. Really out of the way and suspect a tie in with the other Oman Alila will be needed.

    1. Azamaraal Diamond

      Camels at night in the desert are very difficult to see and when they come in through the windscreen you basically get mushed. In the UAE there are camel fences along most 4 lane highways but once off the beaten path you are on your own.

  17. mdande7 Gold

    Maybe if I found myself in Oman (which I would like to do). But can't see a special trip for it. Though the price you paid for that room would easily be double or triple in fancier locations.

  18. Never In Doubt Guest

    Out of the way, hard to get to.

    Bleak landscape.

    Little to do.

    Nice pool and good but monotonous food.

    Doesn’t sound like a formula for success.

  19. Creditcrunch Gold

    Thanks for the review, Oman is my favourite ME destination and will certainly put this resort on the list. I found it amusing following your blog on travelling as a gay couple that in your bedroom you had his and hers trilby hats.

  20. ArnoldB Guest

    Food looks good but frankly the property looks bland and boring. Just recently stayed at the Al Maha in Dubai which looks and felt 10x more alive and awesome than this, with plenty of proper vegetation in the resort, animals around everywhere and a more deserty desert with high dunes further out

  21. Torsten T Guest

    Thanks for sharing your review. We passed on staying at this ALILA last October despite being in love with the Jebel Akhbar property a couple of days piror - for the sole reason of its (very remote) location. And your report/pictures show that we took the right decision by staying in Salalah where the beaches are prettier and there is more to do. Did you visit the ruins of the old havor close by? Thought...

    Thanks for sharing your review. We passed on staying at this ALILA last October despite being in love with the Jebel Akhbar property a couple of days piror - for the sole reason of its (very remote) location. And your report/pictures show that we took the right decision by staying in Salalah where the beaches are prettier and there is more to do. Did you visit the ruins of the old havor close by? Thought it was an interesting site
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sumhuram+archaeological+gallery/@17.0398731,54.4635904,13z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x3dd3a601df0ea553:0xeee8aa921ed9a6fe!2sMirbat,+Oman!3b1!8m2!3d16.9930697!4d54.7027669!3m4!1s0x0:0x4008324237cc3c68!8m2!3d17.0405126!4d54.4372089

  22. KATA Member

    Interesting how Alila has developed into what it is today. It seems like they're making "Seasalt" as their signature restaurant, à la St Regis and its King Cole Bar, or with Aman and its Arva and Nama restaurants.

    Seasalt started as the restaurant at Bali's Alila Manggis (near Amankila, and formerly known as The Serai). Alila Seminyak (also in Bali) later opened in 2016 and got its own Seasalt restaurant.

  23. pstm91 Diamond

    Great review and Oman is very high on my list, so I'd probably add this as a stop for a few days thanks to this blog. I have to agree with the other comments though - this place must be hemorrhaging cash. Can't imagine it continues to operate that long into the future at this rate.

  24. Blue Guest

    Never mind. Should have read twice before posting.

  25. ryan Guest

    Great review as always, but man I'd be upset if I traveled that far to be that bored and eating SE Asian food. Also, how in the world does a property like this make any money? I don't get it.

    See you in the much more accessible Cabo, or Alilas in California, or SE Asia.

  26. Blue Guest

    @ben. Your exchange rate is off. It should read 10 usd equals 2.5 Rial.

    1. Jerry Diamond

      Check your math. 1.00 OMR is USD 2.60. Ben is right. The "O" of OMR can look like a zero making 6 look like 60.

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Gaurav Community Ambassador

Ben--you had posted about trying to decide how to handle your early arrival, what option did you end up going with? Also typo in "desert and see" :)

3
Aaron Guest

How does food look "lame"? It actually look appetizing.

1
Jerry Diamond

Check your math. 1.00 OMR is USD 2.60. Ben is right. The "O" of OMR can look like a zero making 6 look like 60.

1
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