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Spa of the Month: The Chedi Muscat, Oman

With her skin (and mind) in need of a springtime reset, Citizen Femme’s beauty editor, Becki Murray, checked in at The Chedi Muscat in Oman for March’s Spa of the Month.

Away from the well-known glitz and glamour of Dubai, the Persian Gulf is home to plenty of other five-star hotel resorts, many with equally-enticing spa and wellness centres.

Oman should be one of the first countries in the region on your list, with landscapes to wow you – from golden-sand beaches and deserts to mountains – as well as spectacular dining experiences, friendly locals, and a plethora of cultural opportunities.

A stay at The Chedi Muscat provides a spa-based cherry on top of all those experiences. On offer – the new Chedi Glow package; a three day wellness experience to maximise the rest, relaxation and radiance-boost you can achieve on your next Middle Eastern escape. Booking in here is as good for your mind as it is for your body.


The overall atmosphere of The Chedi’s five-star resort (Oman’s first contemporary beach hotel, opened in 2003) can be best described by the experience you have walking into the lobby – it is like entering an oasis of calm. The decor is designed to evoke a traditional Omani tent, where locals would take rest under the shade of a tree in the desert. That feeling of serenity – complete with authentic touches such as the Omani coffee welcome on arrival – never leaves you. As you’re escorted to your room, you wind past palm-fringed gardens and calming ponds, metres away from a sprawling beach and the energetic waves beyond.

The Chedi is also home to the iconic Long Pool which, at 103-metres, is the longest in the Middle East, plus two further pools – all of which makes choosing where to take a dip beautifully difficult. Alongside six eateries, including the award-winning seafood restaurant The Beach, and the sprawling Balinese spa that overlooks the water, this is the perfect setting for a spa break, a place focused on helping you achieve a happy lit-from-within-glow that extends far beyond your holiday.


At the far end of the resort, in an understated building next to the aforementioned iconic Long Pool, The Chedi spa is one of the largest in Muscat. Blending Eastern philosophy with Asian rituals, the commitment to holistic aromatherapy, Ayurveda and herbalism principles mean that every treatment – whether it’s a skin-soothing facial massage or reviving body polish – are designed to restore your mind, body and soul. The new Get The Glow package builds on those principles.

Designed as a way to recharge travel-weary visitors, the package includes two sessions of a rather unique Reviving Cupping Therapy, specifically designed to tackle jet lag and fluid retention. Inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this modified technique uses gentle glass cups applied to the body to generate tension-relieving pressure, maximising the soothing knot-releasing benefits of a hands-on massage. Coupled with the use of organic essential oils, dry brushing and a scalp massage, the aim is to give you a long-lasting glow. And it really works.

As part of the package, you also receive a Blood Orange and Shea Butter Body Balm treatment; 60 minutes that define the Omani wellness focus on maximising your body’s hydration from head-to-toe. That’s more than a little helpful for those of us (like me) who tend to see our skin turn dry and flaky from air conditioning and too much sun. An especially cocooning and indulgent treatment, the experience uses a combination of blood orange, walnut powder and natural skin brighteners to soften, smooth and brighten the skin. Then, you’re swaddled like a baby in a slightly odd but definitely nourishing shea butter balm wrap, leaving your skin more soft and smooth than you can imagine; perfect for thirsty skin types after a day in the sunshine.

Make sure you leave time after your treatments to unwind in the relaxation room too. Here you can laze in your cosy pink Chedi Muscat robe (available to buy at the hotel shop, because they are so popular), reclining on a lounger overlooking the sea with a cup of warming ginger tea in hand. After that, retire once more to your choice of three pools, all of which are gently heated (there’s no ‘it’s alright when you are in’ moment) and designed to further extend your relaxation with mind-calming black tiles, a signature of Omani architecture.

But the new wellness offering isn’t all about just lying back and relaxing – although there’s no pressure not to do just that. The hotel team here, especially the on-site personal trainer Pillay, have recognised a growing trend in wellbeing: the on-holiday fitness reset.

With our increasingly busy lives, holidays can be the first time in ages that we’ve thought about our personal wellness goals; Pillay and his team are using this package to support guests in that process. There’s no hardcore ‘get fit, quick’ focus either. Instead, you can take up the opportunity to enjoy sunrise yoga sessions on the beach, where your instructor eases you to stretch that little bit deeper, as well as private sessions in the gym with a certified trainer. And the gym is no ordinary hotel gym. Manned throughout its opening hours (6am to 9pm) you can always get tailored advice if you wish, and the space is incredibly well-stocked with Technogym treadmills, stationary bikes, kinesis (stretching) machines and Reformer Pilates equipment. So, whatever health and fitness goals you may have – including really none at all – you can leave feeling re-energised for your return to reality back home.


With views over the mountains or the beach, all 162 rooms and suites at the hotel are specifically designed to heighten the calming effect you first feel when you arrive. My recommendation, stay in a Chedi Club Suite if you can. In these rooms, it’s the little details that standout. From the uber-soft bedding and large sunken bath tub to the separate sitting room where housekeeping will leave traditional sweet treats out for you each day, there’s a focus on clean lines, calming dark woods and lots of space to unwind in. Sitting out on your personal terrace with a good book will never get old. Staying in one of these rooms gives you access to Club benefits too, which includes return airport transfers (so you can start your relaxation early), a complimentary minibar, daily laundry service and access to The Club Lounge where you can enjoy afternoon tea and cocktails as the sun goes down.


You’re spoilt for choice when dining at the Chedi, with a total of six eateries offering a full range of cuisines, including seafood and contemporary Asian dishes. Breakfast (and lunch should you wish) is served at The Restaurant. Here you can fill your plate, buffet-style, navigating a truly generous selection of Western, Asian and Middle Eastern fare, from four open kitchens, before settling down at a table on the patio overlooking one of the pools. If you visit for lunch, don’t miss the mixed Arabic grill featuring chicken, lamb kofta, arayes and hummus.

In fact, dining often comes with a water-side view. The Long Pool Cabana restaurant makes the most of the hotel’s iconic pool, complete with warming fire pits to illuminate it in the sometimes cooler evenings, but you’ll be suitably distracted from any chill by the quality of the Japanese sushi and sashimi on offer. The yellowtail sashimi and chicken yakitori are chef-recommended for a reason. In similar fashion, The Chedi Pool Cabana overlooks one of the other pools where salads and freshly-caught local fish are the highlights of the menu.

The Beach Restaurant is widely considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Oman; book in advance to enjoy oysters, lobster and seafood platters as well as hearty pasta dishes, with views across rolling sands. It’s a memory you won’t forget.


You can happily spend many a day simply wandering from pool to pool at The Chedi (with a few more spa treatments thrown in, of course), but outside the cocooning hotel compound, Muscat, the capital of Oman, is ready to be explored. You really shouldn’t miss it.

Our guide to Muscat provides a full itinerary for the region, and highlights include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (women need to cover their wrists, ankles and hair), home to some of the grandest chandeliers in the world; the Royal Opera House with its stunning organ; and the Amouage perfumery tour to capture the imaginations of lovers of traditional fragrance. There’s the buzzing Old Muscat souks where you can buy beautiful kaftans, fresh dates and fragrances as fitting souvenirs too (just be ready to haggle). And, if you eat at one restaurant outside the resort, make it Bait al Luban, a traditional Omani restaurant that serves a brilliant spinach and coconut curry and some of the best chickpea pakoras we’ve tasted.

A trip to Daymaniyat Island also comes highly recommended. Here, we snorkelled with baby turtles as they feasted on the busy reef, reclined on the warm sands for a beach picnic, and rode the waves on a speedboat, enjoying the best of the Omani sunshine and culture.

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