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Reviewed 6 April 2018

We have just returned from a 9 night stay in a Lagoon Pool Villa. I can't rate this hotel highly enough.
From the moment my family (2 adults, 7 and 4 yr old boys and 6 month old baby) arrived 'til literally the send off from reception staff, as we departed, we felt we were staying somewhere very special.

First off, you have to fly to Salalah which basically means flying Oman Air. This seems something of a roll of the dice as apparently 40% of bags go missing or are delayed. One of our bags was delayed by two days. However, the hotel stepped up and kept phoning to chase up where it was and went and collected it for us. So, the extra flight is a hassle but that absolutely shouldn't put you off visiting.
Our room was spacious, modern & exceptionally clean. The pool was wonderful as was the spacious outdoor seating. The bathroom shower opened out into the pool and there was another way out from the living room. All in all an extremely well planned layout which absorbed five of us easily. I don't really feel we made the most of the 'lagoon view' & mini beach though and whilst I can't remember the cost differential, we would probably opt next time for either a garden view or beach view. It is worth bearing in mind this hotel is still extremely new, so the standard of accommodation, grounds, buildings etc is extremely high and makes for a very pleasant environment to be in. The grounds are immaculate and wherever we went there was a noticeable presence of staff ensuring that the place was spotless.
We opted for half board, which is a must, as there is no other option than to eat in the hotel. Sakalan is the main restaurant and is a buffet with regular seafood/bbq/indian nights. For a buffet offering, it is the highest standard possible and the real kicker for my kids was the chocolate fountain.
Mekong is their asian fusion alternative. The buffet night there was exceptional. The general dining was good quality, but for us the other two restaurants were our preference, as this seemed perhaps a little too romantic for a family of five. There is a sundowner bar in Mekong where the uber expensive drinks are buy one get one free for an hour. Perhaps the hotel should introduce a happy hour to Al Mina as that would be a cool spot for sun-downers.
The pool restaurant is good for lunch and made a nice change from the other two restaurants in the evening, as it enabled us to eat by the water listening to a band. Again the food was of the highest quality.
The kids club is now a major consideration for any hotel choice for us and this one did not disappoint. The team of Golda, Suzie & Elizabeth were absolutely brilliant with our two boys. They kept our kids entertained for our whole visit with gusto, good spirit and genuine care. Whilst the facilities of the kids club are not on par with say The Atlantis in Dubai, the team were unquestionably brilliant. Our son Ned would ask to visit the kids club the moment he woke up every single day. Management at Anantara please take note that Golda, Suzie & Elizabeth need to be commended for creating such a wonderful environment that my children loved.
The main swimming pool is 44m long and surrounded by copious loungers. As a result even with the hotel at 90%, it still didn't really feel busy like some hotels can do. Again the staff are the real difference. Shouts go out to Shiva, Jones and Lawrence along with the rest of the team who provided those little extra touches that made our stay so special.
I would also mention Katarina (who danced with my four year at the drinks party literally made his day!), Tharanga who's only aim seemed to be to make sure we were all having a good time and finally Zeon who sorted out a minor issue when we arrived with charm and grace.
Ok, so what are the downsides/grumbles? To be honest, they are all minor but in an effort to answer the question I was asked a lot whilst there, 'how can we improve it?' Here you go:
Firstly, the provision of water is great as its a hot country and having it freely available was essential. But come on guys, all that plastic. There's too much plastic in the world already....
Secondly, I'm a Brit and I like a drink on holiday. I appreciate that there is 100% tax on alcohol in Oman but the prices are eye watering. I get that its all about making cash, but a bottle of wine that I can buy in the UK for £5 on the wine list at £50 is impressive only by its audacity. However, the positive of that is that we didn't drink too much. Consider that you would have probably made more money as people would drink more if it was even a little cheaper than it is.
Finally, the cost of the airport transfers was nearly more than the cost of the flight from Muscat to Salalah. Comparable hotels eg Zighy Bay offer complementary transfers and given the short distance from the airport I would contend that the hotel would do well to offer those guests staying over a certain number of days transfers as part of the package.
In short, you can see my gripes are small in relation to the overall good feeling I have about this hotel.
When comparing to the likes of Zighy Bay, high end hotels in Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Thailand and The Caribbean that we have been lucky enough to visit in recent times of similar cost and standard, I would say Anantara Al Baleed is the clear winner. The downside to this place is there is nothing really worth visiting outside the hotel, but when it is so good, there is no reason to leave! Without a doubt visit this place, you won't regret it.

Room Tip: Revel in the high standard of service!
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank hawkipa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Hewitson, General Manager at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2018

Dear Hawkipa,
What a comprehensive review, thank you very much for taking the time to share such a detailed and informative review. Very kind of you to mention the team members by name who impacted your stay so positively, they will all be recognised with our internal Anantara Dollars reward program.
I appreciate your constructive feedback too and I agree that we need to reduce the plastic consumption, we will start with paper straws very soon once they arrive and we are looking at the water bottling plants that we use in our Maldives properties to see how we can bring this to Oman. I understand your concern in regards to drinks prices, we are a little bit restricted due to the very high tax and we certainly don't make the best margins on alcoholic drinks either but we will continue to review our pricing each season.
Thank you to you and your family for coming to stay with us and we do hope to welcome you back in the future,
Kind regards,
James

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Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

We just finished a three night stay at Al Baleed, this time in a beach villa (selected one without pool). The privacy and quiet surroundings provided the perfect in-country spring holiday. Direct access to kilometers of beautiful white sand beach. Dining at Mekong was superb. Enjoyable evening music of light jazz at Al Mina. On top of the location and venues, the hotel service is top notch. With the new airports in Muscat and Salalah this will definitely be a prime location for the in-country and international visitor.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
Thank ExpatriateOman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Hewitson, General Manager at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2018

Dear ExpatriateOman,
Thank you for being a loyal Ambassador to Anantara and it was our pleasure to have you staying with us again. The beach villa is a great product and I am very glad that you experienced this and enjoyed the location and surroundings.
We look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.
Kind regards,
James

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Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

We had the best time at Al Baleed, I can’t recommend it enough. The staff was impeccable (I loved their uniforms by the way!), the food was incredible at all 3 of their restaurants. We were dying to get to breakfast every morning! The rooms are beautifully done and equipped, we felt like kings during our stay and only wished we could stay longer. There’s plenty to do inside and outside the hotel, the only thing you’ll find hard is leaving these beautiful premises. Sure, it’s expensive but you get what you pay for!

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank matnff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Hewitson, General Manager at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2018

Dear Matnff,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us on this forum and I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay. Salalah is a growing destination and I am very pleased that you enjoyed exploring inside and outside of the Resort.
We look forward to welcoming you back again soon,
Kind regards,
James

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

For my 29th Birthday, my boyfriend took me to Salalah,Oman and to the Anantara Resort. We had the most beautiful and memorable candlelight dinner on the beach while there. Benson and Francis were fabulous hosts to us. We enjoyed our Lebanese tasting menu more than you could imagine as well as all of the candles, flower petals, red carpet, tent set up and Chinese lanterns at the end of the night. It was very romantic. Our experience at Anantara was outstanding and unforgettable. The service and hospitality from each and every person at this luxury resort was most admirable and truly lovely. Anantara offered us an experience like no other and we will definitely be back :)

Room Tip: Definitely upgrade to a room with a private pool!
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jacqueline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_Hewitson, General Manager at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear Jacqueline S,
Thank you for choosing to spend your birthday with us this year and I am delighted that you had a memorable experience. Thank you also for your praise of Benson and Francis, great to have them on the team. Happy Birthday once again and we look forward to welcoming you back very soon.
Kind regards,
James

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Reviewed 2 April 2018

We have been going on travelling around, but in the last years I was a bit tired of writing for trip advisor. We saw beautiful resorts in Morocco, Maldives, Sansibar, Lodges in Tansania and South-Africa..also nice Boutique Hotels in France - we told our friends but not the communitiy .
But now it is time to mention a perfect stay in. Al Baleed. We loved the architecture of the resort., the infitinty pool, the huge clean and well kept beach, but most of all we loved thegood organisation, the service - the staff. The management does ist best to keep it in this high standard. Thank you, Abdullah! You told us, you worked in " Al Bustan" ( Muscat) when we were there - here you are responsible for a resort of the same class .
The food is great- you find speciaities from the asian and arabic cuisine as well as best seafood and barbecue. The waiters are friendly and try to find out, what you like best.. The recreation group helps you with the beach equipment - it is nice to talk to them - I want to mention especially Jones- we learned much about the situation in Ghana and could tell him our europen point of view.
A perfect day ends with the sundowner in front of the "Mekong " Restaurant , followed by a dinner outside.
We want to come back and bring our family - See you 2019

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ju3131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abdullah_AlHinai, Resident Manager at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear Ju3131,
Thank you for your staying with us and for taking the time to give us your valuable feedback.It was pleasure having you stay with us in Al Baleed Resort by Anantara.We glad you enjoyed our facilities and the service which was provided by the team.Please let me know your next visit to the resort and i will be more than happy to assist you with arrangement prior to your arrival.Thank you once again and e are looking forward to welcome you back very soon.
Wishing you and the family a Happy Easter.
Kind Regards,
Abdullah Al Hinai

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