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“Gorgeous location but doesn't meet potential” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah

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Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah
Ranked #6 of 18 Hotels in Salalah
Certificate of Excellence
Kuwait
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Gorgeous location but doesn't meet potential”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

I have just returned from 5 nights at the Crowne Plaza resort in Salalah, Oman with my husband. It was not our first stay there as we previously spent a similar amount of time in one of their villas just over two years ago. Being our second visit, I can give a review that I am confident is pretty accurate. The hotel has a lot of promise and potential, but on the whole falls down on customer service and other easily rectified issues.

On this particular occasion, as it was just the two of us, we decided to book a junior suite on a half board basis. I booked through the priority rewards site, which was very simple and straightforward.

On arrival at Salalah airport the hotel bus met us. The ten-minute drive gives a glimpse of Salalah. On checking in, we were informed that our room was not yet available. That was not as issue as we had arrived before the official checking in time. Fortunately we were able to proceed with the checking in process and the girl who served us was polite enough. It would have been nice if there were complimentary refreshments on arrival or while waiting. We were however pleased to be shown to our room shortly before it was scheduled to be available.

Having visited the hotel before, thus being familiar with the hotel facilities, we were dismayed to learn that the designated restaurant for our evening meals was the Darbat restaurant where breakfast is also served (it is quite frankly a cafeteria, not a restaurant) and not the Dolphin restaurant outside, which has far more atmosphere. We asked if it would be possible to change the designated restaurant, which was refused, so we consequently asked if we could amend our booking to be bed and breakfast only, to enable us to eat at the other restaurant, but were told no as we had booked on line and not directly with the hotel. I thought that this was rather inflexible. It would have been helpful if the designated restaurant had been named on the web site at the time of booking. If the atmosphere and quality of your evening meal is important to you, I strongly recommend that you do not book half board.

We were eventually shown to our room. Having previously stayed in one of the hotel villas, which at that time was dirty and very run down, we weren’t sure what to expect from the junior suite, although hoped that it would be worth the extra money. We were however pleasantly surprised. The room was bright, large and with balcony and sea view. There were plenty of complimentary toiletries and slippers and bathrobes. The minibar was relatively well stocked to start with, although it was only (partially) restocked once. On other occasions we had to resort to room service, as used items had not been put back in the minibar. Room service was also rather slow considering it was only items such as cans of cola that we were ordering.

Other gripes involving the room are: there was no extractor fan in the bathroom; the turn down service was only done on one evening (either do it all the time or not at all!) and our daily paper (supposedly complimentary to priority card members) was only delivered on one occasion, and it was in Arabic.

The main issue that I had with the hotel during our stay was the service and dining facilities. The buffet style breakfast was served in the Darbat restaurant, which as I said earlier is more of a cafeteria. There is a wide selection of food, ranging from cereal to cheese, but unlike the Crowne Plaza in Muscat, there are no pork products. The cooked food is adequate: the best being items from the egg station, which are freshly prepared to order. There are one or two disinterested and unresponsive members of staff who serve the tea or coffee for time to time.

We ate lunch at the open air Dolphin restaurant, which overlooks the sandy beach. There is double the number of staff here, which during our visit took them to an average of about 3 tables to wait on per staff member. With such low customer / staff ratios, you would expect a high quality of service, however the waiters spent more time chatting amongst themselves than attending tables. The service was incredibly slow and orders were incorrect. As with the Darbat restaurant, we were not made to feel welcome in any way. The traditional meals, such as shish taouk, which should have been spot on, were passable; but nothing to rave about. The pizza was really nice however, and possibly the best value item on the menu.

Bearing in mind that my husband and I were on a romantic getaway, the evening meal was an important part of our holiday. Having initially been disappointed to learn that we would not be able to eat at the Dolphin restaurant, we nevertheless decided to make the most of it and sit on the balcony of the Darbat restaurant, which overlooks the floodlit pools, lawned areas and palm trees. Unfortunately, when we arrived we were told that we would not be able to sit outside since we did not have a reservation (this perhaps could have been recommended by the check in clerk when we had the conversation about restaurants earlier? Or perhaps she could have gone a step further and offered to make a reservation on our behalf). The frustrating thing was that there were in fact tables available, which remained the case until the point at which we had finished our meal. The way that the reservation system appears to work is that the table is kept reserved until the point at which the customer arrives. So even if a table is not booked until 8:30pm, you would not be able to arrive at say 6:45 and use the table until the time at which it is reserved. Needless to say we made sure to make reservations for the subsequent evenings, although on two occasions, having made the request on our departure from the previous evening, the reservation was not actually written down by the staff, which caused minor problems when we arrived the following night. On one occasion as we ate outside a gentleman made the mistake of sitting at a free table without a reservation, so he was duly turned away. As we were the only other customers at an outside table and the gentleman was accompanied by his young family so it was unlikely that they would be there for too long, this seemed ludicrous. Surely some common sense should have prevailed?

Internally the Darbat restaurant was not atmospheric in any way. The lighting was very bright and there were no tablecloths or candles on the inside tables. The food each evening was supposed to follow a particular theme, although it was hard to tell this from the food on display. The food quality was just about passable, and not once were we approached during the course of any of our meals by any of the waiters to ask how it was and if we would like more drinks. In fact more often than not we had to approach the staff ourselves to order drinks as they did not seem concerned with what was going on at individual tables.

We did make use of the pool bar on two occasions. It is a nice feature, and the barman was pleasant. However, the range of cocktails at the pool bar is severely limited compared to what you can get at the Dolphin restaurant, and they are also more expensive, which was surprising.

In summary, the location of this hotel is fabulous. The beach is lovely and each day the dolphins swim up and down the bay. There is a choice of restaurants, but the food is average and on the whole the service is terrible. There are a limited number of activities. However, although diving is advertised, it does not take place locally; you are driven an hour up the coast to where the Marriott is. We had an amazing holiday despite the shortcomings of the hotel, and urge the Crowne Plaza to review the areas where they could improve the stay for their guests.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank samdoha3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GV123, Management Team at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, responded to this review, 17 March 2012
Dear Sam,

Thank you for taking the time and efforts to convey your comments regarding your recent experience with us. Your willingness to share your thoughts with us is genuinely appreciated and at the same time we regret any unpleasant experience that you have enountered.

We assure you that the Management team here has taken immediate actions to identify what was the root cause for this situation and ensure that your feedback does not reflect the usual Crowne Plaza standards of service, which is also evident in some of our very positive guest comments.

We have reviewed your comments very seriously and see it as an opportunity for us to improve our services. I have written a seperate email to yourself ensuring you on this.

Thank you once again for taking the time to share your experience, and all of us here sincerely hope that you will give us another opportunity to welcome you again to Crowne Plaza Salalah in the near future.

Kind Regards,

George Verghese
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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643 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
Date | Rating
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English first
Salalah, Oman
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Nice place and view . Good service from all staff .

Wish them all the best

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sindbad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GV123, Management Team at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, responded to this review, 17 March 2012
Dear Guest,

We thank you for the lovely feedback that you have written on this review about Dolphin. Dolphin is definatley our best restaurant and without doubdt the most popular restaurant in Salalah.

We look forward to having you regularly to experience Dolphin as well as some of our other facilites.

Kind Regards,

George Verghese
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aichach
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Stayed 8 nights (Feb 2012) for a vacation together with friends. Friends had rooms the unquiet rooms over the A/C infrastructure. We had the rooms with Sea- Garden View on the West side - very nice rooms. Swimmingpools and Garden are beautiful, animation partially with loud music. Professional staff, sometimes a bit slow, the dinner on the beach site fantastic, the quality of the food should be improved partially. Perhaps a next trip.

Room Tip: rooms with balcony located to A/C and kitchen infrastructure - unquiet, better rooms on the south w...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GV123, Management Team at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, responded to this review, 17 March 2012
Dear Michael,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay with us. We are pleased to note that there were many positive aspects to your stay, in particular the rooms, the pools the garden and most importantly you found our team to be professional.

We have discussed on your review and taken down notes on the areas of improvement that you have brought forward.

I assure you that currently this points are being addressed and we are working together to improve on this, in the mean time I take this opportunity to thank you for your constructive feedback and look foward to welcome you back to Crowne Plaza Salalah.

Kind Regards,

George Verghese
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muscat, Oman
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

I have just spent another wonderful weekend in the CP at Salalah and I am so pleased for the team there with the award for best hotel in Oman. They are an excellent team from top to bottom who are devoted to making your stay as pleasant as possible and are always found with a smile on their face. Looking forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alanclarkoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GV123, Management Team at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, responded to this review, 17 March 2012
Dear Alan,

Thank you for taking the time write this wonderfull review!

We are alwaysdelighted to receive praise and acknowledgment of such a positive nature. It is truly rewarding when a guest recognizes our staff’s efforts and takes the time to say thank you.

Your comments will be shared with our entire team, and yes Thank you for the wishes on us "Winning the Leading Hotel of Oman" award at the prestigious World Travel Award.
This definately makes us proud.

Once again Thank you for taking the the time to share your experience, and all of us here look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back to Crowne Plaza Salalah.

George Verghese
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RIYADH
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

stayed here for 5 nights in last summer (Jul 2011) for a family vacation, We have been upgraded to Sea View Room (Indian Ocean) upon arrival.
It is a beautiful resort & amazing view of the beach, Rooms were nice, and staff is also friendly, the service was great.

Room Tip: Sea View Room
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ALSHAYE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GV123, Management Team at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, responded to this review, 17 March 2012
Dear Guest,

We appreciate you taking the time to write your comments. It is our constant endeavor to provide the best of services and hospitality to our valued guests.

We are glad that you and your family enjoyed the facilites of the Hotel during your stay last year and look forward to welcome you back to Crowne Plaza Salalah this year too, during the marvellous khareef weather.

Kind Regards,

George Verghese
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah

Property: Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah
Address: Al Khandaq St, Salalah 211, Oman
Phone Number:
Region: Oman > Dhofar Governorate > Salalah
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Salalah
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Salalah
#6 Luxury Hotel in Salalah
Price range (per night): $202 - $455
Hotel Class:5 star — Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah 5*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah is situated in 45 acres of lush tropical garden, overlooking the Indian Ocean and on a long stretch of pristine white sandy beach. The resort enjoys an ideal location for Business Traveler's, Meeting & Events and for Families. Just 10 minutes drive from the Salalah International Airport, 8 minutes from the city center and 15 minutes from the Port of Salalah. All 153 rooms including 9 suites and the 19 three-bedroom family villas are stylishly well appointed and equipped with private bathroom, radio, International direct dial telephone, voice mail, interactive television including satellite channels, and mini-fridge. The Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah boasts of the only 'Green' 9 hole Par 3 Golf Course in Oman. The THREE meeting rooms at the Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah are tailored to meet the ever-changing requirements of the discerning travelers and meeting communities alike. The ballroom is equipped and caters to any social or business event, such as gala dinner, wedding, cocktails, meetings, seminars and conferences, product launches and more... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah Hotel Salalah
Crowne Plaza Salalah
Crowne Plaza Hotel Salalah

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