Our Family Friendly Holiday In Oman
We spent 4 nights on a beautiful family friendly holiday in Oman. With our brand new family of five, we flew to Dubai for two weeks, with a 4 day family holiday in Oman with our friends we were visiting. Oman is an absolutely gorgeous country full of natural beauty with incredible sunrises, sunsets, dolphins, fish, rocky mountains, and sand dunes.
I have heard so many amazing things about Oman in the past couple years so I had set my expectations high. Also, after going to a few really amazing kinderhotels now, we are a bit spoiled when it comes to family friendly amenities like kid’s clubs, kid friendly activities, and sports for the kids to do while on holiday. So I had really built up our amazing family friendly holiday in Oman before we even arrived. Oman was absolutely incredible, but I would do a few things differently next time, mainly researching our location and accommodation more closely.
Getting To Oman
We drove our friend’s car from Dubai to Musandam which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive. There was about a 30 minute stop at the border on the way to Oman, but it was very short and fast on the way back to the UAE leaving Oman.
Crossing The Border
I was born and raised quite close to the United States and Canadian border. Over the years the border has changed a bit, but usually you drive your car to a person and they either checked your driver’s liscense or your passport and you continue on your way. And now that we live in Europe, we easily drive through the country borders all the time and there are no people manning the crossing or checking documentation.
But driving from UAE to Oman was different, but straightforward. We got out of the car on the UAE side and filled out paperwork and had our visas and passports checked. Then we got back in the car and drove over the border and got back out of the car on the Oman side and did the paperwork and document checking again. Same on the way back to UAE. Obviously every country has their own rules for who can come and go. It’s just interesting to see many different ways for this process from the USA and Canada, EU and Switzerland, and now UAE and Oman.
OK, so for some reason I thought our hotel would be on a sandy beach in Oman. I know, I should fully research and look at all the photos and not set myself up to be disappointed. Our hotel was not on the beach. Also, our hotel did not serve alcohol. Not a bit deal at all as the sister hotel did serve alcohol, so we went there on New Year’s Day and shared a bottle of wine.
Also, the kid’s club was not what I expected. When my girls are fully excited and into kid’s club activities, it makes me happy and makes me more relaxed. Even though the girls swam nearly the entire day at this hotel, that’s really all they did. I wish there would have been another activity geared towards all the children at the hotel.
Family Friendly Hotel Rooms
This was our first time staying in a hotel as a family of five. I’ve heard it’s hard to find nice hotel rooms for families of five without having to get two separate rooms. The best thing about our hotel was the enormous size of the rooms (we booked a duplex with balcony). I would say it was more like an enormous apartment than a hotel room. It was two floors with a balcony on each floor. The first floor balcony was large enough for us to all eat dinner out there every night with our friends. There was a grocery store next to the hotel and we got their Indian take away each night! It was so good! The second floor balcony was big enough to fit 30 people practicing yoga with a complete river, mountain, sunrise and sunset view. It was quite incredible.
The apartment (it is too big to call a hotel room) was a full kitchen, bathroom and living room on the first floor. There was only one large bed upstairs for my husband and I, so we got 2 rollaway beds for the girls to use downstairs. The baby slept in between us since our bed was so big, but the hotel also had plenty of baby cots. The hotel is very nice and new with gorgeous dark wood, enormous rooms, huge balconies, huge bathrooms, and plenty of room for a big family.
The kids club was not what I expected. And here’s where I sound like a crazy person who has been to too many amazing kinderhotels (if I didn’t sound crazy already). The kids club has a pool, a slide, and outdoor and indoor space to play. But unlike the other kinderhotels we’ve been to, there was no one there with activities and watching the children. It was a space for children, which was great, I just expected more of a kid’s club type idea.
The pool was an infinity pool looking over the river and the mountains. There were lounge chairs and it was never really crowded. It is winter after all and maybe even though we thought it was hot out, it was in fact some people’s winter. Our kids spent all their time swimming in the pool.
The highlight of our trip to Oman was the Dhow Cruise. If you only do one thing in Oman, let it be a full day Dhow Cruise. We organized the cruise easily through our hotel’s front desk. The organizer came to our hotel and we followed him in our cars to the harbor to set off on our cruise. We chose the full day cruise (9am-4pm) which was absolutely fantastic. The kids were not bored once!
The cruise had everything included for snorkeling like life jackets, face masks, and snorkel for the kids and the adults. The kids watched the dolphins swimming next to the boat and snorkeled in the water. The water was a gorgeous shade of blue against the rocky mountains. I’ve never seen a part of the world like Oman. They also served a nice traditional lunch, coffee, and soft drinks.
I would highly recommend this cruise if you get anywhere near Oman. It’s absolutely beautiful. As we were doing the cruise I was wondering if we should just book another whole day as it was so gorgeous and relaxing. I think most of the kids fell asleep at some point along the cruise after excitedly spotting dolphins and swimming with the fish.
The next time we visit our friends in Dubai (I’m hoping we can be so lucky to visit them again…) I would like us all to drive the 4+ hours to Muscat to get a better look at beautiful Oman. Our Swiss flight from Zürich to Dubai was continuing on to Muscat, so I know that it’s a huge tourist destination from Zürich. I have friends who swear by this resort. I would like to stay there next time, or something similar. Something with a bit more going on for a fun family vacation.
I would recommend staying only 2-3 days in Oman unless you are staying in a full on resort (or in Muscat) with a lot of water and beach activities. The hotel and location we stayed at is good for 2-3 days, not the 5 nights we booked. We ended up leaving a day early as it was just too long in the same place. Our hotel was great, but with just a pool and a giant hotel room, there wasn’t much to do besides relax (and I’m not the best with relaxing).
Have you been to Oman? We would love to go back!