Modern Luxury on the Gulf
When it came to selecting a hotel from their list of approved places to stay, I worked with a woman at A&K who had gone to Oman and checked out the hotels personally. That really helped in the selection. I went with the Chedi in Muscat, even though it did not have the ornate Arab look and feel that I had preferred. It had a look of clean and modern, the pools looked beautiful, and the price was right. Our other choice had recently gone under renovations, which made our choice for us, but in the end our bed was clean and comfortable, and they had the best shower that I had ever experienced, maybe even the best on the planet.
We made the mistake, however, of going to the buffet for dinner the first night because we thought it would be cheaper than the high prices in the main restaurant. I had read a recent review of the main restaurant that was not favorable, and the side cafe with the buffet served Arab food which is one of the reasons we were there. I have to admit, the buffet, at $158 for two people (including a water and a diet soda), was not worth it. I have to give it two thumbs down. The main buffet had a few vegetables sitting on lettuce, rice, and nothing more I can recall. The desert buffet was basically trimmings from a fruit basket, and one small dish of pastries that were about the size of my thumb (no, you can't take the whole plate). The fresh cooked bread was fantastic, but hardly worth the $75-$80 we paid for it. You can get a shish-kabob which consisted of one small piece of fish. My favorite part was the tomato garnish. Rather than going through that every night, we picked up fast food on the way back, which sounds really lame, but we basically spent most of our diner budget the first night.
What they lacked in dinner, they more than made up for in breakfast. The breakfast buffet was fantastic. I made sure we piled it on as we do on any trip as we never know when we will be eating next. Though our driver always had waters and bananas and anything we needed in the vehicle for us, he was probably not going to have quiche and an omelette. We at out at pool side and looked at the Persian Gulf while my iPhone completed charging up in our room on the most complicated of adapter on adapter setups I could imagine. I cold not live without it or my currency converter.
We did write up our feedback on a card at the end about the dinner buffet and we did get an email thanking us for enjoying our stay at the Chedi, so we at least know they read the feedback cards from the rooms as far as the addresses go. Overall, the staff was very nice, the beach was not exactly what I expected, which could be typical of the whole coast - a bit pebble-ish, and the nightlife consisted of sitting out and sipping cocktails. We don't drink but it might be exactly what you are looking for. It is a distance from shopping and dining, so very quiet. The shower was the best I ever had on the planet - it was amazing beyond words - and worth every dollar we spent per night.