Our Head of Product, Caroline, recently visited The Chedi in Muscat, Oman and new hotel Vakkaru in the Maldives and reports back that the two destinations make a great combination holiday.
Best of both worlds
A trip that combines both Oman and the Maldives does not seem an obvious mix, but I was surprised by how well they complemented each other. The glorious dose of culture and rugged mountain scenery of Oman is the perfect contrast to the Maldives lush paradise – and as they are less than a four-hour flight apart so it works so well. The properties visited below have a similar sense of style, a relaxed ambience and notably excellent service.
I began my journey in Oman, at classic hotel The Chedi. I’ve always loved its clean lines and minimalist design, plus the longest swimming pool in the Middle East which is ideal for working off those magnificent breakfasts! It’s a very spacious and calm hotel which mimics Oman’s low-rise sense of serenity. Everything is laid out with symmetry in mind, from the lines of palm trees to the carefully placed bowls of rose petals in the spa.
A hotel that consistently gets very good feedback from our clients is the stylish Alila Jabal Akhdar in the Hajar Mountains. Just a few hours from Muscat, Oman, this hotel is an easy add-on to your itinerary and a great chance to see more of Oman. The night skies here are simply amazing and by day it’s lovely to wander the mountain pathways, pomegranate orchards and terraced farmland – or simply soak in those incredible rugged views from your room.
Into The Blue
Flying onto the Maldives was surprisingly easy. It only took under 4 hours to get to the capital of the Maldives, Male. From here it’s a 25-minute seaplane to Vakkaru, an island gem located in the clear waters of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of the Baa Atoll. Personally, I think the Baa Atoll is the icing on the cake of the Maldives – it’s so much prettier than you could even imagine and I’m always awe-struck as the seaplane cruises above the islets of the atoll.
I’m always interested to see how each property in the Maldives is going to differentiate itself from the next. Vakkaru has a mix of over-water and beach villas plus suites – the latter has pools at the rear which gave them a more private feel. I loved the kids club, which is one of the largest I have seen, although the focus is on getting out and exploring the island. There is a house reef plus an amazing blue hole – easily accessible from the shore. Its point of difference though is how it manages to be refined and yet relaxed, an almost contradictory balance which I think is down to great staff who are happy and knowledgeable. They will really make your stay.
I can see Vakkaru becoming a firm favourite and twinned with a visit to Oman, this is a fantastic holiday. Call us to speak to one of our experts about planning your next holiday.