Bait al Jabal Hospitality Inn, one of the oldest Omani houses located in the village of Al Hamra, has been restored and is drawing praise from guests for its authentic Omani hospitality.
The Observer had a first-hand experience of such hospitality at the inn. Ushering us in, Majid bin Mohammed al Abri, one of its four owners, said the first phase of restoration took eight months.
“We restored the house, which is about 300-350 years old, to make visitors experience Omani style of life,” he said.
Two houses have been renovated, while a third is under construction for a restaurant.
The first house has four rooms and the second six rooms. Some rooms have attached toilets, while some have shared toilets. There is also a dining hall and a coffee corner.
The mud walls and wooden windows will transport you back in time. Through its windows, one gets a view of the old houses, while you could get a breathtaking view of sunset from roof of the inn.
Al Abri said the inn has been receiving many visitors, most of them foreigners. “We rarely receive Omani families.” Christina and her husband, a couple from the UK, who have spent three nights at the inn, say the place gives them a taste of true Omani hospitality.
“Some of it (the facilities) are quite basic, but what is important is we get to experience the Omani style of life, including eating on the floor. It is nice to see food being served by Omanis in traditional attire.” Visitors can also see the ancient architecture in Al Hamra.
The house is located next to Bait Al Safah, a museum, and is close to Jabal Shams, the highest peak in the Arabian Gulf. One can also visit Misfat al Abriyeen, a mountainous village that boasts of amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys and old houses built on top of rocks. It is also close to the Al Hoota Cave.
The inn is managed by Majid al Abri, Jaber al Abri, Thabit al Abri and Majid al Adawi.
Tariffs range from RO 50-60 with breakfast and dinner from October to May and RO 20-30 with breakfast from June to September.
AMAL AL RIYAMI