MUSCAT: The airport will finally become operational again by October 1, 2020, as per the directives of the Supreme Committee vs COVID-19 but as clarified by Oman Air, they will initially be flying to 12 cities from the said date with the rest to follow in the coming days or weeks.
Travelling abroad however still present numerous challenges and while it’s easy to enter some countries without restrictive Covid19 security measures, a lot of the countries all over the world still have a quarantine period which meant that you could be wasting about 14-days of your travel days housed in an isolated location.
It may take a few more weeks before a clear and comprehensive global travel guideline is put in place. For now, it is safer and more convenient to do more local travel than facing the uncertainties of out of the country trips.
Talking of local trips, Oman is blessed with lots of staycation options. With the challenged posed by Covid19, a staycation is also a much-needed lifeline for the ailing industry.
Sarah Khaled has an impressive resume when it comes to selecting the best hotels for staycation having worked with some of the best and most luxurious hotels within the region. Currently the Marketing Communications Director of Shangri la Barr al Jissah, she outlined some of the things to think about when selecting your next staycation destination.
Location, location, location
Travelling with family is very different from travelling alone or just with your partner. When you have kids or have elderly parents, driving more than 2 hours can be quite a huge ordeal so an ideal #staycation would be within Muscat when you also have to balance work in between.
Shangri la Barr al Jissah is one of the perfect places for a quick weekend getaway. Located amidst scenic mountains with direct access to its private beach, it caters to those who wanted a relaxing stay. Outside of the hotel, the nearby villages of Qantab and Yiti are ideal for hikes especially making a great choice for the adventurous types yet wanted to be housed in a comfy, scenic hotel.
Safeguard against Covid19
The staff of every hotel is the enforcer of Covid19 security measures. Across the country, everyone is required not only to do temperature checks or sanitation or regular cleaning protocols but also proper enforcement of social distancing measures. In Shangri La, the hotel has made sure that they have proper entry and exit points for guests. The management also ensures that there are no chokepoints and guests have more spaces that will help ensure they don’t get infected with Covid119 while they are relaxing.
“We are very particular about sanitation. We have a 24 hour wait time for the rooms so they can be thoroughly be cleaned and sanitised by our staff. The safety of our guests is our utmost priority and we make sure of this in all aspects of the hotel operation,” shared Sarah.
Advanced bookings are essential. Guests must fill in a health declaration form before arrival and must present booking confirmation at the resort’s entrance.
Diversity in hotel activities
From kayak to jetski, from football to beach volleyball, from beach swimming to pool swimming, Shangrila is ripe with physical and entertainment activities.
There are only five turtle nesting sites in the Sultanate of Oman and the protected beach of Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is among them. The area has always been a turtle nesting site. Each year, approximately 100 female turtles return to the resort’s beach to lay their eggs, where each nest containing up to 120 eggs.
During the luxurious staycations, guests have a high chance of witnessing the little hatchlings of the endangered Green Turtle and the most frequent visitor, the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The hatching and release of these tiny creatures take place from mid-April until September and it is a very special experience, guided by the resort’s dedicated turtle rangers, which guests highly appreciate for lasting holiday memories.
Promos and packages
When it comes to hotel staycation, the price also matters. Are the location and destination worth the price and the overall enjoyment of the people involved? If you have kids, are there activities catered for kids to enjoy?
According to the hotel, Shangri-La Staycation rates start from OMR58 excluding service charge and taxes. Guests are guaranteed room upgrade and complimentary breakfast, complimentary meals for children below the age of 6 years old, 50 per cent off meals for kids between the ages of six to 15 years old, 50 per cent off a second room, 20 per cent off food and beverage, complimentary parking and they can also avail of early check-in at 11 a.m. and late checkout at 4:00 p.m. For inquiries and bookings, email the reservations team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +968 24776262.