Originally built to host the 1985 Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Muscat and provide luxurious accommodations for international dignitaries visiting Oman’s 15th National Day celebrations the same year, the Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat has since become an iconic property with the name ‘Jewel of the Sultanate’ bestowed upon it.
In early 2006 the hotel closed for an extensive, multimillion dollar renovation, reopening to guests in November 2008 and ushering in a new era of magnificence.
One jaw-dropping feature of this magnificence is the unique crystal chandelier that lights up every corner of the hotel’s colossal atrium. Created to offset the intricate and elaborate detailing of the newly renovated space, the unique Austrian designed chandelier has a circumference spanning more than 8.5 metres and is more than 18 metres long. It features thousands of crystals, and due to the sheer size and weight of this feature, the crystal strands and framework had to be shipped in separate consignments to Oman, where a team of 10 people constructed it on site.
The atrium’s walls incorporate stunning arabesque wood carvings filled with dazzling mother of pearl and gold leaf inlays. The fabrics for the furniture and carpets in the atrium are rich and warm in colour, accented with tastefully contrasting highlights. Beneath the chandelier sits a custom crystal fountain with a large crystal vase at the centre, glistening from the sprinkles of light above. The fountain’s water cascades with subtle grace into the octagonal stone carved base. At over 3.5 metres tall and weighing over 2.5 tonnes, the crystal fountain anchors the space creating a relaxing environment with the resonating sound of endlessly flowing water.
The Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat’s arrays of six restaurants take guests on an unsurpassed culinary journey of taste and flavour. The Beach Pavilion restaurant and lounge is nestled right by the water’s edge, offering a fresh and exhilarating dining experience during the day and a romantically inspired one by night. Serving authentic Chinese cuisine in the heart of Oman, China Mood has claimed its position as one of the top Asian restaurants in the region, while the fine dining restaurant Vue by Shannon Bennett showcases the contemporary French cuisine of the Australian celebrity chef.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Al Khiran Terrace is the hotel’s primary all-day dining restaurant; Seblat Al Bustan blends the unique flavours of Omani and Arab cuisine; and Al Maha Piano Bar is the ideal venue for a relaxing evening with live entertainment.
The new contemporary event space offers excellent facilities, with 16 meeting rooms boasting state of the art equipment and stylish furnishing. Offering the Sultanate’s largest ballroom, a unique auditorium and stunning gardens, the hotel is an ideal venue for elegant gala dinners, intimate board meetings and grand functions for up to 1,400 people.
Additional facilities added to modernise the property include a health club with fully equipped gym and aerobics studio, tennis courts, and a children’s play area. An infinity pool stretching to the beach was also built and surrounded by an oasis of over 70,000 plants, trees and shrubs, blending in with the property’s natural surroundings.