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Evaluate: W Lodge Muscat, Oman

The subsequent cease on our journey was in Muscat, the place we spent two nights at the W Lodge Muscat. This keep was eye-opening for me, and I feel that is the final time I’ll be staying at a W (until there’s a extremely compelling motive).

The factor is, there was completely nothing flawed with this keep. We scored an important improve, breakfast was good, and the property is a implausible vacation spot for individuals who simply wish to lounge by the pool. However this keep made me notice that W simply isn’t a model for me anymore.

I bear in mind again within the day after I thought W was a cool model. However as I’ve gotten older, the model simply annoys me — W properties are soulless, they’re model over substance (and never even good model), and appear to have uncomfortable furnishings by design. I simply don’t get it.

I really feel like I’ve advanced in some methods, however perhaps the W model hasn’t? I couldn’t assist however snort at how Ford described his notion of the model to me throughout our keep (and he additionally used to assume W was coolish) — “staying at a W is like strolling right into a nightclub, however the occasion is over and the music remains to be going.” I don’t have a lot firsthand expertise with that, however I’ll take his phrase for it.

How we booked our keep at W Lodge Muscat

Why did we resolve to e-book the W Muscat? Properly, I had two Marriott Bonvoy free night time certificates expiring within the coming months, they usually’re legitimate at properties costing as much as 35,000 factors per night time. This lodge was charging precisely 35,000 factors per night time on our dates, in order that was a implausible use of those certificates.

I even used Marriott Bonvoy suite improve awards, and was in a position to affirm an improve to a Marvelous Suite 5 days earlier than arrival. Woot!

As a degree of comparability, for our dates money charges for traditional rooms began round $400 per night time, whereas the suite we confirmed an improve to would have retailed for over $750 per night time.

W Lodge Muscat location

The 279-room W Muscat is situated on the Shatti Al Qurum beachfront, proper throughout from the Royal Opera Home. The lodge is round 20 minutes from Muscat Worldwide Airport (MCT), and a reasonably brief drive from lots of Muscat’s hottest sights. For instance, the lodge is round quarter-hour from the Mutrah Corniche, Al Alam Palace, Al Jalali Fort, and many others.

W Lodge Muscat foyer & check-in

We arrived on the lodge within the night. I discovered the outside of the lodge from the street-side to be cool-looking, and it ever-so-slightly gave the property a way of place. For that matter, it seems to be tremendous good in comparison with the neighboring InterContinental Muscat, which from the surface may simply be the ugliest InterContinental on earth.

W Muscat exterior

Sadly that’s type of the place the sense of place for the general public areas of the lodge ends, apart from the images of the Sultan at reception. Instantly inside the doorway to the lodge was some seating, after which reception was situated to the correct. The ground-to-ceiling home windows are fairly cool, and provides the foyer numerous pure gentle.

W Muscat foyer
W Muscat foyer

Our check-in course of was moderately fast, and the affiliate checking us in was pleasant. He went over the fundamentals of the property with us, and supplied to escort us to our room (although we didn’t want that). With keys in hand, we walked down the hallway towards the elevators.

W Muscat foyer
W Muscat foyer
W Muscat foyer bar
W Muscat elevators

By the best way, my greatest single level of frustration with W properties is the uncomfortable furnishings they’ve. I discovered it attention-grabbing that a lot of the art work within the foyer was primarily presupposed to appear to be actually uncomfortable furnishings. Is the model poking enjoyable at itself, or…?

W Muscat “artwork”
W Muscat “artwork”

W Lodge Muscat Marvelous Suite

We have been assigned room 236, a Marvelous Suite on the second ground (the lodge has eight flooring). Our room was situated on the very finish of the hallway on the correct.

W Muscat hallway
W Muscat room exterior

Marvelous Suites on the W Muscat are huge, and are marketed as being 936 sq. ft. The room had an entryway with a half rest room to the correct, and the lounge straight forward.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite entryway

On the entrance was a well-stocked minibar, with complimentary espresso and tea, plus all types of snacks and drinks for buy.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite minibar

The lounge was quirky, and had a desk with a chair, an “L” formed sofa, and a chair by the window.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite residing space
W Muscat Marvelous Suite residing space
W Muscat Marvelous Suite residing space
W Muscat Marvelous Suite residing space

The model is certainly a bit on the market, however I do admire that they not less than put some native touches into the design. However right here’s my beef… why does all furnishings at W properties should be so darn uncomfortable? Not a single piece of furnishings in the lounge — not the desk chair, not the sofa, and never even the chair within the nook — was comfy. They have been all onerous as rocks.

This appears to be a acutely aware design selection by W, and I simply don’t get it. As I grow old I worth ergonomics extra, and this simply annoys me. Why, why, why, why why?! Do individuals like sitting on a chair at a desk that seems like a bench?

W properties typically do an important job creating quirky welcome presents for elite members, and I had fairly a welcome reward ready for me. It’s fairly frequent for W properties to Google elite friends earlier than arrival and create custom-made welcome facilities (I do know some individuals have discovered it creepy when properties put an image of you within the room as your welcome amenity).

So far as my welcome amenity goes, I hate to look a present horse within the mouth (since no reward is required), however:

  • They actually created a laminated cutout with my identify on it, however misspelled my identify
  • I’m not am Ambassador member (although the field of sweets mentioned “WOW! AMBASSADOR IN DA HOUSE”
  • Mainly all of the sweets tasted stale, so slightly than giving me 20+ sweets that don’t style contemporary, how a couple of smaller amenity of one thing that’s truly good?
  • Why does W should be so tacky (“GO TRAVEL” and “YOU’RE AWESOME” and “WOW”)? Are we in a cartoon or online game?
W Muscat Marvelous Suite welcome amenity

Talking of the cheesiness, a lot of the W branding is simply type of cringeworthy, for my part, with each phrase being became one thing foolish (just like the room service menu saying “KEEP CALM AND OM, NOM, NOM”). It’s one factor if this have been remoted, however that is the case in all places you flip.

It’s type of just like the Virgin America security video, again within the day. It was type of enjoyable the primary time you noticed it, however by the tenth time…

W Muscat room service menu

As talked about above, there was a half tub close to the doorway, that includes a bathroom and sink. Oddly the sink was motion-activated, but it surely didn’t seem to be there was any technique to management the temperature (not less than not that I might inform).

W Muscat Marvelous Suite half rest room
W Muscat Marvelous Suite half rest room

There have been sliding doorways separating the lounge from the bed room.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite residing space

The bed room was massive and pretty sparsely furnished. Thankfully it had the W signature mattress, which not like all the opposite furnishings at W properties, is definitely comfy.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite bed room

There was no actual separation between the bed room and toilet, which appears to be fairly normal for W properties. Personally I strongly dislike that for a wide range of causes. The toilet had an enormous soaking tub, a walk-in bathe, a partitioned off rest room, and a closet space. But I discovered it odd that for a set of this dimension there was nonetheless just one sink.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite bed room
W Muscat Marvelous Suite rest room
W Muscat Marvelous Suite bathe
W Muscat Marvelous Suite rest room
W Muscat Marvelous Suite closet
W Muscat Marvelous Suite closet

Toiletries have been from MOMO, which have changed the Bliss merchandise that W used to have.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite toiletries

The room had a big wraparound balcony providing views of the property and the Gulf of Oman, with seating at one finish.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony view

There have been a pair extra quirks with the room. For one, the cellphone within the bed room simply didn’t work. Past that, whenever you turned off the grasp gentle swap, something plugged in subsequent to the mattress additionally stopped charging, which doesn’t appear ideally suited.

So yeah, I’m probably not certain what to say. We received an important improve and the suite was spacious, however I strongly dislike how little thought goes into consolation slightly than model.

W Lodge Muscat pool & seashore

The W Muscat has an enormous pool space. The factor is, there’s completely no sense of place right here — you can be in Ibiza, Marbella, or Muscat, and wouldn’t know the distinction.

There’s one important pool with loads of seating round it. Personally we have been in Muscat to sightsee, although I acknowledge that many sun-starved Europeans love to go to Muscat within the winter to only sit on the pool. I’d say {that a} majority of the friends on the lodge have been from Germany and the UK. Maybe they nearly appreciated that they might make themselves really feel like they have been in Ibiza.

W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool view

The lodge additionally has beachfront entry, in order that’s type of cool. Whereas the seashore doesn’t maintain a candle to what you may discover within the Caribbean or Maldives (the water is type of muddy and sand isn’t wonderful), it was nonetheless good to go on a seashore stroll, and see so many native households having fun with a gorgeous night.

W Muscat seashore
W Muscat seashore

W Lodge Muscat health club

The W Muscat has a 24/7 health club, situated on the second ground. The health club was fairly first rate, with a wide range of cardio and weight tools. Nonetheless, the health club additionally did get fairly busy, not less than in comparison with different properties I’ve stayed at currently.

W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club
W Muscat health club

W Muscat Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar

On our first night we determined to have dinner at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar, since we have been arriving pretty late. Buddha Bar is a sequence of eating places in lots of well-liked trip locations, so that is an offshoot of that. The restaurant was situated on the highest ground of the W Muscat, and had each indoor and out of doors seating.

Oddly that is considered among the finest eating places in Muscat (not less than primarily based on the rankings), however the entire place lacked a vibe. The restaurant was actually empty, and there was a DJ there who was principally simply looking at his cellphone the entire time, as a result of how on earth do you get into the vibe of this place? I suppose perhaps it’s busier on weekends? The restaurant was roughly useless, with just some tables occupied exterior.

W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar out of doors seating

The entire eating expertise was unremarkable and unusual:

  • There didn’t appear to be a devoted server, however slightly a number of individuals would come by our desk and repeatedly ask the identical questions (whether or not we wished to order meals or drinks, and many others.)
  • There was no correct introduction as you’d anticipate at an honest restaurant, however slightly simply servers coming over and mumbling “wish to order one thing?”

You’ll be able to discover the restaurant’s menu right here. To begin we shared some salmon and tuna nigiri.

W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner

Then I ordered a rooster salad, whereas Ford had the miso salmon.

W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner
W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner

The meals was first rate, however nothing memorable. Credit score to the lodge and restaurant, as they comped our appetizer due to my Bonvoy Platinum standing, which was a pleasant contact.

W Muscat Harvest Restaurant (breakfast)

Breakfast on the W Muscat is served every day from 6:30AM till 11AM at Harvest Restaurant, situated on the bottom ground. The restaurant had each indoor and out of doors seating, and we selected to sit down outdoor.

W Muscat hallway to Harvest Restaurant
W Muscat hallway to Harvest Restaurant
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant indoor seating
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant out of doors seating
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant out of doors seating

I chosen breakfast as my Marriott elite welcome amenity, and that included full entry to the buffet. The buffet was fairly good. There was an enormous number of choices, together with loads of tasty dishes from the area.

W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast

Drinks have been presupposed to be served by the workers, however we needed to follow-up 3 times earlier than we have been served the iced coffees we had ordered.

W Muscat iced espresso

W Muscat room service

On our full day on the lodge we determined to order room service lunch, as we had gone sightseeing many of the morning and have been drained, and had plans to exit for dinner. Yow will discover the room service menu under.

W Lodge Muscat room service menu
W Lodge Muscat room service menu

We ordered the chilly mezze, Greek salad, and rooster breast, which have been all fairly good.

W Muscat room service

Backside line

I do know this can be a largely detrimental assessment, however I wish to be clear, I’m not saying the W Muscat is a foul W property. The lodge has pleasant staff, fairly cool design (for a W), a formidable pool, and elite recognition is excellent. I’d say that is in all probability one of many higher W properties, and should you’re an enormous fan of the model, you’ll love this property.

On the similar time, this keep made me notice larger image that the W model is not for me. My greatest gripe is the persistently uncomfortable furnishings, which is a deal-breaker for me. Past that, I simply can’t with how tacky W properties are, within the identify of making an attempt to be cool. In the end the W model hasn’t modified in comparison with a decade in the past, however I’ve.

So far as Marriott properties go, personally I’d slightly keep at… effectively, nearly another model, which not less than (hopefully) has comfy furnishings. And I actually do assume it’s time for the W model to be refreshed. There are many nice lodge way of life manufacturers — for instance, I feel Hyatt’s Thompson model is nice. However at this level I feel W wants a brand new imaginative and prescient, as a result of it’s roughly the identical model it was when it launched over 20 years in the past.

What do you make of the present state of the W model? Do you continue to prefer it, or do you assume it’s time for it to evolve?

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