The Sybaritic Single enjoys occasional weekends in Muscat. Most often, it is the performances at the Royal Opera House that attract him, however it can also be a simple day by the sea in silence and peace.
Whispering luxury and authentic Arabia have remained the sultanate’s unique selling points for years. There are no modern skyscrapers or massive malls – instead, there is a stronger focus on history, wellness and culture. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha, the capital of Oman targets sophisticated niche travelling clientele. On his occasional weekends, the Sybaritic Single saw Giorgio Armani soaking in the sun at The Chedi while Anna Netrebko enjoyed exploring the bazaar – without any need for bodyguards or a flamboyant entourage.
Earlier this year, the city inaugurated a modern new airport as well as a sparkling new luxury Kempinski next to it. Designed by Woods Bagot, it took nine long years to finish the resort.
The Sybaritic Single definitely enjoyed a smooth five-minute ride from the airport in a gleaming new Rolls Royce Ghost as well as the luxury of space throughout the place. Upon arrival, he thought he was at some airport again – the lobby felt massive, empty and somewhat cold. However, the impression became the opposite the following morning as sunlight streamed through the intricate roof and the venue resembled the ceremonial Al Alam Palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, with white soaring conical columns pretending to be lilies in a crystal pond. The 37-metre long infinity pool opened to a six-kilometre long sandy beach – seafront strolls replaced other forms of workouts during the weekend.
Sadly, visibly patchy service and less than imaginative dining is what Oman still remains infamous for, therefore the Sybaritic Single had to resort to the always-busy Fauchon for a salad and to another trusted luxury hotel for an evening glass of Champagne with some live jazz. Will he be back as soon as the eighth opera season commences next month with Gala Zarzuela starring Plácido Domingo (curiously, the great Spanish tenor inaugurated the opera house back in 2011)? For the Sybaritic Single, that’s always a great occasion to wear a Dior tuxedo.