We have advanced booked staycations in differnt for Christmas and New Year. For Christmas, we chose Grand Hyatt Hotel for a 2-days stay.
The night before our staycation, the kids were a bit under the weather. Zeke fell off the bed 2 days before and been limping. We went to the hospital to do an xray for him and thank God, there was no fracture. However, he can’t really walk properly. We have to carry him around the house or he uses his knees to go from one spot in the house to another. Naj and Howell have vomiting too and have to give them some medicines. I, too, was not feeling well especially that it was the the time of the month and I been feeling nauseous with a throbbing headache.
On the morning of December 24, we headed to Muscat with our bags. We were excited even if we were all feeling a bit unwell. When we got to Muscat, we headed as usual to Jollibee for our breakfast.
Once we had our breakfast, we proceeded to the hotel to check in. It was located in Qurum area near the beach. The hotel looks like an old castle with beige brick-stone Arabian architecture. We parked our vehicle in the parking lot and we have to walk in this steep inclined walkway up to the hotel lobby hauling our bags with us. It was quite inconvenient for us especially with Zeke who can’t walk well long distance.
Once we entered the hotel lobby, the whole place was decked in Christmas trimmings. There is a corner with a Gingerbread House and a large Christmas tree at the center of the hotel
A nice Omani receptionist checked us in. We realised that we have booked the room for one adult only so we have to pay additional 20 riyals for my stay. The interiors of the hotel shows particular details in every corners that is very much like the castle-like facade of the hotel. Unfortunately, everything looks quite old: the carpets, the furnitures, etc. The receptionist lead us to a narrow hallway where the lift is somewhat hidden that would take us to our room. We were in Level 2 near the Mokha Cafe. The structure of the hotel reminds me of a cabins in the ship we took going to Manila from Iloilo City.
When we entered the room. It is huge and stately. There is a big king bed, a big office-type desk & chair, a lounge chair and a terrace. The bathroom has a shower, toilet, bidet and a tub. The room lights are dim and yellow. The hotel room does looks old and in need of refurnishing. The bathroom have brown stains in floors and corners.
We had created some sort of tradition (because we often do staycation) is to take a family photo on the bed of the hotel.
We fixed our stuff and we explored the pool area for a bit before we head out to the mall. We saw the Mokha Cafe with its indoor and outdoor dining. We booked a Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet there for the night. From there is the pool areaz There were a lot of Caucasians relaxing in the pool, enjoying the sun. There is overlooking the lovely view of the Qurum Beach.
We left the hotel to go to Oman Avenues Mall. The kids checked the toys they wish Santa would give them, *wink wink at Kiddy Zone. Then we went to the food court for lunch. J ordered pizza and chicken popcorn at Papa John’s while I head back to the Kiddy Zone to buy “Santa’s gifts” for the kids. When I joined them in the food court, I slide the large plastic bag at J’s side of the seat. When we were eating, J looked shocked and said, “What is this?! Santa’s elves delivered these for you!” Kids were so excited and said, “Wow, it was not there earlier! It is magic” Haha! We told them they can open it tomorrow on Christmas Day when they wake up.
We went back in the hotel. We found Christmas cookies and a card in the side table which is a nice touch.
Zeke and I were not feeling so good so we drank our medicines that I bought in the pharmacy. We stayed in the hotel room while J accompanied the kids to swim in the pool.
Before 7pm, we prepared for our Christmas Dinner Buffet at the hotel. We were received by a nice Filipina manager that is in charge of managing the event. We were seated inside the restaurant in a round table good for 5 people. There were 5 cuboid gifts in our table. We were instructed to pull both ends and possible a gift will be inside.
The buffet was outstanding. It was 24.948 omr for adults and 12.474 omr for kids above 5 years old. The variety of food is amazing. The salad bar has so many choices. The bread corner has a wonderful spread. There were a cheese and charcuterie corner too. Several main dishes for meat lovers and vegetarians. There are Christmas pudding and soups. There are roasted chicken and roasted beef. The dessert table is so divine with so many cakes, pastries and a chocolate fountain. My small gluttonous tummy can’t seen to fit all the food choices even if I wanted too. We got water refills throughout the meal. For beverages, it is not included in the package. However if you prefer unlimited beverages with spirits & alcoholic drinks, the package is 17.010 omr. J opted to order just 2 beers because 17.010 is too pricey.
I enjoyed the salads. I love the squash gratin and rolled chicken. I enjoyed the triple layer chocolate cake. The kids love the Christmas cookies a lot.
The kids got a shoe horn, a fan and a magnifying glass in their little gifts. Inside also have folding crepe paper that you can make into a crown.
We had a lovely time. The food was amazing. Kids enjoyed too. However, J and I realised our stomachs are not built for buffet eating. So we may rethink buffets for next Christmas and opt for a nice dinner in a restaurant next time.
The Next Day: Christmas Day
We were so tired from the day before plus Zeke been waking up several times during the night because he was not feeling well, so we missed the free morning hotel breakfast. We just let the kids open their Christmas gifts. The kids and I bathe in their tub using Lush rainbow bath bomb for a bit. We love bathtubs! Then we prepared to go to Mall of Oman because J booked a movie at 2:00 PM at their Vox Cinema. We strolled around the new mall and see what are the new stores that opened. By 1:30 PM, we proceeded to their Vox Cinema. We already paid the tickets online so we just ordered some food. We got a big tub of caramel & cheese popcorn, nachos, 2 chocolates and drinks. The Vox Cinema looks great! It was very spacious and looks like a state of the art facilities. J picked the movie: Spiderman No Way Home. The kids are excited to see Spiderman in the big screen.
I truly enjoyed the IMAX movie experience in their Vox Cinema. I love the movie! I am so surprised how much I love the movie so much since I am not much of a superhero fan, thoug Dr. Strange is now my favourite Avengers now. Kids enjoyed it a lot too and surprisingly, they were entertained and were sitting contently watching the movie. I am glad J suggested to watch a movie for Christmas Day.
After the movie, we went to Muscat Grand Mall and ended up in Oman Avenues Mall to buy take out dinner. J started feeling unwell too and started to have a slight fever. I gave him some paracetamol to take.
Going Home Time
Next morning, we made sure we get to have our morning brunch at the hotel. We glad we did. We sat outdoor and it was just lovely. Kids enjoyed the waffles and pancakes. I was happy with my cappuccino and turkey bacon. Too bad, I was able to get french toast because it wasn’t refilled.
We packed our belongings and check out at 1 PM. Grand Hyatt Hotel has its appeal but I am not sure if I would want to book a stay there again. They have a policy that they will only clean the room you stayed at after your 4th day of stay unless you call for a clean up. We informed them that if they can clean our room on the day we went to Mall of Oman at around 11:30 AM. But when we got back, our room was still not cleaned. In spite of those little glitches and the old moldy vive of the hotel, the overall experience was satisfactory.
Any other hotel recommendations for us for our next staycation?
Grand Hyatt Hotel Muscat