Press Release: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has entered an agreement with the Ministry of Tourism from the Sultanate of Oman to acquire the full management of Al Bustan Palace in Muscat, Oman. Starting July 1, 2011, the landmark property, which is set against a dramatic backdrop of rugged mountains and overlooks the Gulf of Oman, will be rebranded under The Ritz-Carlton portfolio.
“The Omani capital has long been a key aspiration for The Ritz-Carlton and we have waited a long time to find the perfect opportunity to add to our collection,” says President and Chief Operating Officer Herve Humler. “It is an honour to be selected to manage such an iconic hotel as Al Bustan Palace and we look forward to retaining its premier position in the regional and international marketplace.”
To ensure the smooth transition of operations and level of service to the guests, “all the current employees will be retained by The Ritz-Carlton under the new management,” says Mr. Humler, “The Ritz-Carlton is also strongly committed to all the Omani ladies and gentlemen at the hotel and we welcome the existing Al Bustan Palace team to The Ritz-Carlton family. I know that we shall do our utmost to make them feel comfortable within our corporate culture.”
Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Malik bin Abdullah Al Khalili, the Minister of Tourism said, “Our agreement with one of the biggest and most prestigious hotel management company in the world reflects our total commitment to preserve the position of Al Bustan Palace as one of the most esteemed and luxurious hotels in the region. The new management aims at introducing the concept of luxury and hospitality philosophy in our present time while maintaining the prestigious stature of the hotel.”
Noted architecturally for its 38-meter high domed atrium lobby, Al Bustan Palace has recently undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment to both the interior and exterior that only enhances its well-earned reputation as the “jewel of the Sultanate.” Home to visiting heads of state and members of royalty, the hotel showcases new furnishings that artistically fuse elements from both local traditions and art deco influences, blending the richness of Arabian culture, art and history. Intricate handcrafted wall coverings and original carvings bring an essential sense of place to the 26-year resort that was originally built to host the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in 1985.
In addition to the 250 spacious rooms and suites – all of which feature their own private balcony – the hotel offers meeting and banquet facilities for up to 720 guests, 200 acres of landscaped gardens and the longest beach in the country. As the center of all leisure, cultural and water sport activities in Muscat, recreational facilities include five swimming pools, a well-appointed spa, a water sports centre, and a Tennis Village with four floodlit courts.
Renowned for its dining variety in the city, the hotel’s seven restaurants and bars include Al Marjan Bistro, featuring contemporary French cuisine; China Mood, the fine-dining Cantonese restaurant; Al Khiran Terrace restaurant with multiple-themed buffets and live cooking stations; and Al Maha Piano Bar, offering nightly live entertainment.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.