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Review: The View

Review: The View

The View have a policy of contacting their guests on the day of arrival to remind them what time sunset is. They want their guests to enjoy the view across the valley as the sun sets behind the the Al Hajar mountains of Oman.

The View is perched on the side of the Jabel Sham massif overlooking the town of al Hamra, the expanse of the flood plain and the Al Hajar mountains beyond. Each lodge  or pod as they are called is built on a framework of steel embedded in the mountain slope. As you walk into the room and see the view through the floor to ceiling windows you get a real sense of hanging over the edge of a precipitous slope.

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On the balcony looking across to the Al Hajar Mountains

When you step out onto the balcony it feels like you are hanging over the valley below. For that experience you have to pay an extra 20 rials (a little under 30 GBP or about 48 USD) to stay in a premium pod where you have an uninterrupted view. For those paying a little less identical pods are built a little higher up the slope where it does not drop away so dramatically but the views across the valley are equally fantastic.

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Standard pods

Rather than scrambling over rocks and small ravines to your pod a raised walkway connects everything beyond the central area around reception and the dining area. There is an infinity swimming pool which enjoys the same spectacular views across the valley as the pods built around it. The reception and the public area and the dining area also enjoy the view from which The View takes its name.

The View faces south so both sunrise and sunset can be viewed from the balcony where there is a small table and chairs and lounger.

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The infinity pool with great views across the valley and the town of Al Hamra

I arrived after dark having watched the sun set over Oman’s deepest canyon to the north. The route up to The View is a gravel road that winds up the mountain for several kilometres. As you approach there is a real sense of adventure for what lies ahead. I was greeted by the manager and while enjoying the cardoman infused Omani coffee my details were taken from my passport. I hardly knew I had checked in until asked if I was ready to go to my pod.

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Dining with a view

It was quite a trek from reception and beyond the dining area as the walkway took the path of least resistance, avoiding rocks and crevices. Steps led down the “backdoor” to my pod. The room was simply furnished with an enormous bed, bedside tables and a desk and wardrobe along one wall. Once the blinds were raised the room immediately went from ordinary to something special. Even in the dark the view across the twinkling lights of the town below to the shadowy mountains beyond was a real treat. I stood there just soaking up the vastness of it.

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The bed was placed so that you could see the view when you woke in the morning so I decided I would be sleeping with the blinds up and my alarm set for sunrise.

I had not yet entered the bathroom. When I did another surprise awaited. A huge free standing bath stood by the same panoramic floor to ceiling windows. A bath with a view. Behind were a tropical rain shower and the toilet. You could sit on the toilet and enjoy the view or shower and enjoy the view. I was spoilt for choice.

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My one gripe about the room was the placement of the wall sockets. In these days of electronic everything needing recharging hotels need to provide electicity outlets. There was one beside each side of the bed used for the bedside lights but it would be far more useful to have sockets by the desk as well.

One area that was a disappointment for me was the food, both dinner and breakfast. It was fairly ordinary and could have been presented better even though it was a buffet.

The public lounge area

Despite these two niggles the experience of waking up to a spectacular sunrise view more than made up for it. You are buying the experience and the view at The View. For that I would return.

Links: The View – www.theviewoman.com; Oman Tourism – www.omantourism.gov.om

Declaration: I travelled to Oman as a guest of Oman Tourism and as part of that trip stayed at The View. However I value my editorial independence and will always write things as I see and experience them be it positive or negative. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own.

Categorized: Oman , Reviews
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