Jabal Al Akhdar Grand Hotel

I was not exactly sure what to expect in that hotel, but from the moment I saw it at a distance, it was an exceptional experience. On arrival, at sunset, the sign of the hotel was shining in yellow and indigo in the beautiful colors of the evening. Contrasting with the warm harmony of the dusk and its golden tones, the neon-lit entrance stood out in a pale greenish light. Immediately on arrival, the owner and a few of his friends offered some Omani coffee along with fresh dates. I was then checked in by one of the keralites who manage the daily operations of the place, providing a very warm south Indian feel to the hospitality. Went the for dinner in a balcony that had the shape of a boat above the swimming pool that had the shape of a guitar ( I would love to meet the architect of all this). As it was still OK to swim late in the evening, i enjoyed a few laps even though the water was actually extremely cold (The hotel is located at 2000 m altitude). I had a light dinner and went off to sleep in the serene and silent atmosphere of the Jabal Akhdar. In the morning, after enjoying the sun rise above the valley, I had the most interesting run along the mountain paths, occasionally bumping into donkeys and goats. At this altitude I couldn’t run very fast and there were some steep hills but the whole relevance of the experience was in the view. I got back to the hotel and had a few laps of swimming to cool down. Cooling down is actually quite an understatement given the temperature of the water. It was very refreshing. The keralite team in the meantime had been activated on the breakfast mode and I enjoyed a very good meal just before checking out. Overall, I really recommend this hotel which doesn’t fit in any standard classification. It is somewhere in between an end of the road  motel, a mountain lodge, and a Grand Palace. But what made it super special above all was the combination of hospitality styles from Oman and Kerala.