On our most recent trip to the Middle East, we visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
As our flight from Abu Dhabi landed late at night, we needed a place near Muscat International Airport to crash the night before starting our weekend road trip. That was when we found the Holiday Inn Al Seeb Hotel.
It’s one of the hotels nearest to the airport and one of the brands that we stay at reasonably often. Although it might appear close to the airport, it’s still a 10-minute drive away and taxi fares can be very expensive.
We booked a room at the Holiday Inn Al Seeb, Muscat for 9,350 IHG Points.
The Holiday Inn Muscat al Seeb is a short 15-minute drive from the Muscat International Airport.
There aren’t really any noteworthy attractions near the hotel’s vicinity. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend staying here for a long period of time if you’re planning to explore the city.
As we checked in after midnight, the lobby was very empty. We did not have to wait long before it was our turn to check-in.
The staff was amiable and immediately thanked us for our loyalty to IHG. As Platinum Elite members, he told us that we were pre-upgraded to a suite and explained to us some of the perks of our status at the hotel.
He was among the most enthusiastic check-in staff we’ve ever met and immediately made us feel very welcome in the hotel.
During the check-in, he also told us that our stay came with complimentary breakfast in the morning due to our status. This was unfortunately incorrect and caused some misunderstanding the following day. I’ll talk more about it in the breakfast section later.
King Bed Suite
The King Bed Suite is huge, even when compared to other suites we’ve stayed at in the past. There is a separate living area with its own TV and lounging area.
As a Holiday Inn, you’re not getting the most luxurious accommodation, but a reliable one. The Al Seeb branch doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
The interior is as cookie-cutter as any other hotel room as it gets.
The pillows have indications that they are soft or hard. This little touch can be very useful for guests who are more particular about the pillows that they sleep on. Personally, I didn’t find any difference in texture between the soft and the hard pillows.
The mini-bar area is stocked with instant coffee sachets and tea bags. I would have appreciated a Nespresso coffee machine, but that is fairly unheard of in a Holiday Inn.
To our surprise, we were given an additional welcome amenity when we arrived as gratitude for our loyalty to IHG. There was even a handwritten note written by the on-duty manager.
Our suite came with a bathtub and a separate standing shower area. Similar to the rest of the suite, the bathroom itself is huge in size.
Daily breakfast is served in the Omede Restaurant located at the lower ground level. The variety of food is great, ranging from international favourites to local Omani delights.
The food easily beats out other Holiday Inns that we’ve stayed at before, in terms of its quality and variety.
There’s an egg station that serves up cooked eggs, pies and different local Omani bread.
As we were about to leave the restaurant after our breakfast, this was where our misunderstanding with the hotel started. Typically we would not have gone for the hotel breakfast if it was not complimentary because of the room rate or loyalty.
However, we assumed that this property had a different treatment for guests and provided complimentary breakfast for guests with Platinum Elite statuses. This was falsely communicated to us by the staff who checked us into our stay. We had even confirmed multiple times with the same check-in staff to ensure that the information was accurate as it was not the IHG policy we knew about.
The hotel, in fact, does not provide complimentary breakfast to Platinum Elite members on reward nights. This was in line with the IHG Policy that other properties adhere to.
We then proceeded to the hotel’s counter to resolve the situation with the staff on duty. Fortunately, after explaining the entire situation, the staff decided to waive our entire breakfast charge.
We appreciate the level of service afforded to us by the staff at the hotel, and their great service recovery following this misunderstanding.
The swimming pool is located on the lower ground floor of the property. There are plenty of sun beds and tables around the pool.
We didn’t see anyone using the facilities despite the high occupancy rate throughout the rest of the property. This is likely because of the scorching Omani heat during summer when we visited.
The gym is large and has plenty of equipment. It has everything that you need to do a full workout.
The gym directly faces the adjacent pool area, therefore it is great if you’re doing long cardio workouts like running or cycling.
The Holiday Inn Al Seeb is a good option if you’re looking for a quick stay near the Muscat International Airport. We’ve also received a very high standard of customer service throughout our stay here.
The only downside would be the misunderstanding with the breakfast entitlements. However, that was likely a result of miscommunication and an overly complicated loyalty structure that hotel chains have these days. The great service recovery by the staff more than made up for what happened.
Due to its location, we would not recommend anyone to stay here if their primary reason is to visit the main tourist attractions in Muscat. However, it does make for a quick stopover point to other parts of the country like Nizwa and the Jebel mountain ranges.