Visionary design and exceptionally appointed rooms define the fully renovated Sheraton Oman. The upscale hotel has great meeting, dining, fitness and recreational options too. In an interview with KishorCariappa.com, Thomas van Opstal, General Manager of Sheraton Oman, explains why he is confident Sheraton Oman will be a market leader in Muscat.
When are you reopening Sheraton Oman, and if this is a soft launch when would it be fully operational?
We will be reopening in October; the exact date is still to be announced but the hotel will reopen in October. It will be a soft opening as we will open a few lounges and restaurants later in the coming months but the hotel will be fully functional with all its facilities.
Over the years Sheraton Oman was not operational and many hotels have come up in the capital area. Why should someone choose your hotel? What is the rating for the hotel?
What differentiates the Sheraton Oman from its competitors is the quality of the service delivered by its passionate associates. Our associates have been on site for a few months already, practicing and simulating to ensure we can offer the best Sheraton service from day one.
We will also offer a fully renovated hotel to our guests. Everything has been changed and modernised in the hotel during the renovation and we are confident the Sheraton Oman will be a market leader in Muscat.
What plans have you implemented in the first year to attract guests?
We have prepared a series of attractive opening offer for every guest, whether you want to book a room, enjoy a succulent dinner in one of our restaurants, treat yourself right to our Sheraton Fitness & Spa, or organise the most lavish event in town – we have an offer ready!
Could you share details of the number and types of rooms you are offering? What are the kinds of meetings rooms available?
We have 230 rooms in the hotel, 27 of which are suites and include one Royal Suite, one Diplomatic Suite, two Executive Suites, fourteen Junior Suites, and nine Studio Suites specifically designed for longer stays with a fully equipped kitchen.
Our meeting space covers close to 1800 squares meters, with nine meeting rooms, one boardroom and the stunning Oman Ballroom with its 1200 square meters space.
From board meetings to large conferences, from splendid weddings to product launches, the hotel offers versatile meeting and event facilities like no other in the city.
When is the spa opening? What is special about the spa? Will the spa be open for residents who are not hotel guests? When is the fitness centre opening? Will there be a trainer?
The Sheraton Fitness & Spa will open with the hotel. It will feature a main gym with state of the art equipment, a dedicated gym space for ladies; steam room, sauna and treatment rooms for men and women, outdoor and indoor pool, as well as a kinesis studio. The treatment rooms of the spa facilities themselves will open at a later stage, as will the kinesis studio.
It will be open for both in-house guests and Muscat’s residents and we will have in-house trainers for both private lessons and classes.
Could you share information about the swimming pools?
Beside our outdoor pool where our guests and members can soak up the sun while enjoying refreshments from the Pool Lounge, we believe our indoor pool will be quite a unique attraction in Muscat. It features a resistance swimming system that can be activated to add current to the pool for an energetic swim, and two Jacuzzis on a more relax note. We are planning “ladies days” in the indoor pool every Monday through Wednesday where ladies will enjoy exclusive access from 9am to 12pm.
Will you be offering special packages for residents of Muscat to use the pool and fitness centre?
The Sheraton Fitness & Spa facilities will be open to the local community through personal or family membership, and on a lesson basis for personal training and classes. Membership will provide access to the full Sheraton Fitness and Spa with discounted rates on classes, lessons, treatments, Ladies Day, but also on laundry, restaurants and lounges, and even rooms!
Could you tell us about the restaurants, lounges and bars planned for the hotel? Which restaurants, lounges and bars will be open during the soft opening? What is the planned opening schedule for the others?
At opening guests will enjoy a continental buffet and an a la carte menu in Courtyard, our all-day dining that will also propose an attractive business lunch, reintroduce the classic Seafood Night and we will later on offer a Friday brunch as well. For dinner, we are opening Asado, a South American Steakhouse. Meat lovers will find there the perfect venue for savoring delicious steaks and grills expertly paired with our international wine selection.
Later this year we will add the Tea Library to our lounge and restaurant offering. Tea Library will be the perfect place for a tea, or a coffee with friends; a delicious afternoon tea with pastries and cake, or an informal business meeting sharing a coffee.
We are working on further additions but we don’t want to reveal everything at once so you will have to wait a bit more for details on this part.
Who are your target clients for the ballroom?
With close to 1200 square meters, which can be divided into three different spaces, if needed, the Oman Ballroom can tailor to every need. Combined with our 11 meeting rooms, it is the perfect space for a large conference requiring breakdown spaces for workshops. Alone it can host splendid weddings, product launches, gala dinners or awards ceremonies.
What lean period promotions can guest and local residents look forward to?
There will be promotions and offers all year long for hotel guests and for local residents. We will open the hotel with a series of opening offers for instance such as a room for 2 people, breakfast included for 70 OMR (excluding taxes and service charges); SPG members will also enjoy 10% discount (excluding alcohol) all year long in our lounges and restaurants. These are just examples and many others will follow; we can only advise you to visit our websites and social media channels regularly to get the latest offers!
Tell us about the style of your hotel and what inspired it?
The hotel has been completely renovated, the outside looks similar but once you enter the hotel it is a different story. The attention to detail, the finishing has been at the center of the preoccupation during the renovations, the choice of the material used has played a big role in that process. Here is a lot of marbles, a lot of wood and sumptuous carpets in our meeting rooms for instance.
As a Sheraton, our goal is to make travel effortless, so we wanted to give a direct feeling of comfort. We wanted the guest to feel welcome from the first step in the hotel. From there the experience has to be seamless, so everything has been designed with that in mind: spacious and elevated rooms, smart and versatile meeting space, refined and unexpected food experiences, and dynamic and modern recreation facilities.
Considering the location is populated with buildings now, what are your plans to overcome parking woes?
We know parking can be a challenge in the area so we are building at the moment new parking spaces at the back of the hotel to add 180 spaces in a 3 floors structure, giving us a bit more than 300 parking spaces.
(Photos courtesy: Sheraton Oman)