Thursday, June 28:  Today my friend Barb invites me to spend the day with her at Al Bustan Palace, a luxury hotel on the beach in Muscat (Al Bustan Palace).

approaching Al Bustan Palace

She rents a room for the night, and as a paying guest, she is allowed to invite a friend to the pool for the day. I am thrilled to be invited because I would never generally spend so much on a hotel room.  I’m not used to the life of luxury.  Barb, on the other hand, believes in treating herself often, and I’m thinking I should take a page from her book.

Looking back at the hotel from the end of the pool nearest the beach

Al Bustan Palace is a Ritz-Carlton Hotel set on a private beach with acres of lush gardens. The hotel was originally built to host the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in 1985.

the only way to cool off in these summer temperatures of 45C (115F)!

date palms and colorful flowers make the pool especially inviting

to infinity and beyond!

I love the palm trees in the pool 🙂

There is a hot breeze coming off the ocean, but because of the shade from the date palms and the ability to dip into the pool whenever we get hot, it’s not too unbearable.  Actually it’s quite a lovely afternoon.

hammocks where we can laze away the afternoon…

inviting setting.

We alternate between swimming in the Gulf of Oman, tanning in the sun, and dipping into the pool, helped along by a couple of cool Heinekens.

the beach at Al Bustan


lawn party

sun beds

the view from Barb’s balcony

After relaxing all afternoon, we shower and change and share some chilled white wine on Barb’s balcony.  The room is quite luxurious.  I’m envious that she gets to stay here, because I have to drive back to Nizwa tonight!

Barb on the balcony

relaxing on the balcony with a glass of chilled white wine and a hot breeze

We head out for a lovely dinner of appetizers at the Left Bank.  We spend a nice day getting to know each other; though we’ve worked together all year at the University, our paths have not intersected that much.  So, it’s a very pleasant day all around and I’m grateful that a new friend invited me to share her day with me!

farewell to Al Bustan Palace