Up bright and early with the sun Mr. Z and I put on our swim gear and headed down to Sultanah for breakfast before our scuba departure.
We woke ourselves up with cappuccinos and green mint tea.
From the menu I ordered the scrambled eggs with salmon while Mr. Z was feeling quite adventurous with an oriental breakfast box (aka sushi for breakfast).
Glancing at my phone we realized it was time to go!
We hopped on the shuttle and entered the marina where we loaded our gear onto the boat.
Once outside the marina we sped off leaving the beautiful hotel grounds behind into the untouched mountain line which dropped right into the sea.
Entering a small inlet called Novice Bay we all suited up and listened to the overview from our dive instructors.
Weight belts on, BC inflated.
Now sit on side, wiggle back as much as you can. Slide on your fins.
Right hand on your mask, left hand on your weight belt. Lean back and ….
You’re in !
Like I said yesterday, Mr. Z was a natural fish.
Down you go, only a few meters and you are in another world.
Only seconds into making our descent and our instructor pointed out into the reef where a beautiful sea turtle was cruising by. This little guy swam right towards me! It was Tur-ific!
Once our sea turtle friend had enough of us we continued our dive along the reef.
Heading only a little deeper we crossed paths with this beauty, a cuttlefish.
Unfortunately these guys will check you out for a few seconds but don’t like to hang around as long as the sea turtles.
A little while on, after admiring the colorful parrot fish and baby Nemo’s I was so excited to see an eel ! I absolutly love them. I think it’s their eyes and they come in so many amazing patterns and prints. Funny enough they are often very curious by nature and will come right out of their home to say hello.
These little clown fish were very interactive. Swimming right up to you from their dancing sea anemone.
We continued exploring, with a little horsing around of course.
After what felt like no time at all we began our accent to the surface.
Back into the warm Omani air.
It was exciting. I smiled ear to ear and couldn’t wait to dive again tomorrow.
Fun fact – as much as you want to don’t smile underwater … your mask will fill. Trust me.
Back on land we rinsed and prepped our gear for tomorrows dive before heading back up to the hotel in search of lunch.
The Shangri-La in Muscat is actually a large compound which hosts three hotels. Now I must say, for the couples retreat our hotel, the Al Husn, was by far the best. I can confirm this because during our hunt for lunch we decided to take a peak at the restaurants located in the other two hotels The Waha and The Bandar. Now don’t get me wrong, the grounds were beautiful, but these two hotels seemed to be where people with children and large family groups booked when walking past the pool and busy beach front. I’d recommend spending just that extra bit more to stay at the Al Husn if your after something a bit more peaceful.
After stopping in the hotels historical art gallery we made our way back up to our delightfully tranquil Al Husn where we moseyed on down to the pool bar for lunch.
Taking our seats we ordered some colorful cocktails and mixed dim sums to share.
For the main meal I ordered a big juicy cheese burger (scuba works up quite an appetite you know) and Mr. Z went for their highly recommend lobster roll.
I don’t even have to tell you that we finished every last bite.
Finishing lunch we lounged around the pool with our cocktails enjoying the afternoon sun.
Full from lunch and still a tid-bit tired we returned to our room where we on the balcony laughing, chatting and dozing until dinner.
We had made reservations at the Sultanah . While this is also the same restaurant where everyone comes together for a laid back breakfast the restaurant transforms itself in the evening. Tables for two are moved onto the patio overlooking the hotels and beach below in soft light.
Other couples dine in the dim light but each table is strategically placed with enough distance from one another that no intimacy is lost. Shown to our table and handed the large blue menu with a little reading light the accommodating staff explained the specials and top recommendations.
It just so happened that the Sultanah was doing a special set menu promotion on 5 different courses of foie gras.
Now while I know it may not be everyones favorite, Mr. Z and I are guilty addicts of the stuff.
Mr. Z went with the 5 course set menu and I opted for a separate foie gras plate from the a la cart, as well as a beef tartare (my other favorite) and a light scallop dish.
This beautiful tower looked better than it tasted, after such a rich mixture of savory foods my palate found it too subtle. When the waiter came around to ask us how it was I hesisted to say my true opinion. Well trained and on point the waiter knew it wasn’t to my liking and kindly suggested that I try another dessert and insisted that it was no problem at all. He reccomend the chocolate souffle. Being a chocolate lover I gratefully agreed.
Sweeping the dish away he returned only a short while later with the same special white souffle as Mr. Z. As he put the plate down he said that this one came as special recommendation from the chef which he believed would compliment perfectly after such a rich meal.
I mean, how could you resist ?
Warm, sweet, creamy and all with a light fluffy pastry topping. My taste buds were dancing. Even though he had just finished his own I still had to fight off Mr. Z for the last bite.
Happy and tired from a day in the sea we headed to the room.
Due back at the boat by 7:45AM the next morning for our last round of scuba we were in need of a full nights rest. With my head still feeling like it was swaying in the waves I dozed off as soon as I hit the pillow.
Join Me !