Shangri La in Oman repositions its hotels branding

Shangri La in Oman the Sultanate’s first resort, and possibly most successful hotel property, is on the verge of being ‘repositioned’

Shangri La in Oman's Al Waha
Al Waha Shangri La

regarding its Branding. The Shangri La in Oman’s Barr Al Jissa Resort and Spa is probably the key hotel in Oman, and I believe the one which launched Oman into mainstream tourism. The repositioning will, of course, be important to Oman and critical to the Shangri-la in Oman.

Sandra Simone Leibrock of Shangri La in Oman
Sandra Simone Leibrock – supplied

Probably part of this repositioning is the appointment of Sandra Simone Leibrock as director of sales & marketing. She has worked with a remarkable variety of Hotel Brands and has been part of the critical ‘pre-opening’ team of some. This wealth of experience will be essential as the repositioning means that there will be 2 distinct properties.

Al Husn Courtyard
Al Husn Courtyard

Al Husn is renamed to Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa. This property was built physically joined by lift to the other two properties and had placed itself as an ‘adult only’ property (we once had family booked with us who therefore had to spread into Al Husn for the adults with children and Nanny in the adjacent Al Bandar).

My rewrite of the Bradt Guide to Oman includes this property and is available in eBook here and paperback through Amazon worldwide here.

Oman Guide Book by Tony Walsh
Bradt Guide to Oman

The age of an adult under their definition fluctuated which did emphasise the commercial issues involved. The other two hotels, Al Waha and Al Bandar, will remain as Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa  .

Shangri La Private function
Shangri La Private function

The Shangri-la launched very successfully in Oman for its 2006 opening with a full flight of PR guests flown in with Gulf Air, at the time Oman’s national airline; this bounced the hotel into probably all the European press.

Shangri la Staff orientation
Shangri la Staff orientation

The Shangri La in Oman hotel backed this up with excellent staff training; all staff were new to Oman and we were used to provide ‘City Orientation’ trips for them on their arrival. This attention to basics, along with its superior promotion, enabled the hotel to fill its 700 rooms when other Oman hotels struggled.

Times of course change, particularly at the upper end of the market where Muscat is rapidly having almost an excess of 5star properties. Al Husn certainly needs to compete more clearly as the general market has become more demanding and Muscat has spread well to the west of the Shangri-la.

Al Husn Entrance
Al Husn Entrance

Sandra Simone Leibrock may also find herself as part of the planning for a Shangri-la in Salalah, land has been allocated for years and the reposition might be an ideal time to feel out demand.

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman