In the heart of Oman’s newest economic zone, City Hotel Duqm makes an excellent rest stop on your way to Salalah. It meets your most basic expectations without breaking the bank, and has a few surprises as well.
When readers ask me about visiting Salalah, I always recommend driving the coastal route for one leg of the journey. There is so much to see and explore along Oman’s 2,000 kilometers of coastline to just forget about it. However, you kind of have to commit to camping or long days driving to take this route. Fortunately, City Hotel Duqm stands ready to serve you if you are not interested in camping the whole trip.
At first glance City Hotel Duqm doesn’t look like a hotel, rather the site looks like a local office building built for the oil industry. There’s an ominous gate and guard shack at the entrance, weathered portable buildings at the periphery, and a rectangular main block just beyond the industrial parking lot. I’ve always liked a quirky hotel, but does this hotel go too far?
Beyond the entrance to the lobby it’s like you step into another world, so different from 5 meters behind you. I’m expecting a foreman behind a steel desk ready to direct me to work. Rather, I find a very friendly receptionist standing in front of a nicely lit array of clocks. To my right is a pleasant seating area with Omani dates and coffee, a perfect snack after a long day of driving.
My room at City Hotel Duqm is exactly what you think of when you book a mid range hotel. There’s an electric kettle with decent tea and coffee, a refrigerator, wifi, a quality bed, mattress, and sheets. Nothing bad, all good and clean here.
Moving to the bathroom comes my first surprise. Along with the usual soap and shampoo set lies a full toiletry set consisting of a comb (not that I need one), toothbrush and toothpaste, shave kit, shower cap, and even an sewing kit. This works out great because my friend forgot his shaving kit, and I have a hole in my pocket. Just what we need and totally unexpected.
The final surprise of my stay happened at breakfast. Usually a midrange hotel will toss some bitter coffee, donuts, toast, cereal, and a few bananas at you and call it a breakfast. Not so with City Hotel Duqm! They put on a full range hot breakfast buffet, and I love a good breakfast. There’s a spicy Indian option, scrambled eggs, pasta, fried savory food, fruit, cereal, juice, yogurt, toast and my favorite… a cheese plater. All this is managed by very friendly staff who can whip you up a fresh omelet and a fancy cappuccino.
All in all City Hotel Duqm has my recommendation at the breakfast alone. Add to it their welcoming staff and tidy rooms, and you have a winning combination for an overnight hotel on the central coast of Oman. You might even want to stay longer.
You might be interested in checking out some of the geological sights in and around Duqm, along with episode 20 of the Sultanate when I stay at this hotel.
Disclaimer – City Hotel Duqm offered me a complimentary night’s stay at their hotel knowing I would write a review and mention them in a podcast. They did not pay me to write a good review. If I thought the hotel was terrible I would tell you so.