Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wadi Shab Resort II. - ideas for the concept

I have finally seen the Wadi Shab Resort during the last week-end.  My assumptions shared earlier turned out to be fairly accurate. I found the location and the views just great so I thought to put down some ideas (not all) that with minimal extra costs can do some more justice to this place. This is not really a visitor review (it is meant to be more for hoteliers and/or owners) but is does offer some info for you if you are interested in spending a relaxing week-end there.

Entrance (below) and some ideas (above)
The hotel has a great LOCATION, stunning sea views and good visibility from the road. It is practically impossible to miss as you drive south, unless you are sleeping.  They have also done a good job with road signage along the way from both directions: Muscat and from Sur. You have multiple signs indicating the decreasing distance until the hotel.
They have recently updated the imagery on their website, which is much better than it was before.  The building nicely blends into the environment but the finishing of the structures though is not meant to have a very long life.  (They better start allocating a replacement reserve by now.)

The steep slip road leading up to the ENTRANCE from the highway is not completed yet, but ironically, the dark red color of the gravel it confers an interesting visual factor with some sense of arrival. This sense of arrival however vanishes as soon as you park your car and head to the gate.  There is a whole lot that can be done here to improve that experience and impress the guests. Plants in pots and some landscaping could already achieve a lot. A real extra would be to put some stone carved imagery (like on the Cornish) on the barren wall facing the parking depicting the main attractions you can visit reach in the area (Wadi Shab, Tiwi, White Beach, Sink Hole, Sur etc.).
wilder ideas (above) and the current

The SIGNAGE within the resort is unfortunately not as good as the roadside one. These signs lack originality and they are often misplaced. Having a set of creative well designed (perhaps poled) signs would result in a greatly improved visual and visitor experience.

The RESTAURANT has a boat themed terrace which I found interesting and creative. With an absolutely stunning sea view it does give you an impression that you are on the deck of a boat. The details could be further enhanced by furniture and related decorative objects but the concept is good.

The ROOMS are a bit small for a resort but still manageable. The view of each unit from outside and especially their terrace could be enhanced perhaps by hanging some plants or similar.

The POOL is relatively nice and it even has a small wading pool on the side for toddlers. A (partial) shade would improve the pool experience especially in hot season. There is a small playground as well but it needs some soft pavement, maybe even artificial grass over it to make it more enjoyable and safe.

The terraces (above) and ideas to enhance them
For its 34 rooms, it has a relatively large OUTSIDE AREA, a large part of it steeply sloping toward the beach, which is not really used for anything. It is rocky and rough but a couple of nice patios could be set up further down closer to the beach, for watching the sunrise, or just have a relaxing hour in the shade listening to the waves.  With a smart design it could also be used for barbecues in the evening.  The fence around the property, especially from the beach looks a bit overdone. It resembles more of urban or industrial fencing than a resort one. I don’t think there are many intruders in the region especially interested in a property with constant surveying.  Just lowering it and changing the wire fence into some friendlier material or design would do a great deal (if not taking it away altogether).   Also adding more plants on the terraced area (I know it’s costly to maintain and replace) will change  the rugged exterior into a more friendly one adding more life to the place.
The nice restaurant terrace (left) ideas to enhance (right)
In terms of ACTIVITIES within the resort, there is a whole lot more that can be done, such as: water sports (banana pull, water ski, kayaking, etc), animated programs for kids (during week-end), cooking workshops for quests etc. etc.  I assume this will come with time and an increasing request from the guests. The place is also a nice hub for a number of daytrips in the region, so local guides could also find this an opportunity. Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, Sink Hole, Ras al Jinz, Sur dhow yards, Dhayqha Dam, and many more are all under or around 80km.

As for the interiors…I have no idea, but as OPNO mentioned before, the place could certainly help a creative eye with some Omani affinity and a modest but reasonable budget.

I know this is intended to be a mid market hotel, so we cannot expect a whole lot but the overall experience and subsequently the occupancy and the revenues can be enhances significantly by a similar thinking to that of above.
Idea for beach patio and maybe grill area

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything that you've said. I mean, a nice set cushions for the bed, some wall art, these things make the rooms have a local flavour.

    I like your suggestions for the patios. As I love this area, if the hotel had a more romantic vibe I'd totally pay for a weekend stay. If not... then I'd just end up camping, that's my local spin on it. To me, decor is one of the major things when I book a hotel, be it modest or extravgant, it just need not be bland or an imitation of place not the one I've travelled to. The next is price. And food. So if they had good food, were affordable, and had a little decor... I'd as a local visit and stay. Many of the more expensive design concepts at the Chedi are so affordable if executed on a smaller scale... really!;)