Oceanic Tradition

Seaside Hotel in Oman Reinterprets Traditional Village Layout with Contemporary Forms

Kempinski Hotel Muscat



This hotel is comprised of several contemporary forms to make a lasting impression on its luxury clientele—while also harkening back to traditional Omani village functions. With a noticeably modern aesthetic, the 82,000-square-meter site includes a dense assemblage of white buildings such as a five-star resort with 310 guest rooms, 77 apartments, restaurants, and leisure and meeting facilities broken up by narrow passageways—all resulting in a holistic urban destination.

Project details

A trapezoidal, 500-seat ballroom covered in a white stucco façade punctuated by geometric openings—similar to that of an Arabic lantern’s exterior—glows at night to let the Al Mouj community know they are welcome.

Further down the entry road, a separate lobby flanked in glass and topped with a flat plane roof is marked in a traditional Middle Eastern ornamental pattern typically used for screens. The pavilion itself is very simple on the outside, but once guests walk in and look up, they find a series of columns that splay out into a circular form at the top to give a sense of a lily pond that is inspired by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ Al Alam Palace.

Once guests travel through the entry pavilion, they are greeted by an outdoor courtyard with several large, man-made ponds and pools that appear to spill out onto the oceanfront. Enclosed by the white, geometric 395-room hotel, the public space is broken up by public gathering spaces, flat bridges, and plants.

Environments are arranged in an accessible hierarchy starting with fully public, then semipublic, semiprivate, and finally private spaces, in that order. Depending on a guest’s needs, there are 18 commercial facilities—such as restaurants and gyms—and 13 meeting rooms for business guests. But the most significant offering is the journey one takes while visiting.

Muscat, Oman
Omani Hospitality Company
82,000 square meters