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Day 2 : Sunday 11th March 2007

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Muscat stopover

After a very pleasant flight in Gulf Air's first class cabin, we landed at MCT at about 7:30am. I was met off the plane by Gulf Air special services and was thrilled, make that doubly thrilled, to hear that I would be put up in the Grand Hyatt for my extended layover in Muscat before my onward flight to Bangkok shortly before midnight. This was great news, as I had heard less than complementary things about the transit hotels in Muscat.

I was escorted right throughout the airport, which was empty at this time, to the taxi by the wonderful Gulf Air representative and soon arrived at the hotel. It appeared at first that they were not used to catering for such arrangements (Gulf Air paid for the hotel, transfers and lunch and dinner) but I was soon in my wonderful room overlooking the beach and the Gulf of Oman. Still early, and with only a couple of hours sleep behind me on the flight, I decided to bed down for a while and eventually slept until about 1:30pm.

I had lunch in the hotels Mocka Cafe, which was a standard hotel buffet. I must say that in complete contrast to the rest of the hotel, the buffet was not really up to standard. The food was nice, but the choice was poor, compared to other hotels in the region. But the setting, eating outside on the terrace in beautiful weather, cannot have been beaten!

I took another brief sojourn in my room, reading and writing some of this trip diary, before heading back down to the pool at about 5pm after the main heat of the day had abated. The pool was very warm and I had a refreshing wallow - I hesitate to call it a swim - before heading back to my room to freshen up for dinner.

I had dinner in the hotel's poolside restaurant, the Asian-themed Marjan, and in a precursor of my forthcoming trip I ended up having Satay and a delicious Nasi Goreng. With that out of the way, there was little time left other than to check out and make my way back to Seeb International airport by taxi for my onward flight to Bangkok.

Muscat airport was very busy at this late hour, but with the aid of Fast track to departures for First class passengers, it dind't take me too long to reach the Gulf air lounge where I rested for an hour or so before boarding one of the buses to be taken out to the aircraft.

GF252 Muscat Seeb International (MCT) - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International (BKK)