“Huge estate, completely private and very safe” When we decided to visit Oman (2 adults and a 2 year old daughter), we looked at available vacation homes in Oman and were surprised that there were very few. We were also not sure if it would be safe to rent a vacation home in Oman.
We almost booked at a standard resort when we found the listing for As-Sahala Farm, and were intrigued. A private farm with your own pool, cinema and animals? Sounded too good to be true...We called the owner Rashid prior to booking, to confirm a few things, such as whether anyone else would be vacationing on the property at the same time, and were told that the only other people there are the caretaker, Mohammed, who lives at the other end of the property, and a few farm employees who work the fields during the day.
We arrived to the farm by car thanks to the excellent maps emailed by Rashid (you will need a car to stay at this property) and couldn't believe that this was the place where we would be spending our vacation: calling this a "farm" is really misleading. I would call it an Estate on 10 to 20 acres of beautiful gardens, fully surrounded by an 8ft wall, with an iron gate at the front. The caretaker lives near the front gate, while the house sits in the opposite corner of the property. The house is very large. The 3 of us only used the sleeping and kitchen area, but there are 2 completely separate living room type areas which we didn't even get a chance to use during our short week there. There are bathrooms throughout all areas (even the kitchen has it's own half bath, as well as the living room), and a very unusual touch were boxes of paper handkerchiefs sprinkled throughout the house, just like in a hotel.
We enjoyed our private pool (half of it is shaded for when the sun shines) and our daughter enjoyed her own private playground with more slides than we have on our city playground at home! There is also a half basketball field, which we didn't use, lots of grass to run on, and an outdoor Omani sitting area complete with area rug and of course our daughter loved visiting the cows, goats and chickens daily.
Within this compound, we felt safer than in any other house we've ever rented elsewhere, and it was a treat to come back to the property each evening after our daily excursions.
The caretaker Mohammed was amazing: even though he hardly speaks any English, he would always understand what we needed and be there at the right time to assist us. Every morning, he would clean the lawn area from flower petals that fell from the trees during the night, and spoil us with fresh milk and eggs in the morning.
The owner Rashid insisted on meeting us personally at the farm during our stay, and explained how he built the farm as a retreat for his family several years before.
We were very sad to leave at the end of our week, and are already looking forward to the time when we can go back.
We would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to visit Oman, and can assure anyone with safety concerns that As Sahala Farm and Oman in general is a great place to stay even with young children. The farm is located conveniently to countryside excursions, beaches, the city Muscat, the airport as well as to several large supermarket (we found food in Oman to be quite inexpensive). We also found Omanis in general to be very friendly, warm and welcoming, whether in the capital Muscat or in small rural villages that we visited.