Very Good But Not Perfect: A Review of the Primeclass Lounge (Muscat)

READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP

Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist 
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business Class); Toronto – Paris
• Review: Air France A320 (Business Class); Paris – Stockholm
• Review: The Generator Hostel (Stockholm)

• Review: Norrsken Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Menzies Executive Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: American Express Lounge by Pontus (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Stockholm Arlanda Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Qatar Airways A350-1000 “QSuites” (Business Class)
• Review: Four Points By Sheraton Doha
• Review: The Westin Doha Resort and Spa
• Review: Al Safwa First Class Lounge (Doha)
• Review: Qatar Airways 777-300ER “QSuites” (Business Class)
• Review: Sheraton Oman Hotel (Muscat)
• Review: Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel (Muscat)
Review: Primeclass Lounge (Muscat)

I had an extremely generous check-out time (8PM) from the Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel, and I enjoyed every single minute in my upgraded suite as I departed from the hotel at exactly 8pm and embarked on the 45 minute journey back to the airport.

When I arrived at the airport, I returned my rental car and quickly headed toward the check in area.

At the far end of the airport is an exclusive check-in area for First/Business class passengers.

Once I proceeded through the glass doors, I found check-in desks for various airlines. Unfortunately, I was a few hours early for my ~2AM flight so I sat in the comfortable red leather chairs found in the waiting area.

I only waited about 30 minutes before an agent appeared and was able to check me in.

During check-in I was handed a voucher and asked to visit the Primeclass lounge.

I headed through the passport control dedicated to the First/Business class passengers and found myself in Duty Free Airport shopping area in less than a minute.

Now airside, I used the escalator on the other side of Duty Free (a few steps beyond the Burberry sign) to reach the Primeclass lounge located on the 5th floor.

At the top of the escalator, you will find the Aerotel hotel in front of you, however, the Primeclass lounge is located to the left.

Primeclass Muscat Lounge

The lounge is open 24/7, 7 days a week. Although, I was able to enter the lounge on account of my Turkish Airline Business class ticket, the lounge is also a Priority Pass lounge which is a benefit that is included with many credit cards.

If you are not flying in First/Business class or do not have Priority Pass, the lounge charges OMR 20/person (~$52 USD) to experience the comfort, joy, and benefits of the lounge.

I was immediately impressed with the entrance of the lounge as it appeared to incorporate Oman’s traditional architecture and distinctive landscapes.

I entered the lounge and found the entrance to be clean and fairly minimalist which are two features that I really appreciate.

Immediately to the left was a complimentary luggage storage area.

The front desk is located to the right. The staff were extremely proactive and welcomed me to the lounge. After scanning my boarding pass, I inquired about reserving a complimentary bedroom.

Unfortunately, there is no time limit on the bedrooms, so I advised to place my name on the wait list and check again in about an hour.

I proceeded through the arched door at the far end of the lobby.

On the other side of the arch, I found myself in a large, spacious and quiet lounge with a considerable amount of seating options.

Generally, Priority Pass lounges are not extremely impressive. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them are basic. For example, I experienced THIS ONE, THIS ONE, and THIS ONE just a few days earlier in Stockholm. In other words, I was not expecting much given that this lounge was also a Priority Pass lounge.

I proceeded to the left and found various amenities including:

…the “Private Suites” that included large couches and small dining tables. Many of the suites were occupied and people had closed the door to their suite and were sleeping.

…a “Kid’s Play Room” (and restroom)…

…a “Cinema” where it’s worth noting that you have to obtain the headset and controller from the front desk…

…a “Game Zone” which included many video consoles and futuristic chairs…

It’s also worth noting that all of the pictures above are individual and separate rooms so if an individual is, say, playing a video game, they will not disturb an individual watching a movie in the cinema. There is adequate spacing between all of the rooms.

At the far end of the lounge, there is a pool table. I found this to be a peculiar addition as, generally, lounges are quiet, relaxing areas and pool games are the exact opposite. Nonetheless, it was available if you would like to play a game or two.

The pool table area also had several small refrigerators that offered cold water and soft drinks.

At this point, I reversed course and walked to the other side of the lounge. As you can see, the lounge is extremely large. Again, one aspect that I loved about this lounge were the small details like the distinctive shapes etched into the dark wood.

On the other side of that detailed wooden wall is a hallway where you will find an open buffet of that included traditional and international cuisines of fresh and tasty hot and cold dishes.

Note: There were two buffets, one near the lounge entrance and another at the far end of the lounge. The buffet near the entrance was extremely busy so I did not spend a lot of time taking photos. However, the second buffet was completely empty. Both included the same food so I took more photos of the food at the second buffet. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

Next to the buffet was a bar that offered various alcoholic beverages as well as soft drinks.

I continued to the far end of the lounge to visit the second buffet.

The selections included:

…King Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce, Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sauce, Biryani Rice…

…white rice…

…various types of Dhal…

…a plethora of desserts…

…salad ingredients, hummus, and cheese…

…sweetcorn egg drop soup…

…chicken fingers, and potato wedges.

On the opposite side of the buffet was a juice bar where you could, essentially, make a concoction of any fruit blend. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I did not eat much in the lounge because I ordered 3 (..or 4 ..or 5) strawberry, kiwi, mango smoothies from the juice bar. They were delicious (obviously)!

Although, the “busy time” for Middle Eastern airports is generally in the middle of the night, the lounge was fairly quiet. There was no one located at this end of the lounge but there were more than enough seating options.

Just beyond the buffet / juice bar area was a “relaxing zone” which included several lounge chairs, a plush couch, and a flat screen television.

Next to the relaxing zone were complimentary shower facilities. The shower rooms were very clean and I, personally, saw staff cleaning these rooms despite no one utilizing them.

And just beyond the shower area were several private meetings rooms.

I was very productive and was able to write this review during the few hours I spent in this lounge.

Unfortunately, there is one major criticism that I have… the lounge had no views of the apron and overlooked the roof of the airport.

My flight was departing at 2:25AM from gate C7 and boarding began at 1:25AM. After spending a few hours in the lounge, I departed for my gate around 1AM.

Upon exiting the lounge, I inquired if a bedroom had become available and sadly over the course of approximately 5 hours, nothing had opened up.

Anyway, the airport is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful airports I’ve transited through so I decided to explore it enroute to my gate.

There were a number of airport amenities that I thought were great additions and incorporated cultural aspects. For example, I saw several Bedouin tents where solo travelers and families were relaxing.

FINAL STAMP

Design wise I overall thought this was one of the nicer business class lounges out there, especially by Priority Pass standards, as I otherwise find their decor to be a bit drab and basic.

In fact, the lounge had a unique concept as it reflected the beauty of Oman and combined comfort and utility in an authentic and one-of-a-kind design.

In general, there are very few priority pass lounges that I’ve been very impressed by, though this is probably one of the nicest I’ve been to. The staff were friendly and proactive, and the lounge was large, had nice decor, with a solid food selection, and good shower rooms.

I’d also note that the lounge’s focus on various areas (i.e. family area, relaxing area, game area, cinema area, etc.) was extremely thoughtful and caters to the diversity of people that could be using the lounge.

As Muscat continues to become more popular with tourists, I have no doubt that this lounge will increase in popularity also. Fortunately, the lounge is well planned and would be able to accommodate.

I would definitely recommend this lounge if you are in (or transiting through) Muscat International Airport.

If you’ve visited the Primeclass Lounge, what was your experience like?

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