Gerald Chevasson, General Manager of W Muscat tells Anne Kurian the story behind W Muscat, which opened its doors to the public in April 2019
Eclectic. Stylish. Energetic. Bold. Unconventional. Extraordinary. Vibrant. W Hotels are all this and more. The brand that was launched in the pulsating metropolis, New York, in the late 90s has spread its exciting brand DNA across the globe. And the newest city to experience all that W has to offer is Muscat. The much-anticipated hotel is all set to unleash all its glory on the Sultanate in a few weeks.
It’s difficult not to notice the iconic yet unpretentious signage of the brand on the rectangle building as you drive into Shatti Al Qurum. Come evening and W’s unique characteristic comes through with its eye-catching lighting around the building. Located across the Shatti Al Qurum beach, W Muscat brings together the quirky and eclectic elements of the brand with Oman’s unique and charming characteristics. From the lampshades inspired by the Omani men’s headgear, kummah, to a rooftop glass pool that overlooks the Arabian Sea to the captivating décor, W Muscat stands out from the rest.
At the helm is Gerald Chevasson, General Manager of W Muscat. Armed with hospitality experience that spans France, United Kingdom, Mauritius, and the Middle East, Chevasson brings the brand character to the property through his own style. We met with the enthusiastic, jovial and exuberant General Manager of the most anticipated hotel in the city for a tête-à-tête. Excerpts from the conversation with Gerald Chevasson…
Every W hotel has a story to tell. What is the story of W Muscat?
A hotel’s design begins with a mood board. For this, we ask the designer to work with three aspects of the country we are in – social, geography and culture. Months were spent researching the aspects to be considered before designing the hotel. One of the first elements is the social aspect. Most Omani homes use luban or frankincense to welcome guests. We used this element in our design through a specially crafted luban tree in metal that welcomes guests as they drive into W Muscat. The second element is the geography – in Oman, the main aspects are the Hajjar mountains, land and the sea. The hotel is positioned in such a way that we bring all these elements around us. The third is culture and this is depicted through various décor elements that are spread over the property. We combine the charm of Oman with the modernity of W in the hotel.
How is W Muscat different from the other properties in the city?
We have the attitude of Whatever, Whenever. We are a luxury hotel but not in the traditional sense. We are fun loving yet attentive to our guest’s needs. We like to shake things up. We are not what one would term as ‘normal’. We have a very energetic vibe to us. We do things differently. We love to challenge ourselves and what has already been done.
What also sets us apart are our passion points – music, fashion, design and fuel. These passion points are part of our DNA and you will see these [passion points] being incorporated through various events and activities in the hotel. We will promote local talents through our events revolving around our passion points.
The W experience is unlike any other. We are inspired by what’s new and next in the world.
Tell us more about some of the features at W Muscat.
We have 279 rooms and suites in total. We introduce Living Room, which is the signature W lounge concept to our property as well. We have an expansive pool, named WET, which I am sure is like no other. We also have a pool on the top level of the hotel that overlooks the Gulf of Oman right next to a new concept we are introducing – Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar. We have four dining outlets offering a variety of cuisines. FIT, the gym, features modern and state of the art equipment. We will introduce innovative and interesting classes at FIT.
W Muscat – Quick Facts
279 rooms, including 28 suites. The suites range from 58 sqm to 205 sqm
WET – 1800 sqm pool
Terrace pool overlooking the Gulf of Oman
FIT – gym and wellness
Dining – 6 offerings: Living Room – the arrival lounge area for caffeine and crafted beverages. Harvest – communal style with healthy, organic and local being the primary elements; WET serving vibrant dishes and drinks poolside, Ba Ban – Chinese cuisine that combines modern with traditional (coming soon); Char, Fearless Grill – steaks, grills and more; and Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar – contemporary and relaxed space for good music and vibes (coming soon).