A visit to the Four Seasons Hotel Doha proves that luxury and seamless service still reign at this plush hotel group…
The last – and only – time I stayed in a Four Seasons Hotel was in Sydney during Christmas 2011. The seamless service, exquisite food and absolutely girnomous guest rooms made a lasting impression on me as one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever had. I still think back to their amazingly comfy king sized beds which you could have fitted at least four people in. If I remember correctly, I woke up in the morning and using the remote control, opened the blinds from under my duvet to reveal the most incredible views over Sydney Harbour. Yep, it’s up there in my top travel memories.
So, when I found out I was staying at The Four Seasons Hotel Doha during my trip to Qatar in December, I was over the moon. I was already incredibly happy to be taking my first trip to the Middle East. But my memories of this luxurious hotel group made it all the more exciting.
The Four Seasons in Doha lies right on the waterfront and is found within the West Bay area. It’s partly geared towards guests on business, but has is also ideal for holiday makers who are here to explore Qatar’s capital. It’s also handy to know that it’s just 20-30 minutes away by car, from Doha Hamad International Airport.
There are 17 floors at The Four Seasons Hotel in Doha. If you arrive at night – as we did – I love the first view you see from your hotel room first thing in the morning. From my guest room (which I think was on the 14th Floor) the view was incredible. From my juliet style balcony I had panoramic vista right across Doha’s sweeping harbour.
In front of me was the recently opened Nobu restaurant.
And to the right I could see the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel which we’d seen changing through all sorts of colours while we dined al fresco at the Pool Grill the night before. Then of course, you have the futuristic city skyline in the distance.
In terms of the room, I think the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney topped it in the wow factor by just a smidge (it had wrap-around windows and was a perfect blend of traditional and modern decor with not a glitch or sign of wear or tear at all), but this one was certainly not far behind.
In one corner of the room was a desk for setting up your work and laptop. And in the other was a table of glossy mags, the local Time Out Doha and a comfy chair. As you walked in the room there was also a Nespresso coffee machine with jar-upon-jar of sweeties, toblerones, nuts and goodies which I remember is a signature touch of the Four Seasons. There was also a fully-stocked minibar underneath (available at an extra cost), a large TV, and humungous dark wood wardrobes which made me feel like I should have been staying for weeks..
I also arrived to the most beautiful spread of cakes, chocolates, pastries and gold leaf-topped macarons which was a lovely surprise! How beautiful is that?
And the bed. Oh the bed. Yes, it was as big and bouncy as I remember. I had a very good sleep that night – but not before I experienced the huge bathroom which is another highlight of this glorious hotel.
As with the last Four Seasons I stayed in, the Four Seasons Hotel Doha has a huge bathroom area which contains a separate shower cubicle, a separate toilet, vast basin complete with magnified mirror and all the little extras (including hairdryer, flannels, fluffy towels, robes and slippers towels) that you’ll need. And then you have the bath – oh the bath. It’s big, with another shower in it and when I saw the La Source bubble baths, soaps and luxurious Acqua di Parma bath salts, it was just begging for me to get in it. (Yes, this is my guilty pleasure when I’m travelling alone and I don’t feel one bit guilty for it).
The rest of the hotel is uber luxurious. While the corridors are carpeted and have a lovely cosy but grand feel to them, the lobby is all sparkling marble with Arabic-style tiling and lattice work, vast pillars, sweeping stairways and chandeliers. When we stayed, the hotel team was gearing up for Christmas celebrations for the US & European ex-pats. So there were some beautiful Christmas decorations in the lobby too.
In fact, the chandelier you see here overlooks a double stairway which leads out to the pool area (Pool Grill) and beach. I took a walk and found some lovely cabana style beds lining the palm tree-lined shore, uber stylish outdoor furniture for lazy afternoons and the most gorgeously manicured gardens.
It was a shame that we were in Doha during an abnormally cool weekend. When I say cool, it was probably a nice summer’s day in the UK – between 17 and 20 degrees, but with a cool breeze and a little cloud, it wasn’t quite sunbathing weather. So I thought I was very brave to take a dip in the outdoor pool. It was, shall we say, refreshing. But I imagine during the warmer months (temperatures in Qatar reach a sweltering 40+ degrees), this pool is just what hotel guests need. The layout of the pool and sun loungers is lovely and the pool staff were very quick to bring me a large cooler box of five or six bottles of iced water!
There are eight restaurants at The Four Seasons Hotel Doha – including the recently opened Nobu restaurant which is in a separate building – as well as various tea, shisha and cigar lounges, if you’re that way inclined. During our stay, we dined al fresco at the Pool Grill.
Before we got there, I was expecting very casual plates of fast food, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a varied menu of grilled meat and local fish.
After some delicious mezze style appetisers (the hummous here is as expected, brilliant) I enjoyed the catch of the day – the traditional hammour fish (grouper) served with roast potatoes, grilled pineapple, roasted garlic and garnish. The flavour was incredible and tasted even better when it was served with knockout views over the marina. Snuggled underneath a blanket, we ended our meal with some delicious desserts and mint tea ahead of many adventures to come.
One of the highlights I remembered from staying at The Four Seasons in Sydney was the epic breakfasts they serve. And after rising for our first day in Doha, I discovered that much to my delight, these impressive smorgasbords have not changed since my last stay.
Here, at The Four Seasons Hotel Doha, the breakfast is served in the Il Teatro restaurant, which serves guest breakfasts by morning and Italian cuisine by night.
It’s very plush inside with an array of crisp table cloths and exquisitely laid out tables and warm golden decor, and the restaurant extends to tables outside on an outdoor patio area which was a lovely way to start the day.
While the layout was at first, a little confusing (you actually have the hot breakfast buffet outside of the restaurant doors, (at the bottom of the sweeping stairs underneath the chandelier) so it’s quite a walk to go and get your eggs.
I got up late and we had an itinerary to get on with, so I opted for a cold breakfast instead and being the indecisive person I am, must have spent at least five minutes just oggling at the huge spread of fresh bread, fruit, yoghurt, pastries, cereals and preserves which were spread across two huge tables in an adjacent room.
There’s a selection of juices, tea and coffee and there are gluten-free options too. If you like, you can also order hot items off the menu.
As for the service, it was exceptional. I and my fellow travellers on this trip all noticed it was effortlessly sleek and discreet with fantastic attention to detail. This continues throughout the entire hotel where you are warmly greeted by every member of staff wherever you go.
We weren’t just here for the hotel though. So after gulping down my coffee, we headed off to explore the fantastic city. We were at The Four Seasons Hotel Doha for two nights, and while I didn’t get to experience the spa or fitness centre, I saw enough to know that The Four Seasons is still doing lots of things oh so right. I would highly recommend a stay here if you visit Doha. Everything from the first greeting to our (sad) farewell at the end of the stay was just how I’d remembered.
Lucy was a guest of The Four Seasons Hotel Doha as part of a press trip with Qatar Tourism. All views expressed here are my own. Barrhead Travel is offering a five night stay in Qatar from £1197 per person (Based on two sharing). The offer includes three nights on a bed&breakfast basis at The Four Seasons Doha, two nights on a room only basis at The Melia Doha and flights from London Heathrow with Qatar Airways. To book please call: 0141 222 2223 or visit www.barrheadtravel.co.uk. For more information on Qatar visit: www.qatartourism.gov.qa. You can also follow The Four Seasons Hotel Doha on twitter, Facebook, instagram and Pinterest.
Until next time x