Hotel Review: Super cool in the Arabian heat

W Doha exterior
Travel News 26 Jun 2016
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The W Hotel in Doha is a modern sanctuary above the city, with views encapsulating the Arabian Gulf.

This hotel has a signature style that will ensure any visit is unforgettable. One of FCM's Learning and Development team Helen Smith, recently stayed at the hotel and shared her thoughts with us on this eclectic and luxurious hotel in one of the world's most exciting cities. You can read her thoughts about her stay below.

Tell us about the property

I arrived into Doha on a very hot and windy day in May – 40degrees at 5.00am – a reflection of the days to come.  After an easy taxi transfer with a friendly Kenyan driver,  we pulled up in front of the W Doha to be greeted by very stylish and gracious doormen.

Although the hotel foyer was on the small side, the Arabian styling was exceptional.  An eclectic blend of 'floating' steel sculptures, a gorgeous tiered display of glass vases filled with a myriad of fresh purple hued  flowers- violets, iris, hydrangeas and tulips was the central focal point.  Large royal-blue glass lanterns hung in precise lines from the ceiling generates  the lighting in the foyer,   much like looking up into an Arabian Souk.  The area is furnished with circular white leather couches and large squishy cushions, sectioned off with black string tassel panel curtains for a bit of privacy.

Pre-check in had already been arranged so our arrival at 6.00am to the hotel was not an issue with rooms already assigned. The Hotel's front office manager greeted us personally and talked us through some of the features and products offered by this five star, luxury boutique Starwood property.  

What were the rooms like?

The doorman who was assigned to me assisted me to my room and upon opening the door - although I was not in a 'wow' suite, those were the first words out of my mouth! Styling was taken from the region,  Islamic/Arabian mosaic tessellated patterns printed into the duck egg blue plush carpet, the pattern echoed through as finely etched frosted glass walls in the bathroom.   

The room was large and welcoming,   an oversized circular chair and footstall sit under the floor to ceiling windows allowing for a great television viewing spot, or a coffee or tea looking out into the Arabian sea if you don't want to sit on your kings sized bed.  My room was fitted with the latest mod-cons,  my doorman showed me how to work the Nespresso Machine and how to connect my iPhone to the Bose speaker system which plays through speakers into the bathroom if you wish.    

What was the bathroom like?

The bathroom was very generous, featuring a large bench top with quirky 'Bliss' products.  There was a separate full-sized bathtub  and a huge shower cubicle fitted with two separate shower heads.   You also have the choice of either the rain shower or the wall mounted  shower, and can control pressure as well as temperature to suit your mood.

Was there a conference room and other rooms that made it suitable for a corporate getaway?

Several function spaces would make this ideal for smaller conferencing groups. As to be expected, the rooms were all equipped with the latest WiFi and bluetooth technology offering seamless connectivity.  

What other facilities were there?

A surprisingly large gym with an onsite personal trainer was on offer,  'ladies only' wet areas such as sauna and spa added to the comfort. The dark slate tiled outdoor pool  looked like an oasis in the sun,  a generous pool bar features in the centre of the outdoor area,  with plenty of seating in the shade.

There are 3 restaurants,  one cafe, two bars and a specialist Swiss Chocolate Shop for those in a decadent mood for sweet treats!

Did you enjoy the food?

We had the pleasure of dining in several of the Restaurants at the W Doha.   One of the 'things to do' in Doha is to attend Brunch which is held each Friday, the start of the Middle Eastern weekend. Brunch is a fine affair, dress to impress and expect your dining experience to last for hours as you graze on the finest selection of Western and  Arabian-spiced foods.  Although this is a buffet, expect food to be 'made to order'. If you want your pasta a certain way, you can have it!

If you want for a more relaxed atmosphere, then head to The Cafe for a selection of deli sandwiches,  mac and cheese and burgers.  Topping it off in The Cafe is a sumptuous display of candy coloured Meringues, Macaroons, Croissants, custard filled tarts to name but a few, and a myriad choice of chocolates. Try to stay away!

Spice Market is run by Michelin three star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and I had the pleasure of dining here. We experienced a 'Chefs Choice' never ending menu of pre-selected specialty items,  one dish more delicious than the next. A true blend of middle eastern and Asian spice. Amazing.

Who would you recommend this property for?

In my opinion, this property  is best suited for Business travellers and Couples.  There are interconnecting rooms for families if you are so inclined.

What's your overall rating out of 5 and any final comments

My rating for this hotel is 5 stars. With one of the most comfortable Hotel beds I have slept in and exceptional attention to detail, I would highly recommend this property. It is only one block away from one of Doha's largest shopping centres, easy walking distance even in 40deg.

Rooms were serviced on a very regular basis, in fact as soon as I left my room it was refreshed and tidied with  fresh towels and replenished mini-bar and coffee station.

Note that smoking is still widely accepted and is allowed in public areas of the hotel. The W also have allocated two Smoking floors in the hotel.