Surreal, dream-like, nostalgic… these are just some of the words that sum up Marcel Wanders’ latest creation – the Mondrian Doha in Qatar. Local cultural references are mixed with global influences through Wanders’ unique story-telling style, offering guests a totally unique stay.
While the Dutch designer’s eccentric and fantastical style might not be for some – the columns adorned with golden eggs and the giant bell-shaped light fittings in the lobby certainly make for a strong first impression – you’ve got to take your hat off to him. It’s unashamedly OTT and certainly memorable, which is what sets it apart from the characterless greige hotels that frequently dominate the luxury hotel market.
Working in collaboration with global hospitality company SBE and South West Architecture, Wanders wanted each space to possess its own unique identity, with the story unfolding as guests travel from room to room.
‘Many themes are layered in the hotel. With each individual space telling its own tale, guests have many different experiences, and therefore, weave for themselves a volume of stories to share,’ said Wanders.
The hotel, which is in the city’s West Bay Lagoon neighbourhood, has 270 rooms in total, consisting of royal penthouses, bridal suites, VIP units, as well as premium and standard rooms. All of the guest suites are elaborately and thematically decorated – local textiles, intricate mosaics, traditional Arabic writing and souks are all referenced in the designs.
In addition to the rooms, the hotel has no less than eight restaurants and bars, plus an impressive 2,000 square-metre ballroom, which leads up to a glamorous bridal suite via a sculpted 24k gold caged elevator – yes, you read that correctly.
In the lounge, guests are greeted by a surreal forest of white ‘Tree of Life’ sculptures, where the floor is carpeted in Moooi‘s photorealistic floral rugs, while up on the 27th floor the swimming pool is housed in a jaw-dropping stained-glass dome that contrasts dramatically with the bold monochrome-patterned interior.
‘Conceptually, we have married local culture with a modern design aesthetic to compile tales told from legends through sophisticated verses of poetry,’ added Wanders.
If spa‘s are your thing, then the ESPA experience at the Mondrian Doha is sure to knock your socks off – the elaborate shimmering mosaics, oodles of gold and soft lighting create the perfect backdrop for some serious pampering. There are 12 treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, the lavishly decorated heated ‘Secret Garden’, and a traditional Turkish Hammam.
This hotel is all about spectacle, a place to see and be seen, and although it sits somewhere between Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory and an opulent Middle Eastern palace, this latest Mondrian hotel won’t fail to make you smile.
If you’re looking for more hotels in Doha, read our guide to the 10 best hotels in the city.