One of the richest cities in the world, Doha has long been associated with luxury and the finer things in life. With a growing stream of tourists and an appetite for opulence, major brands are clamouring to get a foothold in the city. These hotels in Doha are setting very high standards for lavish hospitality.
If you’re looking for a hotel that balances exclusive social-club vibes with proximity to local amenities, this is the one for you: the W Doha is the perfect fusion of location, vibe and facilities. With the city recently having seen an onslaught of newer and bigger hotel openings, the W Doha has held its own. This is in no small part due to the excellent array of restaurants, including the European-style Market, the Asian street-food Spice Market and the Italian outlet La Spiga. A café, bar and nightclub round out the hotel’s entertainment collection. The rooms are quirky with a touch of whimsy. Some of the design accents include swing-like wicker chairs suspended from the ceiling and beds surrounded by fringed curtains. At weekends this place is jam-packed, so ask for a room away from the bustling public areas.
A recent design-driven makeover has given this prestigious hotel a new lease of life. Rooms have been painstakingly refurbished with a fresh, contemporary feel, complete with plush new furnishings and marbled bathrooms. The hotel’s array of restaurants has also been amped up thanks to the opening of cult steakhouse STK Doha and a new, casual French brasserie, Sel & Miel. Once considered to be on the edge of Doha in West Bay Lagoon, the hotel is now closer than ever to the heart of things, thanks to a new road network and a growing city. The spa is without a doubt one of the most popular in Doha, and houses an indoor pool and two tennis courts. Lounge lizards will love the tropically inspired pool area, which comes with cool towels and poolside food service.
Stepping into the Mondrian Doha is like visiting a hotel dreamed up by Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter. From a lobby featuring a ‘staircase to nowhere’ (yes, you can climb it) to a ‘frozen forest’ complete with white tree sculptures, the Mondrian Doha is the eccentric fantasy of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. Situated between Lusail and West Bay, the hotel has an exterior inspired by a Qatari falcon. It boasts 211 rooms and 59 suites as well as a luxurious spa and an enclosed rooftop pool. Each room is decorated with a bespoke mural personally created by Wanders. With two celebrity-helmed restaurants (CUT by Wolfgang Puck and Morimoto) as well as a Middle Eastern restaurant and a popular pub, it’s the full package for any traveller. Be sure to check out the I Dream of Jeannie-inspired bathrooms draped with Arab lanterns.
One of Doha’s newest hotels, the Mandarin Oriental Doha is the epitome of quiet glamour. It’s located in the up-and-coming Msheireb area, so head to the hotel’s rooftop pools to take in sweeping views of the skyline. The hotel boasts 158 naturally lit rooms and suites, all complete with king-size beds and luxe, high-thread-count sheets. The dining line-up includes celebrity-chef-driven Izu (which offers casual dining on the ground floor and fine dining on the mezzanine) as well as all-day restaurant Mosaic, which has become particularly popular for its Silk Road-inspired menu. Dessert bar Gelato has become the city’s Instagram hero thanks to its bespoke ice cream flavours. Be sure to sample its Arabic coffee and Medjool date-flavoured desserts.
Known to locals as ‘Banana Island’, this hotspot was once a haven for Doha dwellers seeking some fun in the sun. Now it’s a luxury resort complete with a wellness centre, minigolf course and wave pool. A 30-minute luxury catamaran ride away from Doha’s Corniche, the resort makes the most of its secluded location and calm, crystal-clear water with a long beach and lagoon for swimming, sunning yourself or just hanging out. Of the 141 rooms, suites and villas, there are eight two-bedroom, Maldives-style overwater villas. The resort also has an exclusive trio of three-bedroom villas, each with a private pool. Rooms reflect the seaside locale – airy and filled with blues and whites. Food options include the American-style diner Ted’s and a beach-vibe restaurant offering Arabic and Indian grills. The resort is dry, so there are no bars or alcohol.
It’s hard to miss the Sheraton Grand Doha – it’s the huge pyramid-shaped building on the Corniche. Built for the 1980 GCC summit (at a reported cost of $100 million), it has now become a much-loved part of Qatar’s landscape and history. The opulent lobby with its gold dome is a place to socialise and sample the legendary dessert umm ali (bread pudding). The hotel recently refurbished all its split-level rooms, which boast sea or city skyline views. The Sheraton has an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, from the city’s first Irish pub to authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Salt Bae, who became a viral-video sensation in 2017 for the distinctive way he sprinkles salt onto meat, has opened a restaurant here. A private beach and standalone fitness club with indoor tennis and squash courts will keep health-conscious visitors occupied.
For old-school glamour and hospitality, it’s hard to surpass the St Regis Doha. From its white-gloved butlers to its signature bloody marys, this is one of Qatar’s most sought-after hotels. The palatial hotel has more than 350 minimalist rooms with stunning full ocean views. Home to 10 restaurants, lounges and bars, the hotel boasts a Gordon Ramsay bistro as well as Raw Bar, which has become one of Doha’s most popular Friday brunches. The hotel’s biggest selling point is its stunning Olympic-size swimming pool, which opens onto its own private white-sand beach.