Standing tall and proud whilst overlooking the capital city, The Torch Doha, is a true beacon of architectural genius and Qatari hospitality.
Never have I been so awestruck upon the journey to a hotel as I was with The Torch. It can be seen for miles and miles due to its majestic height of 300m. So much so that I could even pick it out as I was coming into land at Hamad International Airport. There it was, dominating the skyline, lit up in pink to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. It was obvious that this was going to be an incredible stay at a truly iconic hotel.
Travelling with my partner generally involves spotting sporting stadia, much to my general bewilderment. Fortunately for me, The Khalifa International Stadium, is right next door so this saved a huge amount of my precious time as he could just gape at it from the hotel.
The Torch was built to celebrate the 2006 Asian Games in which the hotel was quite literally an Olympic torch, of colossal proportions. It is situated in the Aspire Zone, a vibrant Sports City, which aims to promote health and wellbeing as well as nurture the next generation of Qatari sports men and women.
As a member of the leading hotels of the World, it was no surprise to be gobsmacked as we walked into the hotel reception. The foyer was majestic and the kind welcome from the staff was perfect after a tiresome flight. The check in process was swift and we were shown to our room on the 11th floor with the help of one of the splendid glass elevators. As we passed each floor on our ascent, my partner noticed that there was a different sporting statue on each floor, a sight which thrilled him to bits.
Walking to our room around the curved corridor which circles the central column of the structure, we were impressed by the lighting of the hallways. This feeling was further enhanced as we stepped inside our room. The carpet cushioned every single step as we checked out our abode for the next 3 days. It was incredibly modern, spacious and comfortable from the amazing bed to the beautiful en suite bathroom. But, the game changer, the piece de resistance, was the iPad that controlled the functionality of the room. From changing the lighting (every colour imaginable) to opening the curtains to changing channels on the TV to setting the air-conditioning amongst many other wonderful applications, this iPad proved how unbelievably innovative this hotel is.
The bed can make or break one’s hotel experience. If you don’t sleep well or are uncomfortable then your opinion on the place dampens, fortunately there wasn’t a chance of these feelings at The Torch. Oh my! What an incredibly delightful night’s sleep. Possibly the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever stayed in, and that is high praise indeed. This coupled with a wonderfully refreshing morning soak using the amazing rainfall shower, set me up perfectly for breakfast.
Breakfast is served in the Flying Carpet restaurant, one of The Torch’s many award winning restaurants. The buffet breakfast, with live cooking stations, was exceptional. The range was phenomenal and included cuisine from all over the world. No matter where you are from, you’ll find something that makes you feel right at home. The bread was a personal highlight as it had been baked fresh and quite literally had me salivating after every bite.
I often find a hearty breakfast really sets me up for the day and this was no exception. We decided that we should check out Villaggio Mall for a spot of retail therapy. This was made even easier by the walkway which connects the hotel to the shopping mall, accessible only to hotel guests. A nice touch which makes the journey all the more tolerable, especially in the baking sun.
After a few buys, it was time to chill out and relax in the state of the art facilities that The Torch has to offer. The cantilevered swimming pool is situated on the 19th floor and overlooks the national stadium as well as Doha city centre in the distance. What a view it is and the perfect spot for catching some rays and swimming a few lengths. This is exactly what we did and we loved it! We felt like royalty laying on this majestic deck as the hotels structure continued to curve above us. An amazing sight.
We checked out the gym on the opposite side of the floor but decided that this break was for relaxing, not working out, so opted against a few km on the treadmill. But we did notice the state of the art TechnoGym equipment, a sign of the hotel’s standard of excellence. There was also a jet shower and foot massage walkway which was a fascinating experience. Walking through different forms of water fall at different temperatures whilst getting a foot massage on the stones underfoot. A winning feature in my eyes.
We ate in the hotel each evening and why not, there really isn’t any need to leave. The experience of Three Sixty, the only revolving restaurant in Doha was breathtaking. The room gently rotates to give a full 360° panoramic view across the whole city and surrounding areas, a must, especially on an evening when the skyline is illuminated.
The Torch Tea Garden is a fantastic spot for afternoon tea. On the 21st floor, overlooking Aspire Park, the room is decked out with an extensive collection of furniture, all from Thailand. Along with the healthy green foliage that lines the walls, this is the perfect spot for refreshment whilst watching the sun go down.
As our stay came to an end we reflected on the hotel being of an Olympic standard. It will be the focus of the world’s gaze in 5 years as Qatar welcomes the FIFA World Cup but until then it will be a shining light for the city of Doha. An iconic hotel leading the way in innovation and inspiration.
For reservations please contact: +974 4446 5600 / thetorchdoha.com.qa