STAYING IN THE DOHA MARRIOTT IS A RATHER SPECIAL EXPERIENCE. IT’S TO HAVE A FOOT IN THE PAST AND THE FUTURE. THE HOTEL HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE MOST OTHERS WERE BUILT IN QATAR YET STILL HOLDS REAL CHARM. FACT’S CRAIG FERRIMAN CHECKS IN TO THE 5-STAR PROPERTY FOR A WEEKEND STAY…
The Doha Marriott is one of the oldest hotels in Doha opening in 1972. Back then, just the Sheraton and this hotel stood either side of the corniche. Back then it was called the Gulf Hotel but it got a grand upgrade in 2005. Boasting over 300 rooms this is a large hotel and it remains popular despite the wealth of newer hotels popping up all over Doha and beyond. As I lie on the beach and look back at the hotel, palm trees provided a calm oasis and a 20th century feel. When I turned around to take a dip in the cool sea, I looked out at a view of the big modern city of Doha. This really has the feeling of home away from home. The 70’s architecture gives off a slightly retro feel which adds to the feeling of escapism from Doha without ever having left it.
There is lots to do and plenty of facilities. The pool is large and rectangular and fun for all the family at the weekends. This is especially a great staycation spot if you have little ones or a large family. I loved the relaxed vibe as families enjoyed time together in a friendly and sociable environment. There are dozens of sun loungers dotted around the pool as well as cute cabanas. Some of them are small for couples and there are bigger ones too for families and larger groups to gather under the shade. The poolside bar is called The View and offers a simple but successful menu of light bites, and burgers and pizzas which is just the kind of thing you want while you chill poolside. The service is fast and the staff are super friendly.
The beach was great. Not especially long but sufficiently sized for a private beach and not over filled. We were easily able to source a sun lounger under a thatched umbrella. The sea was a perfect temperature and great to swim in. The view looked out over the sailing club but takes in the Museum of Islamic Art and the West Bay skyline in the back drop – making your weekend staycay just perfect for all those instagram shots! The gym is a touch simple but covers the basics. Located on the lobby level by the spa, it contains a range of cardio vascular equipment and a selection of weights and muscle training units.
There is no shortage of options for places to eat. The best is arguably the iconic JW’s Steakhouse which is FACT award-winning! Located in the lobby, it is designed like a true old-fashioned steak restaurant with wooden oak panels. It’s dimly lit with booths and leather armchairs. The freshest cuts of beef are served to diners with impeccably strong service. It’s award winning for a reason. Yet this is not the hotel’s only pride and joy. Corniche is its all-day dining restaurant serving breakfast in the morning, buffet themed nights throughout the week and the urban brunch on Friday which is known to be a great day out!
Walk along the ‘restaurant gallery’ and you’ll see restaurant after another as if you’re in an entertainment arcade but these outlets are not silly or tacky. They are of a five-star quality. There is ‘Salsa’ serving Tex Mex and a newly refreshed menu is being launched imminently There is a well renowned Indian restaurant called Taj Rasoi serving a Pan-Indian menu of crowd-pleasing dishes. Asia Live offers up an Asian fusion feast that will have your mouth watering with fabulous flavours.
The hotel is well maintained. We stayed in a sea facing Executive Suite which was gorgeous. Spacious, elegant and traditional. The bed was second only to the greatest night’s sleep I’ve ever had in my life. I swear the mattress moulded to my body shape! The view looked out over the sea at the new Doha of the now iconic West Bay skyline and the entire Corniche. Though only seven floors high in the old hotel, I’d wager that you’d struggle to find many better views to watch the sunset than from a room at the Doha Marriott Hotel!
GO: CALL THE ST. REGIS DUBAI, AL HABTOOR CITY ON (0)4 435 5555 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.