On the way back from the Maldives, and I was flying with Qatar Airways, I thought it would be rude not to give Doha, the capital of Qatar a bit of Mrs. O’s love.
The Four Seasons Doha, standing tall, by Doha’s Corniche
I was delighted to accept the Four Seasons’ Doha invitation to stay for three nights and have indeed very good things to report. I must confess I wasn’t sure what to expect – it was my first time in the Middle East, the hotel looked massive from the photos I had seen, but two things kept me calm: it was a Four Seasons, so I knew I would be cared for from the moment I arrived and it was right by the beach, which is always a perk for me!
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
There was indeed, through Twitter.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I did and the hotel was very responsive (even before our stay was organised, which was pretty impressive). I loved how the hotel was actually checking my social media stream to know when I was flying in – so when I landed in Doha, I actually had some welcoming tweets.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
The first impression – the FS Car
First things first – my Four Seasons experience started at the airport, where we were welcomed by its airport staff (the hotel has a “welcome stand” at Doha Airport Arrivals. We were then taken to the FS car (a nice BMW, not a Rolls Royce like in London!), and our driver took us to the hotel. The journey took around 20-25 minutes (we were lucky with the traffic) and I loved the little touches: fresh cold towels, water and mi-fi (that is mobile wi-fi, my first experience, to be honest). It was really great!
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
The stunning trademark FS lobby flowers
The lobby was bright and airy (very spacious) and decorated in an interesting way – think classic Four Seasons (not modern modern) meets the Middle East. It was an interesting mix and appropriate for the location.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
We were greeted by a member of the reception team, who took us straight to our room, where the check-in took place. It is quite a straightforward process and I do like it that more and more hotels offer this option. We simply had to hand in our credit card and passports, which were scanned in front of us. 12 points!
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
Always always always. During our stay, anytime Mr. O or myself walked past reception, we were always greeted by our names, which was an incredibly nice touch, bearing in mind how large the property is (and the fact that we didn’t hang around at the reception area much!).
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
We were upgraded from a deluxe double to a Premier King room.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
We had a significant amount of luggage (Mrs. O does not travel light on a 11 night trip) – we only had one touch point, at the end (i.e. when it arrived at our room). The same person also dealt with our luggage on departure.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
WiFi is free for all guests and works either with a code or with your room details and each code is to be used on a single device. Everyday we had to trouble the reception team at different times of the day when each 24-hour code came to and end – but it seemed to be no trouble at all. Every time we called, we were given (yet) another code. I wished I had realised the room log in option, so I didn’t have to disturb the team so much.
Someone slept like a little Arabian princess
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
We had a spacious room, with lots of blue, which is my favourite colour. Everything was absolutely fine – I am going to say that I envisage a refurb in the next couple of years, just to update the style a little bit. We had a great view too!
– Welcome amenity
No dieting allowed…
Amazing! We had the standard welcome letter from the management team, water, beautiful flowers and then.. every day, a beautifully presented tray of local delicacies, which was completely different every day. I loved this little touch.
– The bed
The bed was great, comfortable and huge.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
All good in this front and we had LOTS of hangers (I can’t survive with 5 each, which seems more and more standard in hotels nowadays). On a long trip, as a couple, I think it is fair to say we need a good 20 hangers between us.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
It was there, connected to the TV, which was quite interesting.
– Bathrobes and slippers
All there and lovely. I didn’t use them.
– Coffee and Tea
Available for those who want some and an impressive selection of naughty snacks for purchase. It it worth mentioning how well displayed there were – and how tempting!
Surely this qualifies for a “room with a view” award?
– Free bottled water
Yes, on arrival, and then daily by our beds.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
It was very good – all in English.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
We didn’t have a problem at all. Worth noting that (unknown to me), plugs in Qatar (and in the Maldives, for that matter), are the UK-type, which is obviously very handy for us. We did carry 37 adapters with us, which we obviously didn’t need.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The bathroom was good, with great lighting (very important) and was very spacious.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
We had a separate bath and shower, which is always nice. I think the shower will need a little update soon, but the bathroom itself was very pretty.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
They were lovely, soft and lots of them.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
The toiletries were L’Occitane, a brand I love and there were some Acqua di Parma bath salts in the bathtub. The latter are now in my guest bathroom back home, as they were fab and it seemed a waste to leave a half empty box which wouldn’t be obviously reused by another guest. Always trying to save the environment, good old me!
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
All there ?
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
It was actually quite good and easy to find as well.
A fab breakfast!
– Décor of breakfast room
Breakfast takes place at Nusanto, which doubles up as a fusion restaurant for lunch and dinner. It is über modern and a contrast with the rest of the hotel. Very very nice indeed.
– The spread (inc yumminess)
This is where things get dangerous. I have to say, this was one of the best breakfasts I have ever seen and eaten. The spread was incredible (and huge, but not overwhelming as there were many different areas). I loved “having” to go into the kitchen in order to decide which pastries and breads I would want. A great mix of Western, Middle Eastern and Asian foods – I did venture into the Middle Eastern options (halloumi is perfect any time of the day, but gave the olives a miss!).
– Cost (I have seen a hotel charging €75 for breakfast – a tad much, maybe?)
Breakfast was included in our room rate, but if not, it costs 170 QAR (approx 45 USD).
Purely in the name of research, I had to investigate and test every bar option – the things I do for my readers!
There is the lounge bar, indoors, which a great cocktail list and extremely comfortable sofas. A more formal option, for a more formal crowd.
We were also quite lucky to have arrived on a Thursday (which is the Middle Eastern equivalent of a Friday night. Weekends are Friday and Saturday, with Sunday being the equivalent of our Monday). Every Thursday, the Four Seasons Doha hosts their #7to1 party, which, guess what, starts at 7pm and ends at 1am! More than 500 people attend on average, with a good mix of hotel guests and local residents, especially expats. We really enjoyed the party and loved the transformation of the pool area (and obviously no trace of it the next morning!).
By the pool area, on every other day, there is also the Pool Grill, where you can sit down by the beach and pool and simply enjoy the view. We indulged in some virgin mojitos – I loved the ginger one!
Pineapple and Ginger mojitos – yes please!
A great night out at Nobu
Nobu has opened its largest restaurant in the world just by the Four Seasons – we went for dinner and really enjoyed the experience. We had the Essence menu for 650 AED, which had over 7 courses and really was impressive.
An ice room is a must!
The Spa is one of the hotel’s pride and joys, and it is easy to understand why. I was treated to a lovely massage and can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my morning there.
The highlight for me? The ice room – which must be a must-have in the scorching Doha summers. Needless to say, you can’t find anything like this anywhere else. I did go in for about 10 seconds, and wearing clothes. I can imagine there will be queues when the temperature gets above 40C.
Very impressed with the spa facilities
I thought the spa overall was very good, and understand why it was so busy. The spa also has its own outdoor pool, various plunge pools, indoor pools.. you get the idea, lots of pools! What I also loved were the personal hygiene items on the ladies locker room – everything you might possibly need to use, just there. So you enjoy the spa and don’t have to bring everything with you. I think this is a great learning point for many spas around the world, especially in cities.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
It did and it was a lot of fun. Our stay took place between a Thursday and a Sunday and I appreciate the time taken by the team.
As far as I am concerned, it was perfect – right on the beach, and within walking distance of the business district. The hotel also had a very reliable (paid) car service, and the concierge team were very helpful anytime we needed some assistance.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Deluxe rooms start at 960 QAR (260 USD). A Premier King starts at 1600 QAR (approx. 420 USD)
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
I would without a doubt.
– Would I stay again?
During my stay in Doha , I had the opportunity to visit other hotels (which were very nice). But I loved going back to the Four Seasons every day – it really felt like home!
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Four Seasons Doha during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.