Saturday, December 9, 2023

The 10 Best Hotels In Doha

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Latifah Al-Hazza, Contributor

Forbes Vetted

Doha, a city that recently grabbed headlines for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, offers so much more than just incredible stadiums. Tourists attending the matches were spoiled for choice with luxurious accommodations and a plethora of activities and sites to visit. Although the games are finished, this remarkable city still has a rich array of activities both cultural and modern to see, making it a must-visit place. No matter what type of traveler you are, the best hotels in Doha all offer travelers a glimpse into the world of Arab hospitality.

For first-time visitors looking to be in the center of it all, we recommend the beautiful Mandarin Oriental, Doha for its excellent location. For design lovers, nothing beats the interiors of the Mondrian Doha, while Raffles Doha is home to the city’s most stunning architecture. Meanwhile, health-conscious travelers in search of a wellness retreat will fall in love with Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, which spotlights herbal remedies and nutritious cuisine. Below, we’ve selected the best hotels in Doha for 2023, all of which are sure to deliver the hospitality and unique experiences you’re in search of.

Best High-End Hotel In Doha: Raffles Doha

Raffles Doha

Who Will Love It: Couples; honeymooners; luxury-seekers

All-Star Amenities: Butler personalization of suite; subtle intuitive technology in each suite; bespoke creations from French perfumer Frédéric Malle

What Not To Miss: A film screening in the private cinema; a Cuban tobacco at Blue Cigar Writer’s Lounge; indulging in a book from the property’s rare book collection

Location: Lusail Marina

Home to one of the most prominent buildings in Qatar, Raffles Doha comprises one half of the city’s Iconic Towers, which curve towards the sky. The architecture of the building symbolizes the national emblem of Qatar: two traditional scimitar swords. From architecture to design, Raffles Doha truly embodies Arabian culture. The water feature at the entrance represents the strength and speed of a falcon, while images of Qatari Arabian horses can be admired in the elevators, and 64 handmade teapots hang from the afternoon tea lounge.

Each suite is designed to combine the elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood in a harmonious way to make guests feel at one with their surroundings. A personal butler begins preparation well in advance for each guest’s arrival ensuring a comfortable and customized stay. Guests can opt to indulge in a multi-sensory fine dining and mixology experience in the comfort of their room or they can relax in the Raffles Doha Spa which partners with advanced beauty gurus such as Dr Burgener Switzerland, Subtle Energies, and Maroc.

Best Spa And Wellness Hotel In Doha: Zulal Wellness Resort By Chiva-Som

Zulal Wellness Resort By Chiva-Som

Who Will Love It: Wellness gurus; health fanatics; couples; friends; mothers and daughters

All-Star Amenities: Body assessment test; multiple treatment rooms; reformer pilates studio

What Not to Miss: Challenging yourself to a nutrition plan; craniosacral therapy; super stretch class

Location: Al Ruwais

Step foot inside Doha’s Zulal Wellness Resort and you may never want to depart. Choosing to stay at Zulal means welcoming the option of healthy lifestyle changes with open arms. Although this is a resort meant for relaxation, it is also a wellness retreat, designed to instill new values within each individual. The extensive wellness resort is the first to implement Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine (TAIM) in the Middle East; wellness that combines herbal remedies with nutrition, movement, and rest for healing practices.

Your transformative experience begins with a personal consultation to select your therapy plan, consisting of three wellness meals a day, fitness and leisure activities, access to the wellness facilities such as the Himalayan salt room and sauna, and daily treatments. The daily treatments vary depending on which plan you select, but range from holistic, physio, fitness, spa, and aesthetic. The wellness cuisine at Zulal consists of foods with no added sugar, salt, caffeine, processed foods, foods cooked in microwaves, or foods made with deep fat fryers. Instead, fermented foods and activated nuts and seeds are commonly used to improve gut health.

Hotel With The Best Pools In Doha: Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl

Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl

Who Will Love It: Couples; business travelers; friend groups

All-Star Amenities: A collection of outdoor pools; a barber shop

What Not to Miss: A game of padel in one of two padel courts; a grand welcoming from the Lady in Red Location: The Pearl

Located on a man-made island called The Pearl Qatar, and known for its beautiful marina, the splendor of Marsa Malaz Kempinski evokes Arabian and European classiness. With 281 rooms and suites, a collection of outdoor pools, nine restaurants, two lounge bars, an afternoon tea café, a cigar lounge, a fitness center, and spa, the resort is akin to a grand palace.

Culinary options range from fine dining Latin flavors at Toro Toro to casual dining cuisine from Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine at Al Sufra. The Stage is an intimate lounge that features live jazz performances, while The Secret Garden is a beautiful rooftop lounge.

Experience a Jewels of the Gulf signature treatment at the Marsa Malaz Spa by Clarins. The booking of a spa treatment allows complimentary access to a sauna, steam room, and private indoor swimming pool. The outdoor pool and private beach access give the ultimate feel of a private island getaway. The outdoor area also has a large hot tub and a pool for children. Water sports, beach sports, and pool activities are also available to guests.

Hotel With The Best Amenities In Doha: Four Seasons Resort And Residences At The Pearl-Qatar

Four Seasons Resort And Residences At The Pearl-Qatar

Who Will Love It: Couples; families who need space; travelers who need longer term stays; business travelers; honeymooners

All-Star Amenities: Private chef upon request; in-room washer and dryer; fully equipped kitchen

What Not to Miss: The Dyson Supersonic hair dryers in the rooms; sitting on the furnished balcony

Location: The Pearl

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences at the Pearl-Qatar is truly a place where guests can take the phrase “make yourself at home” and run with it. The expansive one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments come with a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, and wonderful views of the city or sea from the private balcony. The island resort was built on a former pearl-diving site and is surrounded by restaurants, shops, parks, cinemas and even schools.

Soak up the sun at the beach, in one of the two seaside pools, or in a private cabana furnished with a TV, daybed and private bar. Guests can enjoy morning beachfront yoga or plan a movie under the stars, complete with popcorn, snacks, and cocktails. The Loulou Spa is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration, and the property’s top-notch dining includes La Mediterrranee Robuchon, combining French and Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on seafood, Chicago Rare, offering a classic Chicago steakhouse menu, and Spuntino, which celebrates the flavors of Southern Italy.

Best Private Island Hotel In Doha: Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara

Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara

Who Will Love It: Families; friend groups; mocktail lovers

All-Star Amenities: Bowling alley; mini golf; surf pool; cinema; kids waterpark

What Not to Miss: HamacLand floating hammocks; Pontoon tea or dinner

Location: Banana Island

At Banana Island Resort, accessed by private catamaran, guests can get a taste of their own private island, choosing between sea view rooms, suites, beach villas, or even overwater pool villas. Land activities include a bowling alley, a cinema, a putting course, a tennis court, bicycling, and a fitness center, while water activities here are endless. Guests can enjoy beach access, a lagoon pool, a lounge pool, a kid’s waterpark, a surf pool, romantic dinners or afternoon tea on a pontoon and floating hammocks at on-site HamacLand.

The resort offers a plethora of seasonal events such as winter beach markets and New Year’s gala dinners. Eight restaurants offering primarily Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine are available, with options to have your meal elsewhere such as in your pool, on a floating platform, or on the beach. Kids and teens are warmly welcomed at Banana Island, with cooking classes, yoga, and meditation available for the little ones as well as a kids club and a separate teens club.

Best Design Hotel In Doha: Mondrian Doha

Mondrian Doha

Who Will Love It: Couples; art and design gurus; Instagrammers; girlfriends needing a getaway

All-Star Amenities: The interior design that truly speaks for itself; fitness center with unbeatable views

What Not to Miss: The beautiful pool; the ESPA Spa inside a “secret garden”; the Caviar Bar

Location: West Bay Lagoon

Energetic, playful, and unique are three words that perfectly describe Mondrian Doha. Designed by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, the hotel blends Dutch, Arab, and Wanders’ personal style. Developed over the course of six years, Mondrian’s exterior design pays homage to the falcon, an important part of Qatari culture. The most iconic part of the hotel is the indoor rooftop pool with black and white striped walls and a stunning hand-painted glass dome.

Each room at the hotel offers views of the water, whether its Lusail City or The Pearl. Details include carpets that looks like desert sand dunes, Swarovski chandeliers and custom accents that vary from room to room. Four restaurants, one coffee shop, a caviar bar that seats 12, a cigar lounge, and a nightclub make for a an incredible culinary and entertainment scene. ESPA Spa offers luxury treatments where females will enjoy the feminine energy of the pink and white mosaic walls, and males can sense a masculine ambiance from the dark blue, white, black and grey accents.

Hotel With The Best Views In Doha: Banyan Tree Doha At La Cigale Mushaireb

Banyan Tree Doha At La Cigale Mushaireb

Who Will Love It: Couples; honeymooners; business travelers; Instagrammers

All-Star Amenities: Indoor and outdoor pools; Banyan Tree local handcrafts gallery

What Not to Miss: The Royal Banyan Spa treatment; Vertigo club; Rainforest hydrotherapy facility

Location: Mushaireb

At Banyan Tree Doha, each room and suite is outfitted with floor to ceiling windows, making for unbeatable views of the Arabian Gulf, the Old City or the surrounding lush gardens. Designed by Jacques Garcia, a well-known interior designer, the hotel embodies elegance with Arabian influences. Its design represents the four elements of life: earth, fire, water, and air, with the main lobby displaying the “trees of life.”

The Banyan Tree Doha is located within the Doha Oasis project, which houses Printemps Doha, the largest luxury department store in the Middle East, as well as an indoor theme park and cinemas. For guests who prefer to relax within the walls of the beautiful hotel, the on-site spa offers guests a rainforest hydrotherapy facility which fuses signature spa treatments with hydrothermal facilities. Guests can choose from several on-site restaurants: contemporary Indian, authentic Thai and Italian cuisines, as well as an East Asian patisserie. The highlight is at Vertigo, with a Pan-Asian menu and 360 degree views of the city.

Hotel With The Best Location In Doha: Mandarin Oriental, Doha

Mandarin Oriental, Doha

Who Will Love It: First-time visitors; couples; families; business travelers

All-Star Amenities: Rooftop bar; a gelato shop; floor-to-ceiling windows

What Not to Miss: The madotherapy body treatment; exploring Msheireb; a date tasting

Location: Msheireb Downtown Doha

The Mandarin Oriental Doha is an urban sanctuary located in the center of it all, right in Msheireb Downtown Doha. The stunning design of the hotel, done by David Collins Studio, combines components of the traditional heritage of Qatar with contemporary elegance. The essence of Qatar can be seen within each room from the woodwork to the mosaics to the many tiles. Book the Baraha View Suite for a soundproof media room or the Royal Suite for a private elevator, pool, and open-air courtyard.

The hotel offers three dining options that vary from Cantonese fine dining to French Mediterranean all-day dining, as well as two bars and four lounges for light bites. The spa offers a variety of unique treatments with madotherapy body contouring and lymphatic drainage treatment being one of the most exclusive. Outside of the hotel, Msheireb Downtown Doha has plenty to offer. Don’t miss nearby Barahat Square, which is climate-controlled and has a retractable roof. Luxury shopping, fascinating museums, and intriguing art galleries are within walking distance of the hotel as well.

Best Hotel For Families In Doha: Waldorf Astoria Lusail

Waldorf Astoria Lusail

Who Will Love It: Families; children; young adults

All-Star Amenities: Racquet club; kids and teens clubs What Not to Miss: The private beach; the fitness classes

Location: Lusail

Waldorf Astoria Lusail is an excellent choice for families visiting Doha, as it offers several resort-style amenities perfect for kids, teens, and adults. Located on the only private beach in Lusail, families will find all-ages pools and cabanas, a surf pool, and a waterpark. The kids club activities range from Arabic lessons to arts and crafts, while the teens club is a sanctuary to relax in and meet new people. The resort’s ESPA Life Spa is the perfect place for adults to unwind with a treatment from the spa’s nurture, resilience, reflection, form, and vitality menu.

For those wishing to stay on track with their wellness, live and virtual fitness classes take place in the studio and include reformer pilates, barre, yoga, and spinning. And when it comes to dining, there are seven eateries to choose from such as the infamous SUSHISAMBA and the Waldorf Astoria’s signature Peacock Alley. All rooms feature a private balcony with sweeping ocean views and spacious marble bathrooms, because a family-friendly resort shouldn’t have to skimp on luxury.

Best Hotel For Groups In Doha: Katara Hills Doha

Katara Hills Doha

Who Will Love It: Friend groups; families; privacy seekers; boutique hotel lovers

All-Star Amenities: Private pools; Acca Kappa amenities; 85-inch TVs

What Not to Miss: The golf cart service that’s included; exploring Katara Cultural Village

Location: Katara Cultural Village

Katara Hills Doha is the perfect hotel for those who want exclusivity and privacy, yet desire a location within close proximity to one of the best areas Doha has to offer. Each of the 15 spacious villas here looks like it belongs on a snow-covered hill in a Scandinavian country. The villas are spread across two floors and all of them feature a private swimming pool with loungers, a living room, a dining area, and a personal butler.

Guest rooms offer stunning views of the sea (which is about a seven-minute walk) and Katara Cultural Village, an area that showcases traditional and modern Qatar through museums, art, galleries, cuisine, and architecture. Katara Hills has one on-site restaurant, Gymkhana, which draws inspiration from the high society clubs in India; its London location has held a Michelin star since 2014. Here, guests can enjoy Indian cuisine in a setting that flaunts stone walls, an open kitchen and chandeliers.

About Latifah Al-Hazza, Your Doha Guide

I am an Emmy Award-winning travel journalist and documentary filmmaker who graduated with journalism degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (BS) and the University of Southern California (MS). I enjoy writing about all things travel, whether it’s about a tribe in the Omo Valley or the latest luxury hotel opening in the Maldives. My first international flight was when I was three months old; since then I’ve traveled to over 55 countries. I visited Doha for the first time in 2019 and again for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. In 2019, the city felt like a desert with few attractions; in 2022, it was a full blown metropolis. To say that I was impressed by how much the city built itself up to showcase to tourists from all over the world is an understatement.

When I’m not writing, you can find me (still) traveling solo, with my parents, or with my 4 pound Pomeranian. In addition to Forbes Vetted, my work can be found in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, INSIDER, CNN Travel, The New York Times, TimeOut, and more. I am also the co-founder (along with my mother) of Femscape Sojourns, a boutique women’s travel company. I currently reside between Virginia, Chicago, and Kuwait. Follow my adventures on Instagram @tifahtravels.

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