This, above, is the chandelier under which 1,400 wedding guests from India will no doubt be chattering away nonstop as they party for four days during the nuptials of the daughter of an Indian jeweller. The gal wonders if the lobby of Ritz-Carlton Doha has, indeed, seen anything like it – the chandelier, by the way, is 22 feet tall and weighs 1.2 tonnes. The Austrian makers, Baakowitz, apparently based it on a Moorish fountain. Fortunately the newly redone rooms at this luxury hotel are less ornate – look at the simple art, propped against the wall rather than hanging (the designers are inhouse at the hotel’s owners, Katara Hospitality).
Stay here and welcome chocolates look like pearls complete with oysters, a reminder that Qatar is a home of pearls. The 374-room hotel’s signature breakfast dish, incidentally, is a pearl omelette, with oysters and herbs. I actually popped in for lunch, or, rather, to see the new-look rooms, and, especially, the club lounge on the 23rd floor. It is gorgeous, on a par with that of Ritz-Carlton Millenia in Singapore, although here there is a journey, as if in a house. You progress from the welcome, via a sitting area and on to a dining area and then to the kitchen.
nd there, in the kitchen, a chef is continuously at work, cooking whatever you want. You fancy chicken? He can do it. Salmon? No problem, although he did want to serve it with cream-sauce noodles (but he of course switched mine to plain, on a bed of spinach). It really is a first-class lounge, and the premium more than pays for itself as you can eat and drink all day, and evening too. After only six months’ operation, guest surveys now rank this is as the top club lounge in any Ritz-Carlton, worldwide. I am sure some of the world’s internet influencers will be busy networking there when the hotel hosts the next Inflow Summit, 25-27 February.
Interestingly, Inflow is organised by a Turk, Emre Geleri, so perhaps it is not surprising that Erden Kendigelen, the Istanbul-born GM of this luxury hotel, jumped at the idea of sponsoring the Summit (it is a much better use of his marketing budget, he says, than traditional advertising). Imagine all those influencers starting to post images of their hotel rooms and the club lounge – we are talking likes in the millions. There will undoubtedly be quite a few postings from those wedding guests, too, all of which builds up awareness of a new-look Ritz-Carlton. NOW SEE A VIDEO OF THE CLUB LOUNGE