Looking out to sea from the luxury St Regis Doha hotel illustrates the pale azure of the water here. Why this colour, the gal does not know. This 328-room hotel is a monumental palace, or rather two separate palaces joined at ground level. Get into the wrong elevator, north tower rather than south tower or vice versa, and you could be completely lost. This is a place that invites you to stay, so you can suss out every little corner, so to speak. Down in a lower, joined, level, trying to find the gym you might well pass not one but several classic motor bikes, there purely for decorative purposes.
The lobby is vast. It soars up, using up whole quarries of Carrara and other marbles. Even the tallest and most upright of Nubian butlers seems like a lilliputian. And there are, sensibly, lots of butlers and concierges in the lobby, whose job it is to help people to get to where they want to go as quickly as possible. I try taking a photo of my friend Dagmar Lyons, who is Deputy GM here, but sadly the light from my camera disappears into the void and its images would not do justice to Ms L (next time, Dagmar, I promise).
Even the decorations in the lobby are enormous, like flower arrangements one yard high rising out of pots about six feet high. Several columns along site a mammoth Rolls, on stone plinths fortunately, in a decorative pond. This was the very car that was made for King George V, the only British sovereign to attend one of the three Imperial Durbars held in Delhi, in 1877, 1903 and this, the last, in 1911. It reminds me of the photos in suite 268 of The Imperial Delhi of the 1903 Durbar – one shows Lady Curzon, in all her jewellery, on elephant back, another is of the equally-bejwelled, and turbanned, Thakur Saheb at the same event.
All St Regis luxury hotels have unique Bloody Marys and here it is a Spice Route Mary, spiced with sumac power, cumin, ginger and ras el hanout spice. They also feature afternoon tea, and here the tea lounge is decorated with Alice In Wonderland-type teapots – vast, of course.