Honestly, after the first of what will turn out to be two – consecutive – overnight flights, the gal wants an eye-ful of beauty, and that is certainly more than possible at the luxury W Doha Hotel & Residences (ask local residents and many will say that this is where you get all Doha’s beautiful people, especially on a Friday night). The 291-room hotel, with 153 attached residences, reached via swinging the ceiling-high mirrored ‘wall’ at the rear of the hotel’s ground floor elevator lobby, has been at the top of the A list since it opened in 2009. Look at the flowers, above, that decorate the lobby, two floors high with hundreds of blue glass sculptures hanging from its ceiling.
I was certainly surrounded by beauty. I loved the pastry shop and coffee corner, a bright nook with a hip-hop bling image of Audrey Hepburn on its wall. Nearby is Spiga, the indoor-out Italian restaurant, where the daily fish, seabass on spinach and a lemon butter, was one of the tastiest dishes for a long time. On the way out I admired Spiga’s bar, where I expected Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe to pop up any moment (I did spy so many other beautiful images, including a perky little female on the glass door of Bliss Spa, ‘Look and feel SPA-tacula every day’ says this image).
This is the kind of fun that the whole hotel seems to project. I had dinner with the lively Peruvian marketing director Clara de Lama Daagehi, whose Lebanese husband Wassim Daagehi was back home looking after ‘my babies’. What is the story on the Zoz’s Shakshuka on the breakfast menu, I asked? This is a skillet dish perfected by @zozaljail, also known as Abdul Aziz Al-Ajail, who says if he is not tasting dishes here in Doha he is searching the best Eggs Benedict in London. Wonder which are his finalists? So Clara filled me in, on the hotel’s ladies-drinks-nights, Mondays, from 9-11 p.m., and the fact that the hotel runs the best airside café at the airport.
The charismatic GM of this luxury hotel, Turkish extrovert Safak Guvenc, called by on his way to a function, and I was reminded yet again that if a hotel is run by a foodie, then its restaurants and bars will work, as these do here. It was time to go, to my next night in a plane seat, but Clara and her colleague Esra Parin, on her way to open W Amman, were there to see me off, in the crowded hotel lobby, jam-packed at 11.30pm on this Friday night. At the airport, I negotiated the snake-lines through emigration and then security, and on my way down-and-across-and-up to the lounge, there was someone holding a farewell sign. How DID they manage that? it seems that for this fun hotel, which had welcomed me with thought, and farewelled me so uniquely, nothing is impossible. By the way if you want to see a typical bedroom, 608, look at the video below.