Putting the ‘Wow’ in W

A HOTEL suite which welcomes the guest with a hanging aquarium full of tropical fish, a lamp in the shape of a life-sized horse and its own pool table is not something you find every day.

Which is why there is only one E Wow suite in each W Hotel and with only 38 W Hotels in existence around the world (another 15 will open this year), and only one in the Middle East and Africa, this is a truly exclusive experience.

Even before you walk through the door at W Doha, in Qatar, there is a sense that this hotel is out of the ordinary.

For one thing, some of the door staff, or talent as all W workers are known, are female, an early departure from the traditional stiffly-uniformed male greeter.

The lobby, or Living Room, is an exercise in cool, trendy chic with its 177 Istanbul- mosque-inspired, blue-hued hanging lamps, scented candles and the ever-present background of hip up-to-the-minute music.

It is a welcome so uber-cool it could be slightly intimidating were it not for the warmth of the ‘talent’ who, it seems, have been chosen not only for their efficiency but for that particular brand of friendly approachableness which makes for a good hotel experience.

W Doha Hotel & Residences is located in the prime West Bay area of the city centre enjoying panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.

With 445 rooms, suites and apartments, it is somewhat bigger than the average boutique property but it is clear a great deal thought has gone into giving the W that boutique feel.

Much of this is down to the unique design elements employed throughout but it is the 16 W suites, 14 Wow suites and one E Wow, or extremely wow, suite which really take this property to another level.

Beds are fringed in the hotel’s signature black, lending an air of intimacy while at the same time preserving the overall feeling of spaciousness, and all enjoy state-of-the-art technology from curtains activated at the touch of a button to in-room Wi-Fi and even a control panel allowing the guest to change the colour of the lighting – red, blue, green.

The high-thread-count linens are from British company Beaumont & Brown and the toiletries in the oversized bathrooms, complete with giant rainshower, are exclusive to W from Bliss Spa – the branch on the premises recently won the titles for Best Middle East Spa, Best Design and Best Marketing at the Middle East Spa Awards.

The W Suites, located on floors eight to 15, offer 90 sq m of upbeat party ambience with amazing bubble-shaped light fittings and an almost 60s’ feel to the décor channeling retro without losing that all-important sense of luxury, while the Wow suites are sensual in their deep reds, purples and blacks with black rose chandeliers and hanging basket chairs.

Separate work spaces and dining areas and small touches such as games and books add to the impression that every thought has been given to guest comfort while in the E Wow suite the designers have obbiously gone all out to really take the visitor’s breath away.

At 320 sq m, this penthouse suite on the 15th floor offers everything from its own meeting room, private bar and aquaria to an oversized bathroom and signature W king feather bed, for the ultimate in comfort.

All in all it doesn’t come much more ‘wow’ than this.

By Liz O’Reilly