Raffles, Fairmont score major goals
The dual-branded five-star properties, housed within Doha’s iconic Katara Towers, have welcomed their first guests while supporting the nation’s historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by delivering exemplary service and truly exceptional experiences in both hotels.
Just like the Raffles and Fairmont Doha, several other spanking new properties in Qatar opened in time for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and have had to hit the ground running.
We spoke to Christian Hirt, Managing Director, Raffles and Fairmont Doha, for more insight into the property itself and its management during a large-scale event like a World Cup.
“From my 2006 World Cup experience, I learned that in the build up to a major event of this nature, nothing succeeds like preparation, preparation, preparation.
“Accommodation in the hotels is fully booked during the FIFA World Cup and we will open to the public post tournament. We will do our best to deliver exemplary service, and truly exceptional experiences whether in our rooms and suites, restaurants, and lounges; and in ensuring that guests staying with us during the World Cup have an experience beyond their expectations.”
Seven outstanding food and beverage outlets and restaurants have opened to the public, four located within Raffles Doha and three in Fairmont Doha. Through advanced reservation only, non-staying guests can book to enjoy next-generation gastronomic experiences at Raffles Doha’s Alba, which is the first overseas outpost for the celebrated restaurant by three-star Michelin chef Enrico Crippa; L’Artisan, which celebrates the art of modern dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Blue Cigar, a lounge which boasts 6,000 literary classics including some first edition classics as well as bespoke cigar collection; as well as Malaki Lounge, which spans the atrium lounge and ground floor and is the perfect venue for afternoon tea.
Diners can head to Fairmont Doha to savour the progressive Indian cuisine at Masala Library, the concept by restaurateur, television host, and author Jiggs Kalra, and Latin American cuisine of Vaya, a vibrant restaurant with open kitchens and interactive service stations and where south American inspired dishes and drinks are prepared table-side. Guests can also choose to visit Dôme, a stylish chic Tea lounge that is the perfect place for afternoon tea and French-inspired bites and sips.
Not just the dining but “the entire guest experience at Raffles and Fairmont Doha will be lavish and opulent,” the Managing Director tells us. “Raffles is moving Qatar’s accommodation dial by being the country’s only all-suite property. Its 132 suites offer palace-style grandeur and guests have personalised butler services, bespoke amenities, a gallery wall with a highly curated book collection and an in-suite boutique featuring customised beverages and refreshments. Individually configured and themed suites are the epitome of sophistication with features such as a marble wine cellar, beauty salon, barber, cinema, sauna, private pool, gym, and outdoor lounge.
“Fairmont Doha meanwhile will provide truly breath-taking stays and outstanding leisure experiences which will make for lasting memories. The luxury experience begins as soon as guests enter the impressive lobby which is dominated by the world’s tallest chandelier suspended high above. Fairmont Gold members have their own pool bar and dedicated pool and loungers, indoor and outdoor dining spaces, social events, and butler service.
“Guests will benefit from comprehensive exercise facilities, including a climbing wall, immersive spinning classes, indoor lap pool and a studio room which are complemented by the Fairmont Spa with a vitality pool, treatment, and relaxation rooms and a hammam where guests can unwind and embrace the spirit of a strong body and mind.
“Opening next year, exclusive for Raffles and Fairmont Doha guests, is Qatar’s only hotel floating island- Privée, where the ultimate relaxation awaits against an Arabian Gulf backdrop,” Hirt tells TTN.
These two hotels will be destinations in their own right and are highly differentiated in offerings yet sharing the unique and iconic ‘home’ of Katara Towers which is an extraordinary architectural structure built in tribute to Qatar’s national emblem of two intertwined scimitar swords.
“Both hotels have Qatari and Arabian heritage woven throughout their design, making them at one with the local culture. They will also both leverage the worldwide networks of their brands to cross-market on a global level.
“Each property has its own design features, atmosphere and distinctive service culture which sets each apart,” Hirt says.