ONE thing remains in my mind of a quick weekend break at the Four Seasons Doha: the tremendous luxury of space.
Not only was my room itself super-sized (with yes, a separate toilet), but the view from my balcony totally reinforced that, with an unbroken expanse of the Gulf stretching out almost as far as I could see.
Team that with service that several other five-star hotels in the Gulf can only aspire to, and you can quickly see why the hotel is the chosen haunt of ministers, Arabian knights, and all this month during the Asian Games, national Olympic committees. Apart, of course, from the hotel’s connections to the ruling family.
With 40 new hotels coming up in Qatar, including another Four Seasons, the hotel will need to stay at the top of its game to keep its position at the rarefied end of the market.
General manager Simon Casson’s response to that is sound: “Luxury is not wonderful fabrics in the rooms, or a flute player in the lobby. It is consistently excelling in delivering the basics: a genuine smile, always greeting the guests by name,” he tells me.
Certainly, it’s something that’s carried through to his team. From the staff at the spa – which is really a destination in itself – to those in the restaurants, it’s not just lip service. Although how they manage to get staff smiling at breakfast, possibly the roughest time of day to be pleasant, and I’ve met enough surly waiters over my first cup of coffee, I don’t quite know.
But a bit more about the hotel itself. The public areas are palatial, with a wooden panelled library that would not look out of place in a gentlemen’s club on one side, and a drawing room to take your tea on the other. More than a quarter of all the hotel’s rooms are suites, from an area of 71.5sqm. You can choose to eat indoor, or out on a terrace in some six outlets, but any which way, the Italian Il Teatro is some of the finest pasta I’ve eaten – al dente here, means al dente, not just right.
After which, you can head to the three-level grotto pool, which is surrounded by cabanas and cooling palm trees. Or to the 10000sqm spa, which is inspired by the four elements and which has made it to the top of various hot lists, is an 11-room affair, with sauna, steam, whirlpool, ice room and Swiss showers for both men and women, a hydrotherapy lounge, a colour therapy room and a Roman-style laconium with heated loungers. The hotel also has a sports club with fitness centre, resistance pools, tennis and squash. The hotel has a wide variety of function rooms, including a 758sqm grand ballroom.
Evidently, they’ve got the understanding of our need for space down pat. Which is more than we have on this page.