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$450m Sharq serves up Qatar deluxe
April 2007 40

Sharq Village & Spa, operated by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, has opened its doors in Qatar.

The $450-million luxury resort, located in the area known as ‘Sharq’ or the Orient, is inspired by traditional Qatari culture and architecture.
Already, the property has been well received by the trade in Doha, general manager Abdul Aziz Al Emadi told TTN over the phone from the Qatari capital. “As a project, Sharq Village and Spa adds to the tourism sector. Many customers want to book with us because the hotel reflects local culture, in architecture and service.”
Al Emadi expects to post first-year occupancies of around 52 per cent, he said. “We have a challenge ahead of us, because we have lost the first quarter, and summer and Ramadan are traditionally slow seasons. This year is about positioning.”
All phases of the hotel will be open by May, he said.
So far, he said, “We’ve had no problems driving an average opening rate between QR1400 ($384.6) and QR1500 in the first month, which we want to maintain during the summer. By the winter, we expect to be averaging QR1800.”
Designed to reflect the close-knit communities of fishermen, pearl divers and merchants that shaped Qatar’s vibrant history, the hotel is also equipped with modern facilities and amenities to meet the requirements of international leisure and business travellers.
Honouring the true sense of a traditional Qatari home, Sharq Village houses 174 beits (rooms), each of which is decorated with intricately designed furniture, hand-made carpets, vibrant velvets and silk embellishments.
Rooms are lavishly decorated with authentic copper, inlaid brass, and hand-woven carpets, providing a restive and private Qatari-style sanctuary, whilst still offering the most modern luxury amenities, such as deep soaking tubs, separate walk-in rainforest showers, private balconies, and state-of-art technology including wall mounted flat-screen LCD televisions and both hi-speed wireless and cabled data connections.
The hotel exterior resembles that of an elegantly marbled sheikh’s palace, and the interior is no less regal with crystal-draped chandeliers hanging from the towering arched ceilings. The lobby houses Qatar’s only indoor souq where one can purchase everything from luxury designer wear to traditional Arabic ornaments.
With the hotel hoping to tap the region’s exploding MICE market, it is also home to over 1130sqm of conferencing space split among two ballrooms, a board room and one grand reception foyer – with the most sophisticated technology and a total capacity of 950 reception guests.
The resort envelopes cooling pools, fountains, lush gardens and intimate courtyards; wandering through the streets and courtyard homes, guests will encounter a symphony of flavors and aromas of times past. Sharq Village & Spa offers some of the most unique and imaginative dining experiences in Doha. Each venue showcases exquisite culinary creations that blend into the rich ambiance of the ancient Qatari village complimented by impeccable service and comfort. Diners can choose to indulge their passion for food on the ample rooftop or terrace seating amongst lush tropical foliage or indoors, the village restaurants are comfortably positioned to offer the most breathtaking views and guarantees exceptional dining experiences, while the signature seafood restaurant Al Mahara at the water’s edge offers the very best from the sea.
The four spa villages that make up the 6,500 square metre area of the Six Senses Spa are connected by a labyrinth of waving pathways, cascading fountains and lush greenery to tempt the senses into utter escape. The 23 treatment rooms are fashioned on a traditional Qatari environment resembling typical village houses with heated stone massage beds, mud baths, fully equipped gym, private majlis areas and several quiet reflective meditation rooms.
By Clark Kelly




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