Doha, capital of Qatar, is perhaps one of the least known destinations of the Middle East. The Emirate tops the list of the richest countries in the world with the highest GDP per capita and the fastest growing economy in 2010. This growth and investment has created some stunning architecture and cultural highlights, such as the Museum of Islamic Art. Doha enjoys a mostly dry, warm climate, although many may find the summer months too hot at over 40 celsius.
We have stayed here twice, both times as a result of a layover when flying Qatar Airways. Qatar is however becoming such a significant destination in it’s own right, particularly with the FIFA World Cup coming up in 2022.
If you book a suite or upgrade to a suite at the Grand Hyatt Doha your rate includes airport transfers which is handy for an easy and stress free arrival. On our first stay, our room was an Executive Suite with large terrace complete with dining table. On our second stay, we were upgraded to a Grand Suite, which was large and on the corner. The highlight of the suite was the large balcony overlooking the hotel’s beach and the Arabian Gulf (although note that in a desert country, everything outside gets dusty quickly). In addition, the room had a good-size lounge and bedroom, a large bathroom and a guest cloakroom.
We loved sitting outside on our verandah, enjoying the dying heat of the day and watching the lights of Doha as evening approached.
Best Hotel Club Lounge In Doha
The club lounge at this property was extremely spacious so even when it is busy you can find a space away from other guests. For breakfast there was a vast spread of continental breakfast items, as well as the option to order eggs. Evening cocktail hour (currently 6-8 pm) offers a very good choice of still or sparkling wines and a wide variety of food including a number of desserts. The Grand Hyatt Doha’s club lounge is one of the unsung heroes of the Hyatt chain – and bears a strong resemblance to another of our favourites at Muscat, Oman.
As at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, there is a wide choice of restaurants, from traditional Arabian Mezza through Italian to genuine Thai. Isaan is a real Thai restaurant staffed entirely by Thai personnel and it has won a Time Out award as best SE Asian restaurant in the Middle East.
Rocca is a more casual Italian bistro by the poolside offering real Italian specialities by Chef Marco Cherubini who worked in Rome for over a decade so authenticity is guaranteed.
Santa Monica Breakfast Club is more eclectic and the site for breakfast as well as absolutely sumptuous brunches and lunches which include all the traditional Arabian dishes. Try the mouthwatering shish kebab cooked on a real charcoal grill. Dessert lovers will be in heaven when they see the buffet.
The Dunes bar offers a large selection of wines and spirits in a cool environment and if you get peckish or want gifts, there is Biscotti selling beautiful chocolates, cookies, bakery and coffee.
The large freeform swimming pool is accessed from one level below reception so you can exit your room discretely attired in swimwear and bathrobe without offending locals in the lobby area. It is understandably very popular with families which can make it feel hectic. Our recommendation therefore is to take the very short stroll through the delightful gardens (how on Earth do they get lawns like that in this climate?!) down to the very safe shallow sandy beach. The water temperature is about 30 C as the bay is a virtual lagoon. The water is very saline too so you are very buoyant which makes swimming even more fun. As if that were not enough, there is a separate more conventional swimming pool along the far end of the beach surrounded by hedges.
The gym is very large and extremely well equipped for a hotel fitness centre. Alternatively, if you prefer to brave the heat, there is an outdoor jogging track.
The spa contains two private couples’ suites different in style but each with their own water feature – one has a small plunge pool and the other a jacuzzi.
We enjoyed our stays at the Grand Hyatt Doha enough to book a longer stay partly with a view to finding out more about Qatar. With Qatar Airways’ increasing significance as a global airline it is clearly going to be an important stopover as well. Rooms are large and well equipped. The dining options are good and in many cases award winning. The leisure facilities are superb. The club lounge offers extremely good service and the food and drink offering is easily good enough to avoid additional spending. We would recommend staying here, especially if you have access to the club lounge.
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Review by my friend Andrew Price at Driven2Travel.
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