Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a paradise sanctuary, offering an alcohol-free environment, an island of beaches and indulgence. Just 25 minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital, yet a world away, a luxury catamaran ferry will whisk you across the crystal clear water to reach this breathtaking island. Alternatively arrive by a private helicopter to get a bird’s eye coastal view.
Since Banana Island opened on it’s 13-hectare spit of sand — the nearest land, 15 miles away, is the international airport — a limit has had to be placed on the length of time guests can stay. Sheikhs have been trying to book the villas for six months at a time, or just buy them outright – that is how addictive this place is!
There are eight restaurants, three pools, a private beach, 141 bedrooms and the Middle East’s first over water villas. Yet even at full occupancy, this hotel feels exclusive and peaceful.
The 141 luxury guest rooms, suites and villas are designed in Arabian style with signature Anantara touches including 54 Premier Sea View Rooms, 16 Deluxe Sea View Rooms, eight Sea View Suites, 18 Anantara Suites and 34 spacious Sea View Pool Villas featuring a personal pool and poolside cabana. The eight two-bedroom Over Water Villas and trio of prestigious three-bedroom Anantara Over Water Villas offer 360 square metres of luxurious space and a 62-square-metre personal pool, ideal for families and groups of friends.
In the evenings, beds are scattered with rose petals. Lighting has 10 mood light settings and the towels are folded into different animal shapes each night. Kissing swans and even a grinning monkey can be found, all made out of towels, hanging on the back of your bathroom door.
Fine dining is offered under the stars overlooking Doha’s regal skyline. The poolside Q Lounge and Restaurant serves specially designed tobacco mixes in custom Desvall shisha pipes, (but no alcohol). Among the resort’s eight dining options, try Ted’s for a U.S.-style hamburger or Al Nahham for Arab meze, seafood dishes. Riva is the Italian restaurant with a Michelin- starred head chef and probably the best italian food in Qatar. Although you can’t have a glass of wine, a Ferrero Rocher milkshake is more than pleasing. Main dishes are fabulous, the tiramisu, might be the finest dessert you will ever taste.
Twenty-four-karat-gold manicures are available at Anantara Spa, which has eight treatment rooms along with separate hammams and hot tubs for men and women. At the Balance Wellness Center, guests choose among six wellness retreats and access facilities including 14 treatment rooms, an indoor botanical garden, and the Zest café, serving meals and juices made with organic ingredients.
The Surf Club is the hang out for the kids. There’s also a surf pool, where novices can have lessons on giant artificial waves. You can learn to dive here and there are plenty of trumpetfish, barracuda, and shoals of tiny fish to dive through. There is a vast indoor adventure fun house for the kids, two cinemas, one of which is exclusively for Playstation and Xbox tournaments. In the rooms, younger guests even get tiny motor car beds.
Banana Island Resort Doha is a brilliant alternative to staying downtown in Doha. This man-made island is a feast of luxury, each room offering beautiful ocean views, with stunning and peaceful pools in the grounds and a delicious beach with crystal clear water. Banana Island Resort is a true island escape far away from the stress and noise of Doha.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.