Doha, the capital of Qatar, remains a relatively unknown holiday destination. Nearby Dubai gets far more press exposure with its “six-star” and “seven-star” hotels, namely the glitzy Burj Al Arab. And yet, we think Doha offers a much more authentic and less commercial snapshot of the Middle East. Visit this magical destination now, before the masses descend!
Qatar also tops the list of the richest countries in the world with the highest GDP per capita. Its rapid growth has created some stunning architecture and cultural highlights, such as the Museum of Islamic Art.
If you are flying in and out in Business Class, take a look at our review of the best airport lounges in Doha.
The best luxury hotels in Doha, Qatar, include The InterContinental Doha (with club lounge), Four Seasons Doha (no club lounge), The St. Regis Doha (no club lounge), Ritz-Carlton Doha (club lounge), Grand Hyatt Doha (club lounge), Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village & Spa (no club lounge) and Banana Island Resort by Anantara (no club lounge), an alcohol-free island with beautiful beaches, just 25 minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital.
1. InterContinental Doha
The luxurious 5-star InterContinental Doha (pictured above) is a gorgeous luxury hotel located on the longest private beach in the city. It is just a short drive from the city center. It boasts an excellent Club Lounge with spectacular views.
Nestled in landscaped gardens, the InterContinental Doha features 12 restaurants and bars, including the famous La Mar Doha, a range of recreational facilities, a free-form swimming pool, and the exclusive Spa InterContinental. The hotel’s prime location is just minutes from downtown Doha and major government and corporate offices and within minutes to the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, City Center Mall, and Doha Golf Club.
This InterContinental is one of the few InterContinental beach resorts. Most are city hotels, whereas this InterContinental is very much a relaxing resort hotel located next to The St. Regis and a short walk from the Katara area with lots of restaurants and entertainment.
The highlight beyond the well-equipped gym, very good on-property restaurants, and the large pool is the stretch of beach, which offers a gorgeous view across the gulf to downtown Doha and Hamad International Airport.
The Doha Club InterContinental at the InterContinental hotel in Doha is available to guests who book club rooms. Located on the Mezzanine floor of the hotel with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and Doha skyline, Club InterContinental at InterContinental Doha offers an elegant area to work and play for those who book club rooms and suites.
Club InterContinental executive lounges offer complimentary breakfast, light refreshments, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails. You can see our in-depth review of the executive club lounge at the InterContinental London for some pictures and examples of the quality and quantity of food available at InterContinental lounges across the world.
Club lounge privileges in Doha also include a Personalised check-in and check-out at Club InterContinental, complimentary two pieces of garment pressing per stay, complimentary two-hour use of meeting room at Club InterContinental per stay, complimentary local landline telephone calls, complimentary use of the Club Floor business center equipped with fax, printer, scanner and photocopy machine and priority reservations at their award-winning restaurants.
2. Four Seasons Doha
This hotel has been a firm favorite with Qataris since it opened fourteen years ago. With the business district on one side and their private beach on the other, the Four Seasons Doha is a true urban resort. Dine at the world’s most spectacular Nobu restaurant, unwind at the three-storey Spa and laze in their beautiful pools. If you are a Four Seasons fan, this hotel does not disappoint.
Of course, there is no Four Seasons rewards program, but if you are a regular guest of the Four Seasons or even want to try this iconic brand for the first time, you can take advantage of loyalty style benefits at Four Seasons hotels for no extra cost by booking your next stay via our luxury travel concierge.
Highlights of this hotel include the fact that most rooms have a step-out balcony, and the sea view rooms are the perfect place to watch the sunrise in the morning. The pool is really special too, as is the spa.
The even better news is that the Four Seasons Hotel Doha has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment. You can now enjoy redesigned bedrooms, suites, guest floors, an elegantly-enhanced lobby, a redesigned Seasons Tea Lounge, a new outdoor terrace, and a refreshed Arabica Café with enhanced al-fresco dining and shisha experience, a brand-new signature restaurant, and a brand-new cigar club.
The renovation project was led by world-renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon who has already worked successfully with Four Seasons in France, Italy, and Bahrain, among other locations. Bedrooms embrace the latest technology but also pay homage to the heritage of Qatar by, for example, featuring mother of pearl inlay decorative features. Such styling of the classic with the contemporary is a hallmark of the refurbishment, making this hotel even more exquisite.
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, with a world-class spa, modern fitness center, and elegant restaurants and bars as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools and lush landscaped gardens.
The hotel has its own private beach, located on an island adjacent to the hotel. This Ritz-Carlton is a 10 minutes drive from the cultural center of Doha, Katara Cultural Village. It’s conveniently located across Lagoona Mall and is one of your best Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Doha.
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha celebrates the city’s progressive spirit with an exclusive Club Level, distinctive dining options, modern rooms and suites, a unique spa journey, and legendary outdoor pools.
With distinctive features that include the largest chandelier in the Middle East, this 5-star luxury hotel bridges the past with the present. There are 374 well-appointed guestrooms with views of the city or Arabian Gulf, 61 luxury suites, and 42 club rooms with free internet.
Book into one of the 42 club rooms and you will get access to the sophisticated club level which is, in our opinion, one of the most luxurious and best club lounges in Doha. Here, you can enjoy an elegant setting (pictured above) with five areas: Warm Welcome, In Residence, Library, The Dining Room, and The Kitchen.
The highlights of this lounge are the 24-hour access, the culinary offerings available throughout the day, including breakfast, light lunch, afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres, chocolate and cordials, and “To Go” snacks and beverages are available throughout the day. You cannot get free access to this lounge. You either need to book a club-level room or to pay a fee.
4. Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village & Spa
Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village & Spa is Modelled after a Sheik’s palace, with the rustic authenticity of true Islamic architecture, mixing old-world style and modern-day amenities.
Sharq Village is just a quick 10-minute ride from the airport and another 10 minutes from the heart of downtown. Unlike many of the high-end hotels in Doha, this luxury property is located on the other side of the bay, which means you get some great views of the city’s skyline from the beach.
The other advantage, of course, is the sense of seclusion from the rest of the world – the “village” is a sprawling complex of over a dozen “villas,” each containing several guest rooms/suites. And while it can feel slightly overwhelming, it’s all very well marked. Though if you think about it, getting lost between a spa, a gorgeous pool, lounge chairs on a beach, and several amazing restaurants isn’t such a bad problem to have!
Even “standard” rooms here are far from ordinary. The interior design and overall feel of the rooms mimicked the decor and architectural principles of the property at large. From the intricately carved woodwork, the beautiful rugs to the ironwork on the bedposts give a warm, welcoming feeling. In the center of each villa lies a courtyard, a common-space of sorts between the rooms/suites within each villa. Some are open-aired, and some are covered. Some have small ponds and shrubbery, and others have large trees.
Each restaurant and bar also has its own unique ambiance and design style to be in line with the ethnic feel of the menu. The main dining options are, in no particular order: Al Liwan for Lebanese and Oriental cuisine – this is also where the full buffet breakfast is served; Parisa is their Persian restaurant, and just below Parisa, in the same building, is their out-of-this-world seafood restaurant, Al Dana.
Beyond these main restaurants are a series of bars and lounges, which are available for a quick bite or drink around the property. From the Al Sneef snack bar by the pool to the Al Wanis Shisha Terrace by the main building; from the cigar lounge to the lobby lounge, Sharq Village is ripe with all-day and late-night options for any palate. A real highlight for us, however, was personally choosing our fish from Al Dana’s on-ice “market selection.” Made to look like a world-class fish market, they lay out the day’s freshest catches and imports for guests to select.
5. St Regis Doha
The St. Regis Doha is part of Al Gassar Resort located in the emerging commercial heart of the city, West Bay, adjacent to the Pearl Island and close to the Diplomatic Area. It is also next door to the InterContinental above.
The surrounding sand dunes and ancient architecture were the inspiration for this timeless Doha landmark. Steeped in Middle Eastern mystique, The St. Regis Doha presents majestic interiors, an extensive range of leisure facilities. This five-star luxury hotel in Doha has 336 guest rooms, including 70 seductive suites.
All guest rooms at The St. Regis Doha offer extensive views over the Arabian Gulf’s tranquil blue sea. With an exclusive private beach and discreet oceanfront cabanas, the beach is pretty special here, and both the InterContinental and the St. Regis take advantage of this patch of sand.
Escape to a sanctuary of rejuvenation at the signature Remède Spa featuring 22 private treatment rooms or dine at excellent restaurants, bars & lounges where accomplished master chefs present exciting new fine dining experiences to the capital of Qatar.
Enjoy the ultimate English afternoon tea in Doha at Sarab Lounge, where Diners can choose from a vast selection of teas, infusions, or coffee, served with macaroons and chocolates – and then drift away to the smooth sounds of jazz.
Also on offer is an Olympic-size pool and the crystal clear waters of the Arabian Gulf. Equipment for water sports and activities includes luxury floating beds, tennis courts, snorkeling equipment, wind sport, pedal boats, kayaks, paddleboards, boogie boards, beach soccer, beach volley a youngster ultimate inflatable water playground are all available for hire on request.
The pool and private beach are exclusively for guests, and private cabanas may also be reserved at this most exquisite Doha beach Resort.
6. Banana Island Doha
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 its 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 known to try 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 overwater 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 a trio of prestigious three-bedroom Anantara Over Water Villas offer 360 square meters of luxurious space and a 62-square-meter 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 an 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. The 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.
7. Grand Hyatt Doha
The Grand Hyatt Doha has a brilliant club lounge and a particularly gorgeous and safe sandy beach. Here, the water is shallow, and the water temperature is around 30 C in its lagoon-style bay. Because of how the water flows in the lagoon, this area of the sea has become very saline, so you get to swim in a very buoyant and pleasantly warm sea, which we loved. When we personally visited this luxury hotel, we reviewed the Grand Hyatt Doha in detail.
The club lounge at the Grand Hyatt Doha is extremely spacious, so even when it is busy, you can find a space away from other guests. For breakfast, there is a vast spread of continental breakfast items and the option to order eggs.
Evening cocktail hour offers a very good choice of still or sparkling wines, beer and spirits, and a buffet, including a cheese board, crackers, bread, meat, and hot snacks, pitta, dips, nachos, and little desserts.
Beyond the club lounge 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 the best SE Asian restaurant in the Middle East.
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. 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.
Stroll through the delightful gardens 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, making 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 center. 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 its own water feature. One has a small plunge pool, and the other a jacuzzi.
8. W Doha
The W Doha is one of the few W branded properties with a club lounge. You will feel hip and trendy at this hotel as there is a constant background of soft dance music, and the rooms here are gorgeous.
If you upgrade to the club level, there is a free breakfast and an evening buffet, including alcoholic drinks, before you dance the night away in the Crystal lounge nightclub on the Mezzanine level. Platinum Bonvoy members should get free club lounge access along with guests staying in suites. If you don’t have club lounge access, it’s worth paying the extra for this club lounge upgrade.
The restaurants here are excellent, and there is a basic pool (by Doha standards), so you can enjoy the outside, at least when the pool is in the sun, which tends to be late in the morning when the sun falls behind surrounding buildings.
9. Westin Doha Hotel & Spa
Located in the heart of central Doha, just 20 minutes from the airport and only minutes away from landmark destinations such as Souq Waqif and Doha Corniche, is the Westin Doha. The hotel is set in stunning landscaped gardens with 364 guest rooms, suites, and some rather lovely private pool villas.
Rooms feature Heavenly® Beds and the invigorating Heavenly® Shower. Guests can enjoy various dining options from 6 restaurants ranging from award-winning Thai cuisine at Sabai Thai to a modern steakhouse experience at Hunter’s Room & Grill. There is also a Heavenly Spa by Westin™ and spacious WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio®, along with a really nice pool area.
The club lounge is spacious, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Throughout the day, food offerings include a great breakfast, lunch with salads, sandwiches, light bites, and evening food, which is again salads, light bites, and hot dishes, usually a mix of warm salmon fillets, chicken and beef options. The evening happy hour includes beer, wines including sparkling, and a selection of spirits.
10. Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown, near the diplomatic quarter and the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. The rooms and suites are well-appointed, get great reviews, and the hotel also has a spa, a pool (which isn’t as nice as the one at the Grand Hyatt or the Sheraton but is sufficient for a city center hotel), and a fitness center. Nine in-house restaurants, ranging from casual poolside dining to an authentic Italian or Brazilian experience, will keep you fed, but a highlight here is the club lounge.
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha hotel has an executive lounge on the eighth floor, overlooking the downtown of Doha with one of the best outdoor views in the city. The view is also overlooking the hotel’s heated swimming pool. There is a continental breakfast spread, which is very good, and a happy hour in the executive lounge. Alcohol is usually served here except during Ramadan, and the food is good too, with salads, pasta, chicken dishes, pad thai noodles, and curried fish as well as the usual veggies. They also have a decent selection of desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
What is noteworthy about this hotel is that it is usually cheaper than the equivalent Starwood Sheraton and Westin in Doha. The location is also slightly better because it is near the Corniche and is attached to a large shopping mall.
This Marriott Bonvoy hotel is a rewards category 3 hotel meaning it costs 17,500 Marriott Bonvoy points a night to stay here, which is a great deal for a solid hotel in the city center. Still, for a family holiday, I would always pick the Grand Hyatt or the Ritz-Carlton as their facilities are much better. The Grand Hyatt, in particular, has a marvelous beach.
Here are just some luxury Doha hotels that we have reviewed in more detail:
Review: InterContinental Doha, Qatar
A new, dynamic star is rearing its’ head in the Gulf; Doha is the place to go; visit soon and get there before the masses descend. Must-stay hotel, the luxurious 5-star InterContinental Doha is located on the longest private beach… Read More.
Review: Grand Hyatt Doha
Doha, the capital of Qatar, is perhaps one of the least-known destinations in the Middle East. The Emirate tops the list of the richest countries in the world with the highest GDP per capita. This growth and investment have created… Read More.
Review: Banana Island Resort - Decadence On The Shores Of Doha
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… Read More.
Review: Ritz Carlton Sharq Village & Spa Review
Modeled after a Sheik’s palace and highlighting the rustic authenticity of true Islamic architecture, the Sharq Village and Spa by Ritz-Carlton epitomizes the perfect marriage between old-world style and modern-day amenities. Read More.
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