As I said in my previous post, I love it there and I am really looking forward to going back (Qatar Airways just reduced their economy ticket for the 50 minute flight to Doha to KD 61.) There are so many activities and events going on in Qatar and I am pleasantly surprised by it all.
Below are all the properties and places I visited (with links to their websites) during my brief 3-and-a-half-day trip to Qatar. (We were busy from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm which is how we were able to do so much. Thank you, Qatar Tourism Authority!)
Located on a crescent-shaped island and accessible by their fleet of shuttle boats, Banana Island Resort (which you are probably hearing a lot about) is lovely, but no alcohol is allowed – either at the resort or brought in by guests (limiting their market). All staff members seem to be trained to say, "Salam alaykum" to guests as you pass by. The above-water villas also don’t have direct access down to the sea nor do they have in-floor “windows” to the water below. The resort does offer many family-friendly activities (wave pool, bowling, cinemas) has an amazingly beautiful/tranquil spa with views over the sea. Also several restaurants and the food was very good.
|Villa at Banana Island Resort, Qatar|
Looks like Malaysia, right?
|Standard bathtubs at Banana Island (me WANTS!)|
|Outdoor seating area in over-water villa next to private pool|
|Dale Chihuly Art at Kempinski|
|Entrance to Kempinski|
|Dale Chihuly Chandeliers|
Four Seasons – standard Four Seasons high quality and luxury in a beautifully landscaped beachfront property. Houses the famous Nobu (sushi) Restaurant on a peninsula off the long beach of the hotel. Well landscaped pool area. Cigar bar. The rooms with sea views are extraordinary with doors that open so you can awaken to the sea.
|View from a room at the Four Seasons|
|Beach front area at Four Seasons - Nobu on Right Top|
|Four Seasons pool area|
|Four Seasons pool area|
|Welcoming tray at Shangri La|
|King bed at Shangri-La|
The Westin will open in April. It is huge and very pretty. Has the largest convention hall in Doha at 1700 theater-style. Beautiful landscaping. Villa rooms with private pools. Wave pool on property next to their Thai restaurant. It was in a strange area, however. Not close to most attractions and driving in it does not allow for a 5-star first impression (once inside, however, that changes).
|One of the Westin's pretty walkways|
And by the by - the hotels serve alcohol.
Souq Waqif is a must-see. Similar to Mubarakia in Kuwait, Souq Waqif is an old souq with small alleys, shops and restaurants. Most of the restaurants are more upscale than Mubarakia, however. Souq Waqif also houses several small, boutique hotels if you would like to stay in the heart of the old-town area. The Souq also provides activities and festivals throughout the year (LINK and LINK).