Carlo Javakhia, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is at the helm of a property that has existed for over two decades and is still a strong contender in the country’s luxury hospitality segment.
What makes your property stand out compared to other high-end hotels within Doha?
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is set on an exclusive island. We are located next to the futuristic Lusail City, the Lusail Stadium, Katara Cultural Village and Lusail Circuit. I can most definitely say that we do have one of the best views in the city, especially our suites – all our suites boast sea views. When it comes to dining, the hotel has seven restaurants and lounges. It also features exceptional leisure facilities such as a semi-Olympic indoor pool, indoor squash and tennis courts, as well as a 24-hour fitness centre overlooking the marina. Furthermore, for over 20 years, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha has become one of the favourite venues for local and international high-end weddings, ceremonies and conferences too.
The Grand Amiri suite is regarded as one of the finest in the country. What sets it apart?
I am very proud to share the news that our Grand Amiri suites were crowned “Qatar’s Leading Hotel Suite 2022” at the 29th World Travel Awards, for the second consecutive year. In a city where luxury is synonymous with everyday life, winning this award once again is a big testament to the distinctive design and overall product. The four Grand Amiri suites are designed to celebrate Qatari heritage by combining chic styling, architectural detailing, vibrant hues, metallic accents and custom textures. Each suite has its own identity and theme, and that is what makes it stand out in such a competitive market.
What are some of the culinary highlights available at your property?
The hotel has seven restaurants and lounges. You can try premium sushi, sashimi and ceviche at the glamorous B-Lounge. STK Doha has premium and rare cuts from around the world, including Japanese Wagyu and Australian Tomahawk. My personal favourite, Sel and Miel brings an authentic slice of France to Doha with a menu of classic French favourites. Our Friday Parisian Breakfast and Wednesday Raclette offers are very popular in the city. Habanos, with an outdoor terrace, has a menu inspired by Latin America. Flamingos, our pool bar, offers beverages and light bites throughout the day. Sample our signature Afternoon Tea at The Lobby Lounge too.
What are the key spa and wellness offerings at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha?
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Doha was awarded Qatar’s Best Hotel Spa 2021 by the World Spa Awards and it is also inspired by the country’s heritage and Arabic rituals. Our newly renovated outdoor swimming pools with inlets and waterfalls, as well as the private beach, are perfect spots to soak up the sunshine. The junior-sized indoor pool and Moroccan hammam make the spa offering stand out.
It’s been over two decades since the hotel opened. What are some of the expansion plans in place for it?
This year, the hotel team has done a tremendous job upgrading and beautifying the hotel facilities such as the outdoor swimming pool, spa, lobby lounge, Habanos as well as the meeting space. In 2023, we are going to be renovating our all-day dining restaurant The Lagoon, as well as ensuring the other spaces remain in good condition.
As a general manager, what’s the toughest part of your job?
One of the toughest parts of my job is balancing all the stakeholders: family, owners, company staff, my team members, guests, authorities, and so forth. For example, when it comes to the employees, I need to create an environment where they can progress in their careers. Money is not always the main driver, and I need to make it exciting for them to work here, as well as help in their future roles. For the owners, I need to give them the confidence that their assets are safe. Guest expectations, understanding the trends and the competition, and also being physically on the floor and assisting our guests, can get tough…but this is what makes the hospitality industry special and fulfilling.