WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Opened in 2000, this contemporary beachfront five-star hotel with Middle Eastern influences has guestrooms offering unobstructed views of the Arabian Gulf. Its array of facilities – a 500-metre private beach for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking, a free-form swimming pool by the beach, a children’s paddling pool and play area, five gazebos and a beach volleyball court among others – is an incentive for business travellers, especially those bringing families, to stay through the weekend.
WHERE IS IT?
Located in the West Bay premier beachfront district; a five-minute drive from the Diplomatic District at the northern end of the Corniche, 10 minutes from the business district and 25 minutes from the Doha International Airport.
For more tips about Doha, www.intercontinentalvideo.com, a dedicated InterContinental concierge website, offering an insider’s guide to over 50 cities where InterContinental-branded properties are located, is helpful. Guests with a confirmed reservation will be given a password to access other information like interactive maps and the sort.
HOW MANY ROOMS?
245 guestrooms (53 of them smoke-free) and 36 suites in the Executive, Diplomatic, Presidential and Royal Suite categories. There are 12 Business Rooms specially for the work challenged.
My Diplomatic Suite (pictured) featured sliding doors (sound-proof, I tested) separating the bedroom and lounge areas. The latter had a five-seater sofa, ideal for holding small casual meetings. There was also a king-size bed, work desk, wired broadband internet (at US$0.55 per minute for the first 37 minutes, after which a 24-hour charge of US$21 applies) and two televisions with a Guestlink system for surfing online. This particular unit had the unusual feature of having two doors, which caused some confusion. There were a few occasions when I ran to answer the knock on one door only to find the staff waiting at the other one. Perhaps, a blinking light to indicate where the service is coming from might be useful here?
Za Moda is Italian themed; Paloma is Tex-Mex and The Café is for all-day dining. The seafront Fish Market features fresh catch cooked the way you like it and a Lebanese menu.
Drinks are available at Paloma, the pool and lobby lounge.
The 24-hour business centre is small but has adequate services. Al Wajba ballroom is divisible into three and takes up to 700 people. Three function rooms accommodate 80, 70 and 30 people respectively.
Adding to the ones mentioned earlier, there are also two floodlit outdoor tennis courts, two squash courts and a 24-hour health club.
Internet room rates start from 1,125QAR (US$309) nightly in a Superior King City View Room for a weekday stay in early December.
An added bonus is that all four restaurants open till midnight on most days, so guests can feast all night long while enjoying the warm hospitality by an international staff.
Al Istiqlal Road, West Bay Lagoon, Doha, Qatar, tel 974 484 4444, www.intercontinental.com/doha