I recently had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful InterContinental Doha. If I had it my way, I would still be there, but alas all good things must… well, you know. Here is my experience, giving you an idea of what my stay was like and what to expect
should when you decide to stay at the InterContinental too the next time you find yourself passing through Qatar.
Located on its own private beach in the West Bay area of Doha, the InterContinental Doha Hotel is often described as an iconic landmark in the city. Offering 5-star luxury, it’s prime location makes it an equally good choice for both the business and leisure traveller.
The hotel effortlessly combines luxury and heritage. If you’re looking for exceptional surroundings, a wide variety of award-award-winning restaurants, quality service, and an array of recreation activities, the InterContinental Doha is your place.
INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA LOCATION
The hotel is strategically located in the upmarket West Bay Lagoon area and an easy 25 minute taxi ride from Doha International airport.
The cost of a taxi is around 80 QAR and if you’re looking to save some money there is a bus running from the airport into the city centre. Taxis can be found on the exit to the left and the buses are all the way on the right as you exit the terminal.
Overlooking the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, it feels like you’re on an island away from the city, even though the hotel is minutes away from downtown Doha, the Doha Exhibition centre, the central business district, and other key sights including the nearby Katara cultural village and The Pearl Qatar. This hotel should not be confused with the other InterContinental Doha located in the city centre.
Lusail St. 223, Al Dafna, West Bay Lagoon, Doha 6822 Qatar
WELCOME AND CHECK IN
My flight to Doha on Qatar Airways arrived in the early hours of the morning. Following by a brief taxi to get to the hotel I was warmly welcomed and directed to the club lounge to enjoy some breakfast. Fortunately, I was allowed an early check-in, which set the tone for the rest of my stay. Located on the Mezzanine floor, the Club makes the most of those spectacular views.
To enter the hotel you do need to pass through a security check and your luggage has to be scanned by one of those machines just outside the lobby.
STYLE AND CHARACTER
The cool a/c the moment you enter is most welcome to counteract the effects of the desert heat. Inside, the hotel is contemporary, bold and luxurious with a design that merges Arabian and European sophistication. The reception area feels a little out of place, but the warm ambiance more than makes up for it. The beautiful design is continued throughout matched by the ornately deigned exterior and tropical feel of the palm trees and turquoise waters.
INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA ROOMS
I’ve stayed at Intercontinental hotel’s around the world, and the rooms are always spacious with an ultra luxurious feel. The room at the InterContinental Doha was no different. Decorated in neutral tones with a hint of modern Arabesque, the room was large and light-filled with Lutron control for lights and curtains. It’s all in the details.
The super comfortable bed was most welcome, particularly after trekking in Nepal, even having four different options in the kind of pillow. Anchoring the bed was a flatscreen TV with a wide choice of channels. A workstation desk with plenty of electrical points in the corner of the room came in handy.
The luxury and comfort continued in the marble bathroom fitted with a shower, bathtub, bidet, and InterContinental signature Agraria® bath products.
IN THE ROOM
The room also features the following:
Complimentary bottled water
Iron and ironing board
Plenty of cupboard space.
Plenty of electrical sockets
ARABIAN GULF SEA VIEWS
A sure highlight of the stay was the uninterrupted captivating views of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf and the Doha skyline from the room. Imagine waking up to this:
Hat-tip: (book) request a room overlooking the water, taking full advantage of the epic panoramic views. The higher the better for a naturally better vantage point and also to limit possible noise from the restaurant bars and pool area.
With an extra comfortable king size bed, workstation, and panoramic views of the Gulf, you’d need a really good reason to leave the room.
THE BAY CLUB FITNESS CENTRE
The ideal place to spend the day or after a day exploring the city.
Outdoor enthusiasts and sports-lovers will be drawn to the endless recreation options of The Bay Club. The resort facilities are considered amongst the best in Doha, featuring outdoor tennis courts, squash courts, a beach volleyball court and a gym.
The fully equipped fitness centre, overlooking the pool area, is open 24-hours and includes a sauna and steam room.
INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA BEACH
Located on a natural beach, the InterContinental boasts the longest private beach and the largest swimming pool in the city.
Guest are given unlimited access to The Bay club area which includes access to the private beach area. Soak in the sunshine at the beach, and then follow that up relaxing by the outdoor pool. There is also a children’s pool and an array of water sports available.
A selection of spa treatments are on offer at Spa InterContinental at an additional charge. Everything from personalised massage to reflexology, a private indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam facilities.
If you plan on dining in (and I highly recommend that you do) book a table when you arrive. The InterContinental Doha is a foodie haven featuring vast culinary options across 13 restaurants and bars. Some of the favourites include La Mar by celebrity chef Gaston Acurio, Belgian Cafe, and Parisian lounge Manko Doha.
Breakfast served at Coral all-day dining restaurant is highly recommended too with the buffet food selection and presentation a big highlight. Everything you need to start the day off right from salads to fruit to pastries, eggs, oats, pancakes, beans, you name it. Not to mention the best selection of fruit juice! Pineapple, orange, mango, watermelon and my favourite carrot 😛
LUNCH AT LA MAR DOHA
Have you tasted Peruvian cuisine before? This was my first time with lunch at the hotel’s award winning La Mar restaurant and I was left feeling fulfilled and wonderfully surprised.
La Mar by acclaimed celebrity Chef Gastón Acurio, serves authentic Peruvian dishes in an elegant beachfront setting. Known for its rich flavours, diverse influences, fresh seafood, and innovate cebiches, it is the go-to place for contemporary Peruvian gastronomy in Doha.
To wet our appetite and to start we indulged in:
Nikkei: ahi tuna in sesame and citrus-based tamarind leche de tigre marinade of lime and aji peppers, cucumber, avocado, and nori seaweed.
Clasico: thinly sliced white fish sashimi flavoured with yellow chili leche de tigre, choclo, fried sweet potato, and cancha.
Look at the presentation — seared scallops with parmesan cheese foam, fish roe, leche de tigre, and crispy garlic.
For the main course we opted for:
Pescado a la Brasa
Grilled boneless whole fish, wrapped in banana leaves, and butter leche de tigre.
And for the best way to end….
Mousse de Chocolate:
Puffed quinoa and cacao, with cocoa and merengues.
Because one dessert is never enough…
A dulce de leche foam, vanilla ice cream, berries, and crispy merengue.
The best thing I’ve eaten in a long time.
The complimentary WiFi worked excellently throughout even when I ventured as far as the beach.
You only need to log in with your details initially and it automatically connects thereafter.
OTHER HOTEL FACILITIES
The InterContinental Doha is well placed for both business as well as family travellers.
For the business traveller, there is a 24-hour business centre.
For the family the games room, swimming pool, and children’s playground will be much welcomed.
Other hotel facilities:
24-hour front desk
ATM machine on site
FREE SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE
There is a convenient shuttle service to/from the hotel to various locations across the city, including the airport, Souq, and Islamic museum. I made use of this to get to the city centre. The times don’t always correspond to when you need it, but it’s worth checking if the schedules match.
STAFF AND SERVICE
This delightful hotel provides a warm Qatari welcome. My flight out of Doha was late at night. Fortunately, I was given a much needed and appreciated late check-out before catching an Uber to Hammad International.
The process to check-out did take longer than it should — 25 minutes due to the line of guests in front of me. I can’t imagine this being the norm though.
Huge compliments to the staff. Throughout my time here, the staff were nothing short of welcoming, professional, helpful, and courteous. From the front-desk staff to the housekeeping, restaurant and PR and marketing manager, all were eager to make my stay a pleasant one.
You could check in and never need or want to step out of the InterContinental Doha for days.
With ultra luxurious rooms, sumptuous cuisine, the longest private beach in Doha, a large outdoor swimming pool, unmatched hospitality, and plenty of recreation options the InterContinental Doha has just the perfect mix to provide a wonderful stay.
And a wonderful stopover it was. I will be back.