I came for lunch at Mykonos restaurant during my stay in Doha last year and I was so impressed with the great cuisine, the skilful staff and the beautiful beach. So, it was not difficult at all to consider spending a few days here on this trip to Doha this year. The most incredible was that I had the opportunity to return a few days later after I left because of the “Bouzouki Night”. I could never have imagined that I would feel like home with Greeks and Cypriots all around me, with plate smashing while savouring the Greek and Cypriot delicacies. Indeed a night to be cherished!
LOCATION: I would call it ‘superb’. Guests should know that this specific hotel is located on the city’s longest private beach. A stay here is ideal for both Leisure and Business, just a 5 minute walk to the ‘Cultural Centre of Katara’, but yet quite close to the City Centre. (Taxis are quite cheap here in Doha).
BEACH: Overlooking the Arabian Gulf the hotel is an urban waterfront oasis while its beautiful sandy beach exceeds by far the expectations of the demanding guest. Considering myself far too demanding, I remember I was happily surprised with this superb beach and the facilities provided from my last visit.
STAFF & MANAGEMENT: I experienced an unparalleled level of excellent service. It was nice to be back and see familiar faces. The staff is a bunch of multilingual professionals, ready to meet the needs of the guests. Individuals are served in a unique way, so there is always a reason to be back. There is a big number of repeaters –I came across and had a chat with a few during my stay. I noticed that both the staff and management work on the least detail for the comfort, taste and preference of each and every guest. I had made friends out here from my last stay but I doubled them with this last stay.
ROOMS: All suites have an Arabic twist. We had the Double Guest Room # 323 which was gorgeous, very comfortable and well equipped. The interior was pleasantly spacious, spotlessly clean, modern and luxurious. There was a workspace desk with a multi-socket auxiliary panel on the side. Both proved handy because I always wake up early to check emails and do some work before breakfast. The multi-socket saved me time from calling and asking for an adaptor.
Most hotels in Doha have no balconies and this was not an exception. There was much light coming in the room from the huge double glazed windows which happened to cover completely a whole wall. The only downside of our room was that it was overlooking neither the beach nor the gardens!
HOUSEKEEPING: The housekeeping staff are doing their job well, they are extremely courteous and helpful. Just call them if you need anything and they will be at your service in minutes.
FACILITIES: Among other facilities the room features a 46 inch LED TV, wireless internet and an iPod connection. The curtains, the carpet and walls, the bed’s cover, the pillows –even the sophisticated up and over bed canopy above the king-sized bed…all match with the rest of the impressive and luxurious look of the interior.
Coffee/tea facilities, a Safe, a Mini Bar, and an iron board are provided. Especially the latter is something I highly appreciate when I find it in my closet. The room had it all.
BATHROOM: Spotlessly clean. Fresh bright-white towels, scales, a robe and a hair dryer. Toiletries are the “Agraria San Francisco” brand –a favourite of mine. They are well-known products with a generous amount of fragrance of lemon verbena and a touch of citrus. Amenities that can surely spoil the guest! In the upgraded executive suites these toiletries come in 100 ml while in standard rooms the content is 40 ml.
GARDEN AND POOL: The hotel has an expansive freedom pool with loungers scattered around in the beautiful garden. The sailing academy offers a host of water sports while the gardens look like an irresistible oasis for relaxation and fun.
FITNESS CENTRE: The Health club was fully equipped and it offers a 24 hours gym, providing sauna, steam room, pool, beach, squash, volleyball and tennis courts; facilities are free to the guests who stay at the hotel. I went to the gym room only once though because of lack of time. Most of my precious time I was outdoors taking photos which of course I enjoy.
RESTAURANTS: There are four signature restaurants and two bars in the hotel but during my stay I had the opportunity to try the cuisine of Mykonos, and the Coral for which I comment separately on the cuisines. Both restaurants however, exceeded my expectations in taste, quality and presentation so I can highly recommend them.
MYKONOS: If you wish to experience the REAL Greece, come to the award-winning Mykonos restaurant in Doha. The Executive Sous Chef of the hotel is Greek too. Konstantinos and his Greek staff, Ilias Kafalis the Chef De Cuisine, Dionysios and Panayiotis the Outlet Managers make an outstanding team and will surely make you want to return. All four are an unbeatable team! I guess there is another Greek whose name I miss. I only met him at the Bouzouki night for a while.
There is live entertainment each night by a Bouzouki band from 7.30pm to 11.30pm except Saturdays. The restaurant opens daily from midday to 11.30pm. It is an ideal place to relax while enjoying the sun, the sea, fine food while the ambience of the terrace befits its stunning location. The specialties here are from different regions of Greece….I loved almost everything. I highly recommend it not only for a Business Lunch but for a dinner outing as well.
THE CORAL: It is a restaurant with a difference! The cosmopolitan blend of Asian, Arabic, International and Mediterranean cuisines places it among the signature restaurants of Doha. It is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet style) and the most interesting is that there are Theme Nights as well. We were lucky to be there on a Sunday night so we enjoyed a Seafood Night buffet. The selection is huge and the culinary delicacies will undoubtedly satisfy you.
You can try the ‘Simply Asian Night’ –on Tuesdays. The Culinary delicacies of the Asian continent are ones to remember. You can savour dishes of diverse cuisines from Japan to Chinese, Thai and Indian alongside a full international and seafood buffet, a sushi bar and live cooking stations.
Come to the Coral and try the ‘Phoenician’ Lebanese Night on a Thursday, or the Barbecue Night on a Friday, or try the ‘Turf’ Steak Night on a Saturday. I find Theme Nights interesting and the quality, the professionalism, the presentation and service are a guarantee for an outstanding dinner outing.
THE LAVA: I consider the Lava one of the hottest places in Doha. It is the unique spot to mix with other guests, enjoy your drinks over pleasing to the ears music. I came here for a drink and some dips and I noticed that the food menu includes some great dining options. The spot is ideal for an after work aperitif or can be considered the ideal place to enjoy a variety of rhythms into the night. The interior design and features is promising, while the other option is out at the beautiful terrace which has a stunning view of Doha Skyline and it is open from 8.00pm to 02.00am. (Closed on Saturdays). After 10:00 pm the music changes and Lava becomes an amazing Night Club.
THE FISH MARKET: If you are after the freshest Seafood in the city, I highly recommend the Fish Market restaurant. You can make your pick from the fish baskets just as if you were out in a market. The interior is great but guests can also enjoy their meals out on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
THE ROUND AREA: Katara -a location full of tradition is an integrated cultural landmark created to raise public cultural awareness through festivals, exhibitions, forums and all kinds of activities. It is designed in a way to host literary pursuits and art societies functioning in Qatar under one roof. Besides the several restaurants and the beautiful sandy coast, there is an Amphitheatre, a Theatre for plays, an Opera Theatre and a Multi-purpose Hall that houses both Cultural and Art Societies. It occupies an area of more than 1.000.000 square meters and it is very close to the hotel and definitely worth visiting. There are many exhibitions and Festivals taking place the year round. I find the atmosphere here unique and enchanting.
SOUK WAQIF: A market dating at least a century back but it has recently been restored to its original glory. Actually it is another spot not to be missed. It will travel you for sure taking you to another era. Thousands of people frequent this market to purchase mostly traditional goods, spices, perfumes, wool products and end out at one of the beautiful restaurants and café bars. Lately it has become a hotspot for art galleries & workshops as well. I had the opportunity to visit a few during my stay.
EATING OUTSIDE: If you are fond of Indian cuisine and wish to dine outside the premises, I highly recommend the unbeatable cuisine of Safran Lounge by Vineet. (Katara location.) Here you will experience a culinary journey through the various regions of India. The flavours are exotic while the cuisine is highly diverse. (Check for my review on this restaurant.)
CONCLUSION: I highly recommend this hotel for its amazing location, quality service, excellent cuisine, facilities, and professionalism of each and every member of the staff and management. Thank you guys for making my short stay a memorable one. I honestly long to be back. Keep your positive attitude and the good work up, be yourselves and don’t bother to change at all. You are simply great.