I’ve always wondered what it must be like to stay at the Mondrian Doha. When you see it square on from outside, you are mesmerised by the architectural achievement that is a falcon sitting spread eagled in her nest. Few hotel exteriors are as arresting as this. This hotel is as awesome architecturally on the outside as it is daring in design on the inside. All of which is a tribute to the creative vision of Marcel Wanders.
Staying at the Mondrian is all about having an experience. It is not a purely utilitarian layover hotel but a place to be, to refresh, to let the mind wander and unleash the soul. Entering it for the first time had the feeling of entering a post-modern art gallery. It is bright and spacious with a preponderance of white marble but a lack of straight walls. The curved sides and tessellated ceiling plus the criss-cross mirrors all reflect light and vastness to play with the sense of space around you.
It’s often been described to me in the context of Lewis Carroll’s seminal children’s book, Alice in Wonderland, where the little girl wanders into something wonderful yet unreal. The lobby alone lacks reason or meaning but it doesn’t need to offer either and that I think is the point. Observing the gold flecks dance throughout the infrastructure of the lobby protruding off the walls seemed devoid of an obvious explanation, but I realised that I’m still applying an all too square real-world mentality to the place, so it was time to check in!
This was a strange and new experience because it was the first time I had checked-in somewhere since the Covid-19 virus unleashed itself on the world. Signs on the floor reminded customers to keep their social distance and staff wore masks. Biosecurity was well practiced at the hotel. For example, I was given a programmed key card which not only worked for entering my room but also for lift access. By tapping the card on the lift panel, it knew where my hotel room was and which floor to elevate me to. They have embraced technological advances available to them which keep guests safe.
The room had some unique touches. It absolutely did not feel like a typical, standard hotel room that is easily forgettable and looks like dozens of others you may have stayed in. On the contrary, the Mondrian bedroom is a work of art. The entire wall is a mural of Doha iconography, the furniture is ornate and the technology is modern. There was a swivel armchair in front of a glass top table which was lit from a very low hanging lamp that hung from the ceiling with a vase covering that had an incredibly intricate pattern. Rather than a poky bathroom, it was more of a long wet room that ran adjacent to the bedroom and occupied the same length. The toilet was modestly hidden in its own partition leaving the wash basin, shower and bath all open in a long continuous walk-through. The egg shaped bathtub was absolutely huge and as I looked up I could see a decadent chandelier offering mood lighting during my soak. The windows filled the far side of the room letting in inspirational views and a panorama of the West Bay skyline on one side through to the lagoon and the luscious golf course to the other.
The Mondrian boasts among the best restaurants in the city though I could not enjoy them during my stay because of the nationwide closure during the Coronavirus pandemic. That didn’t stop me enjoying their culinary offerings. In addition to the in-room dining service that they have always offered, they are also letting guests order from the taste-togo menu. This means for example that you can order a burger from the Hudson Tavern, a wood fire pizza from their exclusive range, a sweet treat from EllaMia or sumptuous sushi from Morimoto. My decision was to order in from a place that serves the best sushi in Qatar. A chef there once told me that it’s flown in from Japan three times a week. This Japanese restaurant was awarded Restaurant of the Year 2018 at the Fact Dining Awards and though you can’t beat being there, the room service they delivered definitely was the next best thing. The takoyaki (octopus) rolls were simply sensational.
The all-purpose bedside remote control lets you adjust all settings; temperature, lighting, sound and vision. Connected Bluetooth lets you play your own music in surround sound so you can hear it anywhere in the bedroom or bathroom.
The additions of hand sanitizer added necessary comfort and staff were fiercely adhering to the safety guidelines.
This is a hotel like no other. Chic, stylish and a step into a space where the imagination can run wild and be indulged.