Souq Al Wakra Hotel is a self-proclaimed five-star property blending artful Qatari tradition and top-end contemporary leisure and we couldn’t wait to dip our toes into this authentic luxury experience.
The unassuming entrance and the traditional heritage style architecture brilliantly conceals the delights which lie within. Just as the original Qatari residences would have, Souq Al Wakra Hotel hides an abundance of luxuriant, tranquil, ornate spaces waiting to be discovered.
The most unique and thoroughly overwhelming aspect of the hotel would have to be the abundance of lobby areas which are all individual and exquisitely styled. The Lobby with marble floors and elegant illumination is accessed through huge carved wooden doors. This creates such a sense of grandeur and pays homage to the original use of the space. The exposed beamed ceilings with dark, irregular poles is a stark contrast to the contemporary circular leather seating, vivid colour scheme and opulent choice of fabrics. The lobby area continues to a more traditional aesthetic with tessellated patterns running through all of its elements. The highlight is the tessellated lighting around the archways and the subdued glow created throughout. Chandeliers and orbs crafted from glass provide a fusion of ancient and modern.
The Skylight Lobby is worth visiting the hotel alone. The ceiling is designed to look completely exposed to the elements revealing a midnight blue sky. Traditional lanterns hang, in abundance, from the mock canopy above and irregular beams protrude from the walls as they would have originally. Columns are kissed with delicate light which streams from up and down lighters. The whole space, every element gives the illusion of being open to the elements.
Souq Al Wakra Hotel prides itself upon its diverse dining concepts in five outlets both in terms of the menu choices and the staging within each restaurant area. Markhan Lounge and its vast terrace area affords diners the opportunity to take in the stunning gulf sunsets with the tones and colours of this spectacle reflected in the colour scheme. Vivid corals, blues and sandy tones along with traditional woodwork combine to make both an elegant and relaxed setting. In addition Markhan offers an Arabic fusion lounge with panoramic views of the sea and also the stunning sunsets. The setting is more contemporary with azure blues providing a contrast against dark woods. Elegant crockery and crisply folded napkins illustrate the high end vibe here at Markhan.
The majlis area offers a Bedouin experience on breath taking levels. Sunken seating accessed by an illuminated staircase inside a tented canopy. The choice of bold colours and patterns is an absolute triumph. Statement pieces such as copper, silver and pewter coffee pots and stunted tables brimming in a bounteous selection of fresh fruit make this area a feast for the senses.
My dining experience in Jarnen Restaurant was a combination of locally sourced produce, all from nearby markets, the highlight being an assiette of seafood and grilled to order barbecue meats all seasoned delicately and charred expertly. The setting and ambience was thoroughly Qatari but the bountiful variety of Mediterranean flavours highlighted the fact that the hotel embraces the best of everything from around the globe.
The hotel is a network of interconnected buildings punctuated with walkways and maze like paths which merge into secluded courtyards. With a total of 101 rooms and suites they either open out onto these courtyards or have impressive sea views. Both are equally impressive and unique in their own way. The Superior Suite has facilities and décor which are second to none, yet the layout is distinctly homely with interconnecting rooms as would have been the case in the heritage homes. The colour scheme of crisp white sheets with turquoise accents injects modernity into a traditional setting. To take the Al Wakra experience up a notch then choosing to base your stay in one of the Suites with their fresh, clean sophisticated vibrance is a must. The layout is, as expected, ingrained with Arabic charm but on-trend furniture, bold use of fabrics, shades and tones infuses extant urbanity. An absolute triumph of modish design.
“Markhan Lounge and its vast terrace area affords diners the opportunity to take in the stunning gulf sunsets with the tones and colours of this spectacle reflected in the colour scheme
Although the hotel is already a haven of tranquillity and calm guests may wish to take relaxation to a hedonistic level in the hotel spa. The courtyard boasts a star shaped water feature and shade giving pagoda perfect for post treatment requiescence. My experience ignited with the Under The Rain Scrub Experience which had me lying back on a special water bed as a delicate shower and steam treatment from the rain mist of a French Vichy Shower banished toxins and prepped my skin for my body scrub. Next up was my Vichy Shower Massage utilising the benefits of water and light therapy to stimulate and indulge the senses. The tantalising Hydrating Facial that combats dehydration, dryness and overall skin purities was amazing! The use of cold apparatus locked in rejuvenating moisture that left me with a visible glow with my skin feeling supple and smooth. The additional features such as the hydro pool and Jacuzzi Spa certainly lift the experience beyond that of a standard hotel spa.
Whether you choose to relax on the terrace with its loungers and sofas hugging the contours of the expanse of water, peppered with fountains or indulge in both the delectable cuisine and views from one of the restaurants you can not fail to fall in love with this hidden gem. Unassuming luxury that suits every mode and manner of guest. It’s so good in fact that preferably we would be keeping it to ourselves as opposed to sharing it with the world!