Just like many expatriates in Doha who have spent their entire summer in the country, we were truly in need of a break. InterContinental Doha The City ticked all the boxes for Pooja Adams to well-and- truly get her ‘staycay’ on!…

As a frequent visitor to their array of restaurants I was glad to be back in their decorative lobby. I just love the tall glass ceiling and spiral staircase finished with glass chandeliers referencing opulent decorative luxury, yet still maintaining a relaxed friendly vibe with the mix of visitors and staff alike. I was thrilled when I checked in and was offered an upgrade to a ‘club executive suite’! I have heard that they have some of the largest suites in West Bay ranging from 42-70 square metres so you can imagine my delight as I took the lift to the 44th floor to checkout my home for the weekend. I was already pretty excited to be a guest for the first time but as I opened the door to the room, I was left astounded at the incredulous size of the suite, the welcome messages and of course the skyline of my beautiful city! To go the extra mile, the hotel manager had written a personalised welcome note in addition to fruits and chocolates in my room, how spoilt can one woman be? It was so easy to switch off and feel like I was actually on holiday from that point onwards. My room had everything that I needed including a huge bed and a luxurious bathtub looking out onto such an incredible view!

After settling in I wanted to explore the rooftop pool that I had heard so much about. I was in need of escaping the heat and humidity of Doha, and the rooftop pool (thankfully!) gave me just that. A chance to enjoy a view of the city’s skyline, whilst having a dip, but, with enough shade to protect you from the blazing sun. The pool was definitely my favourite experience of the staycation, and, after some leisurely sunbathing and taking a refreshing dip I had to stay longer and take advantage of the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room to make sure that I exhausted every last bit of pampering that one can allow.

It was getting close to sunset and it was time to get dressed for dinner, I love Japanese food and had worked up quite an appetite. Huang is the ideal dining experience, the decor and artwork is cultural yet fashionable. There were plenty of groups of diners there and I was eyeing up some of the colourful dishes on the other tables even before sitting down at my own. I was feeling inspired to try something new with seeing the vast selection that was available. Starting with their assorted maki accompanied by the delicious yet fiery wasabi prawns allowed the culinary journey to start  off perfectly.

One of the knowledgeable waiters recommended that I try the Shabu Shabu, a Japanese hot pot dish comprising of thinly sliced meat and vegetables, cooked in a delicious broth. It was certainly a unique, interactive and attentive dinner experience which I highly recommend! The waitress cooked and served the Shabu Shabu at our table, as you watch the process your mouth will water at the delicious smells and ingredients in front of you allowing you to be completely immersed in the culinary art that runs through every dish. After a few rounds of the main I was so full that I hadn’t left any room for dessert! However, I would gladly come back to try out some more dishes in the future – as if I need an excuse.

After sleeping like an absolute queen, I woke up early to try out the breakfast at The Square. Having tried out their Iftar experience during Ramadan, I remembered that it was essential to turn up hungry because there is always a lot to try. I started my day with an ensemble of fresh fruit alongside a quench-busting cucumber and avocado juice! The Square offers a huge array of freshly baked prowess including pastries, fruits, cheeses, meats and cooked dishes all staring at me as I walked around. By having so much choice they are able to cater for an array of worldly dishes starting  with Arabic, Italian, Asian, Japanese and Indian. Once my taste buds were awake I decided to try the Indian breakfast. To my delight they had some really great South Indian dishes which reminded me of my mum’s cooking. I tried the idli, uttapam and sambhar which were spicy, homemade style and were utterly delicious! My second choice would have been to try the freshly made omelettes, but, alas I was full.

After such a huge breakfast I wanted to chill by the the pool again, for that much needed relaxation, thankfully I had organised a late checkout so I had allowed myself plenty of time. I once again enjoyed some last- minute rays as I sunbathed coupled with a few laps of the charming pool overlooking the skyline. I found that despite the premise being pretty busy on a Friday I managed to have the ladies Jacuzzi pool all to myself which has me feeling on top of the world with a view to match.

As I checked-out I began to feel a certain level of anguish that I was returning back to reality, but, with the knowledge that there is an option of day guest passes available for the pool area (and offers for ladies throughout the week) in tow I found myself already brainstorming the idea of getting the girls together to have some fun in the sun (or shade!) in the not-so- distant future…ah, utter bliss!



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