HERITAGE MEETS ELEGANCE

Luxury is obtained not only by purchasing goods but also through experiences. OHLALA’s editor, Fernanda Langhammer, spent two nights at Fairmont Doha for a sophisticated and unforgettable stay.

Alavish stay and somehow an escape from routine is what most people are looking for when going for a regional getaway. And when I say luxurious, I mean opting for extraordinary, something Qatar knows well and delivers with excellence. During my visit to Doha, I stayed at one of the most talked about hotels in town, Fairmont. But my unique journey started with a pick-up from the airport in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Luxury Sedan for a great first impression. Located in the incredible Katara Towers, Fairmont Doha is one of the two towers that compose this astonishing piece of architecture, while Raffles Doha comprises the other one. While I was there, I noticed how it had become a landmark in the capital, with people coming to visit the reception and gardens to snap an Instagrammable moment. And, of course, have a cosmopolitan afternoon tea at Dôme Fairmont Lounge – a French-inspired patisserie.

Regarding the lobby, think of something innovative where the desks are not the main focus; they are discreetly located at the side (quite hidden), while wooden domes with funky and comfy seating areas populate the space. However, the central piece has to be the chandelier, one of the tallest in the world at 56 metres and decorated with bulbs that resemble Qatari pearls that light up in synchronised movements – I was mesmerised by it and, as I stayed on the eighth floor, I spent a few minutes watching the light dance from every possible angle.

My check-in was smoothly done by Daniel, Guest Experience Manager, in the comfort of my one-bedroom suite. To my surprise, mini OHLALA magazine covers hanging from a tree with chocolates and a handwritten note from General Manager, Amine Bouhalba, welcomed me to the property. Sandwiches and fruits were waiting for me on the table – what a treat! I was already feeling extra special at this point.

The room was like something from a movie, beautifully decorated with the colours seen throughout the hotel, the blue of the sea and beige of the sand. It had a spacious lounge area with a massive TV, a comfy sofa, a round table with chairs and a desk where I placed my computer; later on, I opened the automated curtains and enjoyed the view of the vast Arabian Gulf waters while working a bit – what a wonderful change of scenery. Before reaching the bedroom area, a professional coffee machine grinding fresh coffee was available, built-in shiny lacquered wood surfaces resembled the interior of a luxurious yacht (a key inspiration of the hotel and seen in many other spots). The bed seemed to come from the fairy tale The Princess and The Pea, adorned with a shell headboard as a reference to Qatar’s pearling history. The bathroom walls feature an almost transparent white marble where the light passes through for a dreamy atmosphere. The toilet lid is automated and lifts as soon as you approach and the temperature-controlled seat added a nice touch, mainly for the cold months. The toiletries were from the French brand Clarins.

WELLNESS CALLING

To start the stay on an even better note, I headed to the recently opened Fairmont Spa. The wellness retreat is located on the fifth floor, right next to their state-of-the-art gym, which is under Pillar Wellbeing, a philosophy constructed around the three pillars of human well-being: movement, nourishment and recovery. A globally known concept that is open to guests and members.

I filled out Fairmont Spa’s Lifestyle Consultation about my health and personal preferences and one of my therapists, Hanifah, showed me the facilities composed of a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. She also told me that all eight treatment rooms are named after blue gemstones. My room was Aquamarine, and the view when she opened the door was stupendous! The massage bed was facing the turquoise ocean, and I couldn’t catch my breath; one of the most amazing spa room views that I have ever seen.

It certainly put me in the relaxing mood I was hoping for. Fairmont Spa works with one of the best skincare lines in the market, 111 Skin. I had a 60-minute Signature Harley Street Facial considered topical Botox. Afterwards, it was time for a 60-minute, full-body deep massage with peppermint oil performed by another therapist, Hafida. I then moved to the relaxation room and, as you can guess, it had an ample view of the sea that I contemplated while sipping my chamomile tea.

DINING MEMORIES

Fairmont Doha is not just a very stylish hotel; it is also the destination for memorable dining moments. I already mentioned Dôme, at which you can experience a delightful afternoon tea, Le Tea à la Française, where the savoury bites and sweet treats come in a portable wooden dome, resembling the seating area in the lobby, in a cloud of dry ice smoke for extra wow. From the canape selection, the highlight goes to the Truffled Mushroom Éclair, it had a creamy interior that took my taste buds to another dimension, while the scones were warm and comforting with a crunchy outside layer and soft inner – I highly recommend it.

Breakfast is served at Vaya!, a restaurant that also serves a Latin American-inspired menu. The breakfast had all my favourite items and much (much) more. The décor is captivating and makes you feel as if you are in a vibrant central market in South America. During breakfast, the chefs get the ingredients from the big fridges and cook right in front of you; everything looks fresh and tastes delicious. I had the opportunity to come back with the OHLALA team and have a scrumptious lunch prepared by Sebastian, the Argentinean Head Chef. We had a refreshing pear salad, lobster ceviche, Fajitas Campesinas (a vegetarian paradise of well-seasoned vegetables and tortillas) and, of course, striploin steak with chimichurri sauce. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but the churros with dulce de leche were the stars of the show.

For a fine dining experience, Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra is, for me, the place to go. I have dined in many Indian restaurants, but what Masala Library offers is pure mastery when it comes to progressive fusion cuisine. It blends Indian flavours with global techniques and ingredients such as the Tandoori Hamachi, which adds a Japanese flair to this Indian staple where meat is marinated and then cooked in an intense fire in the tandoor oven. The menu is divided into Forest Perfume (vegetarian dishes), Ocean Waves (dedicated to seafood) and Songs of Fire (with meat and chicken options). You can mix and match the appetisers, which are unmissable, before heading to the vast main selection. It’s definitely the place to head if you have a special celebration.

Last but not least, Provok is the spot for innovative dishes prepared by the skilled Korean Chef Taimoo Sun. His approach to the food served has a healthy core; he mixes and matches ingredients that are good for your gut, but that also taste like a flavour explosion. The Kimchi Pizza was my dining companion’s favourite creation, while I absolutely loved the Korean taco made with a seaweed and crunchy rice shell with a concoction of shimeji mushroom filling bathed in a creamy sauce. A delicious bite with not only exceptional flavours but interesting textures. Located on the 33rd floor, it’s the place to go if you want to impress your date.

ONLY AT FAIRMONT DOHA

I could write a lot more about my stay at Fairmont Doha, but I would need the whole magazine for that. But there are a few things that I need to mention. There is a bench in the elevator; how great is that? In Masala Library, you find a wall with a replica of one of the facades of the Taj Mahal with the same texture as the original building. All the staff uniforms are personalised for each restaurant, highlighting their characteristics – my favourite is Vaya!’s. A décor highlight at Dôme Fairmont Lounge, apart from the massive glass container in the middle of the restaurant, is the 64 teapots made exclusively to decorate the wall behind the counter. Finally, the whole hotel interior is covered in 24-carat gold tiles.

There is much more, but I would recommend you to go and experience it for yourself. I am sure you will find a list of interesting things to highlight that will catch your eye. Don’t forget to tell us later.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call
Fairmont Doha on 4030 7200 
@fairmontdoha

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