You would think that a drive across town for errands is all anyone wishes for on the weekend. FACT’s Anushay Taimur Khan wanted to haul up somewhere nice for a total escape and so she booked herself a weekend at one of the most iconic properties in the country. Enter Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha where you can leave the bustle of the busy roads behind…

I f you ever come across the building that shines like gold any time of the day, trust your instinct and draw a little closer to the legendary Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha. Not only does it cast a shimmer on your day, this long-standing establishment has carved its place in the market as one of the most hospitable in the city. Known for its traditional touch and remarkable service, the hotel adds a homely touch to your stay.

Booking myself in for the weekend to be near a few local destinations that I wanted to hit over the next two days. I got myself a suite, given that the entire family was going to be tagging along on this venture. The lavish designer furnishings and interior that is influenced by Asian, English and Arabian vibes is paired with world-class amenities. Home to nine different restaurants, two coffee shops, a pool bar and five bars including a nightclub, the hotel seems like a trip to grandma’s where everything is served on a silver platter and you will never go hungry!

With two separate buildings that interconnect, we got a swift check-in followed by the bell-boy escorting us to our room and telling us all about our dining options for the night. Friendly chat, a warm welcome, and fruits and chocolates at arrival is exactly what you would expect from this hotel. My suite, much to my surprise, was lavishly spacious and at my disposal for the entire weekend; and, naturally, it seemed like the right thing to utilise this place to the max. With a dining room big enough to fit two families, a lounge to get some friends together, and a bed that simply hugs your body as you sink into oblivion, I frankly did not expect the hotel to go this big with their highly affordable suite. It had been a while since I had stayed at Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha and I always associated it with being a classic hotel. The updated state-of-theart amenities had me enjoying my trip even more as I took in the bustling city views form my enormous windows at night. This called for a party and that is exactly what I did. A gathering to fully take advantage of this cosmic setting and therefore starting the weekend seemed like the ideal thing to do. A hot shower and watching TV from the comfort of the bed had my family settle right in, immediately. Oh, you thought I meant PARTY – well, it seems the years have caught up with me and my idea of partying hard usually involves a comfy robe and some good series!

Out of the nine restaurants that are here, we have always been the biggest fans of Chingari, the fine-dining Indian restaurant. The entire set up of the place is inspired by the Mughal era, with marble elephants at the entrance, velvet red draping that is a synonym of luxury of that time, live music and seating to easily fit six people in every corner, it felt just right to dine here on an otherwise crazy Thursday night. With our drinks and crackers placed right in front of us with the mix of chutneys and sauces, we were all set for our Indian gastronomical experience. I’ve always loved the vibe of this place and as soon as the live music started, mimicking the entertainment of the king in the Mughal era, I was reminded exactly why this place was a favourite. From classic Indian songs to a desi rendition of Hotel California on sitar and tabla, I swayed to the music as my feast was served. Biryani, mixed BBQ platter and the good ol’ daal were our companions for the night as we relished the food which was as good as the aromatic scents it brought with it.

The comfort of the bed had us late for breakfast the following day so we joined the complimentary classes at the Cabana Club while we waited for brunch to be served at Hyde Park. Yoga, dance classes, and morning wake up calls with a work out session are all available luxuries – some complimentary and others for a small fee – you can avail if you’re a guest at the hotel. After a quick session at the club, we sat outdoors to simply enjoy the warm sun in the chilly weather as a beautifully landscaped waterfall with lush green bushes, blooming the most beautiful pink flowers, gave a refreshing feel right in the middle of the city. Birds chirping, kids running around and the soothing rhythm of the waterfall made it feel like we were transported elsewhere.

Honestly, in between errands and personal relaxation, I found myself having a difficult time choosing all the activities I wanted to try for the time I was here. Fish & Chips at The Frying Scotsman or a game of shuttlecock skills on the badminton court? Maybe I wanted to try the drinks at Inginuity or volleyball with the family? Or just plain old competition with everyone on the basketball court as I found my cravings for the delish Ruby Wu’s classics dragging me down there instead?

All in all, a mere fifteen minutes away from almost every important place in town that includes museums, the gorgeous corniche and the ever-loved Villaggio Mall, I found myself falling for the comfort of this hotel all over again. With the hospitality market in Doha introducing newer, fancier and big brand name hotels at such a fast pace, it is absolutely heart-warming to see that some places just know their worth and strengths and hold on to the basics of homeliness and great service. That is why Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha will always stand out for me. ✤