YOU WOULDN’T THINK THAT THE INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA HAS BEEN THERE ON THE CITY’S COASTLINE FOR ALMOST AS LONG AS ANY HOTEL IN QATAR, BUT IT HAS. THE REASON FOR THAT IS PROBABLY IT’S PERPETUAL DRIVE FOR INNOVATION. FROM THE MOMENT FACT’S CRAIG FERRIMAN WALKED IN THE DOOR, THE HOTEL’S RECENT REFURBISHMENT WAS EVIDENT AND IMPRESSIVE. CLEVER LIGHTING AND MIRRORS ADD A SENSE OF DEPTH AND SPACE AS WELL AS TRADITIONAL ELEGANCE AND HOMELY WARMTH TO ITS REVAMPED LOBBY. LET’S CHECK IN…

I was staying in the new wing of the hotel which opened in 2017 and has brighter and slightly more modern rooms. The sea view is worth the extra cost when you book just for the serene feeling you get when the curtains peel back in the morning. The city view is not a bad one either considering the property looks out onto the epic skyline.

The room itself has a fully stocked mini bar, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities and a wide screen TV which you can watch from the comfy L-shaped corner sofa. The bathroom is brilliantly designed with plenty of compartmentalisation. The toilet, wash basin and bath/ shower facilities are all separated by glass. The shower is also separate from the main tub. When I closed the glass door, the sound was so contained that I could not even hear the music that I left playing on my phone by the sink. That was very neat. A touch pad by the bed allows guests to adjust the mood of the lighting at the touch of a button and curtains can be drawn without leaving the bed by simply clicking on an icon too.

The Club Lounge is not just some stale room in a corner of the hotel but occupies a vast area. Club room check-in happens here away from the hustle and bustle of the main reception in the lobby. Natalie did my check-in at the Club Lounge and could not have been more helpful outlining all the timings for breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner plus talking me through all the amenities, facilities and opportunities on offer at the hotel during my stay. She was comprehensive and friendly. The lounge itself has a large dining area to eat and drink at as well as quieter spaces with armchairs to relax with a laptop or good book. No matter if you don’t have a book as this lounge has a mini library of literature to choose from. There are work stations if you don’t have your own computer device and particularly noteworthy is the fact that the lounge has a large outdoor terrace facing the sea with sofas to sink into and while away time. Few hotels have that, and at InterContinental Doha, it’s definitely a unique selling point.

On my first night there, I paid a visit to the Belgian Café which happens to be one of Doha’s biggest, best and most popular drinking haunts with its pub like interior and long sprawling terrace filled with an eclectic crowd of locals, expats and tourists. It boasts an all-to-rare unstuffy vibe. There is a food menu which is not exhaustive but rather Belgian in theme as is the beverage menu which is a lot longer but wouldn’t look out of place in Brussels. We enjoyed some mussels and a classic fish and chips supper with some well-renowned hops. Being a long-established property, they got in early and boast the longest beach of any hotel in Qatar. I enjoyed a crisp swim in the sea and did not have to fight for a lounger on the beach. The gym is rather large too and has a decent mix of machines and free weights. Though I did not use the pool, it too is large with plenty of space to enjoy a dip and take in the rays. Families feel very at home here with the vast space to safely roam around for the kids and gorgeous grounds that feel like a gentle oasis so near to city centre which is just a short drive away.

The hotel offers few reasons to leave it unless you have to. I spent a glorious afternoon in the newly-renovated lobby lounge which is notable for its gold dividers that create a cute cubby hole of sturdy arm chairs and comfy sofas where visitors can enjoy a high tea in the afternoon with a custom prepared selection of savoury and sweet treats that are accompanied with a preference of tea or coffee. The same venue has an in-house pianist who twinkles the ivories on the grand piano in the evening, utilising the acoustics and offering a gentle wind down before bed. Additionally, the hotel has great restaurants like the enduringly popular Mexican outlet, Paloma, the reliable Greek restaurant, Mykonos and the new Lebanese grill, Villa Beirut to name but three.

I spent a few hours in Spa Intercontinental. It’s an absolutely first-class spa and the best I’ve tried locally. It occupies the entire newly-built wing and is managed by exceptionally skilled therapists. I enjoyed the wet facilities; sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi before having a full body scrub and then a full body massage using lychee oil which is supposed to take away the stress in the body. Each therapy suite has its own shower and changing area. As I relaxed in the loungre with a green tea afterwards, I felt like I was floating.

The InterContinental Doha has a tremendous amount to offer and all of it lives up to a high standard. ✤

GO: CALL 4484 4444 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. FOLLOW @INTERCONTINENTALDOHA ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST UPDATES.