The FIFA World Cup 2022 marked a new era of tourism in the Qatari capital, catapulting it onto the global stage and bringing tens of thousands of tourists to its warm shores. With 10 years to prepare for the greatest sporting event in the world, and increased interest in the city, a string of new hotels opened in Doha, raising the bar for the city’s luxury hotel scene. From a favourite with London’s creative crowd to a brand famed for its royal experience, here are the best new hotels in Doha.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar
Those familiar with the city will know the original Four Seasons Doha, located on the Corniche, but the newest opening for the property is set to take the luxury brand into a new era. Delivering a glossier, more modern and glamorous offering, Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar is opening in October 2023 – a beachfront escape with 161 hotel apartments and 84 private residences, each with a full kitchen and sweeping seascapes. Apartments range from snug studios to spacious four-bedroom penthouses (all decorated in soothing neutrals, blues, whites and gold), and guests will be able to enjoy two outdoor pools, an indoor fitness centre and indoor lap pool, private beach, spa and salon. Seven restaurants and lounges will keep guests and residents fed and watered, including a seafood restaurant from renowned chef Joël Robuchon, a sea-view bar and pool lounge and an elegant American-style steakhouse.
Long-awaited Raffles Doha opened its doors in November 2023 in time for the Fifa World Cup: just as well, as so much hype had been created that top visiting execs had their eyes on a stay at this new luxury establishment. The iteration of Accor’s Singapore-born ultra-luxury brand is located in Doha’s striking Katara Towers, north of the city in the futuristic new Lusail district, just a short distance from the Pearl and West Bay. The all-suite hotel was built to resemble a grand Arabian palace: sprawling suites (the smallest 79 sqm and sleeping four people) are ornate with gold as the dominant colour scheme, horseshoe arches create a modern Arabesque feeling and there are grand chandeliers, stained glass windows and sumptuous draped curtains. While the hotel feels old-world, the spa is 21st-century with all the modern technologies for holistic wellness and treatments. Five restaurants and bars include sultry, velvet-clad Blue Cigar and northern Italian Alba and Raffles signature Butler Service is on-hand for all guests.
Suites from QAR4,500 (about AED4,540) raffles.com/doha
The Ned Doha
In its birthplace of London, Soho House’s The Ned is a staple of the city’s social set and glitterati. In the English capital, the hotel occupies the former Midland Bank Headquarters and was designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924 – a grand and once important building. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the new Doha outlet for its London counterpart: there’s the same grand facade, the Art Deco interiors, and the same stylish, creative, Soho House vibe which thus far hasn’t been present in Doha. Like the brand’s signature houses, The Ned Doha is a members’ club as well as hotel, opening in November 2022 in the former Ministry of Interiors building (grand and once important) on the Al Corniche Waterfront. Designed by Lebanese architect William Sednaoui in 1960, it has 90 bedrooms and suites, a Ned’s Club Spa and Gym, an outdoor pool and seven restaurants and bars – which echo the London property with Italian Cecconi’s, buzzy Millli’s lounge and Asia-Pacific Kaia. But this is The Ned Doha, and in true to the city’s art-loving spirit, it has an impressive collection commissioned by the co-founders of Mathqaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art.
Doubles from QAR1,035 (about AED1,045) a night; thened.com/doha
The Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort
The Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort is Mughal elegance personified, the third of the elegant Chedi brand in the region, and arguably the most opulent and overtly luxurious. The boutique hotel has just 59 rooms and suites and 32 elegant villas, which are dotted around the manicured gardens of Katara Hills – one of the most peaceful spots in the city and on the doorstep of attractions like Katara Cultural Village and Galleries Lafayette. With the hotel spread 66,000 square feet, there’s a real resort feeling, but with the care and attention to design of a regal city hotel like a grand central Lobby Lobby and Ottoman-inspired 10-metre ceilings. Traditional artwork features throughout and ceiling-high windows look onto the cerulean swimming pool, Persian Gulf and beach. A stand-alone beach club is already becoming a destination in its own right.
Doubles from QAR1,250 (about AED1,260); ghmhotels.com/en/katara/
Fairmont Doha joins Raffles Doha in the Katara Towers, which have now become a symbol of luxury in the new Lusail district – an area relatively unknown before the Fifa World Cup. While Raffles brings opulent and OTT luxury, Fairmont Doha brings a more refined, modern homage to the traditional Canadian brand, mixing the brand’s signature identity with ancient Qatari heritage. The 362 bright and airy rooms, the smallest being a large 45 square metres, are peaceful and modern with white walls, crisp white bedding, oceanic art and carpets. There’s a rooftop pool, an ultra-modern and high-tech spa and seven restaurants and bars trotting the globe from Latin American to Levantine and traditional European.
Doubles from QAR1,600 (about AED1,615) a night; fairmont.com/doha
Alwadi Hotel Doha – MGallery
For a relatively small city, Doha’s neighbourhoods each manage to maintain their own distinct soul and bring with them a completely different crowd and vibe. West Bay has its trendy bars and skyscrapers, The Pearl has laid-back café culture and a faux canal lined by pastel-hued façades and the new Msheireb Downtown Doha is a centre of design, culture and sustainability: all low-rise alabaster buildings, coffee shops, museums, climate-controlled squares and creative hubs. Some of the city’s best hotels, like Park Hyatt and Mandarin Oriental, are here, alongside stylish boutique hotel brand MGallery’s debut, one of the best new hotels in Doha. Alwadi Hotel Doha – MGallery has the same impressive stone exterior as its ultra-luxury counterparts but offers a more affordable, cool and laidback vibe. Guests can enjoy a wide range of dining options like AtTEAtude lounge & majlis and a rooftop bar with views over the entire city, along with a super modern gym and spa. Head to the rooftop pool for views over the low-rise roofs out to the Arabian Sea – the same as competitors charging multiples more of the room rate. Interiors blend traditional Qatari and Arabic-inspired features with a colour palette inspired by desert dunes – ensuring a calming, yet cool, hotel experience.
Doubles from QAR425 (about AED430) a night; all.accor.com/hotel