From climbing walls to first-edition books, the dual-branded hotel takes luxury to new levels in one landmark building. Rose Dykins reports
While operating as two separate five-star hotels, the Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha are both housed in Lusail’s iconic Katara Towers landmark, offering seven restaurants open to the public (four in Raffles Doha, three in Fairmont Doha).
Upon entering the lobby of the Fairmont Doha, guests are met with the world’s tallest chandelier, which is 56.5 metres high, and weighs more than half a tonne.
Throughout the hotel are breathtaking art installations, including 108 individually blown glass vessels in the Provok lounge and an oversize porcelain piece made from desert sand, which has been cut into 362 pieces, with one piece placed in every room and suite.
The property has 270 rooms, 92 suites, four themed suites and one presidential suite. All are inspired by the interiors of luxury mega yachts, and the rooms feature curved walls with gold mosaic tiles. The Fairmont Doha specialises in fitness, recovery from sports injuries, physiotherapy and nutrition, and harnesses the expertise of international wellbeing gurus and one-on-one coaching with master athletes via Pillar Wellbeing. Yoga, boxing and Pilates classes will be free.
The hotel is home to the largest gym in Qatar as well as the nation’s biggest indoor climbing wall, several spinning studios, a yoga studio, and indoor lap and wave pools.
Meanwhile, the Raffles Doha is also Qatar’s first all-suite property, with 132 in total. The suites’ design is inspired by the desert dunes falconry (except for the Parisian suite, which is designed to resemble an apartment located along the French capital’s Rue des Beaux Arts).
Stand-out features include an “in-suite scent library” in partnership with French perfume house Compoz.There are also four Superior suites – some of which offer private barber and make-up studios, cinemas, saunas, beverage cellars, virtual reality experiences, steam rooms, and private fitness and wellness facilities – and Signature suites with walk-in maxi bars and sophisticated in-room tech, including audio, video, lighting and aroma control systems.
At the same time, the two-storey Royal suite has a private pool, wine cellar, hammam, yoga studio and billiard table; while the Raffles suite has a home cinema, a cigar room, a barber corner and an extensive terrace.
The hotel’s Blue Cigar lounge has a secret library with a rare book collection encompassing 200 first-edition classics, including a twin-volume edition of The Iliad and The Odyssey in Greek and Latin, published in 1707.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Alba, will be run by three-Michelin-star chef Enrico Crippa, and marks the first international restaurant opening from the talented chef.Offering an elevated wellbeing experience, the Raffles spa has partnered with big names in scientific skincare and beauty – including Dr Burgener, Subtle Energies and marocMaroc – to develop its treatment menu.
The spa’s wellbeing programmes can last anywhere between four hours to six days, offering anti-ageing, regeneration, detox, immunity-building, slimming and body contouring treatments.
Covering 2,100 sqm, the Raffles spa includes nine suites, each one equipped to be like a “mini spa within a spa”. Divided into categories, there is one Fitness suite, three Spa suites and five Experience suites.
Meanwhile, Spa Experience suites incorporate a sauna, hammam, outdoor pool and relaxation space alongside a treatment space for two people, and they can be reserved exclusively for families who want to enjoy all of the hotel’s hydrothermal spa facilities.