The buzz of the 2022 World Cup may have died down in Qatar, but the opening of Raffles Doha, the Qatari capital’s first all-suite hotel, is reason enough to return. Housed in the already-iconic Katara Towers, representing the scimitar swords on Qatar’s national seal, Raffles Doha shares the shiny new skyscraper with Fairmont Doha, with each hotel occupying one of the curved towers. If you have time, book a few days in each property, but if pressed, Raffles Doha cannot be topped.
A library of over 6,000 rare and first-edition books. A velvet-bedecked secret lounge with bespoke cigars. Spacious suites serviced by butlers. The first international restaurant from hotshot Italian chef Enrico Crippa. These are just a few ways that Raffles Doha stands apart, but look a little closer, and you will find that these highlights are just scratching the surface.
Arriving here is to plunge into a particularly lavish looking glass, where intuitive service, high style, and a touch of the theatrical reign supreme. It starts with the lobby, made to represent a modern fairy tale castle with glowing crystal chandeliers, Italian marble floors, and long-stemmed red roses, pretty as a valentine. On the 11-storey-tall ceiling, projections of clouds flitter by in a surrealist dream—to be enjoyed upon check-in with a cool scented towel in one hand and an infusion of rose water and pomegranate in the other.
The charm offensive continues in the suites, all 132 of them. At an average of 88 square meters, each suite is a private palace elegantly designed with curved ceilings of decorative plaster; spacious balconies ornamented with lanterns and sung sofas; and shimmering bathrooms of bookended marble, perfumed with Frédéric Malle toiletries. One of the most exciting features in the suites is the world’s first custom scent diffusers by French perfumery Compoz, so you can create a bespoke fragrance for your space.
There are plenty of small touches too: Dyson straighteners and hairdryers; shaving kits by English heritage brand Truefitt & Hill; a well-hidden sound system by Bang & Olufsen; tables topped in dates and cakes. Plus, a moment for the charming sling-back slippers—they’re chic enough to wear out. Views from the suites overlook the impossibly blue Arabian Gulf or the glittering Doha skyline, still growing and changing seemingly by the day. Don’t miss the futuristic Lusail Towers, a quartet of office buildings, or the Lusail Stadium, site of the World Cup final. The city may still be in a state of flux—but it’s moving in the right direction.
Raffles Doha starts from 4,280 Qatari Riyals per night www.raffles.com/doha. The national carrier of the State of Qatar, Qatar Airways is the Skytrax Airline of the Year for 2022 and currently flies to 150 destinations via its hub at Doha’s Hamad International Airport www.qatarairways.com.