About a year ago I discovered Banana Island while searching for over-the-water bungalows around the world. Never did I expect to find them in Qatar! As soon as I realized that Banana Island was an Anantara Resort, I knew that we were in for a treat. A few months ago, we had the most spectacular stay at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort in Thailand. Everything about the property impressed us from the quality of the accommodations to the perfect location and delicious food, and I just knew that I wanted to continue experiencing Anantara Resorts.
Banana Island in Qatar
Enter Banana Island.
Banana Island Resort by Anantara is located 25 minutes by luxury catamaran ferry from the main port in Doha. As our time was short in Doha we were only able to spend the day at Banana Island, but oh was it worth it! Let me just say that next time, I will surely be spending much more time soaking in the beauty and ambiance of Banana Island.
We arrived at Dhow Harbour, just beside the Pearl Monument, to find a sign leading to Banana Island. Personally, I thought that we’d walk up to some stand, grab a ticket, and be shuttled over. But I was so wrong…
Banana Island Terminal Doha
Walking through the gates of the Banana Island Terminal was like walking into a glamorous five-star hotel.
Banana Island Doha Day Trip
We were greeted with smiles, escorted inside, and offered dates stuffed with walnuts along with some Arabian coffee. The reception area was absolutely beautiful as we waited for our luxury catamaran ferry to the island. They offered complimentary bottled water both at the port and on the ferry to help beat the heat too!
Before we knew it, we were stepping foot onto Banana Island to the sound of beating drums while being welcomed by the staff. We instantly felt transplanted on an exotic island as we made our way through the reception and into the resort.
Entrance to Banana Island
As we were shown around, we saw that they had everything from beautiful beaches and surfing simulators to kids clubs, fitness centers, cinemas, spas, and dive centers, to numerous recreational activities, and nine dining options… oh, and a helicopter pad and private marina too. This tranquil 13-hectare island boasts its own marina and reefs, which gave us a feeling of being far removed from Qatar’s bustling capital.
We started our afternoon with lunch at the Q Lounge & Restaurant. I may have had dessert first at the Banana Island restaurant – don't tell!
Located beside a 100-meter lagoon pool with a perfect view of the beach and the over-the-water bungalows in the distance, we soaked up the sun and the soothing sea breeze as we tried a little bit of everything — largely Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. With respect to the local culture, Banana Island by Anantara is an alcohol free zone, but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t enjoy some of their delicious mocktails!
Q Lounge – Banana Island Restaurant
From the Q Lounge, we went to spend some time in their over-the-water bungalows. Typically when you think “over the water bungalow,” you think of the Maldives or French Polynesia, but I want to challenge you to think of Qatar.
Over-the-water-bungalows in Qatar at Banana Island
Qatar's Banana Island by Anantara offers three and five bedroom over-the-water villas, and they are truly spectacular. Every room looks out over the azure sea as it glistens in the sunlight.
Qatar Banana Island Bungalows
While the views from the bedrooms and living room were incredible, the best views were simply from the large deck with daybeds, sunbeds, and a private plunge pool that turns into a jacuzzi. You’d be hard-pressed to find this level of luxury in most destinations around the world.
Lounging poolside in a bungalow at Banana Island
If you don’t have need for a multi-bedroom over-the-water villa, Banana Island by Anantara offers beautiful suites and villas with private pool and sea views too.
When we reluctantly left behind the comforts of the over-the-water villas, we headed down to the private 800-meter beach. We quickly learned that you don’t need to go all the way to Bali to go on a sea swing! The beach attendants will kindly make up your beach bed wherever you see fit as you revel in the relaxation of Banana Island.
Stunning sunset on Banana Island in Qatar
After some time, we walked over to the floating deck for some evening drinks at a Banana Island Restaurant & Bar before catching our ferry back to Doha. The drinks were delicious and the service was impeccable; it was the perfect way to end our day at Banana Island by Anantara.
Perfect night cap at Banana Island in Qatar
I honestly can’t say that I’m surprised by the beauty of it all, as that is the standard to which Anantara holds all of its hotels and resorts! From now on I will be making a conscious effort to book flights that will allow for a stopover in Doha, as I absolutely cannot wait to return to Banana Island by Anantara in the future!