We decided to break up the 26 hours of travel from Uganda back to New York with a stopover in Doha, Qatar! Originally we had planned to visit Doha as part of our exploration of some of the Gulf Countries late last year, but unfortunately our plans had changed.
Throughout that journey though, we were introduced to an amazing hotel brand based out of Abu Dhabi – the Rotana Hotels. With over 100 properties in 26 different cities, I knew that I wanted to stay with them while visiting.
Fast-forward and we found ourselves walking into the elegant lobby of the City Centre Rotana, a Five Star Hotel in Doha. Even at 4am (yes, our flight was a bit late) the front desk staff was as friendly and welcoming as could be.
Upon entering our classic twin room, we were ecstatic to collapse into bed.
With a quick look around, we realized that we had absolutely everything we needed: a spacious room with a work desk and TV; a comfortable chair; complimentary tea, coffee, and water; and a large bathroom.
After two weeks of bumpy roads and buggy conditions in Africa, climbing into a soft, cozy bed was very needed — and thankfully, City Centre Rotana’s beds surely didn’t disappoint!
Since we arrived so late (or early!) and slept through breakfast, the first thing on our agenda when we got up was food! Luckily, City Centre Rotana offers International All-Day Dining at their Olive Oil Restaurant (open from 6:30am to 11pm). We were greeted with a smile, escorted to our table, and set our eyes on the buffet. What a spread!
One of the things I find so unique about the Rotana Hotels is that the quality and selection of their food is incomparable. Throughout the week we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Olive Oil and sampled just about every cuisine they had to offer; each night they highlighted food from a different region — Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian, French, Asian, Spanish, etc. Everything was fresh and delicious. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the desserts — the variety and quantity of desserts was unparalleled. I’m surprised I didn’t come home weighing 5 pounds more!
If you’re looking for things to do, there’s plenty both in the hotel and in the surrounding areas. On a beautiful, sunny day, be sure you walk down the block to the Corniche. It’s a beautiful coastal walk offering stunning views of the skyline. Plus, it’s always nice to see a bit of green in the middle of the city!
City Centre Rotana also provides direct access to the City Center Mall, so if you’d like to get some shopping done, you couldn’t be in a more convenient place!
If you want to explore a bit further, it’s only a $3USD Uber to go to the Souq Waqif — the only traditional souq left in the Gulf! Take a step back in time as you wander through the corridors.
From the Souq Waqif, you can walk over to the port to see the Pearl Monument, dhows, and skyline from afar.
Heading back to City Centre Rotana, you have an array of options depending on if you want to soak up the sun beside the temperature-controlled pool, exercise alongside panoramic views of Doha’s skyline, or relax using their spa facilities.
While we enjoyed all of the above, we especially loved their spa services. I highly recommend booking a massage, as their masseuses were fantastic.
We had an incredible hot coconut oil massage before making our way to the steam room. It was my first time in a steam room, and hopefully not the last! The steam and sauna rooms are available free of charge to all in-house guests.
We ended an incredible week by dining at Teatro, an award winning concept and a signature upscale restaurant offering fusion cuisine from around the world. Blending dishes from Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese, and Thai cuisines, there’s bound to be something perfect for your tastebuds. We were greeted with smiles and taken care of by Teatro’s extremely attentive staff.
After much contemplation (there were so many options!), I ordered the Stir-Fried Lobster with Szechuan sauce and, honestly, I think it was the best meal I’ve ever had — and I’ve had a lot of phenomenal meals around the world!
There were many unique options not only for our main meal, but for drinks and desserts as well!
It was hard to leave such a comfortable and classy hotel knowing that we were about to embark on a 14-hour flight back to the States. Luckily, I know I’ll be returning!