The W Doha Hotel is a great property, much more in line with the Ws of Asia than the US. It’s gorgeous, with friendly staff, and they treat Platinums well.
- Flying All 3 Big Gulf Carrier Airbus A380s in First Class on a Single Trip
- Check-in and Houston Airport Executive Club
- Air France and KLM Lounges
- Emirates First Class, Houston – Dubai
- Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai – B Concourse
- Emirates First Class A380, Dubai – Bangkok
- St. Regis Bangkok
- Street Food, Fine Dining, and Custom Suits in Bangkok
- Thai Airways E Concourse First Class Lounge
- Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Bangkok – Doha
On arrival I had the W Doha Hotel pick me up. They offered several transportation options, the most expensive (~ US$65 at the time) was a Bentley. I’d never ridden in a Bentley before, and decided to try it though it was thoroughly unnecessary.
Ultimately it was just a car, and not even a super spacious one, I didn’t get anything out of a Bentley compared to any other vehicle really… but now I know that (even if I would have earlier suspected that).
There were cold towels and snacks in the car. I used a towel, didn’t open the snacks.
It was only a short drive to the W Doha Hotel. There’s so much construction around, there’s bare ground preparing for building near the W and also construction in progress. It was a bit unclear to me what the ‘neighborhood’ would eventually look like other than a concrete jungle.
The hotel itself though is lovely from the time we pulled up.
Though the design of the property is unlike other Ws I’ve stayed at, it was also very consistent with the brand. I felt like I was in a W.
Check-in was friendly, although it took longer than I might have expected. Sometimes check-in can be too friendly when I’d prefer that it was efficient, but that’s a minor quibble and of course guests have different expectations.
We were escorted to our room by the woman who checked us in. I had used Suite Night Awards for the two night stay booked here on cash and points. The woman who brought us up was friendly enough, but a bit clueless about Starwood elite status or even the hotel’s own policies. For instance, I asked about the club lounge and she was surprised we’d have access — even though I’m a Platinum member, and guests staying in suites have access per hotel procedure.
The room was gorgeous, though. There was a long hallway as you enter the room, and a half in the entryway before reaching the living room.
The living room was large and attractive. The couch was comfortable. There was a dining table and a desk. I do think the chair suspended from the ceiling was more for decoration than for use, although I imagine there are people who use it to stare out the windows.
The bedroom was great in that it made the bed a real centerpiece. I love rooms whose design are themselvs art, whether or not they’re arranged how I would do so myself at home.
The large master bath was about the size of the bedroom, and the shower featured large size Bliss amenities. Since I’ve long enjoyed the Bliss products in W hotels, I always appreciate the extra large bottles.
This was just the regular W suite. When One Mile at a Time stayed here, Lucky received a Wow Suite. When The Points of Life stayed here, he received a Wow Suite. I received the standard W suite that’s confirmed using the Platinum Suite Night Awards which I used on the stay and no further upgrade.
However I was a little bit uncomfortable by the display I found in the room. It was funny and it clearly took effort however. I’d just never seen anything quite like the way the W Doha Hotel was calling me out.
This was the first hotel where I didn’t already know the general manager that clearly flagged me as the author of this blog. And they did it in a pretty shocking way, I thought. Although it didn’t actually get me anything beyond what any other Starwood Platinum guest would receive.
The hotel is well-regarded for upgrading Platinums even without use of one of 10 suite night awards for the year. I used two of mine, and I got the room that normally comes with that. Meanwhile people often report much better than that. I guess they wanted to flatter me — not give me a Wow suite.
The breakfast benefit is the hotel’s full Market restaurant buffet. And the property is one of only 2 W hotels I know of with a club lounge.
Platinums can take breakfast in the lounge or the restaurant, there’s substantive amounts of food throughout the day in the lounge and complimentary evening cocktails as well.
The breakfast buffet was bountiful. Service was a bit lacking, so whenever I saw a server I flagged them down for more coffee even if I had just started my last cup.
The buffet featured an array of hot and cold items, and you could order something off of the menu freshly prepared as well.
The club lounge is on the second level of the hotel, and looks out over the lobby.
And part of the evening spread:
The club breakfast is a nice spread as well, and there are snacks during the day too.
There’s something unique about a hotel in the Middle East — there are policies and there’s practice, and the two coexist and contradict. That takes many forms. While Qatar is one of the more conservative countries in the region, the agent who checked me out of the St. Regis Bangkok had previously worked at the W Doha Hotel. He was gay, so I was fascinated to hear from him that Qatar is his favorite place in the world. He offered to share his favorite night spots. Although he conceded his attachment to the country had much to do with the personal friendships he had formed, as opposed to particulars of the nation itself, he shaed that he felt at home there and missed it working in Thailand at the St. Regis.
In an arguably much less serious manner I thought the juxtaposition of contradictions was nicely highlighted by the no smoking sign on the 12th floor — directly above an ashtray.
While I didn’t avail myself of the spa, gym or the pool, I checked those out briefly.
Of course the whole idea of visiting Doha briefly, for two nights, was to check out the Museum of Islamic Art.
Even the museum building itself is art. It’s among the last things designed by architect I.M. Pei who reportedly spent 6 months — in his 90s — learning about Muslim architecture to develop inspiration for the project. The lore is that he rejected all of the proposed sites for the building, ultimately suggesting a standalone island.
Inside is a collection of Islamic art spanning nearly 1500 hundred years and across Europe, North Africa, and Asia. And much of the artwork emanates from useful objects of everyday life.
The hotel was a great value on cash and points. I paid $110++ and 6000 points per night, was upgraded to a suite and had both complimentary restaurant breakfast and club lounge access — and it’s a nice lounge if not a bit dark for my tastes. There was no problem with 4pm late checkout.
I’d absolutely return to the W Doha Hotel, with the caveat that I’m not likely to spend a lot of time in Doha having done the only thing that really drew me to the country already, and also that I’d be tempted to try the St. Regis as well.