Al Rayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton
This hotel became the first in the Middle East to join Hilton’s Curio Collection when it opened in December, alongside the 500-store Mall of Qatar. Hilton’s ‘upper upscale’ collection, launched two-and-a-half years ago, is now up to 33 properties globally (Dubai is due to open next year).
With colourful themed art (cars, nature, fashion) on each floor, gold-and-black furnishings dominating the lobby and plenty of other arresting designs – such as the dome chandelier in the ground floor salon, opening this month – Al Rayyan is certainly a distinctive property. Whether it quite meets the ‘one-of-its-kind’ criteria which underpins the Curio brand might be open to debate – usually they have more history attached to them – but there are enough local and opulent touches to justify an ‘unique’ label. Although there are only six floors, it feels higher on account of the lofty atrium, and you wouldn’t guess there are 201 rooms. With its convenient retail links – you can walk straight out of Mezzo restaurant into the mall – Al Rayyan is primarily targeting the GCC market (no alcohol) with corporate business giving way to families and leisure at weekends. It is a Category 6 for Honors members.
It was a 35-minute drive from Hamad International Airport. The fact that it’s well away from the hotel-crammed West Bay is a sign that Qatar’s hospitality scene is broadening, in tandem with the many infrastructural works in the run-up to the World Cup (Al Rayyan stadium nearby will host matches up to the quarter final). The Doha Metro Green Line will also stop at Al Rayyan.
My Executive King Suite (#315) featured a large living area with overhanging lightshade, sofa, dining table and ornaments, while the bedroom had a vast bathroom with stand-alone tub, and cubicle toilet and shower. Connectivity looked restricted to powerpoints (mind the one that juts out beneath the desk), but I used the USB sockets in the Samsung TVs and you’ll find another at the back of the iHome bedside unit (no problems with free wifi). Categories include Deluxe King/Twin, Premier King/ Twin, Ambassador (pictured inset), Deluxe King, Executive King and Diplomatic King suites and a twobedroom Presidential Suite (with its own hammam).
On arrival, I was served a range of dishes in Mezzo (salads, pasta and fresh chicken kebabs) and I grabbed a quick breakfast on leaving, which was equally broad. I dined with the GM, Luca, at Muy Vivo, a cosey venue next to the pool, and couldn’t fault any of the South American sample flavours. Other options include the Mirage Lounge (pleasant spot for shisha, with water features), Moda Lounge (lobby, Lamborghini teas, pictured) and pool bar. Numerable dining options exist in the mall too. Hilton Doha is half an hour away.
Al Bidda ballroom can host intimate events (maximum 350 for receptions) and meeting rooms are on the Mezzanine (Al Jasra, Al Mirqab and Armila). The Qatar National Convention Center is 10km away.
Neatly contained on the sixth floor. The linear pool has an impressive design with lounge seating carved into it, and I enjoyed soaking in the Jacuzzi in the wellness center (separate for men and women). The gym was a good size too. Dominic Ellis Online rates for mid-March stays range from QAR750 for a Deluxe King, rising to QAR1,650 for an Executive King Suite.
Al Rayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton, Mall of Qatar, PO Box 23325, Al Rayyan, Doha, Qatar. Tel: +974 4489 9000, curiocollection3.hilton.com