Al Rayyan Ho­tel Doha, Cu­rio Col­lec­tion by Hil­ton

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Tried & Tested -

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.hil­

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