Doha, one of the leading Four Seasons hotels in the Middle East

Premier venue for golf, football and tennis…major airline hub…world class universities…leading Middle Eastern investor in major international luxury brands such as Porsche and Harrods…developer of exceptional real estate projects in North Africa and throughout the Middle East….world’s five star airline…top international news broadcaster…outstanding luxury shopping…a strong voice in Arab politics…in one word QATAR. One of the smallest nations in the Middle East, Qatar has established itself in the past decade as a respected brand, associated with freedom, respect, wealth and sustainable growth.

It comes as no surprise that the country’s top luxury hotel is the FOUR SEASONS in the capital city of Doha. Four Seasons is the leading hotel in other capital cities in the Middle East: Damascus (my personal favourite), Riyadh and Amman. Housed within an impressive development right on the water front, with all the standard Four Seasons facilities,  the hotel has earned its reputation mostly thanks to its high level of customer service. The construction works on am impressive Four Seasons sister property on the Pearl is set to begin by mid next month. The second Four Seasons in Doha is expected opening late 2013, when its first real competitor is also slated to open, the Mandarin Oriental Doha, the first property of the Asian chain in the Middle East.

The hidden gem of the Four Seasons Doha hotel is undoubtedly, its SPA, one of the largest luxury SPAs in the Middle East and among the largest of any Four Seasons hotels worldwide. Covering more than 2.000 sqm on three levels  in a purpose built facility, adjacent to the hotel, the SPA is equipped with 11 treatment rooms, extensive hydrotherapy facilities ( reflexology foot bath, hot and cold plunge pools as well as resistance pools). Among the highlights of the SPA are the Roman-style laconium, the meditative colour therapy rooms and the state of the art indoor cycling in a group setting, utilizing a unique technology available in 12 other international locations only and us studioed by Barca football team. The Hotel offers two Rebound Ace tennis courts, both outdoor and floodlit for night play; a squash court is also available for rental.

Mention should also be made that the Four Seasons SPA in Doha has been playing a unique role in creating awareness for SPA in the Middle East in general, going beyond cultural barriers and attracting an increased number of local native female customers. Over 90% of the SPA customers are local members of which half are Qataris. The SPA is also an ideal meeting and networking venue where natives interact with foreign residents in a different way than professionally, as it is the case with most foreigners residing in Qatar.

The 550 employees of the hotel are foreigners, coming from more than 30 nationalities. While this might be a challenging factor for other hotels in Qatar, the Four Seasons has had a unique approach in selecting staff individually and providing unique employment conditions. The hotel’s general manager personally interviews all the members of the staff making sure they all have the ”Four Seasons sparkle”, a passion and enthusiams to provide a genuine high class service.

Four Seasons Doha is at the centre of all the major happenings and events in Qatar, being the prime choice of accommodation for star sports celebrities as well as heads of state. This has contributed to a 94% occupancy rate in January 2011, a record for any luxury hotel in the Middle East. The world’s top golfers and football players have stayed at the Four Seasons during the latest golf tournament and Asian Cup.

The restaurants and bars of the hotel are at the centre of Doha’s vibrant social life, attracting not only the hotel guests but also locals, for business meetings, family gathering or simply an afternoon tea. The Friday brunch is the most popular in the city, attracting locals and even guests from other hotels.

Oliver Petcu