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Ahead of the world’s pre-eminent sports event, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Arabian Knight’s Rashi Sen takes a look at two of Accor’s marquee brands set to bring new levels of luxury to the Qatari capital.
Though distinctive in their approach to hospitality and with their unique legacy of prominent properties around the world, Accor’s marquee brands Fairmont and Raffles were paired through a partnership with Karata Hospitality in early 2021 to launch Fairmont and Raffles Lusail Hotel & Residences in Qatar.
Katara Hospitality, a global hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar, has built a portfolio of iconic hotels in Qatar and key international gateways.
The Katara Towers, home to Raffles and Fairmont Doha, are an architectural interpretation of Qatar’s national emblem of intertwined traditional scimitar swords.
Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor, commented: “We are extremely excited to announce this iconic property and to showcase it on the world stage in the years to come. The arrival of the Raffles and Fairmont brands in Qatar marks an important milestone for Accor, as we endeavour to bring their distinctive levels of quality and luxurious service to residents and travellers alike.”
Both Raffles Hotel and Residences Doha and Fairmont Doha, which will open for the World Cup, say they are fully committed to exclusive FIFA World Cup bookings and will be open to the general public only following the completion of the mega sporting event. The first public bookings are expected to start on Christmas Day this year.
Christian Hirt, Managing Director, Raffles and Fairmont Doha, told Arabian Knight in an interview: “The entire guest experience at Raffles and Fairmont Doha will be lavish and opulent. These two properties mark the entry of both the Raffles and Fairmont aspirational brands and world-class reputations to Qatar.
“Raffles is moving Qatar’s accommodation dial by being the country’s only all-suite property. Its 132 suites offer palace-style grandeur and guests have personalised butler services, bespoke amenities, a gallery wall with a highly curated book collection and an in-suite boutique featuring customised beverages and refreshments. Individually configured and themed suites are the epitome of sophistication with features such as a marble wine cellar, beauty salon, barber, cinema, sauna, private pool, gym, and outdoor lounge.”
When it comes to gourmet experiences, Raffles will be a new benchmark for multi-sensory dining curated by some of the world’s finest chefs. This hotel has five next-generation gastronomic experiences which combine culinary creativity and interactive entertainment, says Hirt.
“Fairmont Doha, meanwhile, will provide truly breathtaking stays and outstanding leisure experiences which will make for lasting memories. The luxury experience begins as soon as guests enter the impressive lobby which is dominated by the world’s tallest chandelier suspended high above. Fairmont Gold members have their own pool bar and dedicated pool & loungers, indoor and outdoor dining spaces, social events, and butler service,” he adds.
Atmospheric and theatrical food journeys take centre stage at Fairmont Doha’s three restaurants and two lounges while the hotel’s wellness offering is characterised by state-of-the-art fitness blended with regeneration technologies. Guests will benefit from comprehensive exercise facilities, including a climbing wall, immersive spinning classes, indoor lap pool and a studio room which are complemented by the Fairmont Spa with a vitality pool, treatment, and relaxation rooms and a hammam where guests can unwind and embrace the spirit of a strong body and mind, continues Hirt.
“Opening next year, exclusive for Raffles and Fairmont Doha guests, is Qatar’s only hotel floating island – Privée – where the ultimate relaxation awaits against an Arabian Gulf backdrop,” he says.
Set in Qatar’s newest address – Lusail City, Raffles Doha will feature 132 luxurious suites with awe-inspiring suite experiences, each with its own butler and balcony offering captivating views of Doha and the Arabian Gulf.
The opulent Royal Suite inhabiting the 33rd and 34th floors, with its own gym, spa, majlis, games room and hair salon, is expected to be one of the most well-appointed royal suites in the region.
In addition to the spacious junior suites and one-bedroom suite, the hotel will also showcase three one-bedroom theme suites. Raffles Spa will incorporate nine spa suites, each with its own treatment room, relaxation areas, hammam, sauna, and steam room. Some of the suites also offer private fitness studios, private beauty studios or a private outdoor terrace and pools.
A 3,600-sq-ft Katara Hall for weddings, conferences and special events, in addition to a series of luxury meeting suites with state-of-the-art technologies for smaller gatherings, forms part of its meetings and conferences offerings.
The choice of gastronomic offerings at Raffles will include award-winning Italian cuisine by three-star Michelin Chef Enrico Crippa, the eclectic L’Artisan for modern dining, a rooftop music lounge and terrace called Acoustic and the relaxing Blue Cigar lounge with a collection of fine cigars and classic cocktails.
Connected to Raffles Doha by a magnificent ballroom and event space, Fairmont Doha will be a luxurious five-star hotel with 332 rooms and suites meeting the exacting standards of travel connoisseurs with elegant decor in timeless surroundings, every contemporary amenity, the latest in-room technology for a personalised stay, and spectacular Arabian Gulf or Lusail City views.
Stay at Fairmont Gold, a privileged hotel-within-a-hotel experience, comes with access to the ultra-exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge and private outdoor pool. The spacious suites are the very epitome of sumptuous comfort and unrivalled opulence, many with panoramic terraces and separate lounges.
True to the Fairmont tradition of pampering, its in-suite dining experience will be provided 24 hours. The menu boasts international dishes meticulously sourced from local and international suppliers. Options vary for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all-day dining, and comprise signature plates for an enjoyable in-room restaurant experience.
Creative Latin American cuisine brings an authentic taste of the region to Doha, while guests can also embark on a gastronomic journey of discovery with progressive Indian dining, provocative Asian cuisine alongside a unique afternoon tea experience, botanical shisha and Levantine sharing plates in the rooftop lounge and garden.
A 360-degree wellness community focus, powered by fitness and enhanced by the spa, is a mainstay of the Fairmont Doha experience. With state-of-the-art fitness blended with regeneration technologies, guests can expect the finest wellness and activity offerings, including a climbing wall, immersive spin classes, indoor lap pool and yoga rooms. This is enhanced by the Fairmont Spa, complete with a vitality pool, relaxation rooms, hammam and treatment rooms, allowing guests to fully unwind and embrace the spirit of a strong body and mind.
Guests at both properties can escape to Privée, a floating island, set to be the most desirable outdoor destination in Doha when it opens next year.
Apart from the main draw of the match day, guests at Fairmont Doha will be offered a bevy of activities around Doha.
An immersive six-hour cultural excursion will comprise visits to historic houses at the Msheireb Museums and a tour of the labyrinthine Souq Waqif, Doha’s oldest and most enchanting market. The hotel is also encouraging guests to enjoy a slice of adventure activities in and around Doha. Options include adrenaline-pumping session of dune bashing, followed by a drive to the Inland Sea, and exploration of the charming Al Wakrah Old Souq, located along the Arabian Gulf.
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