September 27, 2023
Raffles and Fairmont Doha: The lodge formed like gigantic swords

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In Qatar, a rustic the place the subway has a enterprise class compartment and Friday brunch is a aggressive sport, opulence is a mere baseline.

For a brand new lodge to actually stand out right here, its designers must do one thing extremely dramatic – like spend 5 years erecting a model new constructing within the form of the nation’s nationwide crest.

This new addition to the Doha skyline is named Katara Towers and is split between two lodge manufacturers, the Fairmont and the Raffles. Every occupies one half of the 300,000 sq. meter constructing, which is designed to resemble a pair of Qatari crossed scimitars.

Set alongside the aquamarine waters of the Persian Gulf, these fraternal twin inns are every luxurious in their very own methods.

The Raffles, an all-suite property on the left half of the constructing, attracts inspiration from the high quality arts. Within the foyer, there’s a white grand piano, with the sunshine reflecting on it from a swirling 60-meter (197-foot) kaleidoscope projected on the ceiling.

There’s a non-public cinema, full with soft purple velvet seats and {custom} snacks ready by lodge cooks. The rooftop bar, Acoustic, hosts stay performances alongside a crystal-lined bar designed to resemble a whiskey tumbler.

The best-end suite is the appropriately named Raffles Suite, which sprawls over two flooring of the lodge and has its personal personal swimming pool, inner elevator, hair salon and even a hammam.

Raffles and Fairmont Doha: The lodge formed like gigantic swords

Blue Cigar, a cocktail and cigar bar with moody deep-blue interiors and ceiling-high bookshelves, appears like a Bond hangout.

However these ceiling-high bookshelves aren’t simply ornamental. Whereas a cigar sommelier selects a stogie or a server fingers out sliders on blue-tinted buns, a customer will likely be requested the title of his or her favourite creator.

Inside an hour, it’s doubtless {that a} employees member will return to the customer with a duplicate of a uncommon e book by that particular creator. Uncommon-books specialists have been dispatched across the globe to construct the lodge’s spectacular library.

A number of the assortment’s highlights are a primary version “Moby Dick” and the earliest identified version of Homer’s epic “The Odyssey” ever printed in English.

Company will likely be given a pair of gloves and a magnifying glass as a way to peruse the pages themselves or can request {that a} employees member learn a selected passage out loud.

Angela Moore, who does worldwide PR and communications for Qatar’s tourism board, took a flip as a vacationer on a current go to to the Katara Towers.

“I see plenty of inns in my work,” she mentioned. “A number of inns assume they will merely provide a pleasant room with a reasonably view, however what Fairmont and Raffles are doing right here is extra than simply glitz. Every property is awe-inspiring and curated to every visitor individually.”

The Malaki Raffles Lounge is a popular spot for afternoon tea.

So, how does a visitor select which half of the constructing they’d choose to e book into?

Christian Hirt, the managing director for each properties, explains that every lodge has its personal type of shopper base.

When requested how one can differentiate between them, he says: “Raffles visitors are refined vacationers on the lookout for new, completely different, cultural experiences that they haven’t had earlier than. Fairmont visitors are seasoned vacationers who need to uncover the vacation spot and native tradition in an genuine means, with {couples} and households trying to take pleasure in each the property and the colourful vacation spot.”

The Fairmont’s feeling of vibrancy begins as quickly as you stroll in.

Squares of 18-karat gold are used to create texture on the partitions, and the world’s greatest chandelier – clocking in at 56 meters (183 ft) excessive – sparkles pearlescent and gold down on you.

The Fairmont’s design idea comes from one other mainstay of luxurious tradition – yachts.

Rooms are elegant and heat in shades of white and blue, with eastern-facing ones overlooking the Persian Gulf. Beds are enveloped by curved white velvet headboards resembling one of many nation’s most well-known symbols – the pearl.

Guests at the Fairmont can choose between views of the Doha skyline or the Gulf.

The nautical theme continues, however subtly – assume sculptures of seashells, bedside lights impressed by hurricane lamps and artwork books with pictures of the world’s oceans.

There are additionally tables and different room particulars inlaid with colourful tiles, a traditional Islamic kind – it’s price a go to to Doha’s I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Artwork to be taught extra about this custom.

In elegant Thirty third-floor bar Provok, blue and white glass give a lightweight, ethereal really feel whereas additionally maximizing the sunshine of the intense desert solar.

Falconry is a well-liked pastime within the Center East, with the native souk having a complete wing (pun supposed) devoted to the birds and their high-class life in a few of Qatar’s most prestigious residences.

Thus it feels becoming that two of the Fairmont’s priciest suites – the Peregrine and the Lanner – are named after falcon breeds.

Service at each properties is well mannered and understated. Entrance desk employees and concierges sport custom-designed fits and attire from the appropriately named British style model No Uniform, which has additionally created workwear for high-end inns like Claridge’s in London.

Feminine Fairmont workers put on lengthy sleeved attire with colourful floral particulars, whereas Raffles bellhops and doormen are wearing natty three-piece fits with high hats.

Katara Towers is likely one of the architectural anchors of Lusail, Qatar’s second-largest municipality, which was constructed on reclaimed land to curve alongside a sliver of the Persian Gulf.

It’s about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) north of capital Doha and 5 kilometers (three miles) north of the Katara Cultural Village.

The world is dwelling to Lusail Stadium, which was a significant venue for the World Cup in November and December of final yr – most notably, the ultimate between France and eventual victor Argentina – in addition to the System One racetrack that hosted the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix occasion.

The Fairmont and Raffles inns formally opened to the general public in January 2023.

Earlier than that, although, it was in use in the course of the World Cup for FIFA officers and – rumor has it – members of the Qatari royal household.

Crossed scimitars are essentially the most outstanding function of Qatar’s nationwide emblem. An up to date emblem was revealed by the federal government final fall, which occurred to coincide with the tip of development work on the constructing.

The Qatari double-sword design will be noticed everywhere in the Center Japanese nation, from espresso cups to jewellery. However that is the primary time that the form has appeared within the type of a constructing.