you welcome in sign in, a new review series in which our editors and contributors rate the best new (and refurbished) luxury hotels based on a strict — and sometimes tongue-in-cheek — 10-point system: Each question that answers “yes” gets one point. Will room service bring you caviar? Does your suite have its own server? Does the bathroom have a bidet? Find out below.
In three words: Middle Eastern charm
What’s the deal? Raffles may have a reputation for luxurious, old-school hospitality, but it’s the brand’s newest hub in Doha He turns tradition on its head, staying in half QatarThe latest iconic building, the crescent-shaped Katara Towers. (The other half is a new home Fairmont Hotel.) The fact that the structure’s design is based on the crossed swords of Qatar’s national coat of arms will be lost on most visitors, but the architectural drama so eye-catching as it sparkles in the desert sun won’t.
Best room This is an all-suite hotel, and even the smallest of the 132 accommodations measures over 700 square feet. Marcel Wanders’ design gives the suites – and the rest of the property – a sense of freshness and elegance without deviating from kitsch. the vaulted ceilings are covered with carvings of scrolled foliage; arched windows overlooking balconies and the waters of Lusail Marina; and a gorgeous geometrically sculpted “treasure chest” in each suite featuring a large mirrored walk-in, room-within-a-room, complete with sink, high-tech kettle and proper coffee maker, plus a fridge stocked with a well-stocked mix of serious brews and non-zero fizz.
Choose the Parisian Suite, which spans the entire 30th floor, if you want a mini-cinema and beauty salon or the Raffles Suite for a cigar room, complete with humidor and shaving corner. But the ‘best’ is the two-bedroom royal suite, which is spread over two floors with its own private elevator, indoor pool, games room, hammam, and hair salon.
Greeting by name upon check in? Yes, and with big smiles too. The only reason I didn’t head straight to check-in in the suite was because I was momentarily flabbergasted by the problematic atrium. Animated images of blue skies and clouds are constantly projected onto the reflective walls by day, with starry scenes at night.
Welcome drink ready and waiting? (bonus point if it’s not just fruit juice) Yes and yes. Two of them, in fact. A lovely pink non-alcoholic blend of artisan rose syrup, fresh pomegranate juice and hibiscus extract is served in an elegant coupe on arrival and a version for adults – the thirsty traveler, with an extra helping of gin – is waiting on suite in a rose petal-covered glass bottle.
Private butler in the room? Yes, two of those too. Paola Azúcar and Nerissa Settie welcomed me with genuine enthusiasm and left thoughtful touches and notes about the room during my stay. Butlers at Raffles will unpack your bag and repack it for you, arranging shoe shine before John Loeb– Team trained in-house and have the wonderful skill of being there when you want it and not flying around when you don’t need it.
Paper thread count 300 or higher? at all. “Regular” suites have twice the thread count as 600 thread count, and the sheets feel simultaneously soft and silky smooth. Once you’re in the best suites – Parisian, Designer, Raffles and Royal – it’s up to 1,000 suites.
Warm floor in the bathroom or with his own hands? or both? There are no heated floors here; In one of the hottest countries in the world, you are unlikely to need one. But there’s a neat, sculpted towel warmer stand next to the bathtub and a heated toilet seat, comfortable for those days when the air conditioning is too loud. The Japanese style toilet also has a bidet function with adjustable jet, temperature control and a dryer. Being the bay, you can find a wall mounted spray hose, commonly known as bidet next to the bathroom.
Are the toiletries full size? Yes, the beauty tools come in refillable, full-size ceramic containers and feature the Cologne Indélible scent Frederick Malle. The shaving set shown is a collaboration with Truefitt & Hill, The world’s oldest barbershop, and you can call your butler to prepare a bath with your choice of aromatherapy oils.
Private pool for exclusive use of the room? The Royal Suite has a 13-foot indoor pool, which won’t be big enough for long stretches but is perfect if you just want to soak and splash. For more room to stretch out, plus a little poolside magic, grab a cabana in the 180-foot infinity pool. Or wait until June, when the Island Club Privee opens, a floating platform shaped like the building’s silhouette inviting relaxation, swimming, and watersports.
Worth spending a Friday night in the Lobby Bar?
at all. Although its name may be Blue Cigar, this space is much more than a place for smokers, and it’s large enough that those not interested in cigars can avoid it entirely. The bar is also, perhaps unexpectedly, a bit of paradise for book lovers, with a collection of 6,500 vintage books lining the walls, including many rare first editions. There is a copy of Robinson Crusoe It is dated 1778 and the 1707 edition of Homer’s book Epic, among others. And the best thing? She’s there to be read–with gloves and a magnifying glass on–along with literary-themed cocktails and her flawless counterparts.
Caviar on the room service menu? Of course. Kaviari’s signature Beluga Caviar is available 24/7, accompanied by blinis and spices. But why limit yourself to a room service menu when Raffles can arrange dishes from any of its restaurants to be delivered in-suite? If you feel like pasta with sea urchin from three-star Michelin chef Enrico Crippa Alba Or a full-fledged afternoon tea from Bigjust call your personal server.
Would you buy the hotel if you could? Yes, along with all the staff uniforms too. They’re practically irrepressibly refined and elegant, with each piece tailored to the individual, from the colorful sequin jumpsuits in the rooftop music bar to the dresses made from nearly 30 feet of pleated fabric in the royal tearoom. Although the building that hosts the Raffles Hotel Doha is considered a shiny new icon for the nation, it is unlikely that anyone will sell it anytime soon.
What does our result mean:
1-3: your shot Travel agent if they suggest you stay here.
4-6: Solid if you’re in trouble — but only if you’re in trouble.
7-8: very well. We’d stay here again and recommend it without worry.
9-10: Forgot to book a week. When can we move in permanently?