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Hotel review: Sharq Village & Spa Doha, Qatar

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This is a hotel ahead of its time in two senses. First, the standard of accommodation and hospitality is the best in Doha where luxury standards are already high. Secondly, the hotel was completed ahead of the relocation of the nearby airport which is a problem until the new airport opens in 2011.

The closest equivalent is the Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai but the Sharq is a step better. The concept of architecture inspired by Gulf tradition is the same. The Sharq has 174 guest rooms grouped into 14 low-rise buildings with the traditional internal courtyard.

Great rooms

Of course, in olden times these palatial villas would not have featured ensuite marble bathrooms and rainfall showers. But some of the colours, textures and ambience would have been the same, although air-conditioning is a welcome addition.

Like the Royal Mirage in Dubai the Sharq creates a full resort community with its fabulous Six Senses spa, sumptuous restaurants, private beach front, conference facilities and souk. There are also two large chilled swimming pools, a spacious lobby area and cigar lounge.

After sunset the hotel is particularly beautiful with its old fashioned sand coloured buildings delicately illuminated. You wonder through a maze of neatly manicured gardens to your villa.

Needless to say as a Ritz-Carlton operated hotel the service is outstanding. Your sightseeing and transport requirements are quickly sorted by the concierge, while the hotel has a full range of business services and an excellent broadband connection.

Time for a spa treatment

But to really unwind at the end of a busy day treat yourself to the Six Senses spa. At 6,000 square metres this is the largest spa in the Middle East and a perfect recreation of traditional Gulf architecture complete with uneven floors, wooden beams, a soaring wind tower and rustic furniture.

Or if you want to be emir for a day then go for the Royal Villa so luxurious that the real Emir of Qatar uses it for his own meetings from time to time. The Qatar Finance Centre is also a regular at the conference centre, widely held to be the best in Doha.

Indeed, the Sharq is more than a hotel or resort, it is a taste of modern Qatar, a blend of the traditional and modern, and a land of business opportunities.

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Written by Peter Cooper

November 18, 2009 at 7:24 am

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