I stayed for 5 days at the St Regis Doha. With the St Regis branding, you would and should expect a certain level of service, excellence in facilities and that "X or wow factor". Sadly, this hotel is lacking in most of these attributes and I'll tell you why.
Firstly the pros and where the hotel does indeed excel. Huge, grand, and lavish lobby, spotlessly clean and well maintained common areas. The ground floor was clearly designed to impress even the most discerning traveller, and of course sufficiently ostentatious to even impress the many Arab royalties who do frequent this address. The hotel boasts about 6 restaurants, though not all are open all day or for all meals. The two Gordon Ramsey restaurants within the hotel were certainly not as impressive as I hoped for. The Chinese inspired restaurant - Hakkasan was much better and more lively in atmosphere. Breakfast in the hotel main restaurant (Vine) was just average, with a rather limited selection of local and international food.
The gym was huge by most hotel standards with all the latest modern equipment you would need and the pool is magnificent - just about Olympic size! There is also a private but very small beach front area and the hotel does have some stunning views of the city skyline and of the new development called "The Pearl".
Now to the cons and where vast improvements need to be made. Firstly, the facility itself. For a relatively new hotel, I was surprised to see so much wear and tear already quite apparent. In my room for eg (room 206), parts of the walls were discoloured from leakages I believe, and the floor carpet was not well maintained. The room design looked a bit dated. Even though the hotel opened officially in May 2012, you get the feeling that its "been around" much longer. I anticipate this to worsen and hence I think the management needs to pay greater attention to the standard of maintenance and housekeeping.
Location wise, this hotel is really "in the middle of nowhere". Perhaps in a few years time, when the new developments have been done up, this hotel might be considered one that is well located. You need to take a 30 minute or so taxi ride to the city centre and to all the tourist attractions.
Within the room, the bed was too soft and the water pressure in the shower could be much better. Housekeeping was generally ok, but I think the real challenge is to deal with the poor quality of the materials, furnishings and finishings.
Service was inconsistent. While the concierge was generally responsive and alright, it was often very difficult to reach them on the phone. The "ground staff" at the lobby all looked a bit confused, especially when the crowds increased. Some of them looked rather "lost", not knowing what to do or how to respond to queries by hotel guests.
Another horrible practice is that the hotel still allows smoking within the lobby lounge. When I was at the W Hotel in Doha (for a lovely meal at the Market by Jean Georges), I noticed a staff who politely but firmly told a couple of Arab women that smoking within the premises is not permitted. I applauded the staff for doing so.
Overall, while the St Regis looks superficially grand in design and ambition, you just get the feeling that it has not reached that level of professionalism and competency that one would expect of a truly luxury 5* hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the shores of Doha’s glittering West Bay, the St. Regis Doha is a five-star luxury hotel with 336 guest rooms including 70 seductive suites, aiming to set new standards of luxury service & excellence with the signature St. Regis Butler Service.The hotel introduces a collection of ten signature restaurants & bars, extensive recreation facilities including world-acclaimed Remède Spa. The St. Regis Doha is the finest address for leisure & business travelers in Doha ... more less
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