In an interview with Safak Guvenc, General Manager of W Doha Hotel & Residences, we discussed a variety of truly unique aspects of the property, signature suites, critically-acclaimed restaurants, and much more.
Tell me a little bit about the W Doha Hotel & Residences. How would you describe the atmosphere, decor and ambiance of the hotel, and what sets it apart from others in Doha?
It’s a luxury lifestyle property that is on trend but also very quickly adapting to changes around the world. We are very innovative. Our approach to innovation and our approach to millennials, understanding their wants and needs, is what sets us apart from others. Also, we are continuously renewing ourselves despite only being open for 6 years: we have already changed the carpets in our rooms, introduced new technologies such as the keyless check-in, and we have introduced Stay Connected, where our guests can stay in touch with us via Whatsapp 24/7. We have already renovated one of our restaurants and introduced a new concept, La Spiga, and this year we are working on Market by Jean Georges. So what sets us apart is that we are continuously changing according to the changing trends in the hospitality industry.
One of the signature accommodations of the W Hotel is the WOW and Extreme WOW suites. What makes these suites some of the most unique and luxurious in the city?
I think they are very different than a regular suite experience. It is again a luxury lifestyle, so when you walk into our suites – yes we do offer the same two bathrooms, two rooms like every other hotel – but what makes the difference is the interior design of it, it is the art deco design from the 1970s. so when you walk into the room, you feel the energy of the 1970s trends, which was the disco, music, and different colors. For example in the WOW Suites, its mostly burgundy, darker colors, but when you go into the W Suite, it is lighter colors with disco ball lighting on the top. All of this is what sets them apart from a regular suite experience.
In terms of dining, the W Doha has some of the most critically-acclaimed restaurants in the city. What kinds of cuisines are offered at Spice Market, Market by Jean-Georges, and La Spiga by Paper Moon?
Spice Market is a Southeast-Asian fusion restaurant that offers traditional southeast Asian dishes, presented in a unique way. Market by Jean Georges offers Contemporary European cuisine, with hints of local and Mediterranean influence. And La Spiga by Paper Moon is our Italian restaurant which is adapted from the famous Paper Moon in Milan.
How would you describe the nightlife scene at the hotel?
W Doha is a social gathering place, and its not only about the nightlife. It starts from 6am at Market with a power breakfast, where people come to hold their business meetings, continued with a power lunch at any of our restaurants where all the CEOs, influential business people, Qatari businessmen, and families come over to enjoy lunch. Then it transforms into the night scene where Spice Market, Market and La Spiga offer different kinds of cuisine, which do not compete with each other because they attract different kinds of guests. This is supported by a very successful lounge, the Wahm lounge, where people can enjoy a drink after dinner or before they head to the Crystal Lounge while listening to world class DJs. I think the success is owed to the fact that all these elements work together, and compliment one another.
Finally, for first-time visitors of the hotel, what are the top 5 things they should experience on-site to get the full experience of the property?
I think guests should definitely experience the W or the WOW suite, then they should continue their experience by trying out our every food & beverage outlet that we have. Start with lunch in Market, continue with dinner at Spice Market, then continue the next day with lunch at La Spiga. Definitely enjoy a Bliss Spa treatment, which is very unique as the first and only Bliss Spa in the Middle East region. Finish off the night with Wahm and Crystal Lounge. If you’re staying here over the weekend, you should definitely visit one of our brunches where at Spice Market you can enjoy a live cooking experience and at Market a buffet brunch.