The Grand Hyatt, Doha: Review
A Visit to the Grand Hyatt
Walk further in and through the vast lobby windows you will see yet another pool - and beyond that, a lagoon. Explore the side corridors to the left or meander through to the restaurant on your right and you will greeted by more water.
This is in keeping with the hotel's theme: the merging of traditional Islamic architecture with the classic spaciousness of a Grand Hyatt hotel to create a hotel built to represent an emir's palace. The hexagon, the Islamic symbol of heaven, is everywhere, embalmed on walls and floors, engraved into carvings and worked into the furnishings. The lobby, when you walk past the initial entrance, soars up above you - but the decor is Islamic.
From the rooms you can view the traditional gardens, the Islamic gardens that were, in a harsh desert environment, the representation of heaven on earth. The pool we viewed - one of just three located outdoors - also combines the geometric shapes and patterns of an Islamic palace - but in the heat the chilled water looks no less inviting for that. (Those in search of serious exercise, however, will choose the 25 metre indoor lap pool.)
From the hotels you can look across the gardens and the long, curving beach to the lagoon and to the Pearl beyond it. At present the view is slightly spoiled by a huge tent erected by the nearby Ritz Carlton - this, the marketing manager assured us, is temporary. Across the water, like everywhere in Doha, you have a view of the half completed buildings.
The location, however, is fantastic - the Pearl, with its blend of Venetian and Arabic architecture, is already one of the most pleasant places in Qatar for a stroll and a coffee, and the greenest place in Qatar, the Golf Course, is just minutes away, as is Al Dafna, the business center of Doha, and the city's Corniche. All of which makes it worth the few minutes extra in the car you need when travelling to the airport.
The grand suites in particular are spacious with the addition of huge balconies; smaller ones adorn the 'Grand Rooms'. All are equipped with rain showers as well as other standard amenities, but it is the first time in Doha I have seen docking stations for Ipods. Most of the rooms have a view of the beach, lagoon and the pearl.
The comfortable rooms, great service and friendly staff we found are a given for all of the five star hotels we have reviewed in Qatar, while the Sheraton and the Intercontinental both have good beaches. However, what sets the Hyatt apart is the abundant use of water throughout the hotel, subtly integrated with Islamic design and motifs, which gives a very welcoming cooling effect in the hot summer months - even before you've had a dip!
Features and Amenities
Note - at time of writing not all sports facilities are open yet.