A Weekend at the Grand Hyatt, Doha
As I swam slowly round the geometric swimming pool to the sound of classical music, the shadows of the night intermixing with the soft yellow lights from the hotel, I remembered some less pleasant assignments I had taken for Qatar Visitor.
There are times when I have trotted round government offices trying to work out visa policy, been stuck in traffic jams in the industrial area while floods filled up giant potholes or braved horny ostriches to explore a national park.
However, picking up the assignment of a weekend at the Hyatt more than made up for all of this!
There was no hanging around organising check in at the Grand Hyatt. We left the car at the entrance and were soon escorted to the fifth floor, where our lodging awaited - more of an apartment than a room, the suite featured a huge balcony with views over the aforementioned swimming pools and gardens.
A shout from the bathroom soon awoke from my reverie, and a quick dash found my bewildered five year old sitting on the toilet, trousers around her legs.
"Daddy, there's a telephone in the toilet!" she said.
"Well, maybe it's just in case you have an emergency."
"But look, you can't reach it," she said, standing up and tottering over to the phone, legs hampered by fallen trousers, to demonstrate.
We spared the more exclusive but simple Club Lounge for the huge range of food spread out in the Grill. We chose a table on the verandah by a clear blue pool and dined on olives, plum tomatoes, goats cheese and brie, smoked salmon and bread freshly made in the open oven.
Impressively, all of the huge range of breads, croissants, buns, muffins were baked there and then, in full view of the customers.
The staff were delightful, and remarkably patient with very small children, even after our youngest decided to experiment with throwing fruit into the pool...