La Cigale Hotel, Qatar : Review
Even if you are not planning on staying, it is still worth dropping in to the hotel, if only to visit the sweet shop, for the free samples which La Cigale's extremely hospitable staff will offer you. Many of the sweets and patisseries are made by the hotels own chefs, with ingredients, where possible, sourced in Lebanon, France or Italy.
The sweet shop is part of La Cigale's 1700 square metre La Cigale Traiteur, which includes a cigar shop complete with humidifier, wedding souvenirs, Italian ice-cream and much more. A sushi bar should also be following with a rotating sushi belt and rice-paper walls! Particularly impressive is the hotel's chocolate creations, made by some of the hotel's nine French chefs. While prices vary, not all are expensive - a large ice-cream cone will set you back 15 riyals, while a Zatar pie costs 6 riyals - not bad for a five star hotel.
The hotel's superb staff and the lush interior somewhat make up for the fact that there are no outside gardens or swimming pool - swimmers will have to use the indoor pool. At least the pool, with wooden boards and jungle plants, is very pleasant, and also has a good view of the city. As the hotel is not situated by the sea although it is only a few minutes drive the hotel does not boast a private beach, unlike other top hotels in Qatar.
The location of the hotel, the sales manager has told us, is a deliberate decision rather than an inability to obtain a location by the sea. The hotel is targeting business customers who are looking for central location close to the many businesses located the area around.
If you like to be pampered, though, you may still choose this hotel as there is a range of spa services. You can enjoy a full body massage from the hotels masseurs, order facial and body treatments or relax with a hammam a traditional Turkish bath. You can also cleanse your body with hydrotherapy, steam rooms, jacuzzis and even mud baths.
In the night you can see many of Doha's trendier residents and travellers coming to the hotel to enjoy a night out at one of the bars. At the piano bar you can enjoy soft music until 10pm, followed by a Lebanese singer who will entertain you in five different languages. If you fancy a different type of evening, you might prefer to party until dawn at the Sky View roof top bar to the sound of house music. For both bars, reservations are a must.
When we visited we were also impressed with the room's amenities. First, you have a pillow menu, with a choice of fifteen different types of pillows. Meanwhile, the IP TV system - which combines internet surfing with television - has a time shifting service, so if you have just come on a long flight you can shift back a day and resume watching your favorite programs.
Also impressive is the wireless keyboard - meaning you can sit down on your bed and surf the internet through the TV set. You can't, however, upload or download via the IP TV system, although both wireless and wired internet services are provided in the room. (Junior suites and up also get provided with free laptops and fax machines.)
Standard drinks are included as usual, but the hotel also provides free samples of the chocolate it produces.
Although convenient from a business point of view - its close to the airport as well as many of the business centers in the city - the location, in our view could be better for non-business travellers. However, apart from that we have been very impressed on our visits by the attention to detail in the hotel and by the staff. Overall, this is a hotel well worth staying at if a sea-side location is not your priority.
Directions: If you are coming from the Airport, drive down C ring road towards Hamed Hospital. The hotel is situated on the left side of the road, just before Al Sadd signals and close to Blue Saloon. If you wish to park, you will need to turn left at the signals, left again at the first junction and then down the road to the car park on your left.