A VIP trip to Qatar

In March, in conjunction with The Holiday Village, Qatar Airways, Qatar Tourism and Gold Medal Travel  I was treated to a VIP trip to Qatar.

We flew out of Manchester and I was privileged to sample business class Q suites- what a treat!! The suite can be totally private or opened up to neighbouring suites. The seat lays flat, you are waited on throughout the flight and have a great choice of TV/films- I didn’t want to get off!       


We stayed at the fabulous Intercontinental Doha, a beautiful large room overlooking the pool and beach. The hotel has several restaurants and bars, we ate at La Mar which was delicious. The pub is a lively spot in an evening with DJs at the weekend.
We explored The Pearl and The corniche and Lusail areas of Doha. All are different and worthy of a visit. Lusail is very much under development, the country’s newest city built in 2019. There are entertainment areas with food trucks, a winter wonderland (yes in the desert!) and the Place Vendome mall with fountain /light show and restaurants. It felt a bit like Vegas (without the bars and gambling!) 
We visited the stunning  Ned Hotel, opened Nov 22 in time for the World Cup dignitaries to stay there. It’s the 3rd of the chain of hotels hotel in world. All hotels are old buildings repurposed. This one  was a ministry building 1965 so is 1970s theme with only 90 rooms. Live Music daily in the lobby lounge and an exclusive Membership club give the hotel a classy feel. Friday brunch is a popular event on the outdoor patio.
We visited the souk. I’ve been to souks before in Egypt  and Tunisia and honestly haven’t enjoyed the experience. The souk here is different- there’s no pressure to ‘looky looky’ everywhere is clean and as a western woman I felt safe. You can buy anything! There’s even a falconry care/shop – similar to doggy day care the Sheikhs leave their falcons whilst they go shopping! I can highly recommend the Parisa restaurant- yummy middle Eastern dishes served in a sparkly, tile clad dining room.
The highlight of the trip was the dune bashing trip in a 4×4. I haven’t screamed and laughed as much as that in a very long time, we were in good hands with our driver- he knows the desert like the back of his hand, needing no maps or satnav!
We visited the 321 sports museum – a must see for sports enthusiasts and the National Museum which was very informative
There’s plenty more to see and do including the chance to see Whale sharks (Apr-Nov) see the tourist board website for more info
Our last day took us out of the Pearl area and down to the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas
The largest resort in Qatar with a beach 3.5kms long , onsite waterpark, tennis courts ,sports centre, Kids club and FIFA football facilities, the Belgian team stayed here during the World Cup. There’s a range of accommodation including hotel rooms, villas and 2 bedroom suites for families up to 5. The resort has 5 restaurants and guests booking half board can dine around, we ate in the Italian restaurant for lunch- Oh wow it was fabulous and the main buffet in the evening had something for everyone.
Who would I recommend Qatar to?
Couples, families, solo travellers. It’s a great alternative to Dubai for winter sunshine breaks and has great links across the world if you’re doing a stop off enroute to somewhere else.
What about alcohol?
You can drink alcohol in hotels. It wasn’t available at the restaurants outside the hotels (and some hotels are dry) I didn’t find this to be a problem
What about the dress code?
I was respectful of where I was. Out and about I kept my knees and shoulders covered (although I did see people with shorts and vest tops) You will see people in national; dress and well as more westernised clothes, I think this added to the experience as it felt more cultured than other places I’ve been to.


Contact me to start planning your Qatar adventure

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