You are probably familiar with my obsession with a 'staycation' by now. I think that they are so important for your health and well-being that if time and funds allow it, Mr Sunshine and I like to indulge in at least a couple a year. However, if you are in need of a quick holiday fix, sometimes a 'daycation' can be just as good for the soul.
This weekend, I packed a beach bag, donned my shades and headed to the Ritz Carlton Doha for an afternoon of blissful sunshine beside the hotel's luxurious pool.
Or should I say pools, for I counted five in total, including a couple of plunge pools...
Fun children's pool complete with swirly slide (I resisted having a go, this time)...
And the main affair which is more like a lake than a standard hotel pool, incorporating bridges and an impressive waterfall to create the feeling of being out in the wild.
As well as a swim-up bar, because let's face it, even the most intrepid explorer could do with a mocktail for refreshment every now and again.
The tropical jungle theme runs throughout the entire outside area of the hotel, which is lush and green with palms and shrubs, vibrant flowers and beautiful Frangipani trees.
That's the best thing about the pool at the Ritz Carlton for me; the fact that you're in the middle of West Bay Lagoon in Doha, and yet you could be on a tropical island somewhere very far away from the Arabian Desert.
The staff were friendly and accommodating; I was supplied with endless water all afternoon and handed a menu, from which I chose a delicious and fresh-tasting hot chicken salad. It arrived with a large bread basket, which I was grateful for, because half an hour of catching up with Angie's blog had made me incredibly hungry!
There are other traditional pool-side dishes on the menu too: burgers and chips, sandwiches and freshly caught fish. Something to satisfy every taste, at a fairly reasonable price for a five star hotel. And if you start to feel a little peckish later on in the afternoon, a plate of fresh fruit will be brought round to revive you.
My only niggles were that some of the sun loungers were a little dirty, and that in order to reach the restrooms, you have to traipse through the hotel's indoor pool area...but these are such first world problems that they are hardly worth mentioning.
I sat back for several hours and lapped up the waning Winter sunshine, until the breeze blowing in from the Persian Gulf got the better of me, and I was forced to retreat back home.
It was the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon; a little bit of 'us' time for bump and me, and a chance to completely get away from it all and unwind. Next time I feel like I could do with a daycation, I will be back.
Day passes to use the Ritz Carlton Pool are QAR 350 on weekdays and QAR 250 at weekends. The outdoor area is open from 5.30am until sunset.
I was a guest of the Ritz Carlton Doha this time, but as always, my opinions are my own regardless.