No matter what was achieved in 2015, every one of us has something to celebrate. A new home, advances in jobs, steps taken in relationships, or simply just getting through the year and looking forward to better times ahead...we all deserve to treat ourselves, and this is the time of year to do it.
Rich and I were feeling that way when we checked into the brand new Doubletree by Hilton in Doha Old Town for the weekend. We were coming to the end of the most action packed and life changing year of our lives, and it was time for us to wind down and celebrate.
If treats are what you're after then you'll be more than content with the friendly faces that welcome you at the reception desk and the warm-from-the-oven cookie which is offered on your arrival.
But the best gift of all comes when you enter your room. A spacious yet cosy space looks out across the Corniche over the stunning skyline of West Bay.
Sweet treats, soft furnishings and plush bathrooms add an extra level of comfort.
And the large, comfortable beds adorned with squishy pillows that allow you to siiiiink in slowly are just too good to resist.
You probably won't be surprised to learn that this scene lasted all of five minutes after our arrival, for a huge leap into the depths of the covers was just too much to resist. Mr Sunshine and I were absolutely shattered: I was getting over the flu, was getting bigger by the day and had a busy week of preparing for a work trip to Jordan ahead of me. Mr S had just worked a six day week with a couple of extremely late nights and was pretty much a dead man walking.
A 'Sweet Dreams' experience was just what the doctor ordered.
To add to the feeling of bliss, the staff had organised a specially-tailored massage for me. In my room. Yes, I didn't even have to walk the ten paces to the spa which was just down the corridor from our room on the top floor. Things don't come more festively-decadent than this!
One hour and one head, back and foot massage later, propped up on pillows on the glorious bed, I could have gone to sleep right there and then. But our stomachs were gurgling.
Open restaurant is a terrible place to go if like me you like all food and you're terrible at making decisions. The concept is simple: anything goes, and a fusion of cuisines and flavours await you on the extensive menu.
We, as always opted for a little bit of everything, which we couldn't even come close to finishing. But this is what you're supposed to do at Christmas after all.
The food was well presented but it wasn't ground breaking. Actually, it wasn't remarkable in the slightest. The ambience of the restaurant wasn't upmarket or 'five star' either. However, the staff were absolutely wonderful, the food was served promptly, and if you are looking for a quick bite to eat in a relaxed and friendly environment, then I think you would really like this place.
Finally, it was up to the roof for a cheeky nightcap (mocktail) before retiring to our blissful bed for some Sweet Dreaming.
Pure Sky Lounge is a beautiful space, and the view is truly breathtaking. A real hidden gem for any of you wishing to drink and chat the night away while listening to laid back music. Even on the last day of the week before the new work week began it was heaving.
I can honestly say that I was fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Our Sweet Dreams experience had begun...or had it?!
You really couldn't make the next bit up. At sometime in the night, I guess around 2.30am, we were rudely awoken by the teeth-clenching sound of clanging bells. At first I thought I was dreaming, but it soon became apparent that it was the fire alarm. And it wasn't stopping. We hurriedly got dressed, and walked (waddled) down the 13 flights of stairs to the ground floor lobby, only to be told that everyone was being sent back up to bed. Someone had just been smoking in their room. I don't entirely blame the hotel for this, but when the alarm blared again at 6am, after I had only just managed to get back to sleep half an hour before, I might have cursed it a little under my breath.
My own alarm awake me with a start at 7am. Bleary eyed from the disrupted night, I eventually tore myself from that gorgeous bed. I was late for work, had no time for breakfast and was in a rush to check out, but being handed another warm cookie to munch on in the taxi brought a smile to my weary face once more.
Mr Sunshine's view:
Would definitely recommend this hotel due to its location, views of the stunning Doha skyline and friendly service. I think that a hotel should really be judged first and foremost on how well you have slept and it was with a large slice of irony that we were invited to try out the hotel's 'blissful' mattress only to be woken up twice in the night by fire alarms! The hotel staff were of course entirely blameless and offered a sincere apology in the morning, as well as another warm cookie which I wolfed down on the spot. A quick stop to their breakfast bar and a few cappuccinos later, I felt ready to take on the day, albeit a little bleary-eyed and lacking in conversation! Oh well...as Oscar Wilde once said, "only boring people are brilliant at breakfast".
We were guests of the Doubletree by Hilton this time, but as always all views are my own