When you have a baby, it is a very rare occasion when every member of the family gets a chance to relax, unwind and have fun at the same time. One parent at least is usually on edge, making sure that the baby is safe and content and I can guarantee that at any one moment in time, at least two of the three of us will be absolutely, utterly exhausted. So when the Four Seasons Hotel here in Doha invited us along for a family-friendly, luxury staycation the other weekend, we jumped at the chance. My mind was already beside the pool, mocktail in hand, one eye on Mr Sunshine and Baby Sunshine frolicking in the water in front of me.
So was reality as blissful as I had imagined it to be? Read on to find out…
We were staying in the Ambassador Suite, which included a spacious living and dining room, bedroom with queen-sized bed, dressing room, marbled bathroom and two Juliette balconies overlooking the sweeping curve of the Corniche below, and out to the tranquil waters of the Persian Gulf.
In the bedroom, a cot had been set up at our request, and we discovered some useful baby supplies on the night stand, along with the cutest little Four Seasons-embossed baby slippers!
These thoughtful touches extended to the provisions we found in the living area, including munchies for mum and dad…
But more importantly, two pots of freshly puréed baby food, complete with spoon and bibs for the little one. As it was nearing lunch time by the time we’d checked in and finished exploring, Sophia was getting hungry so we didn’t hesitate in tucking right in.
For the duration of our stay, we kept the large double doors between the bedroom and living room open, and Sophia enjoyed crawling around and exploring the expansive, sun-filled space…
And playing on the large, squishy bed…
I made the most of the Crabtree & Evelyn products that I found in the bathroom by taking long, hot showers and a soak in the deep bathtub…
And Mr Sunshine flicked between the football on TV, and the magazines on display.
It wasn’t long before we all felt completely relaxed and at home.
The Pool & Beach Area
The pools at the Four Seasons are some of my favourites in Doha, as they are shaped like natural-looking lagoons surrounded by palm trees, flowers and foliage, making you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a tropical paradise.
There are waterfalls and jacuzzis, a warm children’s pool and even cave-like pools hidden at various levels amongst the rocks.
The sunloungers are plentiful, and you can choose between sitting in the sunshine, or beneath one of the shaded cabanas.
A hop, step and a jump away lies a large and sweeping beach, with fine white sand and a Maldives-like vibe.
Several blissful hours were spent nipping between our sun loungers, the sand and the pools, and our happy baby didn’t stop giggling the whole time that we were there! Not only did we all have an incredibly fun afternoon, but I was even able to fit in a bit of sunbathing, which for a busy mum like me, is almost unheard of. Huge thanks to Mr Sunshine for keeping Sophia entertained while I relaxed!
Here’s an aerial shot of the hotel’s grounds, as seen from our balcony. Can you spot Sophia and me?!
Not only did I manage to enjoy the sun, but I also got the chance to nip away for a quick treatment while we were there. It was my first in almost nine months, so I was buzzing with excitement as I entered the doors of the spa.
The Four Seasons Spa is housed within its own three-storey building, offering a wide range of health and wellness therapies inside each of its 11 treatment rooms, and the hydrotherapy facilities are some of the most impressive I’ve seen.
I was there however, for the ninety minute Biologique Recherche facial, a treatment which encorporates a comprehensive computerised skin assessment which allows the beautician to customise your facial using techniques and products that are best-suited to your individual skincare needs.
Two dreamy hours later, I left feeling rejeuvenated, with plump skin which hadn’t glowed in that way since the early days of my pregnancy.
Breakfast is held in Elements, which long-time readers will know is one of my favourite Doha restaurants. Having never visited at this hour, however, I was taken aback by the enormous range of breakfast options available.
Live stations are dotted about the restaurant, and nothing is impossible for the kind waiting staff, who fetched and carried dishes, moved tables and customised our order to make sure everything was just right for us and Sophia.
The end result was a table with a view and laden with goodies, from a Full English breakfast, pastries and fruit smoothies, to Dim Sum and even Dosa. For once, all three of us sat in silence as we sat back to enjoy our food.
Lunch on both days that we were there came courtesy of the Pool Grill, which we initially enjoyed beside the pool on our sun loungers. Salted and crisp calamari; delicate, flakey salmon; and sushi and salads that tasted fresh and delicious were consumed at a rate of knots.
In fact, Sophia enjoyed her food so much that she proceeded to shovel several fistfuls into her mouth at once, inevitably making quite a mess…
So the next day we opted for a more civilised sit-down lunch at the Pool Grill’s pretty terrace which looks out over the beach.
The pizza was stunning, but the star of the show was the tender steak, which the knife sliced through like butter and which practically melted in the mouth.
Dinner was held at the restaurant’s acclaimed Italian, Il Teatro, and having not had a proper date night for several weeks, we were pretty excited about this one.
Chef Marco Alotti heads up a kitchen of talented chefs whose passion is evident in every morsel of food.
We selected as broadly as we could from the menu, which has been newly revised for the Winter, and sat back to enjoy the warm breeze on the terrace while Sophia snoozed in her pram and we devoured everything that was placed in front of us. Each dish was perfectly executed, but the real stand-outs included the flavourful amuse bouche; the earthy scallops with crisp pollenta chips; the delicately-truffled tortellini with moreish pecorino cheese sauce which demanded to be mopped up with the bread left in the bread basket; and the Chilean Seabass, which had been cooked to perfection with a soft and silky texture which paired beautifully with the slightly sweet and perfectly-seasoned sauce.
From the moment we set foot in the hotel, the service we encountered was incomparable. Some might think that this is a given in any luxury five star hotel, but in all of our travels, there have only been a handful occasions where the service has been faultless, and our experience at the Four Seasons was one of them.
We were welcomed to the pool and restaurants by name. The staff were considerate and courteous, without appearing over-bearing. Most importantly, they were welcoming and friendly to Sophia, accepting of her mess(!) and kind and thoughtful in everything they did to make us all feel relaxed and well-catered for.
From the incredibly thoughtful provisions that were left for us in our room, to the stunning surroundings and world class food, everything about our stay at the Four Seasons was both luxurious and relaxing. I was surprised that a luxury brand was able to make us feel so at home and comfortable, and even more surprised by the family-friendly touches that permeated everything we did and saw. Would I change anything? Well, everyone knows that I am a sucker for a cup of tea, so I could say that some fresh milk in the fridge in our room would have been lovely. I could also tell you that the bath towels could have been slightly bigger. But then it would be obvious to you all that I was desperately scraping the barrel for some ‘constructive feedback’.
In short, everything we experienced during our staycation was a delight.
After we had returned home that night, Sophia slept longer and more soundly than she had ever slept. She had enjoyed herself so much that she’d completely worn herself out.
Four Seasons Doha, you can be sure that I’ll be booking in our next staycation very soon!
Four Seasons Hotel, The Corniche, Doha | (+974) 4494 8888
To read more in my Doha Staycation series, head here.
We were guests of the Four Seasons Hotel this time, but as always all views are my own