What do you look for when searching for a place to call home?
As a travel blogger, I’m no stranger to nosing around hotels (including dozens of other travel bloggers’ hotel rooms on a daily basis on their Insta Stories!) and making decisions about what makes a perfect holiday, but it is not often that I get the opportunity to have a snoop into someone else’s living accommodation and decide on the perfect combination of ingredients to make a place a home. So when Alfardan Properties approached me to ask whether our family would like to leave our apartment behind for a weekend to find out what it would be like to be a resident of Al Gassar Resort, I was intrigued about what I would discover.
Al Gassar Resort is a luxury and exclusive sea-front residence set within the grounds of the iconic St Regis Doha (one of our favourite places in Doha for a staycation), and the luxurious and elite look and feel of the five star hotel extends to the three towers of executive apartments.
Despite already being privy to the exclusive service provided by the resort, I was still taken aback as our taxi pulled into the forecourt, and we were greeted warmly by name, firstly by security, and then by the staff at the front desk. The receptionist, Lovely, genuinely lives up to her name and turned out to be a friendly breath of fresh air throughout our entire stay.
We were staying in a two bedroom sea-view apartment, which looked out across The Corniche to the city skyline beyond. There aren’t many clearer, uninterrupted views of the city anywhere else in Doha.
When I managed to tear myself away from the window, I found myself in a well-appointed, fully-furnished apartment, with contemporary decor and exemplary attention to detail. The rooms were all large and family-friendly, with plenty of seating and soft furnishings, and spaces for socialising and lounging alike.
Much like the furniture and layout, the interior design was elegant and well-considered. Monochrome prints and fabrics were punctuated by splashes of colour in the artwork and ornamentation.
The kitchen included all of the white goods that you would expect, and was fully kitted out with pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy this place would have been to move into when we first arrived in Qatar with nothing but a couple of suitcases of belongings to our name.
I was excited to discover that the apartment also housed not one, not two but THREE bathrooms (one each!): a guest closet off the living room and two others with walk-in rain showers.
My favourite rooms, however, were the bedrooms – the smaller of the two contained twin beds and the master had floor to ceiling windows which looked out over ‘that view’, as well as comfy armchairs, a flat screen TV, and a huge, comfy yet luxurious leather king sized bed.
By the time we’d finished exploring, it was well past Sophia’s bed time, and when she refused to go down in the cot that they had kindly set up for us in the master bedroom, we allowed her to climb beneath the sheets of the king sized bed in between us, which she much preferred (let’s face it, with a mattress as comfy as that, who could blame her?!) and she soon drifted off into peaceful slumbers.
The Services and Facilities
The next two days were spent exploring all that Al Gassar has to offer, and making the most of every moment. We had decided to treat the weekend as we would any staycation, and the free internet, concierge and housekeeping service certainly helped us to feel as though we were staying in a five star hotel rather than a normal place of residence. Satish and his team who came to clean our room each day were incredibly efficient and accommodating, and graciously accepted us adjusting the time that we’d asked them to come and clean the room on several occasions because we juuuust needed an extra half an hour in bed.
The communal pool on the second floor was top of our list of facilities to make use of during our stay. We met a group of friends down there and for a few blissful hours, Sophia enjoyed splashing around with the other toddlers in the children’s pool, while I enjoyed a few rare moments soaking up the rays from one of the many loungers that were dotted about.
The pool area is spacious, and designed around relaxation and family life, with two pools, a jacuzzi, a BBQ area and picnic tables. Next to the pool terrace is the Terrace Restaurant, which has a pub-like feel and serves excellent bar food and alcoholic beverages – a handy place to grab a poolside snack or to meet friends for a game of pool.
Outside Tower 1, there is also a fun, animal-themed children’s playground which Sophia loved! Bar the swings at nursery, it was actually her first experience of a proper little park and once we’d introduced her to it, it was rather difficult to tear her away! Of course, we had to return at least two more times over the weekend to visit the ‘baa baa!’ again!
Besides the pool and playground, there are several other facilities which we weren’t able to take advantage of during our stay, including:
- Private tennis courts
- Fully-equipped gym and changing rooms, with personal trainer and regular yoga and fitness classes
- Steam room
- Limousine and golf cart services
The Icing on the Cake
Probably the most exciting thing about Al Gassar Resort is the exclusive, FREE access that tenants receive to the facilities of the St Regis. We headed over there to lounge beside the huge, luxury swimming pool and ordered snacks…
We sat and watched the sun go down from the white, sandy beach..
We ate supper at Astor Bar & Grill, one of our favourite St Regis restaurants, where the staff are super friendly, the steaks juicy and soft as butter and, like all of the St Regis’ restaurants, all Al Gassar residents receive 10% off their bill.
The Concierge App which I downloaded on my phone kept me up to date with exclusive entertainment and wellness offers such as spa day discounts and cut price meals, and I could even reserve a table at one of several restaurants around Doha using the App. I tried it out and received a call back from the restaurant within two minutes, asking for my table requirements. I was blown away by the efficiency of it all!
In summary, the whole package was perfect. A weekend that started off as an opportunity to snoop into the life of someone else became so much more to us – a retreat; a holiday; a couple of days of pure luxury and pampering.
This video summarises the kinds of things that all three of us will be looking from now on in any future home:
I have a feeling that Al Gassar will be difficult to beat.
Al Gassar Resort, West Bay, 2999 Doha
For enquiries & viewings, call: (+974) 4440 8908, or email: email@example.com
We were guests of Al Fardan Properties this time, but as always all views are my own.