Where is it?
The Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha opened in 2010 and is located on the grounds of the old international airport. It has ever since the opening been used extensively for transit passengers with a long connection and by those who prefer to stay close to the airport. The hotel is still used for this purpose with its location around 4 km from the new Hamad International airport. There is a 24-hour free transfer bus between the new Hamad airport and the hotel.
Although the main city centre is a few kilometres away the Corniche and the business district in downtown Doha can still easily be reached by taxi with just a few minutes drive from the hotel.
The arrival experience
I arrived quite late in the evening using the free shuttle bus from Hamad international airport, which was very easy and straight-forward to use. The reception desk was on the immediate right when entering the hotel, just before the large lobby with the large atrium. There were several staff members working at the front desk and I was immediately checked in. As the hotel to a large extent caters to airline transfer passengers there are activities in the hotel and staff available around the clock with guests arriving well after midnight to check in and others leaving in the middle of the night to catch an early morning flight.
As this was just before christmas there were plenty of christmas decorations in the lobby area, including a large christmas tree.
I was assigned a rather spacious Classic Room with a large king bed. The room measured 35 sqm and other than the large king-sized bed it also had a sofa, a large work desk, a TV and a closet.
The room was very elegantly decorated in mostly dark colours. You could easily notice the hotel is fairly new as everything was in an excellent condition.
The room also featured a large bathroom with a walk-in shower, toilet and wash basin.
Unfortunately there was not much of a view from the room, overlooking an industrial area with warehouses and a carpark. Those guests staying on the opposite side of the hotel would get a view of the old airport, which nowadays is empty after the opening of the Hamad International Airport.
Food and drinks
There are several restaurants in the hotel including an international restaurant called “Choices”, a lobby lounge bistro called “Sky Lounge”, a Jazz Club and steakhouse, a Mediterranean restaurant called “The Cellar” serving tapas and fine wines, and a Lebanese restaurant.
Although Qatar is an islamic country where alcohol is not part of the culture and in many cases strictly prohibited, hotels are usually allowed to serve alcoholic beverages and this also includes the Rotana Hotel.
The hotel has a large and rather impressive atrium with a nice design and with plenty of seating on the ground floor. For guests staying for business purposes there are 11 meeting rooms and there are also two ballrooms for larger events.
For those wishing to relax or exercise there is a fitness club called “Bodylines Leisure & Fitness Club” with a large gym and a spa area with jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath, with separate sections for men and women. The fitness centre also offers different massages and body treatments at a charge.
Just outside there is a large outdoor swimming pool, open from early morning until late evening.
The service was very friendly and attentive throughout the hotel, including the front desk, the restaurants, the fitness club and the concierge. All requests were quickly taken care of, nothing whatsoever to complain about.
Breakfast was served in the Choices Restaurant on the first floor with an extensive buffet-style breakfast with both western and eastern options. The restaurant is located next to the swimming pool where there are more seats and table. In the morning the doors between the restaurant and the pool area are opened which means breakfast guests can sit outdoors to have breakfast if they prefer.
Plenty of facilities, excellent service, large rooms and a nice and modern interior. Not much too complain about. However although the hotel offers everything one might need during a stay the location is a bit off from the city centre and it is more of a transit hotel for shorter stays than a proper city hotel for extended stays.