Posted on Thursday, 19th December 2013
After my last visit to the St Regis Doha, the nice folk at the hotel kindly invited me back to try out one of private cabanas at St Regis Doha should I ever come through Doha again. I had a magical stay at The St Regis Doha when I was last in Doha earlier this year. The hotel’s sumptuous décor and fantastic service made for an incredible experience, not to mention our wonderful Friday brunch at the restaurant, Opal by Gordon Ramsay.
Well the opportunity for me to try the private cabana presented itself a few weeks ago when I popped through Doha again. There are ten cabanas at the hotel, each of which cater up to eight guests and are available for daily hire.
We were placed in cabana No.7 which has pride of place right on the beachfront. Note that not all the cabanas have beach views so be sure to ask for one if booking. The views from cabana No.7 were glorious. What a great spot for a bit of sunbaking!
Each cabana contains a living room, a dining table, flat screen TV, his and her bathrooms, a private sundeck with a jacuzzi, plus access to the hotel’s Olympic sized pool and private beach.
The cabana is priced at QR3,000 (about £508) on Fridays and Saturdays, and QR2,000 during the rest of the week (about £339). It’s pricey, but between eight people the cost is not so bad for such an incredible setting for a beach/pool party.
Food can also be ordered from the Caribbean inspired poolside restaurant and bar, The Oyster Bay & Bar. We tried a seafood chowder with sourdough croutons and aioli (QR45 – about £9.20) which was truly yummy. It was generously filled with lots of lobster, and diced carrots and potatoes. Crab fritters with a mango chilli salsa (QR80 – about £16.30) were also very good with a crispy crumbed coating.
An Oyster Bay seafood platter (QR110 – about £22.40) was impressive for its portion size. Consisting of a whole grilled lobster tail, prawns, two large fillets of hammour and calamari, the platter was not only generous for the price, but also extremely fresh with all the elements being well cooked. The hammour (a fish popular in the Middle East) was meaty and particularly tasty. Accompanied by some seasonal greens, there were also some excellent honey mustard sweet potato chips. Although it wasn’t stated on the menu, the platter was big enough to feed two. A chicken club wrap (QR80 – about £16.30) with lettuce and mayonnaise fell a little flat however as it was unremarkable.
To desserts, and a fresh tropical fruit cocktail (QR45 – about £9.20) was really satisfying and boasted of lots of lovely sweet fruit and a delicious coconut ice cream. There was also some honey at the bottom of the glass to sweeten things up, although there was too much of it. A rice pudding (QR45 – about £9.20) was creamy and well made, and its mango syrup topping gave the pudding both sweetness and acidity.
There was much to like about our lunch – what’s there not to like about some good food in the sun. The food was simple, but tasty and well executed, the perfect kind of grub for a poolside day of fun.
The food may have hit the spot really nicely, but the pièce de résistance was the couple’s spa treatment that we had in the privacy of the cabana. Our therapists arrived 10 minutes before schedule to light the aroma oils and candles that created the perfect mood for our sublime massage (60 minutes, QR1,300 per couple – about £220). Our treatments were incredible and left no doubt in our minds that the therapists from the hotel’s world class Remède Spa had been perfectly trained. They brought no music however, but we remedied this by popping our iPod into the docking station to play our own chill out tunes.
The treatments were paired with an afternoon tea containing lots of lovely pastries which we treated ourselves to after our massage. What an incredible way to finish the day!
Note: In the warmer summer months, sunset cruises around downtown Doha on the St Regis speedboat can be arranged through the hotel.
Food rating at the Oyster Bay & Bar: 3.75/5
Spa treatment rating: 4.5/5
The cabana: It’s pretty wonderful and indulgent.