At the end of 2016, we were invited to attend the World Luxury Hotel Awards which was being held in Doha. With this kind of event being right up our alley (and just a hop, skip, and jump away from Dubai), we RSVP’d “yes” immediately. When it came to booking a hotel for our night in Doha, we asked the experts at WLHA for suggestions (because who better to ask than the organisation that recognises the best of the best in luxury hotels???).
The superstars that they are, WLHA came through with the recommendation of The Torch Doha, a towering 51-floor hotel in the heart of Aspire Zone, Doha’s Sports City. And with that in place, we were off for an evening of rubbing elbows with hoteliers and hospitality industry elites from all around the world.
The Torch Doha looms a stonking 300 metres high and is decadently equipped with 360° views of the city. It is unabashedly modern, glittering with lights and proudly standing as an iconic beacon along the Doha skyline. About 20 minutes from both Qatar International Airport and the city centre, the hotel is a particularly fab choice for business travellers and sports enthusiasts.
When we arrived in our room, we discovered a table with welcome treats and an iPad that was just screaming “play with me!” The Torch Doha is one of those fabulously hooked-up hotels that offers in-room controls via tablet, allowing you to do everything from setting up mood lighting (there are 12 different colours to choose from) to opening or drawing the curtains to controlling the TV. We may or may not have spent far too much time playing with the iPad and trying out every single mood lighting setting.
All together, The Torch Doha has 132 modern deluxe rooms, 24 junior suites, 4 executive suites, and 3 diplomatic suites, spread out across the 51 floors. And yes, they’re all equipped with the iPad In-Room Solution set up!
Unfortunately, our stay was so short and jam-packed that we couldn’t really take advantage of the hotel’s dining options, which include the Flying Carpet (a rather theatrical all-day restaurant that has carpets suspended over head and international cuisine theme nights ranging from Italian to street food), THREE SIXTY (a revolving restaurant which has recently been nominated as a finalist for the World Luxury Restaurant Awards), and the Torch Tea Garden (a high-end but whimsical-looking lounge for light nibbles and afternoon tea). There are also several other lounges where you can settle in for a couple of hours as you sip on a mocktail or a cuppa and take in the cool hotel vibe. (By the way, just FYI, the hotel does not serve alcohol.)
If you really want to take advantage of The Torch Doha’s fab vantage point, make your way to the cantilevered swimming pool on the 19th floor. That’s right. We said “cantilevered”. It’s a very cool feature that’s quite a thrill when you think about how you’re 80 metres above the ground but we have to say that we’re very relieved it wasn’t one of those clear bottom pools!
There’s also a state-of-the-art gym, a steam room, sauna, and four treatment rooms if you’re not too keen on heights!
Although our stay was short, it was still delightful and we’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to check out such a cool hotel in Doha. The staff and service were exceptional, the room was very comfortable, and the entire building is very impressive!
Staying here is definitely an experience and you can bet that, should we find ourselves staying at The Torch Doha again, we’ll still have far too much fun fiddling with the in-room controls and setting up our room so it’s just right. 😉
We also snagged a short Q&A with The Torch Doha’s General Manager, Sherif Sabry, which you can read below!
Ed. note: some answers have been edited for clarity
Please tell us more about your background?
I started my career in the banking business for seven years, followed by 28 years in hotel sales and marketing department, mainly with Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton.
What inspired you to join the property?
A new challenge as a standalone operation, which gives the chance to benefit from long experience with international hotel chains.
How would you describe the hotel in one sentence?
Best service provider in Qatar.
How do you maintain individuality apart from of course the amazing design of the property?
Focusing on employee relation and training.
Could you describe the hotels planning around the architecture and interior design? Where did the concept come from? Who were the Architects/Designers?
The Olympic Torch is the shape of the hotel, designed by the architect Hadi Simaan.
What makes your property so special in the region?
Design and services.
Who is your target audience and duration of stay?
All segments, with an average of 2.2 nights.
How are you ensuring ongoing year on year growth of the property?
Penetrating new markets and seeking additional source of businesses, such as management and consultations.
What’s the best suite in the hotel for you and why?
The Diplomat Suite on the 37th floor—it occupies the whole floor with nice features.
How do you maintain consistency in your service levels for customers?
We are proud that we have more than 120 employees working since the opening, including all heads of department, so the key is employee relationships and development.
Why gives you the edge over competitors when it comes to attracting top talent?
Your favorite hotel in the world – the one you aspire to be?
I never worked in resorts so apart from such properties, I admire most the Sheraton Doha Hotel which has a unique structure and facilities.
One word to describe your hotel
One word to describe your hotel as an employer
Al Waab Street, Aspire Zone, Doha, Qatar