the fp is region-hotels
Where to stay in Qatar
Doha has an increasing number of glitzy, five-star hotels, with manmade white sand beaches cropping up along the coastline. The West Bay area is currently home to the city’s glitziest addresses, including the W, and the Four Seasons, while other five-star chains have opened on the Pearl and beach areas in between. Most of the 5-star options are exquisitely packaged with marble flooring, silken drapes and Persian carpets and they all compete in the 'extreme art' of flower-arranging. Most are very family friendly, as the hotels serve a dual purpose; besides accommodation, they also tend to be where expats gather to eat, drink and socialise, as alcohol is only available in the bars of international hotels. On Fridays (the equivalent of our Saturday) luxury hotels are full of expat families eating brunch and lazing by the pool or on the beach.
The new vogue in the city is for boutique hotels, and there are now five ‘Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels’ which give you the chance to stay right at the heart of the souq. Prices and luxury levels are still five star, in spite of the boutique tag. The area around Souq Waqif is also where many of the cheaper, smaller hotels can be found, which offer more budget accommodation (although there’s little in the city that’s actually cheap).
Beyond the city, there are fewer options. Most of the other towns are little more than Qatar Oil compounds, which cannot be entered unless in the presence of an employee. For those prepared to drive into the hinterland, bungalow or chalet-style rooms, at Mesaieed for example, make an attractive alternative to Doha's international-style accommodation.
Grading: Hotels are graded from 1 to 5 stars.
Bed and breakfast
The B&B as a concept has not really reached Qatar yet.
All tour operators organise overnight camping in the desert near Khor al-Adaid. With kebabs spitting over the fire, stars spangling the sky and the dulcet voice of your guide intoning Arabic poetry, this can be a highlight of a trip to Qatar. There are no public camping grounds and wild camping usually requires expert use of a 4-wheel drive. Dukhan Beach is a popular spot for overnight free-camping.