The interior design of St Regis Doha humanises the imposing space of the building
Qatar’s first St Regis hotel, which opened its doors in Doha earlier this year, is a blend of timeless style and Middle Eastern inspiration.
Heralding a new era of luxury hospitality in the country and boosting its offering of ultra-luxury hospitality brands, the St Regis Doha is part of the new magnificent Al Gassar Resort located in West Bay, the emerging commercial heart of the city.
The imposing building has been designed by Dar Al Handasah, which has created a building on a grand scale, providing a showcase of contemporary design fused with traditional Arabic touches. Straight lines and sharp edges are combined with innovative finishes that transform traditional architecture into the desired contemporary backdrop. A distinctive feature of the hotel, that exudes a Middle Eastern aura, is its sandy tones and regal stonework set against the azure waves of the Arabian Gulf – an aspect echoed in the expansive entrance lobbies that greet its discerning high-profile guests. “The interior design humanises the imposing space of the building, turning the St Regis Doha into an elegant and contemporary venue, with timeless interiors. The overall design highlights the hotel’s unique location and shows great respect for the building’s architecture,” says a spokesman for the hotel.
The hotel has already received two major accolades at this year’s 19th Middle East World Travel Awards, as Qatar’s newest luxury destination continues to win international praise for its luxury and quality of service.
Sheer elegance: St Regis suite
(above) and Sarab Lounge (top)
Billed as the “finest address in Doha”, the hotel’s two reflecting towers, each consisting of 13 floors, feature 336 luxuriously-appointed guest rooms, including 70 elegant suites and two 600-sq-m Presidential suites, all offering breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf. It also has an entire floor of 4,000-sq-m versatile meeting and event space, and extensive recreational facilities including Remède Spa, an Olympic-size swimming pool and beachfront cabanas with private Jacuzzis. All guest rooms and suites feature custom-made furnishings, silk wall coverings and beautiful antiques.
“St Regis Hotels and Resorts exemplify luxury, elegance and impeccable service. With the opening of this magnificent hotel, Starwood continues to lengthen its lead in luxury hospitality, offering guests exceptional levels of service in a wide range of destinations around the world,” says Roeland Vos, president, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East.
The internationally-acclaimed Wilson Associates has designed the lobby, the guestrooms and suites, the meetings and events space, the leisure facilities and five of the restaurants/lounges while Rockwell Group Europe, Woods Bagot and Gatserelia Design hold credit for the hotel’s five other restaurants.
Plush fabrics: Vintage bar (top) and
reception area featuring custom-
made glass chandelier (below)
ELEGANT AND CONTEMPORARY
“The St Regis Doha is elegant and contemporary, which makes its interiors timeless – void of trend and pomp. The monochromatic tones in the architectural finishes create a subtly luxurious backdrop that complements the various fabric textures, bold carpet patterns, decorative lighting displays and bespoke furniture,” says a spokesman for
The hotel’s lobby and reception area employ great vertical scale, which infuses the space with an air of polished grandeur. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by imposing custom-made glass chandeliers that hang from the 10-m-high ceiling. An indoor water garden tiled with fine mosaics pervades the space with a sense of calm.
Murals of old and new Doha guide the guest to the lower level lobby lounge, which utilises the same finishes as the main lobby and circulation space above. Oversized, movable screens inspired by traditional mashrabiya separate the indoor seating from a small landscaped area on the motor court side. Venetian-style glass chandeliers and sconces complement the neutral colour palette; and turquoise accents add softness to this modern space.
The guest rooms and suites are light-filled spaces featuring exceptional furnishings. The doorframes are influenced by classic Arabic design as are the rich, distinctive fabrics used in the bespoke furniture. The signature St Regis branded bed, renowned for its craftsmanship and comfort, is made with the finest crisp-white Egyptian cotton. The warm colour palette is accentuated by rich punches of colour. The custom millwork cabinetry used in the bathrooms features ornate laser cut-outs reminiscent of traditional mashrabiya patterns. The two presidential suites span across two floors with 180-degree sea and city views, and feature a private elevator, a majestic staircase leading to the bedrooms, bespoke furniture, and more.
The hotel offers an entire floor of luxurious meeting space spread over 4,000 sq m including Doha’s largest naturally-lit ballroom, four meeting rooms and a VIP suite designed to accommodate heads of states.
Adorned with grand crystal chandeliers, golden walls and bespoke chinaware, the 1,850-sq-m ballroom can host up to 1,500 guests, while the four meeting rooms – all enjoying natural daylight – offer versatile space for exclusive meetings, interactive workshops, intimate receptions and more.
Casual & light: Vine, the all-day
SLEEK AND SOPHISTICATED
The meetings and events spaces, located on the lower level, evoke a refined elegance, combining contemporary architectural detailing with traditional furnishings, lighting and textiles.
While designing the luxury leisure facilities that spread over an area of 16,000 sq m, Wilson Associates used a pristine colour palette giving the first Remède Spa in the Middle East a sleek and sophisticated look. This is complemented by the use of Italian Calcutta marble, glass mosaic tiles, polished nickel accents and light coloured textiles.
The spa will feature 22 treatment rooms, pre- and post-treatment lounges, experience showers and sauna, as well as Jacuzzis for men and women. Guests can also enjoy facilities such as an ultra-modern fitness centre, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a private beach with 10 beachfront cabanas.
St Regis Doha boasts two Gordon Ramsay restaurants: the Gordon Ramsay Doha will offer fine-dining experiences in an intimate setting while the Opal by Gordon Ramsay Doha will serve Western classics in a bistro-style environment.
The interior setting of both these restaurants as well as the Astor Grill has been designed by the Rockwell Group Europe.
Contemporary charm: Vine
restaurant (top) and the Empire
Suite living room
The Gordon Ramsay Doha restaurant is modelled after an elegant, sprawling English manor, with a wide range of indoor and outdoor spaces and experiences. The design is a modern take on the features of a classical manor, with lots of ivory whites, greys, and touches of warm colour. The arrival experience is defined by an indoor conservatory furnished with sofas and chairs that reinterpret the classic Chesterfield sofa in contemporary fashion and fabrics.
The promenade to Opal by Gordon Ramsay takes visitors through the wine cellar with a series of four-m-high Zebrano wood portals becoming pendant lights above the display and wine tasting cabinets.
Opal’s dining room boasts panoramic views over the Doha bay framed by a large window centrally located in the room. The screen enclosure around the dining area is in a bronze mesh with a landscape image printed on felt. These translucent screens separate the circulation from the dining experience while allowing views into the Opal dining room. The furniture of the outdoor dining terrace is designed to be a contemporary interpretation of British garden furniture.
The Astor Grill features a striking five-m-high smoke sculpture at its entrance, setting the stage for the restaurant. The curving sculpture in a champagne bronze colour over a dark grey marble forms a dramatic focal point of the lobby of the hotel – a dynamic contrast with the classical environment. The form is an abstraction of a plume of smoke frozen in space, inspired by the latest works of the British artist Tony Cragg. The architectural experience created by the smoke sculpture continues throughout the entrance with a faceted mirror that reflects the energy of the food preparation for those who are arriving.
In the main dining space, a dimensional landscape of pine wood pieces of different lengths hangs from the ceiling, creating a visual contrast between the organic barrel vault and the raised geometric leather dining enclosure. The warmth of the materials that define the dining rooms is emphasised by the deep red leather dining chairs.
Vintage, Vine, Jazz at Lincoln Centre Doha, Oyster Bay & Bar and Sarab Lounge have been designed by Wilson Associates.
Five restaurants, namely Vintage, the champagne and cigar bar, is an opulent area featuring an onyx bar, gold glass mosaic tiles and plush velvet fabrics. In contrast, Vine – the all-day dining venue – is a casual, light and airy space featuring Calcutta marble and Maple wood. Modern geometric patterns are carried throughout the space through the use of custom-designed carpets, decorative lighting, screen partitions and wall coverings.
Draped walls, plush red velvet upholstery and decorative hand-blown glass lighting fixtures give Jazz at Lincoln Centre Doha a theatrical and dramatic vibe reminiscent of the 1920s art deco period. The venue at the St Regis Doha is the first-ever associated with the New York City-based jazz centre outside of America. The mural featured in the double-height space is a reinterpretation of a Maxfield Parrish mural from the King Cole bar at the St Regis New York. Crescent-shaped banquette seating creates intimacy in this grand space.
Oyster Bay & Bar is a Caribbean-inspired pool restaurant and bar offering casual dining while Sarab Lounge is the venue of choice for those seeking a touch of decadence in an elegant setting with the soothing sound of live saxophone performance as backdrop music.
Hakkasan, by Woods Bagot, will feature traditional, contemporary and abstract elements when it opens later this year. The dark interior is balanced with bespoke light fittings, backlight blue glass and Onyx stone panels. Honed limestone floors are divided by Iroko wood panels to reveal private and discrete dining spaces.
Gatserelia Design fashioned the interiors of Al Sultan Brahim at the hotel, one of Lebanon’s most famed restaurants, which is best known for its seafood and Lebanese cuisine.
ABOUT ST REGIS
The St Regis Doha marks the second of three St Regis hotels slated to debut within a year in the Middle East, including The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which opened last December; and The St Regis Abu Dhabi hotel, which will open later this year on the Corniche.
Owned by Resorts Development Company (RDC) and developed and managed by Alfardan Group, the St Regis Doha features 10 distinctive culinary experiences including Gordon Ramsay and Hakkasan restaurants, the region’s first Remède Spa and the first Jazz at Lincoln Centre jazz club outside the US.