Accommodation Qatar

Quick staycation at Oryx Rotana Doha, Qatar

oryx rotana doha qatar sky lounge

After a long exhausting work week, all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep in my bed. I, however, gladly traded the much-needed rest for a quick staycation at one of the 5-star hotels in town: Oryx Rotana.

Location and Check-in

Oryx Rotana stands behind the Qatar Airways Towers along Old Airport Street. The luxurious business hotel is only a 15-minute drive from Hamad International Airport and a few minutes away from the Corniche. The rest of the points of interest in Doha are a short ride away. The hotel is easy to locate via Google Maps.

The staff warmly welcomed me upon my arrival. After passing through the security check, I found the check-in counters on the right side of the lobby.

Although the check-in process was a breeze which was a good start, I was waiting for welcome drinks, but they may have forgotten to offer some. When I checked out, though, I saw a small welcome drink station.

oryx rotana doha qatar lobby

Style and Character

The facade may look unassuming, but step inside Oryx Rotana and you’ll be surprised with its sophisticated aesthetics and eye-catching architecture.

The lobby and reception are awash in warm lighting and clean lines, decorated in contemporary style.

The Sky Lounge and the atrium will make you swoon. It is located right at the center of the hotel. The lounge boasts of stylish chairs and curved floor lamps. The high slanted glass ceiling floods the lounge with natural light during the day.

The hotel’s contemporary design can be seen in every corner. It was done seamlessly, translating to a luxurious finish.

oryx rotana doha qatar atrium

Service and Facilities

Opened in 2010, Oryx Rotana Hotel has 400 deluxe rooms that include Club Rotana rooms and 11 meeting rooms including 2 large function rooms.

Guest rooms are separated into two wings connected by the atrium. Public spaces can be accessed from the rooms via the elevators at the center, affording one a nice view of the restaurants and other hotel facilities on the ground floor and lobby.

From Choices, the all-day dining restaurant, one can view the pool and the Sky Lounge that is easily accessible from Bodylines.

Staff were polite and helpful during my stay, especially in the dining outlets.

There is also a well-equipped Business Centre on the first floor for business travelers, which is open for 24 hours. And free parking is available

Oryx Rotana Classic Suite

The living room and dining area welcomed me as I entered the suite. A separate toilet stood by the door.

Welcome treats were arranged on the coffee table beside the sofa, ready to be sampled. There were also fresh fruits available on top of the dining table. A quick glimpse outside shows a not so appealing view of the city, so I didn’t bother to open the curtains.

oryx rotana doha qatar classic suite living room welcome treats

The desk is situated by the window, while the TV, stack of magazines, telephone, complimentary bottled water, and tea and coffee making facilities are directly in front of the couches.

The bedroom is quite spacious. Dark wood and neutral tones dominate the space.

The room also has a wardrobe with ample storage. The safety deposit box, iron and ironing board, and shoeshine kit can also be found inside the wardrobe. Minibar and snacks are also available.

I really liked the thick slippers, which added to the luxurious feel of the room (unlike the thin floppy standard ones offered by most hotels).

oryx rotana classic suite bedroom

The bathroom is spacious as well, with a tub fit for one and separate rooms for toilet and shower facilities. I also liked the L’Occitane toiletries provided. Their robe is thick enough.

The full-length mirror, however, is in the hallway outside the room.

oryx rotana classic suite bathroom shower tub amenities

What I found missing was the usual welcome letter that I like seeing at 5-star properties. I guess some hotels don’t bother with it anymore, but for me, it’s still a nice touch to make a stay feel personalized.

After getting up early to prepare for the gym, I tried to make tea. Tried because when I opened the tea kettle, it was still dirty. I didn’t bother cleaning it up and just informed the hotel about it. I also had a mishap with the room’s air conditioning unit. I waited and waited for it to cool, but apparently, the vents had a problem. It was remedied in the morning with a call to the front office, thanks to their engineering staff.

Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club

After my late lunch at The Cellar, I headed straight to Bodylines for a much-needed massage.  Upon registration, I was whisked away by Rain, their therapist, to the lockers and then to the sauna for a few minutes to help me relax and open up my pores. Although Rain is Thai, she is well-versed in other kinds of massage like Swedish, Balinese, and Shiatsu. It was also fun chatting with her about my travels to Thailand a few years ago.

oryx rotana doha qatar bodylines

I told her to offer me whatever kind of massage she wants as long as the pressure is light. It was a relaxing one-hour session topped off with hot tea. Next time, I’ll make sure to try the jacuzzi as well.

The hotel also has a fully-equipped gym and temperature-controlled outdoor pool.

oryx rotana doha qatar swimming pool

Offers: as of Mar 5 2018
The Spa offers a variety of treatments, one of which is the Argan oil body treatment. Check here to see more details on the spa and massage treatments.
Bodylines also offers Pilates and Muay Thai kickboxing classes, as well as swimming lessons.

Oryx Rotana Dining

The Cellar

The newly renovated Mediterranean restaurant was my first stop. Thanks to the Xpress Lunch, I was still in time for late lunch. I was alone on the table, quietly devouring the well-prepared dishes. Little did I know that the gentlemen on the nearby table were quietly observing me, growing curious how I was able to manage all that food. In the end, I had a short chat with one of them who happened to be one of The Cellar’s loyal patrons. He regaled me with stories of The Cellar and Oryx Rotana’s transitions while I ate the Paella with gusto.

The salad was spot-on, although the chicken sauce was a bit salty for me. And while the fish was a little bland to my liking, their Paella is something to write home about. It was simple, yet packed with flavors. If you end up ordering only one thing at The Cellar, make sure it’s their Paella!

The interior is quite masculine and has that ambiance of a speakeasy bar. Their iPad menu reminds you, though, that we are indeed living in the digital age. It’s a nice modern touch, but it would have been better if it took longer for the iPad to go on sleep mode.

Offers: as of Mar 5 2018
Xpress Lunch from 12 PM to 4 PM – 3-course menu for QR95
Friday & Saturday Lazy Lunch from 12:30 PM to 7:00 PM – 3-course menu for QR95 + QR 90 for unlimited selected house beverages. Check here for more weekly offers.

Club Rotana Lounge

After the relaxing massage at Bodylines, I took the chance to stop by at the Club Rotana Lounge. Although small compared with that of other hotels I’ve been, the lounge still offered the same highly personalized hospitality that club lounges are known for. Guests who have access to the Club Rotana Lounge can enjoy complimentary evening beverages, special breakfast menu, afternoon tea, and evening canapés in an intimate setting with plenty of seating and reading materials.

oryx rotana club rotana lounge

Al Nafourah Garden

For dinner, the newly-renovated Al Nafourah Garden was the best option to enjoy Doha’s cool weather and Levantine dishes. The best seats for me are those along the gazebos beside the outdoor fountain, running along the middle of the restaurant.

al nafourah garden oryx rotana doha qatar

We sampled their hot and cold mezze, grills, and cocktails. The seafood grill was my favorite as well as their mojitos. The tiramisu dessert was a little out of place and didn’t really impress us.

Sports fans will delight in the huge television screens strewn around the restaurant. A variety of shisha flavors are also available.

al nafourah garden food oryx rotana

In-Room dining

Since I ate a lot the night before, I made sure to get up early to go to the gym. Famished from the workout, I ordered a light breakfast from in-room dining to help me start my day.

I decided to pass on their Complete Set Breakfast, because I wanted to be ready for the Friday Brunch at Oryx. Traditional Qatari dishes are also available as well as beverage choices.

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Choices restaurant

Since I had good memories of my first dining experience at Choices during their Pinoy Fiesta Night last year, I had high hopes for their relaunched and improved Friday Brunch. And indeed, this brunch embodied its name. There were more choices both for food and drinks.

This time, you will enjoy an l array of international food selections not only from Choices but also from the hotel’s other outlets. There was a station for tapas and cold cuts from The Cellar and grills from Al Nafourah.

There’s a lot of food stations to check out. There were salad and appetizers station, Indian station, Arabic station, pizza station, fried station, Peking duck station, dumpling station, sushi station, nachos station, plus live cooking stations such as the pasta station and seafood station. They even have chefs going around the dining area to offer risotto cooked in a cheese wheel and churros.

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Tried the relaunched and improved Friday Brunch at Choices restaurant of Oryx Rotana Doha last weekend. They definitely lived up to the "choices" part! Lots of live cooking stations, different cuisines, kids zone, outdoor BBQ, live jazz band, desserts, and lots of drink stations too! . They even have an After Brunch Reload at The Cellar if you want unlimited house beverages after the big buffet. . But wait, there's more! ? . They currently have an ongoing promo: Pay for two full priced brunches and you can stay for free in a double room on Fridays! (Valid until March 31, 2018) . Want to know my favorites from the buffet? Scallops, lobsters, sweet potato crisps, mojitos, and banoffee! Yum! ??

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To keep you hydrated, there are beverage stations offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They even have a Make Your Own Bloody Mary station!

Kids can also enjoy the Friday brunch in a separate room filled with toys and kid-friendly food to keep them entertained.

kids buffet choices oryx rotana doha qatar

Make sure to leave room for dessert! Aside from the sweet options, there are treats for those who are not blessed with a sweet tooth. Both of my favorites from the dessert buffet are not sweet actually: banoffee in a glass and lemon sorbet.

Aside from food and drinks, you’ll be treated with a live musical performance by the resident Jazz band. Eat in peace to the tunes of Norah Jones or sway to the beat of Bruno Mars’s hits.

My tummy was close to bursting by the time I finished brunch. The choices at Choices really make an excellent value for money plus their service is impeccable. Highlights for me among the mains are the lobsters, the freshly-cooked scallops, and the mojitos.

For those who still want more, they offer an After Brunch Reload at The Cellar from 4 PM to 7 PM.

Offers: as of Mar 5 2018
Choices restaurant offers theme nights such as Seafood Night and Butcher’s Night aside from the aforementioned Pinoy Fiesta Night. Check here for more details.

Jazz Club

My first foray into Doha’s nightlife was at the Jazz Club almost a year ago. It was a Friday night and we got there relatively early in the night, so the club was still quiet albeit almost full. The bar is in front of the arched stage, giving you two forms of entertainment. The white leather chairs are a nice touch to lighten up the otherwise dark decor and dim lighting.

This time, however, it was a full house when we decided to join the fun. The band was different from before and the patrons were clearly having fun, as most of them were dancing to the beat of the jazzy tunes.

Tired from the day, I and my friend retreated back to Al Nafourah to enjoy the rest of the evening on plush seating, savoring the fresh air, and downing more drinks.

Jazz Club is closed on Saturdays.

 Sky Lounge

In the atrium, the aptly named Sky Lounge is where you’ll literally see the sky from the high glass ceiling and beams of Oryx Rotana. Guests can enjoy breakfast delights, a la carte snacks and mains, and a wide selection of beverages on their stylish seats surrounded by a lovely ambiance. It’s a perfect place for a meeting or for some time alone.

oryx rotana doha qatar sky lounge

Why stay at Oryx Rotana?

Oryx Rotana serves as a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center and as a quick getaway from the traffic.

Staycations are always a respite from busy working schedules. And here in Doha, Qatar, they are the perfect alternative to traveling.

Plus, with their ongoing promotions, hotels can really give you a good deal.

Oryx Rotana: Information

Address:  Al Nahda School Street, Old Airport Road, PO Box 29922, Doha, Qatar

Contact number: +974 4402 3333

Website: Oryx Rotana

Have you stayed at Oryx Rotana or dined at one of their restaurants? What do you think?


Disclosure: I was a guest during the staycation but all opinions, comments, and photos are my own. 

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