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The Saraya Corniche Hotel – ‘A Real 5 Star Hotel at Value Prices’ for those on a budget.

If you are looking for 5 Star luxury but on a budget, the Saraya Corniche hotel ticks all the box’s. At just QR 236 (GBP 48.00 USD 64.83 EUR 54.49) it’s an absolute bargain.

We have visited and paid for our breakfast at the SMBC. Our review is first hand informed and independant
We have visited and paid for our stay at the Saraya Corniche. Our review is first hand informed and independent

I booked on Agoda for a one-night stay, checking in on Thursday 10th May 2018. The QR 236 I paid was for a ‘Superior King Room’ but on arrival I was upgraded to a ‘Junior Suite’ at no extra charge. There was someone else checking in at the same time as me, and they got upgraded as well. I commented to the receptionist “Wow everyone is getting an upgrade” and she replied, “It’s Thursday Evening Sir”. So my advice is, if you want a Junior Suit for fifty bucks make sure you check in on a Thursday evening.

I shouldn’t complain, because my room upgrade was a massive bonus, but I wasn’t lucky enough to get a Corniche facing room. And that’s a shame because I have seen images taken from that side, and the view is breathtaking. But hey ho, I still had an amazing suite.

The interior decorators brought a real feel of elegance to the rooms, with bright vibrant colours. Even the furniture and bedding was errrr… shall we say ‘popping’. I loved it! Completely different to anything else I have seen in Qatar at any price.

I can’t tell you anything about the ‘Superior King’ room I booked, but my ‘Junior Suite’ was super spacious. And for a solo traveler a bit over indulgent. But if staying more than one night, I would have made a lot more use of the living area.

After checking in, I spent just a few minuets settling in, before I got a call from my Sand Dunes tour guide, telling me he was waiting for me in reception (I will tell you more about Sand Dunes in another item I’m going to write later). So I was back in the elevator and off for my 4 hour ‘City Tour’.

Once back from my superb City Tour, I headed to the 1st floor for dinner in the ‘East West Restaurant’. Had a fabulous meal there and then back down to the ground floor for a quick visit to the ‘Bamboo Asian Restaurant’ for an equally quick beer there, before heading off to bed. The Bamboo has the smallest bar I have come across in Doha. But it had a lovely friendly feel and very reasonably priced beer, so I was very happy.

In the morning I returned to the ‘East West Restaurant’ for breakfast. This is a buffet breakfast at an additional cost of QR 30 (GBP 6.09 USD 8.24 EUR 6.92) which needs to be paid for during check in. With plenty to choose from, you will not leave hungry.

After breakfast I went for a walk around the building. Checked out the pool, spa and gym areas. Popped outside to grab a couple of shots of the exterior, then back to the East West to sit down and write this account of my stay in the Saraya Corniche.

Something I have not mentioned yet, is the excellent location of the Saraya. I haven’t timed it, but I am sure you would be here in around 10 to 15 minuets by taxi from the airport. And if you like walking, you could easily make your own way to Souq Waqif, the Museum of Islamic Art, Museum Park, and the soon to open ‘The National Museum of Qatar’. Plus so much more I can’t even think of mentioning at the moment. Location is a really good reason for choosing the Saraya.

In fact just as I am finishing writing this, I started talking to Sue. Sue was sat on the table next to me during breakfast. She was traveling solo. Although no stranger to the gulf region, she had never been to Qatar. She arrived early yesterday morning, bought a QR 20 all day bus card at the airport bus terminal and used it to ride to the Saraya. Checked in, and then walked to Souq Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Art. I asked her how long it had taken to walk to Souq Waqif and she said she walks fast, and it had only taken her 10 minutes. She continued to use her QR 20, 24 hour bus card to ride into the City Centre and wander around there.

Sue was proof that Qatar can be explored and enjoyed for very little indeed. And the Saraya Corniche is a perfect location to have as a base.

Book your stay in the Saraya Corniche by Clicking Here

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The Sapphire Plaza Hotel, quality at a value price

Qatar Quick Visited
Qatar Quick Visited We visited the Sapphire Plaza Hotel and paid for our room. This review is independent and first hand informed.

The Sapphire Plaza hotel is among the very finest Value hotels in Qatar. It’s almost unfair to call it a value hotel because it doesn’t look or feel like one at all. The basic room rate is just QR 220 (GBP 43.38 USD 60.43 EUR 49.90) and that is an absolute bargain.

Sapphire Plaza Hotel 8.4 Rating on Booking.com
Sapphire Plaza Hotel – 8.4 Rating on booking.com

The entire building reflects a much more expensive venue. This is a very popular and busy hotel. You only have to look at its ratings to see that. 8.4 Rating on bookings.com

The location is excellent for getting to all of Doha’s main tourist attractions, giving low taxi fares to almost anywhere that you need to visit.

The staff are brilliant, happy and helpful. No request was too much for them.

The room is much more than you would expect for the money. Everything was clean and in good condition. Well serviced.

Clean, neat and tidy bedrooms
Clean, neat and tidy bedrooms
  • Plush fittings
  • Comfortable bed
  • TV
  • Free WiFi in room and throughout the hotel
  • Full feature bathroom complete with Bath/Shower WC, Bidet, Wash basin, Hair Dryer
  • Dressing Gown if you are not like me a little overweight
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Complimentary Bathroom Toiletries including Soap, Shower Gel, Shampoo, Shower Cap, Dental, Shaving and Cotton Buds

For me a hotel needs to at least provide the basics. Fresh and clean room, a good night’s sleep and a refreshing shower in the morning. A good breakfast is a bonus. And the Sapphire Plaza gave me all of that.

Last night I went for the buffet dinner in the Sapphire Plaza’s ‘Al Maha’ restaurant. At QR 50 it represents good value. They also offer à la carte if you don’t fancy the buffet. Or alternatively you can be in almost any one of Doha’s excellent restaurants for around a QR 20 (GBP 3.95 USD 5.49 EUR 4.55) taxi ride.

Sapphire Plaza Hotel - Breakfast
Sapphire Plaza Hotel – Breakfast

Breakfast is just QR 25 (GBP 4.94 USD 6.86 EUR 5.68) and worth every penny. It’s a buffet breakfast offering something for nearly all tastes. You should not leave hungry.

After breakfast I packed my backpack and headed down to the lobby to write this review of my stay. Like everywhere else in this hotel, the lobby has a quality and classic feel. I am very happy to sit here and use my free WiFi to get a bit of work done before heading off. I have already had plenty of coffee with my breakfast, but if I wanted it there is a lovely coffee shop right here in the lobby.

I usually make a point of using all of a hotels facilities so that I can fully experience all they have to offer. But today I failed to use the pool or the gym. I did pop in and take a look at both. But decided against taking photographs because they were in use and I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. But both facilities were clean, modern and very much up to my standard. The pool is a little small to do serious laps in. But if like me all you want to do on vacation is have a wallow, this pool is perfect. And it’s indoors.

Free in-room WiFi, Indoor Pool, Gym, Gift Shop, Café, Free basement parking

No alcohol available in this hotel

Check in: 2pm
Checkout: 12 Noon

Click Here to Book

Room Rate: QR 220 (GBP 43.38 USD 60.43 EUR 49.90)
Evening Meal (Dinner Buffet): QR 50 (GBP 9.86 USD 13.73 EUR 11.36)
Breakfast Buffet: QR 25 (GBP 4.94 USD 6.86 EUR 5.68)
Hotel arranged pickup at airport: QR 100 (GBP 19.77 USD 27.47 EUR 22.73)
Taxi from airport: Should not exceed QR 50 (GBP 9.88 USD 13.73 EUR 11.36)
Taxi to Souq Waqif: Should not exceed QR 10 (GBP 1.97 USD 2.74 EUR 2.27)
Taxi to nearest mall (City Centre): Should not exceed QR 20 (GBP 3.95 USD 5.49 EUR 4.55)
Taxi to nearest bar (Centro): Should not exceed QR 10 (GBP 1.97 USD 2.74 EUR 2.27)
Nearest shops/restaurants approximately 10 mins walk.
Currency conversions as at 27/04/2018

Each month we are going to seek out the best value budget hotel in Qatar and publish it. This month it’s the Rawdat Al Khail Hotel.

At the time first published the Rawdat Al Khail Hotel was just QR 133 (GBP 26, USD 37, EUR 30) per night. Today (20th April 2018) the price online has risen to QR 200. When I visited today the price for 1 person was QR 139 and for 2 persons QR 145 at reception.

There is no food served in the hotel and no in-room Wi-Fi at the Rawdat Al Khail. Food is no problem at all because there is so much available in just a couple of minutes walk from the hotel. And the extremely close restaurants serve really good food at ridiculously low prices. Expect to pay QR 20 or even lower when eating in these venus.

There is a gym, but no pool.

The Rawdat Al Khail is located close but not in walking distance of most of Doha’s major tourist destinations. There are plenty of facilities around it, but a cheap taxi ride is required to get to the interesting places. I have read reviews online, and the theme that runs through the online reviews is that; this is somewhere with good basics (sleep, shower, with good food nearby).

Expect to pay around QR 10 for a taxi to nearby hotels that have bars (if you are into that type of thing) and around QR 15 to get to places like Souq Waqif).

Check in: 2pm
Checkout: 1pm

For the first 2 years I was in Qatar 2009/2010 I purchased and aggressively used annual copies of The Entertainer for great dining out/buffets, beach/pool passes, fast food restaurants and so much more. Then for some reason I stopped buying it. But the 2018 App version has finally tempted me back to invest in it once again.

For those of you who don’t know; The Entertainer is a book/App of ‘Buy One – Get One Free’ offers.  There is a new book every year, and the offers in the book are only valid for that calendar year. And even if you are only here in Qatar for a few weeks, you can quickly get your investment of QR 375 back from your initial purchase of the book/App.

And right now, there is an outstanding offer on the App version https://www.theentertainerme.com/ QR 100 off and you get use of the 2017 offers as well as 2018.

I’m looking forward to lots of great meals out, and lots of great savings.

Capture_Entertainer

Stressed?! Need a vacation but can’t find the time? Then do like I did and book yourself into the Mövenpick Doha for a staycation. Or as they call it, their Brunchcation Package. Stay in this gorgeous hotel for one night (Thursday night) then have a relaxing morning by the pool before enjoying a sumptuous Friday Buffet Brunch which is included in the price.

DSC09667Let me start by stating that this promotion is absolutely outstanding value. For a solo guest (someone staying on their own) it’s QR 399. That’s a bargain. But where it becomes outstanding value and a mega bargain is when there are two or more of you. The price for 2 adults sharing is just QR 499 including that awesome Friday brunch. And if you take your kids and they are under 12 they get to stay with you and have brunch completely free as well! So potentially a whole family can chill and have a wonderful weekend break for just QR 499. A family of 4 works out at less than QR 125 each. However, children 12 and over are classed as adults and you will need to book another room for them at the same rate.

The Mövenpick Doha was opened in 2001, and is one of the pioneering big five hotels here in Qatar. But don’t let its age concern you. All its facilities are bang up to date with a luxurious feel and superior service that comes with a hotel of such heritage.

After you have checked in on Thursday night you can choose to stay within the hotel and make use of its restaurant, gym, pool, Jacuzzi and other in house facilities. Or venture out to take in the many attractions in easy walking distance such as Souq Waqif, the Islamic Museum of Art and the MIA Park. Or eat in one of the many eateries close by, from small cafes to the opulent Orient Pearl Restaurant. Before retiring to your deluxe room for a good night’s sleep.

The type of room you get depends on the number of people staying. As I was on my own I was given a Deluxe King room, and it was pure luxury. So Big! And my view over the corniche was outstanding. When I entered my room, there on the table was a lovely tray of fruit, cakes and even cheese and crackers. The air-conditioning was quiet and efficient, and the curtains are blackout curtains, so the room was completely dark once the lights were off. And I slept like a baby.

Sunrise seen from my room in Mövenpick Doha
Sunrise seen from my room in Mövenpick Doha

When you wake up refreshed in the morning you can choose to take a light breakfast like me and have a croissant with coffee, or you can take a seat in the restaurant for one of the best breakfast buffets in town. But to be honest that would be a mistake considering your buffet brunch will be starting at 12 noon. Breakfast is not included in the package, but you do get 30% off as part of the promotion. So the QR 75 breakfast buffet works out at QR 52.5 per person, but like I say with brunch coming along soon there really is no need. The 30% off also covers all food and beverages during your stay, so if you do dine in on Thursday night you get 30% off your bill for that as well. And they have a superb Seafood Buffet on a Thursday night which normally cost QR 150, but will only cost you QR 105 each. And trust me, it’s a really, really good seafood buffet.

Thursday Night Seafood Buffet in Seasons Restaurant Mövenpick Doha
Thursday Night Seafood Buffet in Seasons Restaurant Mövenpick Doha

After my breakfast of coffee and croissants, I changed into my swimwear and headed down for a morning by the pool. I ventured into the gym, but decided to spend some time in the steam room instead of doing all that hard work stuff. And before I knew it, it was time to change and get ready for brunch.

DSC09472
Although I have never stayed in the hotel before, I have been to the Seasons restaurant a number of times. And the Mövenpick Doha has one of my favourite Friday brunches. It has everything that I like. I’m a roast beef fan, and they cook a really good roast beef which I had with roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy. A really good British Roast Dinner if you like. That was followed by a plate of sushi, sashimi and shellfish. Then an excellent chicken biriyani before a having a chocolate crepe with raspberries and coffee ice cream on top prepared for me. I wrapped the meal up with a selection of cheeses and fruit washed down with a nice cup of coffee.

That was my brunch, but there were many other options I could have selected from. Too many to mention, and way too much for me to have sampled everything. But there is something for every taste, and you like me will undoubtedly eat too much.

I seriously didn’t want to drive home. But alas I had work in the morning. So I resisted the temptation to book a second night and made my way home feeling refreshed, relaxed and very full.

For bookings and further details call: 44291111