Welcome to the coolest hotel in Qatar.
Qatar is home to luxurious hotels and resorts, but few are packed with personality. Strut forward, The Ned Doha. Locals have seen the building transform from the government’s Ministry of Interior to a five-star hotel. The name itself has become a byword for cool – so much so, that when I tell people where I’m staying, they are excited on my behalf.
In 2017, the brand first opened The Ned, in London, and then The Ned NoMad in New York. The loyal following includes critics, customers and celebrities, especially hipsters from Alexa Chung to Kristen Stewart.
When you enter The Ned Doha, it’s like stepping back in time. In the 1970s, Lebanese architect William Sednaoui designed the building. Now, Soho House Design and David Chipperfield Architects of London have worked their interior design magic and paid homage to the original structure. A masterclass in seventies chic, it feels like you’re on the set of Mad Men. The attention to detail is phenomenal with neon signs, Murano glass lighting, wooden mailboxes, and 9,000 pieces of original as well as vintage furniture.
Rooms and suites
The Ned Doha boasts 90 bedrooms, which include 12 suites: Cosy, Medium Palace View, Medium Sea View, Medium Park View, and Large. Plus, one- to two-bedroom suites, which are more than 1,152 square feet.
We checked into the Medium Sea View Room. The room included an emperor bed with a fan-shaped burl headboard, glass chandelier and waffle ceiling. The dresser felt like it could have been made for an old-school starlet, as there were light bulbs around the mirror and a soft stool.
The marble bathroom boasted Cowshed products for different moods, and a walk-in rainforest shower that was dark but spacious. The balcony squeezed two chairs and a table into the space, and it was impossible to move. So, the skyline and sea were best enjoyed from the bed.
We fell in love with the retro yet refined touches: a vintage Roberts radio, rotary dial phone, leather do not disturb sign, traditional tea set, and tea and coffee in silver jars.
Restaurants and bars
The Ned Doha is home to seven restaurants: the Italian Cecconi’s, American Electric Diner, Middle Eastern Hadika, Pan Asian Kaia, Californian Malibu Kitchen, International Millie’s Lounge, and American The Nickel Lounge. Plus, the top floor includes a members-only club, Ned’s Club, which hosts special events.
The hotel’s cafés and restaurants attract guests, locals, expats and tourists. Breakfast is served in Millie’s Lounge, which offers indoor and outdoor seats. The menu spans bakery, eggs, fruits, grains and Middle Eastern dishes. The Full English Breakfast and Shaksuka were on the small side, but oh-so tasty.
Cecconi’s is a smart spot. Well-heeled Qatari women were dressed in abayas, and Americans talked about their time in The Ned, London. The menu draws its inspiration from North Italy, and dishes range from handmade pastas to wood fired pizzas. The Burrata with beef bresaola and rocket was soft and salty. The Spaghetti Lobster was coated in a rich sauce with juicy tomatoes. Best of all, we were seated near the stage, which is at the heart of the hotel, and enjoyed live jazz music.
Solo travellers are often neglected or given terrible tables, but that was not the case at The Ned Doha. The service was professional and passionate – greeted by my (correctly spelt) name, no less.
The Ned Doha’s Ned’s Club Spa includes a sauna, steam room and Moroccan hammam. Located in the courtyard, guests can dip into the 30-metre-long pool and lay on the striped loungers. Since children are allowed from 6am to 10am, it goes from being family-friendly to fashionable.
The Ned Doha: a sophisticated stay that never goes out of style.
GO: Visit www.thened.com for more information.