I have fond childhood memories of weekend trips to the pristine beach just off Ras Abu Aboud. Many a fun Thursdays were spent there with my parents and siblings – picnic by the beach, building sand castles, learning to swim and even fishing. Today what stands there is a stunning resort property owned by the Ritz-Carlton known as the Sharq Village & Spa – a luxurious coastal resort with modern and stylish resort villas yet with a traditional touch.
This year, I had the unforgettable opportunity for a staycation – this time with the husband and kids – at this grand resort, one fine, pleasant weekend in April.
I had always found their grand lobby quite enchanting. The marble fountain with red rose petals greets you as you walk in, then there’s the magnificent chandelier with plush seats in the center, and the traditional Arabic music playing in the background along with the Arabic Qahwa and dry fruits served in the lounge – its pleasing to all the senses. We were given a quick and smooth check in at around 3 pm on Thursday. The staff were quick to respond despite the little bit of a rush. They even have special activity book for kids which my daughter was absolutely delighted to receive upon check in. After that we were swiftly whisked to our room in a club car through the beautiful courtyards and gardens lined around the villas.
The villas are expansive and serene, with several rooms over the 2 floors and a large open to air area with lovely palm trees and foliage in the middle. Ours was a deluxe room on the ground floor and it was just mind blowing. Blissfully spacious with a huge four poster bed, a large working table, plush sofa, huge tv screen, luxe bath and an airy balcony with a view out into the resort and the sea and outdoor seating.
The furniture has a very traditional look inspired by the Qatari heritage and there were even some other thoughtful pieces like the coat hanger and the beautiful chest drawer. Upon request, two large baby cots were brought in and placed comfortably next to the bed without seeming to take up much space in the huge room (by far the best cots I have seen in the hotels here in Doha). There was even a well stocked mini bar. I was slightly put off by the stocking of a lot of alcohol in it and asked them to remove it which was promptly done. However, my daughter had discovered the other goodies and then there was no looking back. Right away, the kiddos helped themselves to the juices and chocolate bars stocked up in there.
After settling down and making ourselves at home, we thought it would be best if we headed out and enjoyed the beach before the sunset. So we got the kids ready, grabbed their sand toys and floats and headed out. Just a short walk around our villa and we were on the sandy beach with the beautiful Doha skyline dotting the sky in the far horizon. I relaxed on one of the sunloungers while watching the dad and kids have a great time. A good hour or two later which seemed to be a lot shorter than usual, we sat down wrapped up in the thick oversized beach towels and watched the sunset. Simply magical!
Back at our room soon after, we spent a lazy evening enjoying the time together. My daughter had fun with her activity book, while my son with his then newly acquired crawling skills set about exploring the whole expanse of the room. The hubby while keeping one eye on him, flicked between the different TV channels, while I enjoyed a hot shower with the delicious Asprey products stocked up in the bathroom. We ordered room service, enjoyed a lazy dinner and called it a night.
Next morning, we set out early for a swim in the pleasant weather. This time we went over to the pool area which is one of the most beautiful here in Doha. With palm trees lined up in between and spread over a large area with a mini waterfall, jacuzzi and all in between. The hubby and kids enjoyed the splash for a good two three hours before the kids were satisfied and we all were quite hungry.
So out we went for our breakfast at the Al-Liwan. I had been there for dinner once before and had very much loved their expansive buffet where everything tasted great. Its a 5.0 for me on Zomato. They kept up to their standard for the breakfast buffet which was lavish and everything incredibly delicious. It’s always a little difficult eating out with the kids. However, there were a lot of people around at the moment so I could not be worried about all the noise they were making. The mess is another thing though. But with a friendly staff and quick service, the breakfast went smooth and we stuffed ourselves quite heartily, Alhamdulillah!
Back at our room, the kids tucked in for a short nap and I took this opportunity to check out their Six Senses Spa. I was instantly enamored by the traditional design of this place. Built like an old Qatari Village, every design, every little detail, every piece of decor has been taken care of and so thoughtfully placed. I thoroughly enjoyed the time relaxing in the hot pool and just chilling with some magazines and spa water in hand. I would say this is undoubtedly one of the best spas in town.
We had requested for a late checkout, as always the case for Fridays, for the prayer and they very much obliged. So after spending a glorious day, feeling very much relaxed and pampered, we arrived home. This was at a time when I wasn’t feeling quite well as I was in the initial weeks of my pregnancy, but the family friendly stay was such an experience, it took my mind off the queasiness for a bit and I got to get some much needed relaxing experience before the full on hyperemesis phase hit me. Another reason for me to call this one of my best staycays here in Qatar in the lap of Arabian luxury.