You know that a stay at the Mondrian Doha is going to be a cut above from the moment you approach the tower. While the outside of the base of the tower resembles a tangled nest, the main entrance is reminiscent of the open beak of a falcon, the national symbol which provided the inspiration to South West Architecture for the design of the hotel.
There is plenty of symbolism related to the world of falconry to admire when you cross the threshold too: Marcel Wanders has designed the hotel to take guests on a surprise-packed narrative journey inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights fairy-tale. The interiors are packed with Arabian influences spanning calligraphy, souks and ornaments, yet all are imbibed with the contemporary – at times phantasmagorical – style synonymous with the Dutch designer, who is never one to shy away from innovation, employing as he does oversized shaping and a hyper-decorative effect.
Neutral base tones are used for the furniture and surfaces, providing the perfect foil for a wonderland of multicolour glass domes, gigantic columns and staircases, colour blocking, optical illusions and mix-and-match effects, mosaics and chandeliers, golden eggs, flowers and trees of life, videos, murals, mirrors, rugs and huge narghile pipes. “Stepping into Mondrian Doha begins the first chapter of a wonderful story that unfolds around every turn,” explains Wanders. “While many themes are collectively layered throughout the hotel, each individual space tells its own tale. Guests may therefore have many different experiences and weave for themselves a collection of stories to share.”
Each and every communal area, all of which are truly enormous, is an invention in and of itself. They jostle with one another, seemingly unconcerned about stylistic exaggerations, serving up a feast for all the senses with their layering of meanings, materials, shapes, colours, finishes. Yet behind each space – each story – are functions: there is the lobby, a lounge area, a panoramic swimming pool, men’s and women’s spas, the Moonstone ballroom, conference spaces, a royal penthouse, the Opal bridal suite, plus 270 rooms and suites. The 24-storey tower is also home to restaurants and bars serving a range of different cuisines: Morimoto, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Walima, Hudson Tavern, Magnolia Bakery, the Rise sky bar and the Black Orchid nightclub.
The Mondrian Doha is the first hotel in the Middle East owned by SBE, who opened the Mondrian Park Avenue the same month.