Souq Waqif is one of my favourite places in Qatar. It makes me wince to use such a cliché but a trip to Qatar really would not be complete without a visit to the Souq.
So it was a pleasant surprise during a recent meander round to find that there are now three hotels serving the needs of guests.
All the hotels also have the added advantage that they are in easy walking distance of the Islamic Arts Museum, the Corniche and the harbour with its traditional wooden dhows.
Hotel Souq Waqif
Tel: +974 4433030/ 4432288
Fax: +974 441 9292
This is the plushest - and the most expensive - hotel we looked at. Standard rooms started from QAR900/night.
Located closest to the Corniche, in front of the main car park, a large and airy restaurant is located to the front. First impressions were good and the staff polite and helpful, although unfortunately when we visited every room was occupied. We will return for further inspection!
Al Khariss Hotel
Address: PO Box 23618, Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4310786/4354323
Fax: +974 4324345
I think this hotel has a fabulous location. Standing on the central street of the souq, interesting shops crowd to either side and just opposite is one of my favourite shops: Al Ghalaffa. The hotel itself is situated above the Khariss cafe, which I am also fond of, despite (or perhaps because of) the weird items that you find on their menus.
Yet be warned that the hotel has the slowest lift in the world. (Fortunately it only has to go up one floor.)
The rooms are also decorated in the traditional style - which was a bit bare for my liking. And at QAR800, they were only slightly cheaper than Hotel Souq Waqif.
Tel: +974 4374417
Fax: +974 4374417
Address: PO Box 16919
This hotel is the oldest of the bunch, with photos going back to the 1960's. (You can see an old photo of the hotel here and a nightime image here.
Although slightly more expensive than when we first blogged about the hotel, Bismillah still makes it into our list of Budget Hotels in Qatar with a single room starting at QAR400 and a double room at QAR500.
A faint musty smell, which reminded me of my backpacking days in Asia, put me off the rooms a bit. The smell seemed to come from the ceiling, which looked a bit too traditional for the more discerning of guests.
On the plus point it is actually affordable, boasts another great location and has great view of the souq (see below).
Doha Luxury Hotel Guide
Qatar Hotel Directory