I was part of a group of travelers attending the Hamad International Airport Expansion presentation in Doha. Most arrived the day before, but due to a family commitment, I arrived the following day. A driver picked me up at the airport and drove me to the sleek and modern Mondrian Doha, designed by Marcel Wanders of the Netherlands. The 270-room property was the first sbe hotel in the Middle East. My luggage was scanned and put aside for a hand check and the guard removed the little sleep sound device I use to cover city noise when I sleep and travel. “No speakers allowed,” the guard said, but once I explained what the item was he allowed me to take it. From there, check-in was swift, and I received a packet of information about dinner and the week’s agenda.
I was in Suite 1309 with beautiful views and an inviting layout. The main living space had a comfortable king-sized bed opposite a large-screen TV and a built-in work station and desk. The wallpaper on the far wall was busy with Islamic architecture and symbolism — I liked the falcon images. The room also included a small glass-top table and chair and a long combination hassock and end table left of the bed. The shades over the lights sported a Turkish or Lebanese design which worked well with the all-white motif in the room.
The bathroom occupied a massive space on the other side of the wall and featured a huge soaking tub and a large step-in and -through shower which separated the tub area from the sink area — a smart concept. Bathroom amenities included Ciel Reserve shampoo, conditioner and shower gel and other amenities.
My only complaint — and I confirmed this with other guests — was the faulty air-conditioning. It was so humid in the rooms, even though cool, that clothing felt damp each night when we returned. I told the hotel staff about this afterward, and they confirmed they would investigate the cause.
My gracious host prearranged a lavish dinner for me the first night at Walima, known for its Middle Eastern cuisine and, I must add, fantastic wait staff. I dined on a selection of cold mezeh (outstanding), lamb machboos (hit the spot) and a fine, cold Sauvignon Blanc. I also enjoyed a few drinks with colleagues at Hudson Tavern, where one can enjoy a proper pint of Guinness surrounded by a sports bar theme. Off the lobby we enjoyed breakfast before our day’s festivities. The staff was always welcoming and attentive to our needs.
West Bay Lagoon
tel 974 4045 5555
Luxury destinations around the country partnered with Bryte to introduce The Restorative Bed and enhanced sleep programming at their hotels. The revolutionary, AI-powered Restorative Bed uses real-time technology to intuitively adjust based on the individual’s needs and preferences. An embedded sensory network detects biometrics, like heart rate and breathing patterns, when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep, triggering cooling features and lulling sleepers into deep sleep. Computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points, and the technology also leads sleepers naturally out of sleep.
Tauck announced plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Departures of the Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston tour have already begun, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Check the Open for Travel page for information on specific tour departures.
Turkish Airlines resumed its premium onboard dining and hot meal service on all business- and economy-class flights longer than two hours and 15 minutes. The resumption of service is in accordance with all health and hygiene applications.
Denver’s The Source Hotel offers its new Passport Program. Overnight guests receive The Source Passport at check-in and from there can enjoy restaurants and retail establishments across The Source Hotel + Market Hall with exclusive discounts. Exclusive discounts are available at The Woods, Safta, Reunion Bread, Beet & Yarrow, Melted and more.
With the vaccine rolling out and U.S. air travel expected to pick up in the upcoming months, the personal finance website WalletHub released a report on 2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs, to help travelers make the best decision for their wallets.
TAP Air Portugal now offers all passengers COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon Airport at a discount. Depending on a destination’s various restrictions, the Rapid Antigen Test is €21; the PCR test is €85; and a PCR Test plus Rapid Antigen Test is €106. TAP customers enjoy priority access to this service.