Westin Doha = Good Hotel But Location Subpar

100   Recommended

Family Suite
May 7, 2018 by
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Family Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Family Suite

I had an overnight stay in Doha paid by Qatar Airways and I chose the Westin.  One of the other choices was the Marriott Marquis but I have been there before and the Westin is almost always more expensive (and if you want to book with points, even more so), therefore the best time for me to compare both hotels was to try the Westin with the QR booking.

Room

I contacted my Ambassador to link the QR reservation to my Starwood account to make them know of my Platinum status.  Given that it was a free night, technically they do not have to give Platinum benefits if they do not want to.  However I was granted access to the Club Lounge and I received a very generous upgrade to the Family Suite, which costs roughly 5x the price of the base room on spg.com.  The welcome letter says they upgrade Plat AMB100 members to their best room available, and it looks like they really mean it, even if you do not pay for the room!  When you enter the room, there is a very large working desk in the shape of the Westin leaf.  There is a glass dining table next to the expansive living room. Waiting for me was a welcome gift of a bottle of red wine, dried fruits, and baklava.  I did not have time to test out all the electronics in the room and I was not sure what all the buttons on the wall panels were for, for example there seemed to be a sound system that was muted, but when I turned it on the noise was like a radio that was tuned to a non-existing channel.  I turned on the TV and it seemed to be independent from the sound system on the wall panel.  

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To the left there is a bedroom with two twin beds, along with a full bathroom which has a separate bathtub, a glass wall rain shower, and decent closet space.  

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To the right is another bedroom, that one with a king bed, a small sofa at the base of the bed, and a chair + counter right in front of the bathtub.  You can draw the blinds down for privacy.  The second full bathroom is even larger than the first one, particularly the closet which is bigger.  

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There is also a powder room next to the entrance for a total of 3 toilets.  They are not stingy about quantity of amenities here, although as noted by khabah it's not the standard white tea kind.  You will not run out of soap, shampoo, body wash, mouthwash, razors, toothbrushes, etc. because there are several sets in all bathrooms.  Same for bathrobes: there were 4 altogether.  There were lots of water bottles scattered throughout the room as well.  There are international power plugs available which is convenient.  Overall the hardware is excellent and the room over 150 square meters. I thought the Marriott Marquis was generous with upgrades, but Westin achieved to top it.  However you cannot beat the view from a high floor at MM.

Dining

The Club Lounge is on the first floor.  It was quiet when I was there for happy hour 6-8pm and a nice place to relax.  You also have access to an enormous terrace outside if you want to “chill” in the evening rather than stay in air conditioning inside.  The hot food options were beef stew, curry fish, and steamed broccoli with onions.  I had the latter two which were tasty.  There is a good selection of desserts, veggies, sandwiches, and salads.  Overall I felt food was a bit below the MM hotel, but an overall more pleasant atmosphere and less crowded.  Breakfast in the Club Lounge is 6:30-11:00 and I had to leave the hotel shortly before so I cannot comment.

 

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Location

The main knock on Westin, and one of the reasons I never came before, is that the location is not very good if you do not have business in the immediate vicinity.  First off, it’s not that close to the airport and there was quite a bit of traffic at 4:30pm on the way in so if you care about maximizing your time in the hotel for a quick overnight, then the Marriott (not Marriott Marquis) or the Double Tree are closer. Second, if you don’t mind the extra commute, then I personally prefer the Marriott Marquis location which is attached to a shopping mall, and is not far from the Corniche.  The Sheraton Grand is right on the corniche so even better. So if you want to go outside to take a walk, the Westin will not be ideal, but if you plan to stay indoors then no problem.

Overall

Bottom line, in my opinion you can’t go wrong if you pick the Westin and if location is not an issue.  I did not experience the issues that khabah did.  I like to mix things up so rather than going always to the MM, I will gladly return to the Westin in the future.  However I am not sure I would be able to justify the extra premium for a room at Westin paid in cash when the location is inferior.  The upgrade was fantastic, but to be honest I have received great updates elsewhere in Doha too, and at some point you reach diminishing returns; I did not use the second bedroom / bathroom at all.  That said, I think if you don’t get an upgrade, the room will be bigger at Westin than MM, and given the room I received for a free overnight, I would be more confident about upgrades at Westin than MM in the future.  All I can say is that it’s one more reason why I love to transit in Doha – easy airport experience and top notch treatment by hotels to make my stay relaxing.  

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