Sunset in the desert; an intimate meal with the waves of the Gulf lapping at your feet; enjoying a rooftop beverage with Doha’s skyline filling the horizon. Qatar offers a perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway, from the city to the desert.
Whether you are visiting Qatar for a special moment over Valentine’s Day, for a honeymoon, a proposal, or simply a vacation, there are so many options to choose from to make your stay special, you will be hard-pressed to squeeze it all in.
For a romantic getaway that feels like staying in a village within steps of the city, book yourself into Al Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz Carlton Hotel. Al Sharq Village & Spa is a low-rise property at the far end of the Corniche, with the distant bright lights of the skyline offering a pretty horizon backdrop. Located on the beach looking over the bay, the hotel has a luxurious spa and offers one of the most romantic spots for a meal a deux in Qatar – The Zarb Experience, where diners can sample local delicacies in a private gazebo on the beach.
Alternatively, book yourself into the stunning Anantara Banana Island. Overwater villas make for a superbly relaxing and romantic stay. Just beware that the resort is dry.
Excursions for two
Head out at night into Doha Bay for a dhow cruise. On a traditional wooden boat, you will see the city sparkle all around you, with the light reflected on the dark, calm water of the Gulf, making it look iridescent.
Or you could head into the desert for a night safari, enjoy a drive through the sand dunes, maybe a camel ride, and a spectacular sunset, but most importantly a look at the vast sky filled with stars miles away from any light pollution. You can even opt to stay overnight in a luxury Arabian-style tent at the Regency Sealine Resort at the foothills of the Inland Sea.
Take a walk
There is nothing more magical than walking in beautiful surroundings, together. A must-do in Doha is a walk along the 4.5-mile long Corniche with its two world-class museums: the National Museum of Qatar, reminiscent of a desert rose, a gypsum formation found locally in the desert; and the Museum of Islamic Art. Both offer perfect stop-off points for an art-and-culture fix along the way.
Then saunter through Souq Waqif, the bustling traditional market, and marvel at the windows in the Gold Souq, where there is practically nothing you cannot get in solid gold. Maybe choose a trinket as a reminder of your trip to Doha.
For a dash of European glamor, stroll along The Pearl, where you can explore the colorful Qanat Quarter, which comes with a copy of Venice’s Rialto Bridge and many Instagram-able spots, or café-hop in Medina Centrale.
There are superb spas in Qatar and going for a couple’s massage is a must. The Four Seasons Hotel Doha has a dedicated Private Spa Suite for couples and can arrange signature treatments and massages, as well as bespoke one-day or multi-day spa experiences.
If you have a few days, take a retreat to experience an overhaul of your wellness and nutrition. Enjoy a complete detox from stress when you book yourself into the new Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som on the northern tip of Qatar. It’s the world’s first center for Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) and the holistic approach includes herbal gardens, art, and a 4000-book library – all in a stunning setting alongside the turquoise sea.
Or try the Couple’s Suite at the Mandarin Oriental, Doha in the trendy design neighborhood of Msheireb Downtown Doha. The Omnia Treatment for two offers a spa retreat experience of hair and scalp treatment, invigorating massage, and facial.
Have a romantic dinner
With around 100 different nationalities living and working in Qatar, you can be assured of a cosmopolitan choice of cuisines, from Japanese to Italian, from French to, of course, Qatari. There are some stunning locations, perfect for a romantic dinner.
For some of the best views from high above, head to Il Galante, the Italian restaurant in the Banyan Tree Doha. From the 27th floor you have amazing views of Doha twinkling below you. For Qatari delicacies in a superb setting, have lunch in Jiwan Restaurant right in the National Museum of Qatar. From the terrace, the skyline of Doha and the bay stretch before you, and the food is simply divine. Or you could visit the Japanese restaurant Nobu, which is perched at the end of a pier with 360-degree views of Doha and the Gulf.
For something a little extra special, why not have dinner for two on a helipad, high above Doha’s West Bay skyline? At the JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha you can dine à deux, enjoying a menu designed to your special wishes and preferences, feeling on top of the world.
A couple that shops together…
Finding a piece of Qatar to take home with you is a must, and shopping can include some wonderful experiences, too. Take a gondola ride through the canals of Venice within Villaggio Mall or wander through Doha’s luxurious Al Hazm Mall. There are not only great shops in a stunning setting, but also myriad restaurants, including Rosemary Café, whose ceiling is covered in pink flowers.
Alternatively, for a touch of Paris head to Galeries Lafayette, right by the Katara Cultural Village, which makes for a perfect après-shopping walk with its galleries, street art, and beautiful architecture right by the beach.
Whether you shop, dine, soak up culture or get pampered together, Qatar is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.