Review: St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island, Qatar

Review: St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island, Qatar

NAME: St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island
LOCATION: Doha, Qatar
DATE: May 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The all-suite St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island has spacious accommodations, a great gym, excellent elite recognition, and lots of food and beverage outlets. If you're a Marriott loyalist, I'd highly recommend this property.
21

During my around the world trip with dad, we had three nights in Doha, and decided to stay at three different hotels. After staying at the Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha and Katara Hills LXR Doha, we spent our final night at the St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island.

The St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island opened in September 2022, and features 193 suites. It’s the only all-suite St. Regis property in the world. Furthermore, it’s just a couple of miles from the St. Regis Doha, which I’ve reviewed before (are these the two closest St. Regis properties to one another?).

Anyway, the St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island really impressed me. While the location is a bit strange, this hotel has very friendly staff, an amazing gym, excellent restaurants, and you have to appreciate that it only has suites, meaning there are no small rooms here. I’d highly recommend this property if you’re a Marriott Bonvoy loyalist, and especially if you value the extra space.

Booking the St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island

As you’d expect in the Middle East, cash rates for the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island vary throughout the year, given how seasonal demand is. For our date, the hotel was charging over $400 per night.

St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island cost with cash

Fortunately for those with Marriott Bonvoy points to redeem, the property was bookable for just 30,000 points per night. I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so suffice it to say that redeeming points is a great value here.

St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island cost with points

I ended up not redeeming points, though, but rather used a free night award I earned with a Marriott credit card. It was valid at a property costing up to 35,000 Bonvoy points per night, so redeeming this for a hotel that retailed for so much was a fantastic deal.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island location

As you may have guessed based on the name, this St. Regis is located on Marsa Arabia Island. Don’t worry, it’s not hard to get to. Doha has The Pearl, which is a manmade island that’s a leisure destination, with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and apartments.

View from The Pearl Doha
View from The Pearl Doha

When you’re at The Pearl, there’s a bridge leading to Marsa Arabia Island, which is another manmade island that’s essentially in the middle of The Pearl. Below is a map that gives you a sense of the St. Regis’ location.

St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island location

Marsa Arabia Island consists exclusively of the St. Regis, which is massive, as it has both hotel suites and residences.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island entrance

So just to recap, the hotel is located on a manmade island off another manmade island. If you’re coming from Doha Hamad Airport (DOH), you can expect that it’ll be about a 30-minute drive to the hotel. Most of the sites you’d want to see in Doha are within a 5-15 minute taxi ride, so it’s quite easy to get around from here.

The St. Regis has quite an impressive entrance, and as we pulled up, the friendly bellmen helped us with our bags, and directed us to reception.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island exterior
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island exterior

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island lobby & check-in

The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island has a grand lobby and entrance, so it very much feels like your classic, over-the-top St. Regis.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island exterior
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island lobby
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island lobby

Reception was located inside the entrance and to the right, and there were three individual check-in desks, so that you could be seated while check-in formalities were taken care of.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island lobby

The staff at this hotel were uniformly friendly, including at check-in. I was thanked for being a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium member, and because of our preference for two beds, we were upgraded from a one bedroom suite to a two bedroom suite, which was much appreciated (all the one bedroom suites have just one bed).

Once check-in formalities were complete, we were escorted to our room by one of the butlers (which in this case was handy, because the hotel is a maze, and it’s very easy to get lost).

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite

We were assigned room 5104, located on the fifth floor. Note that the hotel’s lobby is on the third floor, so our room was two levels above the lobby. The hotel seemingly has several different wings, so there’s not just one set of elevators that guests use.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island elevators

Our room was located down the end of a long hallway, and to the right.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island hallway
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite exterior

The two bedroom suites at the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island are massive, at 1,786 square feet (166 square meters). In fairness, base rooms are huge too, as one bedroom suites are 1,291 square feet (120 square meters).

The suite featured a long entryway, with the living room straight ahead, the kitchen to the left, and the bedrooms to the right.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite entryway

The living room was a good size, and had a living area with a couch, two chairs, and a TV, as well as a dining area with a dining table and six chairs.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite living room
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite living room
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite living room
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite living room

There was a cute little balcony off the living room, with great views of the Doha skyline in the distance.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite balcony
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite balcony view

Back near the entrance was a half bathroom, with a sink and toilet.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite half bathroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite half bathroom

Also inside the entrance and to the left was a huge kitchen, which also had plenty of complimentary bottled water, coffee, and tea.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island kitchen
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island kitchen
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island kitchen

Connected to the kitchen was an area with staff quarters (or something), including a twin bed, and a small bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island staff quarters
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island staff quarters
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island staff quarters

Then on the other side of the room were the bedrooms. The main bedroom had a king size bed facing a TV. While the bed was comfortable enough, I got the sense it wasn’t the typical signature St. Regis bed, as the mattress was firmer than usual.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bedroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bedroom

The main bathroom had double sinks, a toilet, and a walk-in shower. Interestingly there was no bathtub — that doesn’t bother me one bit as I’m not a bath person, but that is something you otherwise usually find in suites at luxury hotels.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bathroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bathroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite shower

Toiletries were from Salvatore Ferragamo, and were in individual bottles.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite toiletries

The second bedroom was right next to the first one, and featured two twin beds, as well as a TV.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bedroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bedroom

The bathroom off this bedroom was a bit smaller, and had a sink, a toilet, and a walk-in shower.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bathroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite bathroom
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite shower

The two bedrooms shared an additional balcony.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island suite balcony

All-in-all, we loved the size of the room, and found it to be well appointed. In fairness, though, I will say that some of the finishes felt a bit low-end, compared to what you might expect at a St. Regis. That’s not a surprise since I imagine this property was opened in a rush prior to the World Cup. And it’s not a huge deal, but just something I noticed.

A couple of hours after checking in, we were brought a lovely welcome amenity, consisting of some fresh fruit, some dried fruit, and some sweets. Yum.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island welcome amenity

Since this is a St. Regis, butler service is also offered to all guests. The main thing I like about St. Regis butler service is that you can get complimentary coffee and tea delivered to your room. St. Regis properties seemingly have different policies when it comes to this. Some hotels offer unlimited coffee and tea, while others offer this only in conjunction with a wake-up call. This hotel fit into the latter category, so we could get coffee in conjunction with a wake-up call.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island butler service coffee

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool

The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island has a pretty large, resort-style pool. Personally I’m not a big pool person (especially when the UV index is 11 — I’d look like a lobster in about 10 minutes), but the pool deck looked nice enough, and was well staffed.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area

In addition to the main pool, there was also a pool area for kids, as well as a hot tub.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island pool area

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym

The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island has an incredibly gym. This is without a doubt one of the five best hotel gyms I’ve ever seen anywhere. The gym is huge, and features modern equipment. My dad and I both enjoyed using the gym both days of our stay.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island gym

The gym also has several trainers working at a time. Usually I’m not a fan of trainers just trying to help when you don’t ask for it, but the guys here were genuinely very helpful and friendly. A special shout out to Moe from Lebanon, as he helped me with my workout one day.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island breakfast

Breakfast at the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island is served at NAR Restaurant, the Turkish restaurant immediately underneath the lobby. Breakfast is served daily from 6AM until 11AM. The restaurant is beautiful, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island staircase to NAR Restaurant
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island NAR Restaurant
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island NAR Restaurant
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island NAR Restaurant
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island NAR Restaurant

Breakfast was included with our stay on account of my Marriott Bonvoy elite status, as I selected complimentary breakfast as the welcome amenity. There was no buffet breakfast, which makes sense, because the hotel currently seems to have very few guests, and that would be wasteful.

Instead you could either select the Turkish set menu, or you could order whatever you wanted a la carte, and you can find the menu here. I ordered a cappuccino to drink, which was very good.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island breakfast

We decided to order the Turkish set menu, which was phenomenal. Yum, this was easily one of my favorite breakfasts I’ve ever had at a Marriott.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island breakfast
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island breakfast

My dad also asked for a couple of eggs separately, which they happily served him.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island breakfast

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island restaurants & bars

As is commonly the case in the Middle East, the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island has several food & beverage outlets. Since we were only staying one night, we didn’t actually have anything other than breakfast to eat at the hotel, as we instead ate on Al Maha Island. However, the hotel has 10 different food & beverage outlets.

This included several restaurants, like NAR (a Turkish restaurant), Manos (a Greek restaurant), Al Mandaloun (a Lebanese restaurant), Babel (a Mediterranean restaurant), Ahwet Zeituna Cafe (a Lebanese cafe), Chotto Matte (a Japanese restaurant), and Roberto’s (an Italian restaurant). I have to say, the restaurants looked very good for the most part, though I don’t have any firsthand experience.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Manos Restaurant
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Al Mandaloun Restaurant

In addition to all those restaurants, the St. Regis has the Lobby Lounge, which is the massive all-day lounge at the hotel, just off the lobby (as you may have guessed based on the name).

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Lobby Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Lobby Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Lobby Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Lobby Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island outdoor seating
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island outdoor seating

My dad and I came here for a coffee in the afternoon.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island cappuccino

Continuing with Qatar’s strange alcohol laws, no alcohol is served in the Lobby Lounge, but instead you have to go to the adjacent Sailors Lounge. The Sailors Lounge was probably my dad’s favorite part of the hotel, as it’s also a cigar bar. So he enjoyed coming down here to enjoy “the ambiance” and smoke his cigars.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Sailors Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Sailors Lounge
St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island Sailors Lounge

I joined him for a drink prior to our dinner, and the bartender made a surprisingly decent dirty martini.

St. Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island drinks

St Regis Doha Marsa Arabia Island service

Probably what impressed me most about the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island is how good service was. Admittedly the hotel was (really) empty during our stay, but all the staff just came across as friendly, proactive, and competent.

This was true across the board, from reception, to the butlers, to the pool staff, to those woking in restaurants. Just to give a few examples:

  • The hotel can be complicated to navigate, so when you asked for directions to something, one of the staff members would typically just walk you there
  • My dad wanted to have a cigar in the morning, when the Sailors Lounge wasn’t yet open, but they gladly opened it for him so he could have a cigar
  • The butler who escorted us to our room even remembered our names for later in the stay, and would constantly check on how we were doing

Service here was truly top notch, and the employees are a great asset to the hotel.

Bottom line

The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island is our favorite of the three hotels we stayed at in Doha. The hotel is an incredible value on points, and I appreciate that this is an all-suite property. The hotel has nicely appointed and spacious suites, friendly service, excellent breakfast, a huge gym, and lots of food and beverage outlets.

The only thing I’m a bit iffy on about this property is the location, as I don’t love The Pearl area. For what it’s worth, the next place I’d like to stay in Doha is the Waldorf Astoria Lusail. The Lusail area has been very nicely developed since the World Cup, and that’s close to a lot of Doha’s newer attractions, like Al Maha Island.

What’s your take on the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Jetset Guest

    Have to disagree on the point around proximity to tourist sites. This is more like a 25 minute drive to the main museums… It’s a pretty far out location if here for a brief stay.

  2. Jafrey S Guest

    Worst Marriott managed property ever in the world
    November 2023
    Most horrible experience ever in Marriott family of restaurant! Even low end Marriott hotels have superb customer service skills!

    From check in to breakfast to ease of staff is struggling! Very poor training in place. This property needs help and honest employees working.

    You know being Ambassador Elite with Bonvoy, I stay enough at your properties and get exposure to your...

    Worst Marriott managed property ever in the world
    November 2023
    Most horrible experience ever in Marriott family of restaurant! Even low end Marriott hotels have superb customer service skills!

    From check in to breakfast to ease of staff is struggling! Very poor training in place. This property needs help and honest employees working.

    You know being Ambassador Elite with Bonvoy, I stay enough at your properties and get exposure to your staff, upkeep of property & rooms, food & beverage options and amenities. I am also platinum Elite with Allcor & IHG. My wife is Diamond with Hilton.

    So take it from this angle my feedbacks! This property ranks the top of your portfolio as the worst place to stay and spend money on. The employees from valet or porters to front reception check in staff to restaurant employees and food very poor.

    My exposure in particular to Umami, Godzl & Ali HORRIBLE. There’s seems a personal relationship between (HR should be aware, he got very aggressive and defended her actions as normal) between Godzl & Ali, our issue came in on requesting 6 pm check out and Godzl comments with rudeness and facial language was we did as complimentary late check out till 4 pm and that’s a favor we did to you, we charge more money and you can pay and I will see if we have occupancy! (This hotel I will be surprise if has anything more then 15-20% occupancy. Regardless she went on started ignoring my request and told me to make sure check out at 4pm, I requested manager on duty to be arranged for me to share the experiences and request 6 pm check out.

    Ali the manager had no idea what Ambassador Elite status meant just like the previous 2 front reception employees, they don’t know even you24 means! I was embarrassed by these plus other hotel staff was asked to join this conversation and they all were smiling and giggling like we don’t know and we should oblige with their commands. This location needs dire help on training and ethics on Marriott family!

    Ali also told me he’s calling Police as it’s illegal offense to take pictures of the hotel and staff. This is a well witness event that took place, how humiliating! Check your cameras!

    The breakfast staff from check in to food serves lack again training. Simple Earl Grey tea was challenge to get. All food was old dried and literally no sign of freshness. This again due to low occupancy rates and extending food shelf life is evident. Even Emil head butter demeaning attitude and tone in messages and phone answering person Lexi’s (I think) were initial signals of poor management this property, but I ignored.

    I never felt so relived to check out and leave a country on this exposure and treatment of inferior human being by St Regis Marsa staff. I hate to even think who the GM is of this property that allows these atrocities to exist.

    My wife was recommending we stay at Fairmont property but I insisted St Regis! What a mistake, other brands deserve our patronage. Being Ambassador Elite hasn’t any value within the Marriott family of restaurants it seems.

  3. Noah Weismann Guest

    This looks about as soulless as it gets. Why anyone would chose to stay in Doha is a mystery to me. Maybe it’s the novelty of an all suite St. Regis? Personally I’d go to the all villa St. Regis in the Maldives over this any day.

  4. Andy Diamond

    I really don't get the concept of St. Regis, even less in Doha, where there are is such a large number of really excellent hotels. Everything looks bland and overpriced at the St. Regis.

    1. Lina Guest

      Does this hotel offer food and beverage services?

  5. Dude26 New Member

    @Ben - just some feedback from a 10 year reader (maybe more?) :

    Enough with the Qatar / UAE / Bahrain hotel reviews. Pleeeeease. These are some of the more boring places to visit, and reviewing hotels there over and over and over just got really old.
    And, ok Dubai you can argue at least has some things to do in it etc. But, Qatar? Bahrain? Really? The fact these places have a large...

    @Ben - just some feedback from a 10 year reader (maybe more?) :

    Enough with the Qatar / UAE / Bahrain hotel reviews. Pleeeeease. These are some of the more boring places to visit, and reviewing hotels there over and over and over just got really old.
    And, ok Dubai you can argue at least has some things to do in it etc. But, Qatar? Bahrain? Really? The fact these places have a large pool of hotels doesn't mean we need to read about all of them.

    It's your blog (duh lol), but just wanted to pass this feedback as a long time reader.

  6. Ehris Miclat Guest

    As a resident of Qatar, I started following your website to read your reviews on Qatar Airways as it is my frequent airline whenever I travel in and out of Doha. I am glad to see that you and your dad chose to stay in Doha as well and I got excited when you even did a review on Marsa Arabia. I hope you had a great stay despite the hot weather and yes I agree that hospitality here in Qatar is one of the best.

  7. AT Guest

    Ben
    how long are/were you in Doha? It's insanely hot there right now.

    Even the usually perfectly climate-d airport seemed to be struggling last week when I flew through.

    The new lounge is nice but somehow doesn't have the panache that the original did.

  8. iamhere Guest

    I think you need to find some new choices of words to use. Some of what you find amazing or that you rave about is not why I would choose a hotel.

    It does not make sense that all of the one bedroom suites have only one bed but the two bedroom suites one bedroom has one bed and the other has two. Poor planning.

    Service can be surprisingly bad when there are few guests because the staff have less to do.

  9. adam Guest

    I get the impression there's a lot of unused hotel capacity in Doha. You can almost sense the tumbleweeds blowing through these reviews.

  10. jessie Guest

    Just FYI: After the World Cup: what next for Qatar?
    https://www.ft.com/content/14dcfc23-217c-4f22-a046-1f91b2d5f40c

  11. Carrie Gold

    I would love to know the cost of the dirty martini?

  12. david Guest

    is it just me or does this hotel just look completely souless? there is not 1 person featured in any of bens pics - by the pool, walking, lobby etc - i stayed in the other st regis in doha a few years ago - again nice hotel but that too was completely souless...

    1. Schar Diamond

      to be fair:

      1) Ben always wakes up extra early to take pictures when no ones around, so no one is disturbed and also to fully grasp all ambients of the hotel.

      2) if im not mistaken, they went in low season when its 1million degrees outside, so not many tourists around.

  13. DLPTATL Diamond

    @JK - I had the same thought. Having staff quarters is quite unique at a hotel.

    Appreciate that this is not a "dry" hotel. Our recent stay at the Katara Hills Doha LXR was great, but for two Americans, not being able to have a glass of wine with an amazing meal was a bit of a disappointment (though we new this going into the stay). In doing a bit of research, the Katara Hills area of Doha has some cultural designation that prohibits alcohol sales.

  14. Tim Guest

    I was also looking at this for my next Doha trip and was wondering how much you would usually tip there. I never was in a hotel with butler service before.

    1. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

      No need to tip in Doha, it is not expected or customary.

      Whenever staff does an excellent job, you can of course decide to tip them, but please check whether they are allowed to accept this and / or get to keep the proceeds, since it this varies at hotels / restaurants.

  15. Elijah Guest

    It’s cracking me up that the food options are Turkish, Lebanese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, or, if you want something different…Mediterranean

  16. DCharlie Guest

    I’ve stayed at multiple St. Regis and all of them leave something to be desired. The butler or personal concierge is an interesting touch but in my experience, rarely available when needed immediately, with the exception of dining since that takes time to prepare anyways. The remark about the low cost finishes and touches resonate with all of the St. Regis that I’ve stayed at - I almost wonder if the finishes portray that feeling.

  17. JK Guest

    It almost seems like this was a part of the hotel intended to be purchased as a residence vs. a hotel suite. Especially with the full kitchen and space for a maid/helper.

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Elijah Guest

It’s cracking me up that the food options are Turkish, Lebanese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, or, if you want something different…Mediterranean

4
TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

No need to tip in Doha, it is not expected or customary. Whenever staff does an excellent job, you can of course decide to tip them, but please check whether they are allowed to accept this and / or get to keep the proceeds, since it this varies at hotels / restaurants.

2
Schar Diamond

to be fair: 1) Ben always wakes up extra early to take pictures when no ones around, so no one is disturbed and also to fully grasp all ambients of the hotel. 2) if im not mistaken, they went in low season when its 1million degrees outside, so not many tourists around.

1
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