Mondrian — Doha, Qatar
As anyone familiar with Mondrian hotels knows, understatement is not the chain’s defining trait. From outside – and especially at night – the group’s latest property in Doha resembles something dreamed up by Hayao Miyazaki, and this hallucinogenic quality continues within.
The 270-key property comes with seven in-house eateries, including the craft beer and burgers spot Hudson Tavern, Japanese restaurant Morimoto and, more intriguingly, Walima, which promises a taste of Qatari cuisine.
Its most spectacular moments include a spiral lace-work staircase that touches down in the atrium like a Chinese dragon, a bold black-and-white indoor pool that appears to shelter under a titanic Tiffany lampshade and a mini-forest of soaring cloud trees in the almost all-white lounge.
Like the rooms – essays in opulent restraint that feature decorative arabesques and striking re-workings of the Persian miniature, and which exude a distinctly Scheherazade vibe – it is all the work of Marcel Wanders, Holland’s most playful designer. Here, he’s worked in collaboration with local consultants South West Architecture.
Rounding off the Mondrian’s Alice-meets-Arabian-Nights excess is the region’s largest ESPA spa, a psychedelic extravaganza of bubble-clad chambers that would do Verner Panton proud.