Hotels for business travelers are a dime a dozen. They are usually well appointed and typically comfortable, but ultimately they are boxes with a buffet and an ugly view of the airport.
The Oryx Rotana in Doha definitely fits this mold. It’s a rectangular building set off from the Doha International Airport by about 200 yards. It’s designed to be functional and located for convenience. And yet, I must admit that it’s one of the few hotels in this category that actually does the concept well.
For me, the difference was in the electronics. The entire room was wired for ease of functionality and built with the business traveler in mind. Instead of card readers, the room keycards had embedded NFC chips so a simple tap unlocked the door. Business travelers are always juggling things at the door to their room, so this little convenience makes a big difference.
Then the key itself turned on the room. You placed the key in a slot by the door and this turned on the power for everything from the lights to the wall sockets. It also made it easy to turn off everything when you left, as well as providing you with an easily remembered place to leave your room key.
And every light, the room temperature and other functions could be controlled by a panel next to the bed. So that moment when you turn out the bed lamp only to realize the bathroom light is still on is completely erased. I know, it’s a first-world problem, but it still bugs the hell out of me. Kudos to them for caring.
As for the buffet? It’s a buffet. I will say that given it being located in the middle east there was outstanding hummus, but overall it was a typical upscale buffet spread. And the restaurants and bars were passable, but nothing to write home about. But still, you can’t expect full luxury in this category and price-point. So I rank the property highly in both areas.
I give the Oryx Rotana a “Stay” rating with the caveat that it’s perfect for business travel, but lacking for leisure accommodations. If your goal is convenience and functionality, this is an outstanding property that does everything right.
We Blog The World featured writer, Bob Knorpp, traveled to Doha, Qatar on behalf of the site. These are his dispatches from the tour and dining event sponsored by Qatar Airways. The Oryx Rotana is part of Oryx Holdings, the company that owns Qatar Airways.