MONDRIAN DOHA, QATAR
In sbe’s first venture into the Middle East, they have acquired acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, whose work resembles a beautifully curated piece of art, to complete the interiors of Mondrian Doha. SPACE visited to take a closer look at the fantasy-like design…
Upon entering the newly opened Mondrian Doha, you are met with an oversized gold leaf bell encasing a magnificent crystal chandelier hanging from the tall ceiling, perfectly contrasting the white walls and columns, not to mention the swirly-pattern tiled floor. You think you’ve seen the most spectacular room in the whole hotel, but this is only the beginning of a wonderful story that will unfold at every turn while walking through this contemporary, yet classic hotel.
Lifestyle hospitality group sbe has come out with all guns blazing for their first opening in the Middle East, and alongside designer Marcel Wanders and architects Southwest Architecture (SWA), they have not held back on the interiors of this 270-key one-of-a-kind hotel.
The five-star destination draws on local knowledge that exhibits innovative materials and techniques, where each space possesses its own identity. Walking through the different areas, a collection of stories forms, weaved together by Wander’s bespoke designs, born from the idea of a truly holistic, sensual and memorable experience.
Mondrian Doha is definitively set to become an iconic building in Qatar’s up-and-coming capital city. From a modest fishing village, Doha has grown to become one of the Middle East’s most exciting cities for culture, art, travel and business, brimming with innovation and possibility. Competing on the same level as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Doha has had an unbelievable surge in hotel investment in the past five years. The interiors of Mondrian Doha both reflect and enhance this, with the hotel claimed to be the most multi-layered sensory experience and luxury hotel in the country. Mondrian is in many ways the symbol of Qatar’s tremendous growth and exciting future.
Marcel Wanders has drawn inspiration from traditional Middle Eastern folk tales and stories for his first hotel in the region. Influences also come from the beauty of local patterns, ornate Arabic writing and historic souks. Standout and memorable elements such as giant columns with golden eggs, flowers, falcon video art, giant shishas, patterned carpets, ornate stained glass and intricate mosaic tiling really makes the Mondrian Doha a work of art.
The essence of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales and stories, has also influenced the design of the space, which is detail-oriented and complex, with a number of facets, levels and layers. Structurally, the building is shaped as a falcon, with several references to the national bird of Qatar also found on the inside; paintings, photos, headpieces and ornaments.
Sensitively rooted in local Arabic culture, the hotel expresses tradition with a modern point of view. Wanders said: “Conceptually, we have married local culture with a modern design aesthetic to compile tales told from legends through sophisticated verses of poetry.” The hotel truly is the embodiment of Arabia through a modern lens, which in turn mirrors the modern reality of Doha.
The hotel’s public areas are probably the most exciting public areas you will see in a while. Just off the marvellous lobby, you carry on into the even more jaw-dropping lounge, which can only be described as a surreal frozen forest characterised by giant white Trees of Life.
On the 26th and 27th floors, the Rooftop Pool and Rise Lounge rest under the Tiffany Lamp-inspired rooftop dome in three different colours that adapt into intriguing atmospheres.
The impressive glass dome skylight is entirely mesmerising and creates a fantastical ambience. A focal point of the atrium is the striking, black, custom-designed spiral staircase that swirls over four storeys, leading up to a viewing platform. The spirals give off the effect the stairs are extending into the sky.
There are five distinct guest room categories at Mondrian Doha; in addition to standard guestrooms there’s a penthouse suite, studio suites, and one- and two-bedroom suites. The standard rooms all share the universal design details of spectacular crystal chandeliers and sumptuous bespoke furniture in hues chosen to mirror the desert.
The penthouse is located on the 23rd floor of the building, and, in addition to obvious incredible views, offers great design details – the interiors and the 360 degree views of Doha are seamlessly matched, for instance in Wander’s iconic floating staircase and hand-painted One-Minute Delft blue vases. Breathtaking and sophisticated at the same time, other locally-inspired features such as custom-designed Dean Majilis sofas and a ‘cabinet of information’ filled with objects and details, allow you to familiarise yourself with the fascinating history and culture of the region. The Penthouse has a living room, master king bedroom, two twin bedrooms, dining room and entertainment room complete with a pool table and piano.
The world-class ESPA at Mondrian Doha offers an unparalleled journey combining health, beauty and wellbeing. The brand’s first spa in the region and the biggest spa in Qatar, the beautiful design elements make the space luxurious and soothing. Separate female and male departments are available, alongside twelve treatment rooms, a heat experience garden and a traditional Turkish hammam.
Eating and drinking
With eight restaurants and bars, Mondrian Doha is in many ways a culinary emporium. Some of the restaurants are run by internationally renowned chefs and are entirely new to both the country and the region. This includes Wolfgang Puck, famous for his CUT by Wolfgang Puck concept, whose slick and sophisticated steak restaurants can be found all over the world, and Masaharu Morimoto, who has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. As for the other dining outlets, Middle Eastern cuisine is at the heart of the food that is served at the soon-to-open Walima, while the New York-themes Hudson Tavern is the place for indulgence in burgers and great vibes.
Meeting and events
The hotel offers a variety of impressive venue options for meeting and events. On the ground floor is the remarkable and expansive Moonstone Ballroom, kitted out with crystal chandeliers, ornate ceiling domes and signature columns that create the sense of luxury and extravaganza, and an opulent 24k gold-sculpted lift links the room to the ’secret’ Opal Bridal Suite.
A further 500 square metre of flexible function and conference space is available at the hotel.
In his nearly 30-year career in interior design, Marcel Wanders has been celebrated for his design, and he should definitively be celebrated for his work at Mondrian Doha – what an introduction to the region, eh? Wanders’ mission of creating an environment of love, living with passion and making the most exciting dreams come true is clearly something he has succeeded in at this remarkable hotel. The design of Mondrian Doha excites, provokes and polarises, and never ceases to surprise.