qatar

This trip was filled with so much contrast. We left one of the poorest countries in the world – Nepal – for the wealthiest country in the world. Qatar is known to have the highest GDP per capita in the world, with a GDP growth rate of over 16%. And guess what the unemployment rate is. About half of one percent.

Just like in Nepal, we were under a time crunch in Qatar with only about twenty-four hours there. The second I was in the hotel’s air conditioned car (only a mild 110 degrees outside) with my iced water and cold washcloth, driving along the palm-tree lined roads on the water, I knew I could stay there for much longer than one day!

The cityscape was beautiful, mostly because of the incredible architecture right on the water.

We made it to the hotel, which was more like a beach resort than anything (definitely not what I would’ve expected in Qatar of all places!), and were instantly in heaven. It was paradise. I would’ve been perfectly content to never leave the hotel.

Because we hadn’t eaten the entire day (and barely ate the day before in Nepal…or in India for that matter) we were starving and raced over to the hotel’s lunch buffet. When I saw the menu’s theme for the day, I truly thought I had died and gone to heaven.

MEXICAN FOOD.

Anyone that knows me is aware of my passion for guacamole. Mexican food is my staple. I eat it at least once a week. And living in Southern California, it’s pretty readily available.

But in Doha, Qatar – a mere 89 miles from Bahrain, 119 miles from Saudi Arabia, and 306 miles from Iran – it was a bit of a surprise.

As we saw the three-room Mexican food buffet, I had one of those freak-out moments. And boy, I didn’t know it was possible for a girl my size to consume that much food in just one sitting.

Serving 1: Platter of chips, guacamole, salsa, beans, rice, and homemade tortillas.
Serving 2: Three steak tacos piled high with every topping imaginable.
Serving 3: Taco salad.
Serving 4: Carne asada.
Serving 5: More beans, rice, and tortillas.
I think you get the idea.

It was the meal of a lifetime.

Then I went into a food coma for a few hours.

After our amazing meal, and some time to recover, we went to some of the main sites in Doha…one of which was the Villagio Mall. An indoor mall built to look like you are in Venice with indoor canals, gondolas, painted ceilings, and an old Italian style design. Sound familiar? It very conveniently rhymes with the Bellagio…but I’m sure it’s just a coincidence!

After a few hours poking around the mall…without buying anything…we made it back to the hotel to take a little nap before dinner. And all five of us ended up passing out for the night. That is what you call a serious food coma.

The next day, we spent our time relaxing at the hotel, swimming in the Arabian Gulf, and grieving about having to leave such a beautiful hotel.

But all good things must come to an end, and I can’t even begin to describe how excited my family was to be on our way to Europe. While we absolutely loved our time in India, Nepal, and Qatar, it was a tad bit relaxing to know that we were going back to more Western countries for the duration of the trip, where at least the language barriers weren’t so extreme!

Doha, Qatar

Where to Stay

Four Seasons Hotel Doha
While it might be a little bit pricey, if you have the opportunity to stay here, the hotel is worth it. The rooms themselves are gorgeous, luxurious, and make you never want to leave the hotel. The service is impeccable – everyone there is so eager to help. The hotel grounds are immaculate, and the location couldn’t be better. With its own private beach, the hotel allows for both the city life and a relaxing, resort feel. We couldn’t have been happier with our stay in Doha.

What to Do

I would recommend, first and foremost, taking some time to enjoy the hotel’s grounds. Take a dip in the Arabian Gulf, go swimming in their beautiful (and empty) pools, and enjoy some delicious food. When you start to feel a bit antsy, I’d recommend taking a taxi to either some of the major museums (The Museum of Islamic Art looked pretty incredible) or to one of the major malls. It was a fun experience to witness the shopping culture in Qatar!

Where to Eat

You can’t go wrong in Doha. We ate our meals at the hotel, and they were incredible, but the restaurants in the malls and throughout town are highly rated, safe, and won’t disappoint!

Next stop: Athens, Greece!


34 Responses to qatar

  1. Nicole says:

    WOW! Gorgeous! The beach and the marina with the yachts looked incredible!!!! Can’t wait to hear about Europe next.

  2. If I ever go swimming in the Arabian Gulf, I will think to myself (over and over), ‘You are swimming in the ARABIAN GULF!’ 😉

  3. This place looks absolutely gorgeous!! What a contrast from the poverty in Nepal!!

  4. Amanda says:

    AMAZING! I am so jealous of this trip!

  5. Melissa says:

    looks like your having a great time! I expect a bloggy post card 😉

    Can’t wait to see more pics!

  6. birdie to be says:

    This trip keeps getting better & better! So dreamy!

  7. Oh Star! Now all I feel like is Mexican! Where on earth did someone as tiny as you put all that food? LOL The photos are gorgeous. Looking forward to hearing about Greece. Always wanted to go. (In fact, I’ve got all the ingredients for Moussaka in the fridge as we speak. LOL)

    Anne xx

  8. Catherine says:

    Forget the MBA — you should be writing for Conde Nast!!! 🙂

  9. That beach looks gorgeous! And I loved your enthusiasm for the buffet- that cracked me up! 🙂 A girl can only eat so much rice, right?!

    • Star says:

      Haha thank you Stephanie!!! I definitely ate a little more than my body could handle, hence the food coma! Thanks for your always sweet comments!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    The scenery is beautiful! I can so see why you didn’t want to leave.

    • Star says:

      I so didn’t want to leave! Though it’s always nice being back in your own bed…in more moderate weather too :). Thanks for your sweet comments Jennifer!

  11. Natalie says:

    Star! This trip sounds Amazing! My friend from college lives in Doha now and loves it. After seeing your pictures, I don’t blame him. So incredible. What a stark contrast.

  12. Oh my gosh, your TRIP! Your PICTURES! Your GORGEOUSNESS! Oh my. Can’t wait to see Greece. 🙂

  13. Gloria says:

    Ok, now I’m hungry for Mexican 🙂 What a beautiful place – I’ll need to add Qatar to my travel list!

  14. priscilla says:

    I love that chair and the carpeting , its soooo shabby chic.

  15. Valerie says:

    Looks so fun. So glad to be along on your trip with you. I feel like I’m tucked away in your pocket. Looking forward to Greece, I’ve always wanted to go there 🙂

  16. liz says:

    YOu know what’s funny! I’m from India and I’ve been vacationing in Doha for 3 weeks now and I read your blog today and it’s like you’re writing about so many things relevant to me! Funny! Glad you had a lovely time!

  17. Jean says:

    You go girl…I’m very proud of your BIG appetite! I, too, have a “hollow leg,” as they say… And, who knew that you would find Mexican-food-heaven in Qatar! Wow. 🙂

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