“These samosas are as good as my Mum’s,” I said to Pumpkin.
They call us chalk and cheese but for us, it works. We agree on the important issues – like how to identify a distinguished samosa.
He gave a characteristic nod, knowingly, silently. He was aware, as I was, that the brief accolade I had imparted reflected the embracing, homely environment that was about to unfold around us in Doha; ironic really, considering how far away we were from home, unravelling breakfast plates somewhere high up in a skyscraper hotel in Qatar.
On paper, I never could have anticipated feeling so at home in a city business hotel, let alone one in a completely unfamiliar country but the subtle parallels would soon make themselves known.
Not everyone has a joyous home life but I’m grateful that I was one of the lucky ones. For us, home was a place where we never went hungry and where sweet treats would surprise us when we walked in after an arduous, scorching Middle Eastern summer day. It was a place where we felt safe, where those around us always took an interest in what we had to say and where love was manifested in dinner plates. And always, always, there
were are samosas.
Okay, so our hotel suite at InterContinental Doha the City may have been larger than many London apartments and I can’t say I ever grew up with a skyscraper studded view whilst brushing my teeth but if you bear with me & read on, I’ll try and explain what I mean about home.
First though, the logistics: Doha has no shortage of luxury hotels but with only 2 days at our disposal and having just flow back from the paradise beach break that was the Philippines, my goal in Doha was to lap up the city life and acclimatise my way back to London. My priority was a city hotel with all the convenience of a central location without compromising on any of the pampering of a resort hotel and this was how I found myself Googling “best city hotels in Doha.”
Suites at InterContinental Doha The City
When we first walked into the lobby at IC Doha The City, we were bleary eyed and dishevelled. At any other time of day, this may have perturbed me but at 2am after a flight delay, I didn’t much care about my smudged eyeliner. Thankfully, neither did the staff, whose key priority was to get us checked in, logged in, watered and of course – rather like my Mama – to get us fed so that we could rest without any further ado.
The unexpected upgrade to the suite was a welcome surprise to two jet-lagged adults, who were so exhausted that they would have contentedly had a kip in an empty bath tub had it been proposed. Within 10 minutes of exiting our cab, we were up in our room, our muscles willing us to crawl beneath the covers, bidding a dramatic farewell to the alarm clock.
Our leaping hearts, however, thrilled like children at Christmas Eve, had us glued to the windows, as we gazed on at the panoramic views of Doha’s sparkling skyline. Awoken by its appeal, we could have headed straight for the Nespresso machine to revive us further but that didn’t get a second look once we saw those tasty welcome treats lurking beneath a glass dome and asking to be devoured.