Perfect pool days

Shereen D’Souza says get your swimsuit ready and take the plunge Discuss this article

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Summer is almost over and we have just a few weeks left to take advantage. We need to fully appreciate this pool-perfect weather by visiting the city’s most sociable (and luxurious) pool spots. We’ve covered them all from the laid-back to the lively and the cheap and cheery to the outright extravagant. The sun is out, the towels are fluffy and the water is calling our names. All you need to do is slather on that sunscreen lotion. And give us your best belly flop.

ISLAND RETREAT
Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

This island escape is just 30 minutes off Doha shores. You can expect beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, tranquillity and exclusivity and year-round sunshine on a pristine private beach and swimming pools over a huge 10,000 sq m. There’s a laid-back beach grill where you can savour tasty bites while listening to upbeat music. Children can enjoy all the water slides just around the corner. Plus, the September special is the ‘Hello Beautiful Weather’ package where you get QR200 food and beverage credit, QR50 credit on recreational activities (which are aplenty in Banana Island), luxury boat transfers to and from Doha Corniche and of course, pool and beach access. Pool days literally can’t get better than this.
QR350 (weekdays, per person), QR500 (weekends, per person), QR350 (children 5-11 years). Open daily 8am-8pm (Q-Lounge pool and waterpark), 8am-sunset (Lagoon pool and beach). Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara (4040 5050).

CITY VIEWS
City Centre Rotana Doha

Kick back in the temperature-controlled pool or in a private gazebo while admiring tall buildings and skyscrapers that adorn Doha’s skyline. It’s not your usual crystal blue sea view, but it’s different. Get some refreshing beverages from the Aquarius Pool Bar and let the children exert their energy in the playground.
Weekdays QR100 (adults), QR50 (children). Weekends QR150 (adults), QR60 (children). Open daily 6am-9pm. City Centre Rotana Doha, West Bay (4445 8888).

URBAN OASIS
Doha Marriott Hotel

This one is an absolute bargain of a pool day, though it looks anything but thrifty. You can get access to the swanky pool for just QR50, which will also cover towels. And there’s an exclusive day just for ladies on Sundays. Cabanas are also complimentary, but limited to availability. Doha Marriott also has introduced the Beachill, which is an eco-friendly, outdoor, sleep haven that can charge any portable device, keep your beverages cold in its built-in thermo fridge and store your valuables. It’s waterproof, sun-proof and anti-bacterial, too. So grab your girl gang and get down here early for a taste of this urban oasis for almost nothing. It’s a tough life…
Weekdays QR50 (ladies), QR100 (men). Weekends QR150 (per person). Open daily noon-2am. Doha Marriott Hotel, Ras Abu Aboud (4429 8888).

LUXURIOUS RETREAT
Four Seasons Hotel

Have you always dreamed of taking your massive unicorn floaty to a pool where no one will judge you? Have you fantasised about swaying your hair under a running waterfall? Have you pre-planned a photoshoot where you’re sitting on rocks and posing for the camera while pretending you didn’t plan this at all? Did you just answer yes to all of these questions? If you did, you’re going to love the pools at the Four Seasons Hotel. There are seven grotto pools, kids’ pools with slides, Jacuzzis and a private beach, too. There’s Pool Grill right round the corner where you can grab a delicious around-the-world breakfast (try the Australian or the Indian) or just head over to your beach bed and let yourself experience true luxury as the Four Seasons spoil you with towels, fruits and even sunscreen (you know how much we love sunscreen).
Weekdays QR175 (per person). Weekends QR275 (per person). Open daily 6am-9pm. Four Seasons Hotel, West Bay (4494 8888).

POOL PARTIES
Fraser Suites West Bay

The Fraser Suites pool area is slick yet cosy and in case you decide to supervise your children, there are bean bags in the children's pool area. You can take a break and munch on some very reasonably priced beverages between QR25-40 and snacks between QR50-70. The day pass includes use of the pool, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, kids club and the game room. It’s actually perfect to celebrate a birthday with a bunch of pals and the good news is groups of four or more get discounted rates (as low as QR105). In case you really, really like it and decide on a monthly/yearly membership, there are discounts from 10 to 15 percent all through this month.
QR120 (per person). Open daily 7am-10pm. Fraser Suites West Bay Doha (4495 5000).

BEST ALL-ROUNDER
Grand Hyatt Doha

Let’s start slowly and build this up. Doha’s longest hotel private beach is right here (400m long). The health club wet area includes an inhalation room and an infra-red room. The best rates in town for water sports are here (so you can jet-ski, kayak or even head out on a speed boat). There are not one, but four outdoor pools and two additional pools for children. There’s an Italian restaurant if you’re in the mood for an al fresco lunch (or you could just make your way to Santa Monica Breakfast Club). Alternatively, don’t move a muscle and place your orders with the Beach Bar. There’s nothing you can't do if you decide on a pool day here.
Weekdays QR175 (per person), QR250 (full health club access). Weekends QR275 (per person), QR350 (full health club access). Open daily 6pm-11pm (indoor pool), 7am-sunset (outdoor pools and beach). Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel and Villas, West Bay
Lagoon (4448 1234).

FANTASTIC VIEWS
Hilton Doha

There’s a beach right across from the pool and so many food and beverage outlets around the pool (yes, Trader Vic’s is just a stone’s throw away), so what’s stopping you from heading there this very minute? The weather is right and we promise you, some of the best views of Doha and the sea are from right here. We’ve also got a solution for that final hiccup. For this month only, there’s a special offer on gym memberships. Enroll before September 15 and get three months free for singles or couples. Why are you still here?
Weekdays QR80 (per person). Weekends QR170 (per person). Open daily 7am-8pm (swimming pool), 7am-sunset (beach). Hilton Doha, West Bay (4423 3441).

LUCKY LADIES
InterContinental Doha

We love this pool so much because you can walk on the beach and then take a dip. It’s beautifully constructed and it’s perfect for a whole day of chilling. Plus, there are amazing restaurants such as Mykonos to grab a bite at when you want a break. You can alternatively stay by the poolside and enjoy some food at the Pool Terrace. And for September, ladies get special prices on day passes. Excellent.
QR100 (weekdays for ladies, special offer this month only), QR200 (males), QR200 (couples), QR80 (children), QR350 (adults, Saturdays). Fridays are for members only. Open daily 6am-9pm (outdoor and children’s pool), 7am-sunset (beach). InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4444).

INDOOR RELAXATION
La Cigale

Okay sunscreen (and sunlight) may not be for everyone and although we’re moderately judging those who shirk getting their Vitamin D in, we’re leaving you with an excellent option for indoor chill. When you think you’ve had a bit too much of pool time, there’s a Jacuzzi right round the corner. Pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, desserts and much more can be ordered from the room service menu. There’s good news if you’re serious about swimming. La Cigale is offering 30 percent off on any of the single gym memberships at Ozone Gym, which also includes use of the swimming pool. Hurrah! We won’t raise an eyebrow if we see you chilling on a sunbed indoors with a glass of orange juice in your hand, every day.
QR200 (single), QR350 (couple), kids below 2 free. Open daily 6am-11pm. La Cigale, Al Sadd (4428 8888).

QUIRKY LUXURY
Mondrian Doha

It’s not every day that you get to take a dip with your Swarovski-studded swimsuit and your waterproof (up to 30m) digital watch. The criteria are plenty but at the top of that list is a worthy pool. At Mondrian, you’ll be sitting under Marcel Wanders’ hand-painted sky-dome, relaxing in this garden-type sanctuary. It’s plush, it’s quirky and it’s everything your bling-heart desires. Take a day pass, book a treatment at ESPA or just join the gym to access this luxurious body of water. Whichever way you choose, make sure your cameras (and Instagram) are ready.
QR150 (single), QR250 (weekends), QR350 (family – 2 adults, 2 children. QR100 per extra child). Open daily 8am-6pm. Mondrian Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4045 5555).

TOP BARGAIN
Mövenpick Hotel Doha

Think small and cosy and you have this rooftop pool in Mövenpick. It’s right off the Corniche and it’s perfect for spending a quiet afternoon by yourself with a good book and a healthy beverage that you can order from the pool area. There’s a Jacuzzi, too, and for the price, this is definitely a top bargain.
QR50 (day use), QR500 (monthly). Open daily 7am-8pm. Mövenpick Hotel Doha, Corniche (4429 1111).

FOR THE THRIFTY
Oryx Rotana

At QR75, we can’t even begin to explain what an incredible deal this is. Not only do you get access to a decent-sized pool and a sun-lounger, you also get water, complimentary refreshments like fresh fruit sticks and cold towels even. The pool area is flanked with umbrellas so there’s plenty of shade. The pool bar serves refreshing drinks, snacks, sandwiches and salads. This is just everything we’ve been looking for.
QR75 (per person). Open daily 6am-11pm. Oryx Rotana, Umm Ghuwailina (4402 3486).

FAMILY FUN
Radisson Blu Hotel Doha

Children can enjoy the slides in the children’s pool with the temperature-controlled L-shaped adults’ pool right in front. There’s a pool bar menu that serves beverages and bites to your side. The entire area is covered by trees so it almost feels like you’ve escaped the city with your family for a super fun day out. Check out the promotion valid for this month only with reduced prices for the entire family to join the Cabana Club. If you want to keep things simple (and tasty), pool access is included for free with the Friday Carvery Brunch at Radisson for QR175 per person.
Weekdays QR100 (single), QR50 (child). Weekends QR150 (single), QR75 (child). Open daily 6am-10pm (main pool), 6am-8pm (children’s pool). Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, Ramada Signal (4428 1528).

LUSH LANDSCAPE
Shangri-La Hotel Doha

Located on the seventh floor, the entire area is beautifully landscaped with palm trees in the water, comfy sun beds with massive towels that fit perfectly, a pool bar, an adorable bridge that doesn’t really serve any purpose but looks great and overall amazing views. There’s a Jacuzzi and a children’s pool, so really this place is all about an entire day of proper chilling. Chi, The Spa is right round the corner if you need some additional pampering.
QR250 (per person, inclusive of QR75 credit for food and beverages at the Pool Bar), QR150 (per child, inclusive of one drink, a meal and ice cream for children up to 12 years), QR500 (family). Open Sun-Wed 6am-8pm. Shangri-La Hotel Doha, West Bay (4429 5000).

ICONIC POOL
Sheraton Grand Doha

Ever wanted to swim just for bragging rights? This may not be a regular phenomenon for normal people, but Time Out Doha looks out for everyone. Take a dip in this iconic landmark’s pool because it’s one of Doha’s oldest hotels and also because the views from here are stunning. There’s a beach, too, if you’re more of a salt than a chlorine person. And there have been times when they’ve installed an inflatable water park and obstacle course. Just saying. There’s a pool café called Pool Café (very original) for relaxed lunches with lush landscaping and crystal blue waters on the horizon.
Weekdays QR100 (ladies and children), QR250 (couple), QR350 (family). Weekends QR150 (ladies and children), QR350 (couple), QR450 (family). Open daily 8am-8pm (pool), 8am-sunset (beach). Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel, West Bay
(4485 4600).

REGAL RELAXATION
The St. Regis Doha

Right across a smooth stone deck is The St. Regis’ Olympic-size swimming pool, also the biggest pool in Doha, with sprawling beach views. It’s the perfect retreat to refresh and relax on lounge chairs or just spend the day in one of the luxury floating beds. There are gazebos by the pool and you can even rent a classy cabana for the day to enjoy a private sundeck and Jacuzzi. If you’re looking at a little adventure or getting in some adrenaline rush, there’s loads of water sports to choose from besides tennis, snorkelling, beach success and much more. The property can create a bespoke experience as well with your own private butler. There are few luxurious experiences in the city that come close to this. Talk about relaxing like a royal.
Weekdays QR250 (single), QR350 (couple), QR550 (family). Weekends QR450 (single), QR500 (couple), QR600 (family). QR2,000 (Sea-view cabana), QR1,500 (non sea-view cabana). Open daily 6am-sunset (swimming pool), 9am-8pm (cabana), 10am-5pm (water sports). The St. Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0304).

INFINITY POOL
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa

A large infinity pool lined with palm trees makes for a perfect spot to relax in between dips into the cooled pool and the beach. You’re probably wondering how Westin has a beach being right in the middle of the city. Besides having four refreshing pools to choose from, there’s a man-made beach which is more of a wave pool – it’s shallow and perfect for children. There’s an indoor pool area for those looking for more privacy and every Sunday from 11am-1pm, ladies get to use it exclusively. The Waves Pool Café has snacks, ice creams and beverages with shaded wooden tables and, just how we like it, comfortable poolside seating. For September only, families (two adults, three children) get to use the facilities for QR250 during weekdays and QR450 on weekends. From Sunday to Wednesday, ladies get 50 percent off on the day-use pool pass.
Weekdays QR100 (adults), QR75 (children. Weekends QR200 (adults), QR150 (children). Open daily 10am-6pm (wave pool), 7am-9pm (infinity pool), 7am-10pm (indoor pool). The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, Fereej Bin Mahmoud (4492 1555).

A UNIQUE DIP
Torch Doha

This is Doha’s most unique swimming pool. Have you driven past The Torch and noticed an oval-shaped structure jutting out from the middle of the tower? That’s the swimming pool and it’s actually much better from inside than outside. Colours inside the pool change after dark and during daylight, you have gorgeous views of all of Doha. It’s the highest pool in the city and an experience you won’t forget. You can curl up on their lounge chairs and order food and beverages from Kufic Lounge and once you’re done, make a day of it at their wet facilities. Pro tip – there are jet showers here with different set ups. Sundays to Tuesdays are for women only.
QR100 (ladies day), QR150 (per person). Open daily 7am-7pm. Torch Doha, Aspire Zone, Al Waab (4446 5600).

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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