Hotelier’s Louise Oakley checks into the new St. Regis Doha and discovers a premium hotel product managed by a team obsessed with delivering the finest luxury service in the market
Tareq Derbas is a perfectionist, in his own words “obsessed” with the finer details of luxury hotel service. And considering he is at the helm of Doha’s newest luxury hotel, the St. Regis Doha, a project worth more than QR 2 billion (US $54.9 million), I wouldn’t expect anything less.
And nor would Derbas: “In my hotel, there’s no room for mistakes,” he tells me during my visit to the hotel in April, just 10 days after the opening on the first of the month. “We need to be fully committed to guarantee a flawless and bespoke guest experience; and for that, I spend a considerable amount of time inspecting what I expect.
“I believe that the key to the finest hotel service is an obsessive concern to details for those small indications of personal recognition and attention”.
This is a philosophy shared by the hotel’s owner, Omar Hussein Alfardan, one of Qatar’s most experienced and respected businessmen and president of the Alfardan Group. Alfardan owns several of Qatar’s top hotels, including Kempinski Residences & Suites Doha, but through Resorts Development Company he sought to develop “the pinnacle of luxury living” with the Al Gassar Resort in West Bay, of which St. Regis forms the hotel element.
“The market was missing a unique destination with the total offering of the highest standard of quality materials, sufficient space, authentic taste, contemporary look and superlative hospitality service which is the true essence of what the Arab and Islamic world is all about,” observes Alfardan. “And I think all of those components are met in St. Regis Doha at Al Gassar Resort.
“We foresee the hotel to set new standards of luxury service in the region becoming the benchmark for the discerning international traveller. It is the Rolls Royce of the hotel industry and we complement it with other brands we represent,” adds Alfardan.
For Derbas, working with Alfardan gave him the opportunity to implement luxury ideals far above the norm — quite something for a hotelier who was previously hotel manager at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.
From the outset, the need to create magnificence, elegance and sophistication through an exquisite interior came above all else, with an original plan for rent-generating retail space in the lobby being shelved in favour of a higher ceiling, for example.
Article continues on next page ...