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La Cigale Hotel: Full of Surprises in the Heart of Doha, Qatar

By Glenn Harris

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Often in life, we find enjoyment when we learn about something new, rare, or something not widely known.  It makes us feel a bit more special to know or experience something unique that most are unaware exists.

For me, I had no idea what to expect when I went to Doha in the tiny country of Qatar.  With only 1.7 million residents, Qatar has the highest national income of over $90,000 per capita.  Its streets are lined with some of the most unique architecture in the world with exotic buildings lining the urban skyline.  A very special place of  proud people, rich with culture and tradition. It is a special place.  


Doha Skyline

La Cigale hotel is where powerful business tycoons and well-heeled travelers seek refuge in the heart of Doha.  It is striking 20 story high-design hotel with an exceptional level of personal service. And the guests and industry agree.  It was named the 2010 and 2012 Qatar Leading Hotel by the World Travel Awards and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.  La Cigale is one of the city’s most esteemed hotels and offers an engaging blend of contemporary style and cosmopolitan ambiance.

The simple exterior of La Cigale provides a stark contrast to the stylish interior teemed with a touch of opulence and indulgence including tableaux by Carlos Cruiz-Diez, Murano chandeliers, custom-made seats by Poltrona Frau and crystal Baccarat tables designed by Philippe Starck. 

After I settled in and met with the staff, my first question was what is a Cigale.  It is actually known as the cigale de mer and is a rare sea creature in the lobster family.  It is uncommon and found in very few places on earth. One is lucky to find it.   The name seemed to fit perfectly as the five-star La Cigale hotel with its opulence beyond opulence and where you’ll find rarity, the best of everything, and a number of surprises.


Swarovski Lounge Chair

The first surprise that you’ll find is the two Edra Tatlin sofas infused with Swarovski crystals that greet you in the lobby.  They are completely studded with Swarovski crystals and designed to perfectly fit the theme of the hotel as they wind in cone like circles resembling a sea shell. The sea theme is found throughout La Cigale with references to waves as found on the corridor walls or the various shades of blue throughout.

The next surprise that you’ll find is in each of the elevators. They are adorned with gold paint and Swarovski crystals which give it an over the top shimmer. And I don’t mean gold colored paint either…

The rooms are to die for…with plush white duvet covers, pillow of all types.  The marbled bathroom with a deep bath and artesian shower are completed with the Acqua di Parma amenities. After a relaxing soak, the order of the day was to lounge in the terrycloth robe until the desire to snooze a bit took over.


Le Central

Le Central

Le Central, The Seafood Bar

After our rest, the next course of action was to have a bite for dinner.   It wasn’t an easy choice as the hotel has 11 restaurants to choose from.  For our first night we chose the romantic Le Central.  It is a trendy and contemporary, and features Mediterranean specialties.  But there’s one thing that is really cool about the restaurant aside from the rich antipasto boat station, interesting views of the bustling Al Sadd Street stories below, or the friendly staff. It is the seafood  bar experience. Your waiter escorts you to the seafood  bar where he tells you about the types of fish and seafood that you are seeing as they are displayed on ice.  They’ll tell you where they are from, how they can be prepared, and then you make your selection…..another nice surprise almost a good as the dish itself which was prepared to perfection.

Di Capri

Di Capri

Di Capri, A true taste of Italy

The next night we opted for the Di Capri, A true taste of Italy, this fine dining restaurant celebrates the cuisine of Capri, an Italian island off the south of the Gulf of Naples.   Their Italian Chef has designed Di Capri menu to please the most finicky food connoisseur’s palate. Featuring unique appetizers, salads, entrees and pasta selections, each dish is prepared with fresh, wholesome local and imported ingredients.


Le Cigalon Restaurant for a true culinary experience of International Cuisine with a wide array of Lebanese Specialties overlooking an open kitchen area. It also features an outstanding buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yen Sushi Bar serves freshly wrapped Sushi & Sashimi in a contemporary environment; on a rotating belt. Orangery Coffee Shop is a getaway spot where one can savor a selection of fine coffees, aromatic teas, waffles & crepes, light snacks - like Saj, Pizzas, with a wide variety of pastries and tempting frozen delights. Cigar Lounge is a intimate setting offering an exclusive cigar menu.  The Madison Piano Bar The Madison Piano Bar includes a stylish dining area featuring salads, finger food, main courses, sushi & sashimi and cigars complemented by an assortment of fine beverages. The Arabic performance of the one-man-show every night (except DJ nights on Sundays) makes this eclectic venue one of the best places  in Doha for enjoying a drink and a little good cheer..  On the 15th floor is the Sky View Bar, and outdoor terrace bar featuring breathtaking views of the city. La Cigale Traiteur Shop is One of Doha’s most outstanding shopping havens. It is the hotel’s Signature Gourmet Shop with different In-House productions: Bakeries, Pies, Cakes, Custom Cookies & elaborate Wedding Cakes, Ice Creams, Oriental Sweets, Lebanese Food Specialties, along with 180 cheese types from all around the world, La Cigale Chocolates and a large selection of Cigars. On the right of La Cigale Traiteur, a Flower Shop is located offering a selection of the most beautiful arrangements and different types of flowers. 

As if we weren’t relaxed enough, we decided to indulge in the Ozone Gym & SpaThey offer a spa and wellness centre for full relaxation and keeping in shape. We enjoyed an amazing 50 minute relaxing massage that got deep into the sore muscles that simply rubbed the stress right out of our bodies.   

Al Riyan Royal Suite

Before we regrettably departed, we had a chance to take a tour of the property and uncover other surprises.  We were amazed with the Al Riyan Royal Suite.  It was literally a suite fit for a king and more of a palace within a palace than a suite.  It was huge and spread over 650 square meters with commanding views of Doha.  Throughout there were exquisite works of art, accessories by St. Louis, Baccarat, and Lalique, genuine leather furniture by Smania, and state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen entertainment equipment.  In a word: Stunning.

It was the perfect end to stay. From the opulence at every corner, accommodations beyond reproach, flawless services, entertainment, dining options and more, La Cigale has got it all. La Cigale is a rare and special five star hotel with delightful surprises at every turn.   


For more information on the La Cigale Hotel, visit:  http://www.lacigalehotel.com/

Published on Dec 23, 2012

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