It will take around 25 minutes to reach the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, the cruise coordinator announced after reminding us of the standard safety procedures. But it was difficult to concentrate on her words while a panoramic view of the city’s skyline loomed outside the window as the catamaran sped away from the private Al Shyoukh Terminal situated on the Corniche, Doha’s famous waterfront promenade.
Located on a crescent-shaped island in the middle of the ocean, off the coast of downtown Doha, the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a perfect hideout if you are looking for a few days of bliss or a wellness holiday. Surrounded by cerulean water, the resort sports an 800 metre long beach. Apart from luxury accommodation, it has multiple restaurants, wellness centre, a cinema complex, and a slew of land and water based sporting activities, including surfing and diving.
As the catamaran docked, strains of drum beats floated down to us. Members of the staff always welcome guests with music, we were told. But what made us stop short was the grand Welcome Centre, a parabolic structure made of spruce glulam (glued laminated timber) imported from Europe.
The 141-room resort is spread over an area of 32 acres. There are different categories of rooms (rooms, suites, beach pool villas and over water pool villas). Depending on the category you choose, you will enjoy facilities such as regular or infinity pools, lounge decks, private terrace, cabanas and more. You may choose a lagoon side room or villa for quick access to the resort’s amenities or may be opt for an accommodation tucked into a cove overlooking the ocean. The interior décor is Arabian in design set within a modern cosmopolitan layout. While the use of wood, especially for the floors, gives the rooms a vintage feel, the use of glass gives them a bright look and spacious feel. Large glass windows and framed sea views ensure you never miss the grand sights.
Away from the water, the resort has well laid out lawns and gardens.
The resort has several specialty restaurants. Azraq for Middle Eastern cuisine; Al Nahham for mezze platters and Arabian cuisine; Riva for Italian specialities; Ted’s – a retro American diner; Q Lounge and Restaurant serves a mix of global cuisine, including Indian; if you are looking for some sweet and savoury snacks or a light nutritious meal, then head to Zest café.
If you are looking for some quick detoxification or a lengthy beauty treatment, you may find a suitable treatment at the spa and the wellness centre. Signature spa treatments include Ananatar Signature Massage and Moroccan Royal Bath Ceremony. At the Balance – Wellness by Anantara enjoy a holistic treatment suited for your individual need, be it relaxing and de-stressing or rejuvenate and revitalise, opt for technology-based therapies such as float pod or infrared sauna, join TRX – a fitness class where you will work-out a routine actually devised by the Navy OCEANLs, etc.
If you are looking for some excitement, there is a full-motion Formula 1 simulator. The resort’s surf pool is a good place to learn surfing with professional guides helping you. The waves inside the two surfing lanes can be controlled to suit any level. There are clubs for teens and kids. Other regular activity areas include a swimming pool, a nine-hole putting course, bowling alley, and a tennis court.
The resort has some good diving spots around it. The diving centre can help with beginners’ scuba ventures. Go on a banana boat or kayaking. Try the HamacLand, a floating water lounge for relaxing or as a base to indulge in water sports.
To facilitate business meetings, the resort has three meeting rooms with varying oceanting capacity. One of the meeting rooms has a built-in Majlis style oceanting.
Getting there: The Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a 25 minute catamaran ride from the Doha mainland. The landside private terminal is 20 minutes by road from Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The 45-passenger catamaran ferry operating hourly on weekdays and every half hour at the weekend (12.00 noon – 8.00 pm), according to the resort’s website. One may also take a direct helicopter from the airport to arrive at the island’s private helipad in 10 minutes. According to the website, the journey has to be reserved 72 hours prior to arrival.
Note: Alcohol is not allowed.
Contact: email: email@example.com.