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“Lovely hotel with great service”

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Wiseman Grand Hotel
Ranked #49 of 140 Hotels in Doha
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 February 2013

The hotel is well located and suitably furnished. The staff are very polite, courteous and helpful. Good gym facilities and indoor pool and jacuzzi. Buffet breakfast was plentiful with a wide array of choices. The hotel layout itself oozes charm and class with a real regal feel.

The room was very spacious as was the bathroom. Nothing was missing. Free wifi in the lobby as well as tea, coffee and apples :)

Very reasonably priced for the standard and setting offered. All in all a very nice hotel with good service.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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2  Thank Al_Musaafir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AKhorshed, General Manager at Wiseman Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your stay experience at Retaj Royale Doha on TripAdvisor.

We are extremely grateful to have received the feedback about your stay, I am delighted to note that you have enjoyed your stay with us.

Guests comfort and satisfaction is our first priority and we will endeavor to always make your stays as enjoyable as possible.


Please do not hesitate to call on me or any of the Management Team Members, it will be our pleasure to be of any kind of assistance.

We are really looking forward to host you again in Retaj Royale Doha.

Ahmed Khorshed
General Manager

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151 - 157 of 227 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2013

We stayed at this Hotel and would agree to the recents reviews on this property.
Please do read them because other travelers have taken the time to inform you on
a balanced way (mostly) what to expect during your stay. We would also try to add
specific comments not addressed in prior reviews:

(1) Overall location and facilities are excellent, you are able to walk to many tourist
locations from this hotel, but make sure you bring flashlight and sneakers or boots,
since the surroundings are not very well lighted and not paved. There was a big puddle
with mud we had to go thru from the Souq. Returning to the property we did not feel safe,
mostly due to the lack of light in the surroundings streets, but walking thru a mosque we
felt much safer.

(2) Like has been listed the rooms are quite spacious and the marble bathrooms are impressive, with separate bathtub and shower stall. All amenities provided. But, I gave an average rating because there was no "hot water". Started luke-warm and went downhill from there, to straight cold for the duration of our stay. We reported the problem, but nobody came to look into it, or to fix it. In addition, the drain on the bathtub was broken in the close position, so the water accumulated in the tub without draining. This was not important, since there was no hot water we could not use it in the first place. Light fixtures had burned out light bulbs, not really expected for 5-Star property.

(3) We asked for an additional single bed, and it was provided right away. But the mattress was as hard as a rock and my son ended up sleeping with us anyway because he could not
sleep on it. It will take you some figuring out all the electronic controls which will let you do anything from the huge bed, but the system was configured for another room, (not ours). The
TV was position in the middle of the room with a rotating swivel but the base was broken and the unit jammed in position. Also do not expect the rooms to have a significant view.

(4) Breakfast was a buffet with many excellent delicacies. But remember that this is a deeply religious moslem country and no pork products will be provided. But if you like to try the beef-bacon, and non-pork sausages, they were quite surprising and very good and tasty.

(5) My son used the pool on the 14th floor, and it was very nice with a view all by himself. There was also a jacuzzi available for guests. But the premises were not used at all, he spend some time talking with the employee because he felt lonely in that job.

(6) Regarding Taxis, we were told that the taxi company needs at least 5 hours notice for a vehicle, but the Hotel limo would be available in 10 mins anytime we needed it. We used it and
the prices were just a little higher than the taxi, so no big deal there. A little more money for better quality of service, seemed appropriate. But I have a hard time accepting that a Taxi needs that much notice for regular service.

Well, these are the comments we can add to this Hotel and the reason why we gave it an average rating for such an outstanding property. But rating is quality vs, price, and at $275 a night in Doha, they should try harder. But also remember that other equivalent properties have a much higher price.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank Dario C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AKhorshed, General Manager at Wiseman Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your stay experience at Retaj Royale Doha on TripAdvisor.

We are extremely grateful to have received the feedback about your stay, I am delighted to note that you have enjoyed your stay with us.

Guests comfort and satisfaction is our first priority and we will endeavor to always make your stays as enjoyable as possible.

We have regrettably noted that we did not meet your overall expectations during your recent visit.We highly apologize for the inconvenience occurred during your respected stay.

Please do not hesitate to call on me or any of the Management Team Members, it will be our pleasure to be of any kind of assistance.

We are really looking forward to host you again in Retaj Royale Doha.

Ahmed Khorshed
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2013

So, I rarely do reviews, but when I do, I try my best to make them fair and balanced. So, here we go:

The Good:

Location. The location is excellent for tourism, particularly if you enjoy walking. The following must-do sites are within a 30 minute walk from the hotel: The National Museum of Islamic Art; the Corniche (a waterfront promenade along Al Corniche street); the Grand Mosque (also known as the Islamic Culture Center and run by the organization Fanar); and the Souq Waqif (the Old Market). These can all be done in a single day long walk from the hotel.

Room Size. My standards are set to American hotel rooms and by those standards; the rooms at the Retaj Royale are genuinely very large, and so is the bathroom.

Very Comfortable Rooms: Everything in the room is spacious and comfortable. There’s plenty of drawer and closet space. The bathrooms are big. The bed is comfortable. A separate desk and vanity table, each with its own drawers, provides plenty of table space. Inside the room, even on the lower floors, everything is quiet. The only outside sounds are the 5 times daily calls to prayer, which are heard throughout Doha. Most importantly, everything is very clean.

Somewhat Luxurious: I’ve stayed at many genuine 5 stars property, and this is almost there, but not quite one. The room size is luxurious, but the appointments fall a little short. However, they have the comfortable check-in that is typical of fine hotels: you have a seat at a desk, in a very comfortable chair, rather than stand at a counter, and someone brings you a chilled beverage.

Amenities: There’s a spa upstairs with massages available (200 Riyals for one-hour), but it has to be done by the same-sex in Qatar so some might find that uncomfortable. There is a scale in the bathroom to keep track of your weight. The room comes with a pair of nice slippers (yours to take home). Each room is provided with two 500 ml bottles of water a day. And, there are plenty of universal adapters in the room, so you can plug-in everything.

The Bad:

Taxis. Taxis are not readily available. The hotel will call you one, but you can expect to wait a long time. The alternative is to pay more than double what a taxi would cost to use the hotel’s car service. The best workaround, as even the staff will tell you, is to walk out to a main street (about half of a block away) and hail a passing taxi. The longest wait I had doing this was about 5 minutes.

Several Amenities Don’t Work. I had a TV remote that didn’t work. I had to ask twice to have a light repaired. There was a very fancy scale in the bathroom with dead batteries. And, although there’s a panel to control the thermostat, it didn’t work. This wasn’t a problem in the middle of winter, but I would worry about not being able to set the temperature to my own comfort level during the summer. These are things that I think an aspiring hotel should be on top of, say by having housekeeping check to make sure everything is working.

No Hotel Guide. Everywhere I’ve gone, including in neighboring countries like Bahrain, and U.A.E., every hotel provides guests with a guide to the property, telling them about the amenities, services, charges, and nearby resources for shopping, dining, transportation, tourism, etc. That was missing here.

Bad Location for Dining. There is a lack of reasonable places to eat within easy walking distance. Even fast-food places are nowhere to be seen. The best solution I’ve found is a place that’s similar to a college hang-out spot, which is located close to the Grand Mosque. The Retaj exacerbates this by charging outrageous prices for room service.

Too Many Small Charges. I abhor mini-bar charges, but even more, they charge extra for continental breakfast and usage of the internet (50 Riyals for every 24 hours).

Unreasonable Prices. There are no taxis in front of the hotel and takes a while for them to call one, but they charge about two and half times what a taxi would for their car service. There’s no place to eat around here, but they charge about two and half times what a nice restaurant would charge for the same item.

Unhelpful Staff. Going out of your way to be helpful is a basic for an aspiring luxury hotel, and on this they fall short:

Scenario One: After flying all day, I arrived after 11pm. I asked the front desk host to assist me by confirming a reservation for the next afternoon with a local tour company. I explained that they needed the hotel information to do a pick-up. I simply wanted to go to bed and receive a phone call, telling me whether the tour had been confirmed or not, the next morning. First he told me that he couldn’t confirm because it wasn’t his tour. Then he told me I could just call myself from the phones in the room. Ultimately, he tried to call once, while I was there, and gave up. When I asked about if they could arrange a tour for me, preferably for the next day, he said he would get back to me, which he never did.

Scenario Two: I asked a separate staff member for directions to a tourist site and advice about the best way to get around, and his response was a simplistic command to walk and hurried explanation of left, right, main street, straight, etc.

I’m not one of the reviewers who rant about their anecdotal bad experiences and call it a review. Rather, I mention these examples because to me they reflect the innate training of the staff to respond to guest, which is part of what the guest pays for when they choose such a hotel. At an aspiring luxury property, I would have expected more of an effort regarding the tour, and perhaps a map and more thoughts about how to get around.

I will say in fairness though, that the second time I asked about the light, and when I locked myself out, the response of the staff was immediate and helpful.


Neutral, but good to know:

Your key card must be inserted to turn on the lights and electrical sockets. This could be a problem if you want to leave items charging while you are away. This can probably be remedied by simply asking for a second key card.


Overall:

Despite whatever I have written that is negative, I would overall rate this hotel highly, and I would stay here again without hesitation.

Other Tips:

1) Wear sneakers when you go out because a lot of walking is unavoidable here.

2) Specify Retaj Royale to Taxi drivers because Retaj has several properties in the area named “Retaj.”

3) Carry your hotel’s information with you. The taxi drivers don’t always know the individual hotels. Get the hotel staff to write down the name of the street on which the hotel is located, along with the major intersections or nearby landmarks.

4) Memorize the major landmarks nearby to where you’re staying (particularly skyscrapers that have their name or a unique logo on them). This will help you find your way back from anywhere, particularly while walking (I’ve used this trick in dozens of country).

5) Men shouldn’t ever ask women for directions here, particularly Muslim women; it’s considered rude. Women are happy to help other women though. Likewise, some women in Qatar feel that their religious beliefs prohibit them from touching a man, so men should avoid offering their hands to women for handshakes.

6) You can tour most of Doha in a day:

1) Walk to the National Museum of Islamic Art. Spend a couple of hours there.
2) Walk along the Corniche to the Grand Mosque (less than a 30 minute walk); visit the mosque from 30 minutes to an hour.
3) Cross the street to the Souq Waqif (Old Market), keeping it mind that it’s largely shut down from noon till 4.
4) Take a taxi to the Villagio Mall (high end brands mostly). Spend a couple of hours there: shop and ride the gondolas.
5) Walk over to the Torch Tower and go up to the observation deck.
6) Other interesting things (if you’re there for more than a day) include a Dhow boat cruise, sand dunning (riding over sand dunes at high speeds in a buggy), and going out to a camel race/ camel farm.

Room Tip: There's 11 rooms on each floor: 3 suites and 8 standard rooms. The rooms ending in 03 and 02, e...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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4  Thank Memfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AKhorshed, General Manager at Wiseman Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

Greetings from Retaj Royale Hotel Doha.

First of all thank you for bringing this matter to our attention through the online survey comments. We are sorry to learn of your concerns during your stay at our Hotel, we would like to offer our sincere apologies for the disappointment you have expressed.

I trust you will accept that the difficulties you experienced are certainly not reflective of our normal standards. Please be assured that the issues have been raised and investigated and appropriate action has been taken to prevent any guests being similarly inconvenienced in the future.

We do pride ourselves on our exceptionally high standard of service and I do sincerely hope you will not judge us solely on the basis of this particular experience. Please let me know once you will need accommodation again at our hotel so we can do the needful .

In closing, may we thank you, once again, for taking the time to bring your concerns to our attention. We are grateful for your support and do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you again at Retaj Royale Doha in the future.

Ahmed Khorshed
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 January 2013

This hotel was a wonderful hotel for our trip. it is very near to Souq Waqif (5-10 minutes walking). Room and bathroom were very big. Free parking is available for the hotel. Varity of breakfast is excellent. Check in/out was very quick. There is a Public swimming pool 14th floor

I did not like the reception setup. Staffs are lacking of experience. No free Wifi internet available for rooms. Free internet is available only in the lobby.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Hisham85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2012

Choose online from Booking.com comments and ratings and special weekend price. Location fine for Museum of Islamic Art and Souk, staff friendly and helpful, room clean and spacious. We also found the breakfast to be satisfactory.
We had same issues as mentioned by Greg B with soap holder in shower, handle in side of bath detached, plug in hand-basin didn't work. Expected from a 5 Star rated hotel (but didn't get) free Wifi, more than 2 towels, a hot water kettle and a good range of TV channels. Finishing in room very ordinary. Bedside alarm in room next door woke us at 12.15 am. Remedied following phone to reception but happened again on second night! Site invites you to sit and have a drink but doesn't say that Hotel is 'dry'. Also advertises massage service but this is only available for men.
Hotel is value for money and well sited but don't expect too much - definitely not 5 Star.
PS have a map for the taxi driver as most don't know where it is.

Room Tip: Avoid Room 501!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NicholasMcL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2012

Stayed here for one night because I had a transit flight the next day. It's a good hotel with very friendly staff. The old market or Souq Waqif is not too far and if u can handle the humidity and messed up sidewalks you should be able to make it there on foot.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dackz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2012

We chose this hotel purely from online information and it turned out to be mixed bag for us - a family of three.
The location was fine - walking distance to the Museum of Islamic Art - 10 minutes, and Souq Waqif was about 20 minutes. Our room was very spacious and had the normal tea/ coffee facilty but only espresso cups -not much good for a cup of tea . Reception staff were not helpfull when we asked for maps of the city - didn't have any. Asked the concierge about tickets to the show Aida - met with blank looks.
This hotel is only about one year old and is going to look very shoddy very soon. Little things like the soapholder in the shower was falling off, dirty walls where suitcases sit, no plug for the sink etc. Our room had a high tech electronic system for turning everything on and off but we could never figure out how to alter the temperature on the A/C. Also if you can't find the remote control for the lights in the middle of the night there are no normal light switches.Free Wifi - but only in public areas was annoying too.
Reasonable value for money but would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wiseman Grand Hotel

Address: Al Meena St, Old Salata | Corniche Area, Doha 25556, Qatar (Formerly Retaj Royale Doha)
Region: Qatar > Doha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 140 Hotels in Doha
Price Range: £42 - £65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Wiseman Grand Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 108
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