General Manager Mehdi Zaanoun offers a taste of what to expect from the newest addition to Doha’s luxury hospitality landscape when it opens its doors to guests later this year.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is set to open its second property in Qatar’s vibrant capital Doha with the launch of the all-new Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar. Whether planning a short vacation or a long-term stay, guests will have the opportunity to indulge in a glamorous beachfront home at The Pearl-Qatar, one of the city’s most prestigious residential communities. A wonder of modern architecture, this unique island sanctuary has been created on a former pearl-diving site and is home to a dynamic urban neighbourhood.
More than one hundred new hotels have opened in Qatar during the past year as the country’s tourism sector continues to grow at a rapid pace following the successful hosting of the 2022 World Cup. So what sets the newest Four Seasons property apart from the abundance of choices available to travellers? According to General Manager Mehdi Zaanoun, Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar heralds a new level of luxury living in Qatar.
Mr. Zaanoun comments: “We offer bespoke accommodations and exceptional facilities in a 19-storey vertical resort that comes complete with its own stunning private beach. In addition to delivering elevated vacation experiences for our short-term guests, we have created a distinguished rental program to meet the needs of guests relocating to Qatar for the longer term, as well as locals who would like to discover a new way of living by the water. Both Private Residence and Resort guests will become part of an exclusive international community where they can mingle at our restaurants and bars, relax in the spa or on the beach, and explore the many attractions that are just steps away from this vibrant waterfront destination.”
Guests will be able to choose from a wide range of accommodations including 161 luxurious one, two, or three-bedroom apartments, which range in size from 105m2 to a generous 280 m2. For food lovers, the Resort’s on-site collection of seven outstanding restaurants and lounges is led by La Méditerranée by Joel Robuchon.
Mr. Zaanoun says: “Our flagship fine-dining destination celebrates the culinary artistry of Chef Joël Robuchon, whose restaurant group holds almost 30 Michelin stars worldwide. Guests can indulge in exquisite seafood prepared with true French and Mediterranean flair as they enjoy the beauty of the aquatic-themed indoor setting or take in sweeping panoramas on the outdoor sea-view terrace. For those who prefer traditional Italian cuisine, Spuntino will focus on beloved dishes from the south of Italy, while steak lovers will appreciate the vintage vibes of our Chicago-style steakhouse, Chicago Rare.
The afternoon tea service at Duchess is not to be missed, and the Loulou Plage beach restaurant and casual deli and bakery Le Deli Robuchon complete a diverse collection of world-class dining experiences for guests to choose from, all in one spectacular location.”
Guests and residents are invited to discover a haven of harmony and rejuvenation at Loulou Spa, which takes its name from an Arabic word for ‘pearl’ that also means precious, peaceful, and calm. This luxurious sanctuary offers a wide range of personalized skin treatments and body therapies, along with pearl-inspired wellness rituals. The Resort is also home to a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre and indoor lap pool, providing a complete urban escape. For younger guests, the supervised indoor and outdoor Kids For All Seasons facility is a mini-resort in its own that will spark the imaginations of little ones and ensure a fun-filled family holiday for all ages.
Growing up, Mr. Zaanoun was inspired by the careers of his parents, and had originally planned to take a similar path by becoming a doctor. He says: “I had a passion for medicine, and seeing my mom in her work, how she looked after the patients, what impact she had on people’s lives – she was my biggest supporter and inspiration. Following in her footsteps seemed to be a very logical thing to do until the moment I had a conversation with my parents, who advised me to discover career opportunities in the beautiful world of hospitality.”
Travelling extensively during childhood had also instilled a curiosity for hotels, which was soon to become a lifelong passion. After graduating from the prestigious École Hôtelière de Lausanne hospitality management school in Switzerland, he began his career at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris more than 20 years ago as an intern behind a cocktail bar.
“I was inspired and fascinated by this iconic Hotel and the level of service we provided to the guests,” he recalls.
“I then took a 14-year detour that saw me advance in management through food and beverage with various international hotel groups in France, the Americas, and the Middle East, before finally returning to the Four Seasons family in 2018 as General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca.”
Just over a year ago, Mr. Zaanoun was invited to relocate to Doha to lead the launch of the brand’s newest Resort in the region. So, what were his initial impressions of the city?
He says: “Doha today is a sophisticated and modern destination. What amazes me the most is that despite rapid economic and social change, Qatar has maintained its cultural and traditional values as an Arab nation that considers the family to be the main pillar of society. I believe the World Cup gave people across the globe an opportunity to experience Qatar at its best. People of different races, nationalities, and faiths gathered here and around screens on all continents to share the same exciting moments. It’s not only one of the safest countries in the world, but it also offers a taste of true Arabian hospitality.”
Mr. Zaanoun adds: “Our sister property Four Seasons Hotel Doha has been in the market for more than 18 years now, and has always supported Qatar’s national vision of developing tourism. We are looking into collaborations with Qatar Tourism to continue to create awareness about the country’s many attractions, and are excited to welcome guests from around the world to experience this wonderful destination!”
Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar is currently accepting reservations from June 2023.
To make a booking or to find out more, please visit www.fourseasons.com/thepearlqatar.