Have you experienced checking-in at a 3 or 4 star hotel and ended up being frustrated with their services and facilities? Aside from being a bit expensive, you realized that they don’t have even some of the basic hotel facilities like a decent restaurant and a non-smoking lobby.
If you have been living in Qatar for quite sometime, you would probably agree that we need more hotels if not have some of the old ones renovated or refurbished.
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In Doha, the common impression when you ask for a 2 or 3 star hotels is that the furniture if not the entire hotel could be either outdated or location is a bit remote or unfriendly. In the popular hotel booking site BOOKING.COM you will see a list of hotels for this category.
While some popular 5 star hotels have adjusted their prices to QR500 level (room only) especially during off-peak days, other 3 or 4 star hotels still maintain theirs at QR300/night leaving the gap at a minimum.
Compared to many popular cities in Asia, we can see a lot of affordable yet elegant and sophisticated looking hotels that are very inviting and offering a pleasurable stay to their guests. Here are some of the key cities and the price range of their hotels (as per my personal experience but at current price through booking.com):
Hongkong is a usual destination for first-time travelers from the Philippines. Aside from short travel time (a little over 2 hours), and being on the same time zone makes it really very ideal – without having to consider a lot of adjustments.
Hongkong is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Those who wanted to experience authentic Chinese culture and cuisine would probably head over to Hongkong than to mainland China. Prior to the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in June 2016, tourism in Hongkong is at its peak. Even though there has been a lot of other developments and tourism attractions in Asia, Hongkong Airport still remain as one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.
With more visitors to the country especially for Hongkong Disneyland and Hongkong Ocean Park, there are a lot of high rise hotels in the city (some are even very small in size compared to the standard). But since many tourists wouldn’t mind a small sleeping area since they spend most of their time exploring the cityscape and other tourist attractions of Hongkong, we see a lot of these options all over even on their nearby territories.
Our second out-of-the-country destination was Singapore. Popular to kids because of Universal Studio and the iconic Merlion statue – Singapore is also accessible to Filipino travelers since it is only 3 hours by air.
Being one that is more technologically advanced in Southeast Asia, Singapore is popular for job seekers in the field of Information Technology, as well as Banking and Finance. With their booming economy, tourism are also growing at a very fast pace.
As they open their country to different cultures, what is highly noticeable with Singapore is how they preserve their old traditions while embracing modern developments. Surprisingly, their cost of accommodations are still a bit affordable compared to the ones we have in Doha.
For some of you who have Dubai as your weekend destination prior to the blockade, you know that prices of hotels there are so affordable yet the quality is not compromised. With the availability of Dubai Metro, most of the hotels and their tourists attractions are conveniently located.
Being a popular hub in the Middle East prior to the opening of Doha’s Hamad International Airport, Dubai still remain unrivaled in many developments and tourism infrastructures in the region.
With more supplies to cater to growing number of tourists year in, year out, the prices of hotel accommodations still remain one of the most viable and attractive – not to mention quality, accessibility and overall affordability.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
As Doha try to position itself in the global hospitality industry few years leading to the World Cup in 2022, it is really a must to be able to have more affordable yet presentable accommodations ready to receive an influx of visitors coming from different parts of the world.
The present available units in Doha are still a bit expensive (at an average of QR160-QR200/night) compared to hotels of the same category in major tourist cities in Asia. As mentioned above, tourists can get a hotel room in Hongkong, Singapore or even in Dubai from QR129-164 and these are already quality accommodations in decent locations. (Prices are based on booking.com room only.)
At the height of the ongoing GCC crisis, it will be a great opportunity for local hotels to entice local tourists to spend their weekends or short vacations within Doha and stay in their hotels. While people are also looking for more affordable options since prices of major commodities has gone up, even staycation ideas are now becoming less of their priority.
Hopefully, we will see more attractive hotel offers now that we are feeling the heat of summer and while kids are still on their school break.
IN THE COVER PHOTO
Time Rako Hotel is one of the promising addition to affordable yet elegant hotels in Qatar. Located South of Doha, Time Rako Hotel features a rooftop pool, gym, spa, several restaurants, and a banquet hall.