All photos courtesy of Retaj
A new luxury spa resort that will likely cater to Saudi visitors is scheduled to open in the southern part of Qatar before year-end.
Billed as a five-star destination, the Vichy Célestins Spa Hotel by Retaj will be located next to the Aqua Park on Salwa Road, around 30 minutes’ drive from central Doha, and about the same distance from the nation’s border with Saudi Arabia.
This is the second luxury resort planned for that area.
Hilton’s Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is also coming up on Salwa Road near the Aqua Park and has reached “advanced stages” of completion, according to a Peninsula story last month.
When completed, the Vichy resort will have 78 rooms and suites and 90 villas that have between one and three bedrooms each, in addition to three restaurants, two cafes, jewelry shops, a hair salon, tennis courts and a fitness center.
The focus of the hotel will be a 3,500 sq m medical spa, which will specialize in weight loss programs, diabetes prevention and anti-aging treatments, according to a statement by operators Retaj Hotels and Hospitality.
There will also be a 4,000 square meter artificial lake, a waterfall and a network of six swimming pools connected by a 600m-long lazy river, in addition to an Olympic-sized pool and an indoor hydrotherapy pool, said Ijaz Malik, general manager of Hala Group, which owns the hotel.
Vichy will not be licensed to serve alcohol, a spokesman for Retaj Hotels told Doha News.
He added that it is scheduled to open its doors by the end of this year.
By comparison, the Hilton complex is expected to have a liquor license, but will not open until at least 2019.
That development will contain a 362-room resort on 257 acres of land and is envisioned to include a water park, marina, dive center, cinemas, pools, health club, spa and considerable retail space.
Owned by Al Rayyan Hospitality, the Hilton resort will also have 13 restaurants, bars and lounges.
The proximity of both resorts to the Saudi border will no doubt woo more tourists from the Gulf country to Qatar.
Residents of the kingdom comprised one-quarter of all visitors here in early 2015, and their numbers jumped an additional 16 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Other resorts that have opened in recent years include Banana Island and the Simaisma Resort, which soft-opened on Feb. 1.
Both are dry and cater to families.