Folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights inspire Marcel Wanders' lavish Qatar hotel

Stories connect us to our history, our culture and to each other. Stepping into Mondrian Doha begins the first chapter of a wonderful story that unfolds around every turn
– Marcel Wanders

The famous Middle Eastern folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights are the inspiration behind a lavish dome-topped hotel opening imminently in Doha, Qatar.

Local practice South West Architecture and Dutch interior designer Marcel Wanders – working in the region for the first time – have collaborated to create the “fantasy-like” Doha Mondrian for hotel operator sbe.

Design features are inspired by the local patterns, ornate Arabic writing and historic souks synonymous with famous traditional tales, such as 'Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp', 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves' and 'The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor'.

The hotel’s public spaces feature patterned carpets, ornate stained glass, intricate mosaic tiling and full mosaic walls, giant columns decorated with golden eggs and a ‘tree of life’ comprised of flowers. The centrepiece of the 270-room hotel is a dramatic spiral staircase in the lobby atrium, designed as if it ascends into the sky.

Guest rooms are divided into five distinctive room categories, although each contains its own Swarovski crystal chandelier and custom-built furniture designed to mirror the desert.

The building itself is shaped like a falcon, in reference to Qatar’s national bird. It is topped by a large stained glass domed skylight, with a Peony Tiffany Lamp pattern printed across it.

“The hotel is the embodiment of Arabia through a modern lens, which in turn mirrors the modern reality of Doha – the Qatari capital that has grown immeasurably over the past few years, transforming itself from a modest fishing village into a global visionary capital,” said sbe in a statement.

Wanders added: “Stories connect us to our history, our culture and to each other. Stepping into Mondrian Doha begins the first chapter of a wonderful story that unfolds around every turn.

“Conceptually, we have married local culture with a modern design aesthetic. While many themes are collectively layered throughout the hotel, each individual space tells its own tale. Guests may therefore have many different experiences and weave for themselves a collection of stories to share.”

Additional facilities include an entertainment floor with a nightclub, rooftop pool and skybar, and a huge wedding ballroom, which brides can enter inside a 24k gold sculpted caged elevator. Eight restaurants and bars will also feature, including establishments run by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Masaharu Morimoto.

Beauty specialist ESPA will run the hotel’s spa, which at 1,950 sq m is described as the “most progressive and biggest in the region.” Themed as a ‘Garden of Eden’, shimmering mosaic walls lead to 12 treatment rooms, a heated experience garden, relaxation rooms and a traditional Turkish Hammam.

Doha Mondrian will open sesame in September 2017, following a prolonged soft opening. When complete, it will be a gateway to Doha’s major Lusail City development – a new cultural and leisure district featuring two large-scale buildings designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Marcel Wanders  sbe  South West Architecture  Qatar  Doha Mondrian  One Thousand and One Nights  Arabian Nights  design 
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The famous Middle Eastern folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights are the inspiration behind a lavish dome-topped hotel opening imminently in Doha, Qatar. Local practice South West Architecture and Dutch interior designer Marcel Wanders – working in the region for the first time – have collaborated to create the “fantasy-like” Doha Mondrian for hotel operator sbe. Design features are inspired by the local patterns, ornate Arabic writing and
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The hotel has been designed loosely in the shape of a falcon – Qatar's national bird / sbe
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