When I checked the prices on flats in Doha I almost had a heart attack. No joke!
Doha is in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world and as we used to live in the North of the UK where you have some of the ‘cheaper’ parts of the country it was a total shock. I mean, I know the prices in London can be crazy but an average apartment here costs £2,500 a month. Yep, that’s right, feel free to read that again!
Since I was very little my parents used to work in a hotel, and I would beg my mum, she was front office, to let us sleep in the rooms for a night. I think that’s where I got my travel bug.
In Doha, as new expat arrivals, you are placed in a hotel for the first month until all documents are issued and then you can look for an apartment. As it is only me and my husband we decided to have a mini adventure and stay in hotels for as long as we can.
One of the things to consider is that in some cases and depending on your circumstances living in hotels is better value than living in a flat. Seriously! Especially in Doha where the flats and hotels are similarly priced.
The country is tiny yet there are so many hotels around. Prices are high but some do provide good value and you can always negotiate the price for longer stays. That is a new thing I learned. 🙂
There are many hotels who offer studios or apartments with kitchens and other home facilities. Definitely, an option if you miss the home comforts. I am planning on mixing rooms with studios and apartments in the future and will try and stay in hotels for at least six months. Considering we arrived with 4 suitcases and no furniture, we will have to set home all over again. Not looking forward to that for now.
For me, it is a combination of a few things on why we decided to live in hotels full time.
It can be cheaper
In a hotel breakfast, bills and housekeeping are included and considering that decent internet connection in Doha is not cheap it can make more sense. Adding all the costs together help and also this way you can explore different areas of the city.
Apart from exploring different areas of the city, you can also enjoy better views. Living in the Pearl was something I wanted to do, but sadly traffic here is crazy and my husband works on the other side of the city. I definitely feel bad letting him get stuck in traffic for an hour every day just so I live in the Pearl.
Qualifying for Status
An important factor for me was the option to earn points and qualifying stays towards keeping my statuses. Depending on the property many are happy to have a long term customer and offer them this option. Others are not so generous, so it’s a matter of how much I want to stay in the property. When done right, I can run for the quarter promotions, receive points and use them at “dream destinations” and get free breakfast and lounge access. All these do add up and save you money in the long term.
Arbitraging hotel options
Also, I can put into practice a lot of the things I teach and share here, like using cashback sites and also I plan on booking with Hotels.com. They offer 1 reward night for every 10 nights, so in a month not only can I get cashback but also 3 free nights. I definitely couldn’t be able to do this in a rental property.
If you are not a cashback member yet, you can sign up via my referral link here. (Thank you!)
Best for last: The Adventure!
Lastly, it makes for an adventure and I can write about it here. Before we started I was googling about hotel living and honestly I didn’t find much. I know there are many people who live full time in hotels or Airbnb’s but they don’t blog about it.
So far it is a week into the hotel living and it’s cool. I treat the hotel like home and I also have a cool office to enjoy in the form of the business centre, plus spa facilities. I did miss momentarily the comfort of a kitchen but for now, I enjoy exploring the food scene in Doha.
We shall continue and see… 🙂