Qatar Eating was invited to a Suhoor Buffet in the Ramadan Pavillion at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara. The Island Resort offers a luxury getaway with a focus on providing a warm and relaxing break from the hustle of the mainland.
UPDATE: RAMADAN IN QATAR 2016
For information about Iftar and Suhoor (Suhour) options check out Ramadan in Doha 2016 Guide – Iftar, Suhoor & Ramadan Tents
Be sure to check out our Ramadan in Qatar 2016: Everything You NEED To Know! feature which includes tips on surviving Ramadan for non-Muslims.
Banana Island Anantara Resort Doha – Ramadan 2105
For their first Ramadan in Qatar the Banana Island Anantara Doha resort manangement have conceptualised a special theme ‘Ahl Al Turath’ (people of heritage) with a focus on Arabian hospitality and Qatari tradition. This shows from the moment you enter the Reception at the Al Shyoukh Terminal on the Corniche where the staff greet you enthusiastically with the words of the traditional Arabic greeting ‘Aasalaam Alaikum’ (peace be upon you).
At the Banana Island Anantara Al Shyoukh Terminal Reception you are welcomed by the concierge who will provide you with more details about your booking. It should be noted that if you are visiting any of the restaurants on the island you do need to make a reservation in advance as you will not be able to take the boat out to the island without one. The boats run hourly so make sure to be aware of your timings, otherwise you may be in for a long wait. The boat transfer costs QR80 and takes about 20 minutes – it can get quite choppy depending on the height of the waves. You pay for the boat by purchasing a QR200 voucher at the concierge desk. The extra QR120 that you pay can be redeemed at the restaurant towards your meal – this will not cover the entire cost of a meal. (Always make sure you are aware of all your costs before you head out to any venue or location in Qatar.)
When you disembark at Banana Island Anantara you are greeted with with a warm welcome and directed to the Wellness Center. This has been decorated to resemble an Arabian Souq complete with stalls selling traditional handicrafts including weaved baskets, lanterns and other souvenirs. The juice bar has been converted into a Majlis where there is a local henna artist available for those interested in having some traditional designs done. There is also a temporary Kids Club which has been placed in the Wellness Center for diners attending Iftar or Suhoor with children.
You can choose to eat in the courtyard outside Azraq or you can seat yourself inside the restaurant – there are food stations in both areas. The courtyard has room for large gatherings and pride of place is given to the ‘Tower of Dates’ which did take the staff some time to assemble! For relaxing after your meal you can head to the cabanas on the top floor of the Wellness Center for soft drinks and more.
The restaurant has been styled as a Ramadan Pavillion – with golden lattices and green ambient lighting. There is also a live band playing tradtitional music – they also treated the guests to their three-language rendition of rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ which they sang to congratulate one of the diners.
There is a focus on Arabic dishes in the Buffet but there is variety with other cusines represented including Italian and Indian dishes. Some of the more memorable offerings was a creamy Camel Lasagna made with camel’s milk and a flavourful Chicken Biryani, and a punchy Maxican Chicken Salad. They also had a live Saj station; Lamb Ouzi; Sambousek; Lamb Loin; Mix Grill; and an interesting Lamb Liver dish!
The colourful dessert station was varied with mini-sized portions and included traditional ice cream flavours, fresh fruits and Arabic pastries. Chocolate featured heavily with beautifully decorated cakes and desserts – the chocolate fountain featured a rich chocolate perfect for children and adults alike!
Both Iftar and Suhoor is available at the Ramadan Pavillion on Banana Island Anantara Resort. You can also dine at Al Nahham and Q Lounge & Restaurant.
Iftar Buffet: sunset – 8.00pm at Azraq restaurant; priced at QR260.
Suhoor Buffet: 9.00pm – 2.00am at Azraq restaurant; priced at QR315.
Buffet for children costs QR155 with under 4 years free.
Boat costs QR80 per person – with minimum QR200 cost for voucher.
For more information and bookings call 4040 5050 or email [email protected].
Note: A confirmed booking for Iftar and Suhoor is a requirement for guaranteed boat transfer.