Based upon our previous moves, I moved to Doha with little to no expectations. After living in Scandinavia and reading Michael Booth’s book, The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, I learned to lower my expectations. In his book, Booth suggested that perhaps the secret of the Danes’ happiness is because they have generally low expectations. I have applied this to my own life, and surprisingly I am happier when I have lower expectations. So, when I had the opportunity to go to the Banana Island Resort, I had absolutely no expectation. But in all honesty, I didn’t even know what it was. An island with many bananas?!
Clearly, I had never heard of Banana Island Resort prior to coming to Doha. But it isn’t necessarily a secret because anyone driving along the Corniche can see the sign for the resort as well as the building itself. But what resort? Where exactly was it? What do you do there? Is it for people who do stay-cations? We were a bit confused and didn’t google it. We just noted how people drove up, boarded a yacht and went off to this Banana Island. Well, as it turns out, Banana Island is an island in the shape of a banana that has its own lovely resort that can easily be compared to the resorts in the Maldives, sans alcohol!
My first trip to the island was with the Doha Mums group. They had organized this event where we would be whisked away for the day. It was a regular school day, so I decided to go by myself not to interrupt my son’s school routine. But as soon as we boarded the yacht, I wished I would have taken him along. Each child received a balloon, immediately seeing that yet again, this country truly loves children as I had mentioned in my post here about why I love Qatar. Only a 20 minute ride from Doha, we were all offered water bottles and dates, a food staple in the Qatari diet. It was almost like being on an airplane, but with exceptional service.
We docked at the villas that were above water, just like you would imagine in a travel magazine. I thought how can this be my new reality?! Then we walked on shore to a restaurant where a lovely buffet was waiting. In a separate room attached to the restaurant was a playroom with staff. Catering to all needs again, the children’s and the mums! Opposite the playroom was another room with massage chairs and masseuses from the spa offering complimentary mini massages. The staff would offer to tend to the children while the mums could have just maybe five minutes of a lovely massage. I seriously thought I was dreaming by this point.
To top off the experience was the outdoor beach, which of course they had set up for the kids to play in, shovels and buckets and all! A superb way to end brunch before getting back on the yacht to get back to the city. At this point I had decided I must come back with my son. Other mums actually said that I was perhaps the smartest mom leaving my son at school to enjoy this day to the fullest, but I missed him and immediately was planning to come back. As was everyone else of course.
Not even a month later, Doha mums had again organized this event. It just happened to be my name day, so my husband and son played hooky to spend the day together as a family. It was just as brilliant as the first time. A perfect little break from the city. If we ever decide to do a stay-cation, Banana Island Resort is definitely on my list!