Wellness is everywhere. In Qatar, it is at the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, a 20-minute boat ride from the capital city. Spend a day in Doha first, and enjoy a visit to the superb Islamic Art Museum, designed by I.M. Pei. The top portion of the museum, constructed to look like eyes peeking out from a niqab, houses a fine collection of Islamic art, and the nearby Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, in a large, industrial-style building, showcases work from contemporary artists working in the Middle East.
Then, head to the Resort, and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Qatari families enjoying leisure time together, children cavorting on the beach, kayaking or swimming in the Arabian Gulf, surfing in the Surf Pool—or taking a diving or snorkeling lesson at the Dive Centre. Experience sumptuous dining at one of the resort’s international restaurants: Azraq (don’t miss the “Spice Spoons” cooking class), Riva and Q Lounge—with casual fare at Ted’s American Diner.
The Anantara Spa features a beautiful Hammam, with Turkish- or Moroccan-style bathing rituals, and locally inspired therapies like an Argan Oil Hair Treatment and Arabian Exotic Scrub, with clove and anise. At the Balance Wellness Centre, one of the first of its kind in the Arab world, you can sign on for a customized Wellness Retreat, including detox, fitness, weight loss and more. doha.anantara.com —Rona Berg