Explore SUSHISAMBA Doha, the brand’s first beach club.

  • StudioPhysical
  • LocationDoha, Qatar
  • CollaboratorsJourney Lighting

Located inside the new Waldorf Astoria Lusail in Qatar’s Entertainment City, SUSHISAMBA Doha is the brand’s newest signature restaurant and first beach club. Playing off the split personality of SUSHISAMBA’s origins, this venue mixes the Japanese understatement of ‘Sushi’ and the Brazilian/Peruvian flamboyance of ‘Samba.’ The space creates an immersive dining experience inspired by being ‘in a tree’ that opens up to a layered day club featuring cascading pools, private oases, and an amazing Persian Gulf view.

The Brief

Uphold the SUSHISAMBA brand by designing their latest signature restaurant, including the brand’s first-ever beach club, through immersive lighting techniques and iconic brand elements. Located at the Waldorf Astoria Lusail, this is the third SUSHISAMBA location designed by Journey’s physical studio, ICRAVE.

Our Response

Transporting the guest to a dream-like escape, Journey’s physical studio, ICRAVE, designed the venue as a spectacle of light with an incredible day-to-night transformation. The interior tree-like, three-dimensional perforated walls and ceiling petals and the Kumiko-inspired exterior screens & cabana elements envelop guests in an immersive and theatrical light experience. Bold Brazilian-inspired patterns throughout bring energetic samba vibes to the club.

Having designed two SUSHISAMBA locations in Las Vegas and Dubai, we are always challenged to find something new we can bring to the brand and keep things fresh. The SUSHISAMBA signature move is incorporating tree designs into their spaces – for this one; we inverted the idea of the tree.

‘Instead of having it only be a free-standing object, we wanted to create the feeling of being under a sun-dappled tree canopy – we were able to manifest this by doing custom perforated metallic panels that go from the wall and arch up to the ceiling and really hug the space. This is the first-ever Sushi Samba beach club – which allowed us to create an amazing and compact ‘mini-world’ of cascading pools, onion dome cabanas, and palm trees.’ – Gregory Merkel, Design Director, ICRAVE. 

SUSHISAMBA Restaurant & Beach Club is a vibrant and celebratory venue that pays homage to nature, the elements, and, above all, light. Embracing the concept of a tree canopy, the entire space cleverly plays with light. It filters through perforated patterns, dances across textural and 3-dimensional materials, bounces off mirrored surfaces and ripples over running water. This interplay of light creates a dynamic and ever-changing atmosphere, ensuring each visit is a unique experience.

Japanese influences infuse the venue with elegant details, from furniture to private cabanas, while the soothing sounds of flowing water from the pond and cascading pools add to the ambiance. The ‘Samba’ spirit is represented through bold colors and patterns. The open kitchen, cocktail bar, and sushi counter exemplify the signature energy and culinary flair of SUSHISAMBA.

For a refreshing experience, the air-conditioned outside terrace is set amidst lush tropical surroundings and features Copacabana-inspired mosaics. It offers a captivating oasis for SUSHISAMBA Doha guests, providing a rich fusion of cuisine, music, and design.

Indoors, a monumental, backlit, three-dimensional ‘tree’ structure constructed from custom perforated champagne-bronze panels serves as the backdrop and frames the external views. These panels transition from the walls to the ceiling, featuring various ‘petal’ shapes. The central petal frames the entry, housing the central bar and lounge, while the side petals enclose the sushi bar and the open kitchen and grill on each side. The custom-crafted patina-champagne metal finish of the perforated panels perfectly simulates the sun streaming through the leaves and branches of a massive tree.

The elevated lounge platform boasts a central glowing bar, which adds another layer of light and pattern. It contrasts the natural form of the tree canopy with a Japanese Kumiko laser-cut patterned canopy, creating a striking visual effect.

Stepping into the exterior beach club offers an immersive experience, transporting guests to an elemental oasis within a layered and textural landscape. This private sanctuary, separated from the rest of the hotel, features multi-level terraces, hidden passages, tranquil cascading pools, and a lush tropical landscape, offering a highly discoverable experience.

Organically shaped cabanas, reminiscent of crafted Japanese floating lanterns, add a sense of zen to the promenade. These private and intimate areas, complete with their terraces and pools, enhance the space’s theatricality, allowing sunlight to filter through a screened envelope during the day and casting a gentle internal glow at night.

In essence, SUSHISAMBA is a dynamic concept that thrives on its dual personality, reveling in contrasts to create unexpected experiences in both its cuisine and its surroundings.

This is the first-ever Sushi Samba beach club – which allowed us to create an amazing and compact ‘mini-world’ of cascading pools, dome cabanas, and palm trees.’

– Gregory Merkel, Design Director, ICRAVE.   


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