Review: Z Lounge @ Kempinski Residences & Suites (Westbay-Dafna, Doha)

Disclaimer: dance clubs are not my scene. I don’t like them. They are loud, crowded, people get annoying, and I rarely feel like I am getting value for my money. I’m not a fan of the “new trendy” hotspot, and if I know there is going to be a crowd of people somewhere, that is usually a sign that you can find me in some dark dive across town, as far away from the scene as possible.

Z Lounge is everything I have just described. I don’t like it, but it’s just not my scene. Maybe if you came early in the evening you would have a different experience. Maybe I would have. Your mileage may vary.

To be fair, it is not Z Lounge’s fault I went there. I only went there under duress, haha. I was at a birthday party in the Kempinski, having a great time meeting new people, eating homemade food, and swapping music links on YouTube. And then somebody suggested we should go upstairs to this place. I’m thinking, “Nahhh,” but the idea got momentum so it was either go, or go home. The party was moving. And I wasn’t ready to go home just yet.

I should have just gone home.

It’s one of those pseudo-red rope sort of experiences, where it feels like you have to audition to get in and they are trying to keep out undesirables. Lucky for me I’m always dressed at least business casual, and I am always obviously a “desirable,” haha. So while a couple of our companions who dress more casually either got turned away or had to beg their way in, I got in no problem. Yay for me.

Upon social approval, I was granted free entry into a land of narcissism. We had to fight our way to a small two-person table near the DJ, to be shared by like ten people. The snacks were ok, but nothing too memorable (although if I recall correctly, our hazelnuts were classily “warmed”).

It took forever to get table service, and during that time I had ascertained that the drinks were all firmly just OK. And that’s it. Overpriced cocktails, overpriced bottles, but (to be fair) not moreso than other venues off happy hour. But there was nothing for me to get excited about unless money was truly no object.

And it is. Money is an object. I hate feeling ripped off. I’ll happily give it to you, but please at least work for it. So I ordered a bottle of Salitos, because I had never had it. In keeping with the theme of the evening, my bottle was OK. No beers on tap, that’s for sure (and if you read my other reviews, you know that I think bottles are so lowbrow).

And I guess that was the theme of this evening. Everything was just OK. I couldn’t talk to anyone for the rest of the evening because I’m normally kind of quiet (in volume) and speak in my lower register. I had to yell or talk directly into someone’s ear in order to be heard. When I was ready for another beverage, I had to basically beg someone to take my money, and even when I was successful all I got was another OK bottle.

In terms of clientele, people were generally either unaware of those around them, or they were inconsiderate/obnoxious. I saw more than one spilled beverage and more than one broken glass. My heart went out to the servers, who had to deal with this on a daily basis. At least I could say that I had “voluntarily” subjected myself to it.

I had to basically push my way to the restroom, where normally a touch of the shoulder would do. Granted, there was plenty of eye candy (probably because the undesirables were kept out), but it wasn’t worth it. And that’s not actually very important to me.

That all being said, the ambiance is pretty nice. I liked the optical displays on the walls, but the only reason I paid so much attention to them is because I was bored and couldn’t engage in meaningful conversation with anyone.

But like I said at the beginning, I’m not into dance clubs. It is not because I’m not into dancing. It is because I’m not into “been seen.” Not since I tried my first dance club in high school. And I have almost never had an authentic connection or a meaningful conversation in a place like this.

I’m searching for authenticity. That is the opposite of what I found at Z Lounge. I have since had colleagues suggest that we go to this place, and I always gently steer us away. I will continue to do so. Do with this information what you will.

RATED: 2.5/5

Z Lounge - Kempinski Residences & Suites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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