Introduction: The Long Road to Boston
Review: Malindo Air Economy Boeing 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Colombo
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge in KLIA
Review: Araliya Lounge Colombo Bandaranaike Airport
Review: Qatar Airways A340 Business Class Colombo to Doha
Review: Al Mourjan Business Lounge Doha International Airport
Review: Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Doha to Boston
Arriving at Doha’s new-ish Hamad International Airport, one is struck by how everything looks so futuristic and high-tech – such a contrast to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport from which I’d just departed.
One simply cannot miss the giant 23-foot bronze-cast teddy bear in the airport’s atrium. Quite a fun, irreverent piece of art, and perhaps a statement on how such a rich, modern nation like Qatar can rise out of the barren desert – had me thinking about the incongruity of it all.
There are several business and first class lounges scattered throughout the airport, some of which catering to passengers traveling on other airlines or oneworld alliance partners. I think passengers traveling on Qatar Airways business class would have access to these lounges as well, but I had no time to check them out.
After some research, I had my sights on Al Mourjan Business Lounge, which together with the fabled Al Safwa First Class Lounge, ranks amongst the best airport lounges in the world.
Finally found the entrance after checking with the information desk.
A lounge attendant was checking boarding passes at the bottom of the long escalator, and he quickly whisked me up to the Al Mourjan lounge after verifying that I was traveling on Qatar Airways business class.
I noticed that he notified his colleagues up at the lounge about my impending arrival, and one of them was already waiting for me at the top of the escalators to welcome me to the lounge.
You are first greeted by a long futuristic-looking reception desk, reminiscent of a spaceship (?) where several attendants were busy welcoming lounge guests. The lounge was fairly busy at this time of the day in the morning.
I made my way into the lounge, and took some time to read the map and directions for navigating the lounge. The lounge is spread over two levels, and is so large you need a map to know your way around it!
If you turn right at the reception, you will be greeted by the large reflective water feature. It’s quite an impressive sight, and the use of water, lights and a reflecting pool instantly relaxes wearied travelers, especially when you remember we are in the middle of the desert.
The spiral staircase next to the water feature leads you to the second level of the lounge, but I did not have time to explore it this time round.
Seating and lounging options are aplenty in the lounge, and a variety of seats are spread out across different zones.
The seats are fairly private, and some of them even offer what looks like personal tablets for checking airport and flight info.
Local and international titles were available for browsing.
Bars offering water, soft drinks, coffee and tea were available at both ends of the lounge, and one simply had to request for your drink of choice from the server.
I was all tired, sweaty and sticky by this point in the trip, so my first mission was to get a shower in the lounge.
Unfortunately all the shower cubicles were full at this time, and I was directed to the other showers located within the “quiet area” of the lounge.
I had some trouble understanding the shower attendant and couldn’t find these showers at first, but finally realized it was located deep inside the lounge, past the restaurant at the first level and within the “quiet area”, after he assigned an attendant to personally bring me there.
I showed the attendants my boarding pass, and waited for about 5 minutes while they got my shower room ready.
There were some rest pods located within the “quiet area”, and each one offered a large flat-screen TV and several lounge chairs – this would make a good rest area for long layovers.
The shower rooms here are HUGE – theres a mirror, washbasin, toilet and shower divided into individual cubicles, and a sitting area for dressing up.
I took my time to brush my teeth, sit on the throne and enjoy a long, hot shower. The water pressure here was good, and I really enjoyed the overhead shower. Toiletries are RITUALS-branded and were of a good quality.
The restaurant on level one of the lounge had some buffet items laid out, which looked to be mostly salads, sandwiches and finger food. I did not have time to sample any food here, and quickly made my way to the boarding gate.
This must have been the best airport lounge I’ve been to – I didn’t even have time to finish walking through the entire lounge. There were so many staff on duty that each guest can be assured personalized service, and help is never too far away. Also, the number of dining, entertainment and refreshment options in the lounge puts so many other airlines to shame. One wonders when SQ would deign to create a lounge experience that is on par with what Qatar is offering at Hamad International.