Often, not flying direct is cheaper, the trade-off being you’re hanging around in an airport waiting for your connection. If you find yourself flying via Doha (DOH) The Al Mourjan Lounge by Qatar Airways is one of those time you don’t mind a layover, in fact, I often look for a good 6-hour layover just to spend time there.
|Qatar Airways *Business Class or First Class ticket holders
*Unfortunately Qatar announced that if you book Classic Business Class, you do not get lounge access.
|Monday-Saturday 24 Hours
Sunday 24 Hours
|Terminal 1. As you look at the big teddy, turn left, past Qatar Duty Free.
You’ll see a member of Qatar Airways Staff at the bottom of an escalator, take the escalator and voila
Given that the majority of passengers at Doha are transiting to another destination, we’ll start with the shower room. Regardless of how long your flight was, it’s always nice to freshen up. At the entrance to where the shower rooms are is a desk where you can request a room, if the lounge is very busy you can sometimes be expected to wait up to 30 mins for a slot. That’s not really a problem, they will put your name down and you can either come back at your allocated time or, you can tell them which part of the lounge you’ll be in and they will come and inform you your shower is now ready. If it’s not busy, you’ll be guided straight to your shower room.
If the clenliness isn’t the first thing you notice when you walk then it will be the perfect temprature that the room is at. Not too warm, but certainly not chilled. On your left you’ll find a package containing 2 soft full length towels along with 2 hand towels and a tooth brush with paste. You even get a dressing gown and some slippers… No, it isn’t a spa, they just go overboard on everything.
The showers themselves are good, so good in fact that you’d never realise you were in the desert. Though the main head isn’t the largest, there’s an abundance of power should you be inclined to open the tap fully. The same can be said for the temp’s, if you’re the kind that like 3rd-degree burns, give the tap a meaningful turn and tada. If you’re into the whole cryogenics, I honestly have no idea how cold the settings go.
All toiletries are provided by premium brand Rituals which is standard throughout the whole Qatar Airways network. Useful then if you want to save hand luggage space by packing your toiletries in your hold luggage.
After a freshening up in the shower, it can go one of 2 ways, you’re set for the day ahead of you, or you’re winding down and want some sleep; I’ve gone for the later first. In total, I think there are about 60 “beds” where you can get a decent bit of sleep. As you can see, I’ve used the terms beds generously. They’re more like permanently reclined seats which are extremely comfortable if you can sleep on your back. For those of us who sleep on our sides, you’ll be needing Homer Simpsons Chiropractic Trash Can if you even attempt to catch some zzz’s.
The best area I’d recommend which is also the darkest is the above. When you enter the lounge, immediately turn right. As you can see they aren’t the most private, so you can’t be rocking your David Hasselhoff attire but it’s a lot more private and darker than the other area the lounge offers. Should you need to grab a refreshment, the mini-fridge is always fully stocked with soft drinks, water and ice.
If the lounge gets a little too loud, perhaps when it is at it’s busiest or you aren’t one for sleeping on your back this is where you want to be.
Be under no illusion, it isn’t dark in the slightest. You do however get a rather large sofa you can easily turn into a bed should you have a travel pillow (if transiting, make sure you take your pillow from the aircraft). You can hear a pin drop in here so it’s perfect for light sleepers. There are only 12 rooms available. Again if it’s busy, you can put your name down on the guest list and someone will come and get you once there becomes availability.
Before we get into it, take a moment and appreciate the engineering that went into the sofas in any of the 7 areas which I would describe as living rooms. They’re easily 12 foot long and only have 4 legs, with no support in the middle. There’s no flex or anything, what a tank!
I’ve written living room but that’s a bit of a lie, It has everything you’d expect in one like a glass coffee table, a very comfy 3 piece sofa, a decent TV hung on the wall and reading lamps emitting warm coloured light yet it lacks the homey feel.
The above is probably why it doesn’t feel homely, the huge vaulted ceilings of the airport terminal. Another observation, even though the walls are tall and encompass the space, there are still 2 large openings to each space as becomes apparent when you see people strolling past or checking if it’s empty. It is a nice place to get comfy, stick the TV on and chill.
Again, you don’t have to travel far to get some chilled refreshments, maybe 10 meters… If you are wanting some food, you’ll have to walk a good 30 meters. Speaking of which…
You have to walk through it to get from the living room area back to the main lounge. There’s no camera trickery or anything in the above image, what you see is what you get. It’s absolutely massive! If you were the person tasked with changing the lightbulbs and slipped, you’re brown bread with a proper thud on the solid tiled floor.
You can choose from, low slung armchairs at a coffee table, high chairs at a bar or normal seats at a table. What’s perhaps is a little strange is having such a vast space… for a deli. All they make is sandwiches and salads. There is a menu which changes every few weeks but my tip is, they’ll make you any kind of salad or sandwich. It goes without saying but all of the ingredients are fresh. Now as it’s a deli there isn’t table service as such, there is plenty of staff walking the floor but unless yo wave one over you’ll be ordering from the counter.
If you’re after something more substantial, you’ll have to make your way all the way to the other end of the lounge and up the rather swanky staircase. Don’t worry, if you’re disabled or find yourself knackered from the trek, there’s a lift. Being a buffet, there is no table service despite the copious amount of QR employees pacing the floor. The buffet food is pretty good and covers a broad range of appetites. You can still order things from the kitchen, what thought? I’m not sure.
There’s a big old bar and it’s wet. A strange bit of terminology for people of the West, in laymans terms “alcohol bad, country dry”. In a common occurance, there’s a plethora of staff; all know how to mix up a storm yet every now and again none of them are there to serve you.
If the lounge is quite, you’ll be able to snag a table by the window and people watch whilst you dine. Not sure what it is but people-watching in an airport perplexes me. Digression aside, you start to get a better view on how large the lounge is.
Now that you’re clean, well-rested and fed, it’s time to dump your hand luggage and hit up the duty-free in the terminal. Towards the reception you’ll find the baggage room, the lockers are secure and will take a decent-sized bag. Handy as we all know those Gucci, Harrods and Hublot bags aren’t light…
Sit, relax and unwind
All that’s left to do now is just sit and chill out. You may struggle to find an uncomfortable seat however you certainly won’t struggle to find somewhere to sit. This has to be my favourite place to sit though.
Directly opposite the winding staircase is perhaps the most tranquil part of the lounge. Again, when you’re in a desert water is wealth and what better way to show off than to have a huge pond. Beaten copper panels form the ceiling which entombs the water feature. The sound of splashes through a random sequence of soothing effects has to be the most soothing experience I’ve encountered in an airport.
A brief summary. Lots of staff who aren’t much help unless you ask them specifically for something. Absolutely massive, if you’re travelling with someone and you’re bored, you could easily have a game of hide and seek (Just don’t run). Lots of facilities including places to get some sleep. Food is very nice.
If none of the post makes any sense, that’s because you have yet to experience it. It’s the best business lounge i’ve ever been in (I’ve been in a lot).