- The business class lounge at Doha International Airport in Doha, Qatar, sprawls across a whopping two-and-a-half acres.
- The space is replete with plenty of seating, showers, two restaurants, and a reflection pool.
- I recently spent a four-hour layover there – here’s what it was like.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Qatar Airways sets a standard in aviation. Not only is it ranked the No. 1 airline in the world by Skytrax, the award-winning airline also offers the No. 1 business-class cabin.
And while Qatar offers a level of luxury in the sky, it’s hardly any different on the ground. I recently experienced its famed Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Doha International Airport in Doha, Qatar over the course of a four-hour layover.
The two-and-a-half-acre business class lounge sprawls across a third-floor sanctuary with two restaurants, a reflection pool, a game room, business centre, showers, and quiet sleeping areas.
And there’s more to come. Qatar recently announced the opening of the world’s largest airport lounge, expanding Al Mourjan with a gym, spa facilities, additional restaurants, and a lush, 107,000-square-foot indoor tropical garden as the centre piece. Qatar is expected to open the lounge in 2022, the year it hosts the FIFA World Cup.
For now, take a look at Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge.
After flying business class on Qatar Airways (JFK to Doha), I was among the first off the plane and inside Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. It was about a 10-minute walk on the moving walkway to customs.
Business class passengers have access to an exclusive security lane through customs. There was no one in line, so I got through in a breeze.
Once I was past customs, I saw the infamous Lamp Bear, a giant, 23-foot yellow teddy bear with a lamp through its head in the airport’s foyer.
You know you’re near the business-class lounge once you see this art installation.
There are several lounges at Hamad International Airport, but Al Mourjan Business Lounge is the dedicated lounge for Qatar business and Oneworld First and Business passengers. Oneworld Sapphire members who fly economy do not have access to it.
There is no sign to the lounge. If you’re going for the first time, someone will eventually point you to this escalator, the exclusive entrance to Al Mourjan Business Lounge.
Right at the entrance, a Qatar agent checks everyone’s boarding pass to determine whether they have access. From there, the escalator takes you up three levels.
Al Mourjan Business Lounge takes up the entire third floor — and it sprawls across a whopping two-and-a-half acres. The lounge is located right above customs on the second floor and duty free on the first floor.
Source: Qatar Airways
After I was cleared at the escalator security, I stopped at the main check-in. I loved the silver chrome desk. It was reflective (pun intended?) of the thoughtful design features I would soon find inside.
Once inside, I instantly noticed the shiny art installation and the reflection pool.
A “floating concierge” was stationed in front of the art installation at all times.
She was a wealth of information for any – and I truly mean any – questions travellers may have. What they were serving in the restaurant, where the bathrooms were located, what gate your flight was changed to, how much time you have before boarding your flight, how long the walk is to your gate – she knew it all. She was brilliant.
The bi-level lounge is, in a word, massive. According to the Qatar Airways website, it takes up an amount of space equivalent to ten Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Despite the fact that half of the main area is taken up by the reflection pond, the lounge never felt crowded.
That’s partially thanks to the lounge’s high ceilings and absence of solid walls, which make it feel even bigger. You could stand on one end of the lounge and see all the way to the opposite end.
I found several passengers sitting around the calming reflection pond. The main restaurant is perched directly above the pool. It can be accessed by a spiral staircase or an elevator.
There are plenty of seats throughout the lounge. The only stress I felt on that front was deciding where to park myself, since there were at least a dozen available areas. I ended up going to the back of the lounge, where each seat had a dedicated tablet.
The majority of the seats in the lounge have their own power outlets and USB ports for convenient phone charging. While the lounge has a dedicated luggage storage area, there’s also a dedicated space between seats where you can store your bags.
The majority of the seats are in the middle of the lounge, encased by glass partitions to enhance privacy. There was a selection of water, tea, and other beverages just a few steps away from all the seating areas.
Here’s another look at the centre of the lounge. It’s on a raised platform, which added to the stylish design.
One of the separate lounge areas faces the runway. Below is a photo of the dedicated business centre lounge, which had plenty of potted greenery and contemporary chairs and tables.
Meanwhile, yet another lounge offered work stations, a light food buffet, and beverages.
I found some fully lie-flat leather recliners tucked away in the back of the lounge. It was incredibly quiet. Each recliner comes with two tablets, because why not?
If you want proper shut-eye, though, there is another lounge area with dedicated nap rooms. Those individual spaces are furnished with a TV, coffee table, and sofa.
Part of me wishes I had posted up here for my four-hour layover, but I knew I’d get too comfortable.
In another lounge, I found a game room with foosball and video games.
Anywhere you sit, it’s quiet, since chairs are spread far from each other and the dividers provide a barrier. There are also tablets everywhere. The entire business class lounge provides complimentary WiFi.
The bathrooms are in the centre of the lounge. They include a separate shower area. Each shower cabin works on a first-come, first-serve basis, and each one offers shampoo, conditioner, and towels.
There’s also a glass-wall smoking room in the back of the lounge.
When it comes to food, the cafe on the ground level serves sandwiches and salads, both made to order, as well as a buffet. I loved the contemporary design, as well as the greenery for Feng shui.
The design of the space struck me as Madison Ave meets Copenhagen. While my layover was at night, I could only imagine the sunlight flooding through this space during the day.
The cafe offers access to a separate kids’ club.
If you’re looking to have a sit-down meal at the restaurant on the second floor, a host seats you at a table. There are two buffet spreads.
I chose a seat by the window. It provided a great aerial perspective of the lounge.
The buffet had a variety of dishes, from cold pastas and salads to rice and pork chops and chicken. It wasn’t fine dining by any means, but it hit all the right spots.
The lounge provided the perfect sanctuary for my layover. In fact, it was so cosy, I didn’t want to leave. Nobody says that ever about an airport lounge, so Qatar is doing something right.
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