Featuring two distinct restaurants, a cocktail bar and even an infinity pool below an elaborate five-tier chandelier, Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan lounge at Doha's Hamad International Airport is easily one of the world's best.
With seating for up to 1,000 business class guests, there's no shortage of room here with high ceilings throughout and enough floor space to comfortably house 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Join Australian Business Traveller as we take you through Qatar Airways' flagship international business class lounge at its home hub of Doha, Qatar.
Location & Impressions
After clearing transit security for travellers flying onwards or passport control for those departing Qatar, look for the giant teddy bear sculpture... ... and if you're facing it from the same angle as in our photo, take a left and then the clearly-signed escalator up to the Al Mourjan lounge.
Inside, the first thing you'll notice is the sheer sense of space, with high ceilings throughout, privacy galore and a variety of zones tailored to different needs... ... not to mention an elaborate water feature and Q-shaped staircase leading up to one of the dining rooms: We wandered around for 20 minutes and still hadn't explored all the lounge had to offer, but maps are fortunately on-hand to help get your bearings.
The lounge's central location puts it in a great spot for all gates, but as travellers flying to Australia complete a second round of security screening at the gate, consider leaving the lounge a little earlier than usual when heading home.
The Al Mourjan lounge opens its doors only to Qatar Airways business class and first class flyers, plus those of fellow Oneworld airlines British Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines.
Frequent flyers stuck in economy are instead shipped to smaller, less extravagant lounges, but we're told that from time to time, Platinum and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers are invited to use the Al Mourjan lounge when the separate Platinum frequent flyer lounge is full.
Qatar Airways and other Oneworld first class passengers may also visit the airline's newly-opened Al Safwa lounge.
Also read: Qatar Airways’ Doha lounge access explained
Travellers with time on their hands can ascend that Q staircase for the lounge's main dining room and a full a la carte meal service with nine dishes on the menu... ... from which we chose the prime beef fillet steak with roast potatoes, garden vegetables and a black peppercorn sauce – and weren't disappointed... ... nor were we with the 2009 Chateau Monbousquet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, a Bordeaux red to pair with the dish. Travellers enjoying shorter stays can also select from a wide range of ready-made items from the nearby buffets, with one wing devoted to tasty light bites... ... and the other more substantial meals like Indian butter chicken, prawn biryani, penne pasta and more: Centred between them is a tended bar, where the staff can mix up cocktails... ... and pour your choice of bubbly, either the Philipponnat Rosé or the Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Prefer something more laidback? Head downstairs to the opposite end of the lounge where you'll find another dining space... ... in this case with a sandwich menu that heroes chicken, roast beef, smoked salmon and lamb, while still providing two options for vegetarians: Our pick of the lot? The deli roast lamb with cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce and minted mayonnaise on olive loaf... ... while the roast beef on rye with gherkin, tomato, onion, lettuce and grainy mustard also holds its own. All in all, for a lounge purely catering to business class passengers, it's among the best in the world at chow time and gives travellers en route to Europe the ability to maximise their sleep in the air from Australia, before enjoying a nice meal while in transit.
Business and corporate flyers are well and truly catered for here, beginning with an array of solo seats where you can work in privacy without being up close to anyone else... ... and if you need to plug in, you'll find both AC and USB power outlets near each lamp, which accept Australian, UK, European pins and many others without needing an adaptor. Duos and groups will also find appropriate seating for collaboration or catch-ups... ... and for any serious work, a separate business centre goes far beyond the odd chair and table, taking on a very office-like feel with meeting rooms, printing facilities and group tables... ... plus ample workstations for travellers not carrying their own tech:
The only downside is that Qatar Airways doesn't operate a separate, private WiFi network for its lounge guests, who can instead access the free terminal-wide wireless service provided by Hamad International Airport.
We clocked upload and download speeds at around 1Mbps during our visit: certainly on the slower side, but which was still perfectly usable for tasks like sending and receiving emails and basic web browsing.
This is one of those lounges where a delayed flight almost becomes welcome news as you kick back and enjoy a cocktail, a freshly-made coffee... ... or even browse a magazine by the infinity pool with dancing water features. We know what you're thinking, but no, you can't take a dip. You can, however, freshen up in one of many private shower suites before retreating to a day bed for a snooze on longer layovers... ... to one of the 'family rooms' when travelling with children or even just a work group... ... to the centre of the lounge for a secluded space to await your flight in comfort... ... or to one of the many comfy and widely-spaced chairs nearby the windows if natural light is what you seek. Each of those seats also comes with its own fixed tablet, allowing you to check on your flight as boarding calls aren't made here, or to surf the Web for the latest news. Oh, there's also a foosball table, multiple Playstation consoles and an F1 racing simulator... ... and if that's not enough to keep you busy, a spread of newspapers and magazines also awaits, with many English language titles.
All that's missing is a day spa that you'd find in the business class lounges of Etihad, Thai Airways and Virgin Atlantic, but with so much to see, eat and explore, we spent five hours here without noticing its absence.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Doha as a guest of Qatar Airways.
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