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Posts in this series:
- Introduction: Qatar Airways Business Class Trip Between Rome & Kuala Lumpur
- Review: AviaPartner VIP Lounge Le Anfore Rome (Qatar Airways & Priority Pass)
- Review: Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Daytime Flight (FCO – DOH)
- Review: Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha
There are a number of Business Class lounges in Doha but the mother of them all is undoubtably the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class lounge. I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t reviewed it before but, as I paid the lounge a visit on this trip and remembered to take some notes, I thought it was about time I did just that.
I’d enjoyed my all-too-short Qatar Airways 787 Business Class flight from Rome and we’d landed in Doha more or less on time. The next stage of the trip involved passing though Doha security which can be a bit of a lottery. Fortunately there is a dedicate premium lane on offer and, while the lines for non-priority passengers appeared quite long, I was though security in under 5 minutes.
Finding The Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge
Directions to the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge will depend on where you arrive into Hamad airport….this map (of sorts) will explain better:
This is essentially the map of the Hamad airport duty free area with a creepy bear statue in the middle off it and the red circle indicating where the escalators to the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge are.
What you can’t see on this map is that, on either side, there are 3 levels to the airport (the map is just showing the lower level – level 1). There are two separate security areas at the airport – both on level 2 and both on either side of the duty free area.
If you happen to pass through security on the left side of the map (as I did) you head down the escalators to level 1 (where all the duty free shops are) and then you immediately head back up a second set of escalators to the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge which is on Level 3 – the two sets of escalators are almost next to each other.
If you pass though security on the other side of the airport you’ll have to cross the wide square (where the creepy-looking bear statue is), pass a few duty free shops and then head up the escalator to the lounge.
Tip: If you can see the escalators for the Al Safwa First Class lounge you’re on the wrong side and need to cross over.
The Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge
There’s a gatekeeper at the bottom of the escalators who scans everyone’s boarding pass as they approach the escalator and, once he’s let you though, you’re on your way up to level 3 and the lounge.
Below is a plan of the lounge which should help to give you an idea where everything is (in conjunction with the photos and commentary that are about to follow).
The escalators up to the lounge are in the bottom-middle of the plan and the dark blue area is where the Qatar Airways desks are.
As I’d already had my boarding pass scanned I didn’t need to check-in here again and I walked around the desk and into the lounge the itself.
My first impression? “This has got to be the biggest Business Class lounge I’ve ever seen!….and what it that lake doing there?!”
The lounge isn’t totally enclosed – on one side it overlooks the concourse below (the curved edge at the bottom of the plan above) and that, combined with the very high ceiling makes the lounge feel airy and enormous.
As you walk into the lounge it’s essentially laid out in a giant rectangle from left to right so I’ll try to go around the lounge methodically.
If you turn right (after you enter the lounge) you’re faced with a large water feature next to which is a spiral staircase leading up to one of the two eateries the lounge offers (there’s also an elevator to get up there)….I’ll come on to this eatery at the very end.
If you were to turn right again you’d come to a small area where the baggage room is (an attendant will happily stow your luggage here for you):
There a small seating section here too…..
…and past here are a few loungers where guests can lie down:
This is probably the least inspiring part of the lounge but it was nice and quiet when I passed through.
If you ignore this last section and continue your walk towards the spiral staircase, the water feature is on your left and the elevator up to the eatery is on your right.
Just past the spiral staircase is one end of the lounge which is equipped with comfortable seats, power outlets and touch-screens connected to the internet:
The power outlets are universal (so most travelers shouldn’t need an adapter) and each seat comes with two USB ports too:
Walking around the water feature will point you back towards the opposite end of the lounge…..
…..and here, against the wall, is more seating as well as where you’ll find the entrance to the washrooms:
Not far past the entrance to the washrooms, on the right, is where you’ll find a sign for the business center……
…..but though the glass doors is far more than that.
This is a whole other area of the lounge.
Immediately ahead of you are comfortable red chairs, tables and more screens connected to the internet:
Against the right-hand wall is a bar area with a coffee maker….
…….and a selection of small desserts
Immediately to the left is a “game room”…..
…with foosball table…..
…and some electronic games which may or many not have been working:
Just past the game room and still to the left is the Business Center:
Back outside the business center but still in the area where all the red chairs are is a surprise.
At the very back of this area are more loungers of the type I mentioned right at the beginning but that I couldn’t photograph:
Each lounger also has a couple of power outlets and four USB ports so anyone relaxing in this area is well catered for power-wise.
If you head back out into the main lounge area and continue to the right there is more seating up against the wall…..
…and once again each seat has a power outlet, too USB ports and a screen.
This really is a very well equipped lounge!
Past these seats you come to the other end of the lounge where there’s an eatery the airline has called the “Dining Resort”.
You go through glass doors to enter the Dining Resort and it’s divined into two areas.
The first area is set up with high tables and chairs…..
…while the area just past it is set up is a more traditional dining style:
I didn’t hang around in here for too long but there were menus laid out (click to view in full size)……
…and there were what appeared to be some self-serve items too:
Most may think that this is all that there is to see in this area of the lounge….but there’s more.
A small corridor, that’s pretty inconspicuous, leads away from this dining area, goes past the doors to the dining area’s restrooms and ends up at the “Quiet Area”
The quiet area is a series of large cubicles (I think there are 9 of them) in which guests can relax with guaranteed silence and quite a bit of darkness – you can hear a pin drop in there.
These cubicles need to be booked at the desk inside the quiet area and they’re booked solid a lot of the time…although I have been lucky enough to get one on one occasion.
As well as the rest cubicles the quiet area offers a surprise – showers.
As far as I can tell there isn’t a single sign for the showers anywhere in the lounge….and who would think to look for them in the quiet area?!
Once again you need to check-in with the desk in the quiet area where the attendant scans your boarding pass (presumably to ensure you have enough time for a shower before your flight) and then calls another attendant to escort you to the showers (there’s often a wait):
The attendants are happy to provide dental kits, shaving kits and just about any other type of kit you may need:
On my visit I found the showers very clean, the water pressure good and, most importantly, the temperature of the water was consistent.
I don’t know a lot about bathroom products (shower gel is shower gel to me!) but Joanna assures me that Rituals is a well regarded brand.
When you exit the Dining Resort you’ll find yourself back in the vastness of the main lounge area and looking down the length of the lounge.
To the right is the area of the lounge which overlooks the levels below and here you’ll find more comfortable seats with power outlets, screens and USB ports:
The last part of the lounge (on this level) is the centre section which runs from the water feature all the way down the length of the lounge to the Dining Resort.
This section is slightly raised and is accessed via a sloping walkway in the centre of the lounge:
This section offers the biggest choice in seating options.
There are chairs reminiscent of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore:
There are bucket seats arranged individually…..
…..and you’ll find the same chairs arranged in cubicle-like areas for added privacy:
Also worth a mention is the fact that, dotted around various parts of the lounge, are drink areas which offer tea/coffee machines and a section of sodas and water:
That pretty much concludes the tour around the lounge except for the eatery I mentioned right at the very beginning – the one accessed via the spiral staircase next to the water feature.
In this dining area the main focal point is a large bar…..
….at which guests can sit and order drinks or from which drinks will be served to guests at the tables in the room.
The dining area was pretty crowded on this visit so I couldn’t really take that many pictures…but this is what a typical table and chair set up looks like:
There’s a lot of space for two people and four can easily fit around the table too.
On either side of the dining area are long buffet tables with a number of food options (both tables offer the same options):
On the evening of my visit some of the options included:
- Lamb biriyani
- Hungarian beef goulash
- Roasted mustard marinated chicken breast stuffed with cheese and bell peppers
- Seafood thermidor
- Cream of chicken soup
- Roasted pumpkin and coconut soup
- Saffron rice
- Roasted vegetable roots with crumbled feta & romesco sauce
- Roasted potatoes with herbs
- Vegetable samosa
- Tuna nicoise
- Mediterranean kidney bean salad
- Vegetable pasta salad
- Grated carrot with lemon Dijon vinaigrette
- Lobeih bel zeit (green beans in oil)
As well as the main courses and salad items the lounge had also laid out deserts in one corner of the dining area…..
….with tea & coffee making facilities on the side too:
The food options were nice…but they weren’t as great as you may expect from a lounge of this calibre. The wait staff were all very friendly and it didn’t take long for one to come to my table and offer me a drink from the bar (all food and drink is complimentary).
- Lots of seating so, even at really busy times (of which there definitely are some) you should be able to find a seat.
- All the seats I tried out were comfortable.
- Great feeling of space
- Enough dining space for the number of guests the lounge gets
- Sleep pods where you can lie down and relax (hard to get during peak times)
- Nice showers…if you can find them!
- Lots of universal power outlets and USB ports – you won’t be short of charging points
- Friendly and helpful staff
- If you’re sitting close to where the lounge looks over the duty free area the noise from below can be intrusive
- WiFi has been a little slow on some of my visits…but this seems to change from visit to visit.
- Not particularly well signposted – the duty free area is huge so if you don’t know where you’re going it’s easy to miss the escalator to the lounge
As Business Class lounges go this is probably the best one I’ve visited.
The sheer scale of the place is fantastic and there’s such a feeling of openness and space (despite the fact that every time I’ve visited it has been nighttime and therefore dark) that it makes it quite a nice place to spend a layover.
For most airlines this would be the standard of a pretty decent First Class lounge and yet, for Qatar Airways, it’s their home Business Class facility – it’s definitely worth a visit.
Up Next: Review: Qatar Airways A340 Business Class Night Flight (DOH-KUL)