Embarking on a journey from Rome to Jakarta with Qatar Airways brought us face to face with a lengthy 10-hour layover at Doha Airport. While it might have seemed unavoidable when booking the flight, we saw this as an opportunity to explore the airport’s offerings and make the most of our stopover time.
Join us as we delve into the world of Doha Airport’s comfort lounges, amenities, and options for relaxation during our stay.
Navigating the Layover
Even though we landed at Doha Airport at 10:30 in the evening, we were determined to make the most of our time. While Qatar Airways complimentary 3-hour tours were not feasible for our late arrival, we had a plan in place to make our layover enjoyable.
Our plan had been to fork out for one of the available comfort lounges, and spend most of our stopover time there.
Exploring Doha Airport’s Public Areas
As newcomers to Hamad International Airport, we were pleasantly surprised by the airport’s comfort, cleanliness, and spaciousness. The abundance of soft-seating areas provided a comfortable haven for travelers seeking a place to rest and recharge.
Culinary Discoveries at the Airport
Doha Airport offers an array of culinary options that cater to diverse tastes, and the best part is that many of these establishments remain open 24 hours. Despite the airport prices, we found the food choices to be varied and reasonably priced.
All of the outlets accept credit cards, so there’s no need to take any local cash from the ATMs.
The Temptation of Comfort Lounges
Curiosity led us to explore the pay-for-entry lounges at the airport. With a fee of around $55 per person for a 6-hour stay, the lounges seemed like an attractive proposition. We closely examined the Onyx lounge and the Al Maha lounge, both of which offered different amenities and comforts.
They provide comfortable seats (but not recliners), shower facilities, computer and internet access and snacks and drinks.
- The Onyx lounge is the more spacious and comfortable of the two, but only provided cold snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
- The Al Maha lounge is smaller, with less comfortable seating. However, it did provide hot and cold food and alcoholic beverages. The trouble was, it was so busy we would have had difficulty finding 2 empty seats.
Lounge or No Lounge?
After weighing the pros and cons, we made a decision. We opted out of the comfort lounges, saving $100 for our upcoming Indonesian adventures. Instead, at the Food Court we shared a tasty Asian meal of seafood soup and sweet and sour chicken with rice for QAR 95 (€24).
Then we sought out a cozy spot for a nap on padded leather seats.
An hour or so before our ongoing connection, we had breakfast of cappuccinos and turkey cheese and egg sandwiches for QAR 84 (€22).
The End of the Layover
As our connection time neared, we reflected on our time at Doha Airport. The extended layover had its moments of weariness, but the airport’s offerings made it bearable. We were pleasantly surprised by the comfort and convenience Doha Airport provided, even without utilizing the pay-to-stay lounges.
Navigating a 10-hour layover at Doha Airport might seem daunting, but with careful planning and exploration, it’s really not so bad. The decision to skip the lounges allowed us to save money and indulge in alternative culinary offerings. From the comfortable seating to the cozy sleeping spots, Doha Airport proved to be a comfortable haven for travelers in transit.
As we finally boarded our connecting flight, we left Doha with an appreciation for Doha’s airport facilities. These rank much higher than most other airports we’ve traveled through, even without using Doha’s pay-to-stay lounges.
Have you got a layover in Dubai? See our article on the Marhaba Lounge.
If you enjoy a Doha airport layover, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like: