Can an airport lounge be epic? Apparently, Yes.
When travellers think of airport lounges, they expect slightly airless spaces with those awful ceiling tiles and some fleather (that’s fake leather) bound furniture. They certainly don’t expect a multi level venue which could practically hold an Olympic swimming event. And yes, there is a water feature too. In the most positive way possible, the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge is daunting.
This is a lounge where you may need someone to draw a map, and you likely need to schedule your activities the way you would a day of sightseeing in Doha. Otherwise, you just may run out of time. Here’s everything you need to know about Qatar Airways stunning Al Mourjan business class lounge in Doha, Qatar…
Getting In: Your frequent flyer card won’t get you in here. There’s a separate business class lounge for that. The Al Mourjan Lounge is exclusively offered to business or first class passengers departing on Qatar Airways or any other Oneworld Airline. If you’re traveling in first class, use the Al Safwa lounge instead.
The Al Mourjan business class lounge is up an escalator near duty free in the central bit of Doha Hamad International Airport. Your first tip of the day is to get your boarding pass ready, because a friendly agent will want to scan it before you ride the escalator up to the main lounge concourse.
Once you’re inside the first round of crucial decisions must begin.
If you turn left, you’ll stay on the same level and can find quiet rooms, shower rooms and an a la carte eating area and bar. If you turn right, you can find places to sit in peace and quiet, or go up the stairs to find the most substantial buffet and bar in the space. If you need a smoke, walk straight, and pass the impressive water fixture.
The next big tip about the Al Mourjan lounge is that it’s either absolutely dead quiet, or rammed with guests. If you are in need of a shower or are looking to reserve one of the quiet areas known as the family rooms downstairs, you may want to turn left upon entry first, so that you can get on a waiting list.
Upstairs, to the food and drinks…
If not in search of shower or sleep, the most sociable space in the lounge is a right turn upon entry and then either up the spiralled staircase, or the handy elevator. On the second floor, you’ll find an extensive buffet with both continental and international food options, as well as enough dessert to feed an army. Shout-out to the baklava, it’s great.
So, what to eat – or drink? If you enjoy a bit of spice, the Biryani style dishes are always perfect, and not too saucy on the stomach before a flight. There’s generally also a great selection of vegetarian options, including Arabic mezze and things like a French style grilled chicken breast. The soup is always solid as well.
For beverages, you’ve got a variety of choices between rose or Brut Champagne, red wine, white wine and actually a seriously impressive mojito operation. As to the actual champagne brands in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge, it varies between Drappier, Lanson Rose, Pommery or something similar. I’ve had some of the better mojitos in my days in the lounge as well, likely on account of the access to excellent mint, lemon and limes.
The seating areas scattered around this upstairs area can actually be quite comfortable, so I’ve been one to camp out up there rather than explore areas elsewhere. If you do get bored, or entirely too full, my absolute favourite space are the quiet “family” rooms. They’re hard to access solo, but if you have a travel partner or a group they’re fantastic. Time to head downstairs, and make the long hike all the way to the opposite end of the lounge.
Downstairs: Al Mourjan showers, a la carte dining and nap rooms…
If you enter the lounge and turn left, or come down from the upstairs bit and go as far to the other side as possible, you’ll hit one of the main social areas featuring a bar, a la carte sandwich style food and some of the most popular facilities.
Showers are to the right, down a corridor where you will be convinced you’re in the wrong place. Get your request in early, because during peak hours, which are surprisingly in the middle of the night, and mid day – you may need to wait a while. Once you do get a shower slot, the rooms are amazing and chock full of the best shower amenities. You’ll love it.
To the left of the downstairs bar and dining area you’ll find a fun game room for kids with vide games and foosball.
If you keep walking, that’s where you’ll hit the family rooms. In a way, you can somewhat just rock up and claim an empty space that no one is sitting in. I’ve done it, it works. The proper way to gain access to one of these rooms however is to ask any nearby lounge attendant if they’re available. The rooms look like the following.
The spaces are ideal for a quick nap, or just unwinding without eyeballs around you. On that subject, it’s important to remember that Qatar does not announce flight departures in the lounge, and some flights depart from gates almost 15 minutes away, so make sure you set an alarm. Just saying…
While there are plenty of other areas, such as the smokers lounge, business centre and prayer rooms, these spots will give you everything you need to rest up, eat up and refresh yourself with a shower before an onward flight.
So how does Al Mourjan stack up?
Though crowding can be an issue at absolute peak times, I’d rate this one of the most impressive business class lounges in the world. The food isn’t over the top, but always delicious. The drinks are well prepared and of much higher quality than many business class offerings. The showers are some of the best anywhere, including first class lounges. Enjoy yourself, just not too much!
While you’re here, here’s a review of Qatar Qsuites, business Class on the Boeing 787 and business class on the A350 as well.
No more ‘epic’. It’s done. It’s an old tube of toothpaste you found behind the toilet. It’s gum under the table. It’s driving around blasting Brittney jams. It’s its own punchline.
Thanks for the review. I also managed to enjoy this amazing lounge few times. And hope still will do in the future.
About exclusivity, last time me and partner on QR business, and friend joined us (with QR silver, but on economy), so she did not get access with us as guest. BUT kindly QR offered if she can pay $100 to enter… So money can solve all problems…. This is where I felt QR is just talking about exclusivity, but then let’s you buy in to that….
I have to respectfully differ. Just returned from a points run to Penang and I almost didn’t bother visiting the lounge in the return leg. At peak time (around midnight) the lounge was horribly crowded, much if the seating (those blue chairs) really uncomfortable and the food is not great. I have to admit that my favourite lounge in this trip was the BA 1st lounge at LGW. Lovely cooked to order breakfast and a comfy chair to sit in!
Couldn’t even go to the toilet because there was a queue let alone a shower
I’ve only been in this lounge two times and tbh it felt a bit sterile. It’s important to have a good lounge in places like Doha becuase waits between flights can be long and at very unsociable times like middle of the night. One of my visits it was quite crowded, the other time pretty empty. I wouldn’t rate the food very highly and it did not look that appetising. I did manage to get them to give me some Krug champagne but they had over-chilled it. First world problems, I know/ But this would not be something I would particularly look forward to as part of my next Qatar trip (and for sure I will fly Qatar again going forward).
I suspect I’f prefer the Al Safwa lounge but there’s not chance of me being eligible to get into that one anytime soon :-).
I disagree. It looks the lounge is a victim of its success…before first class lounge was opened business class lounge was pretty good with a la carte food served in the restaurant plus good champagne; nowadays it is usually very crowded, difficult to find a seat, last time I had to wait more than an hour for shower, impossible to find a table in the restaurant and food was horrible; I left the lounge exhausted not relaxed
I’m with the non-believers I’m afraid. Sure, the staircase and water feature are cool, but the “breakfast” menu at the so-called dining resort was a selection of sandwiches suitable only for lunch, the atmosphere is drier than the desert outside, the WiFi is atrocious, the sleep pods are hardly private and very uncomfortable, and – ridiculously – all of the flight info screens only cycle round the first 4 of the 10 available pages, which means every flight shown is either “last call” or “closed” – not at all helpful when QR seem to like to board their planes early and a number of the gates are a significant distance away!
Clearly this all comes with a #firstworldproblems caveat…
Agree with other posters about the food. It is predictable (the same EVERY time I pass through) and the hot food is generally slop.
Yes, the aesthetics of the lounge are very beautiful. But in peak times it just feels like being in Grand Central station. Queue for the toilet, to find a table in the restaurant. Ironically the most peaceful area I find in there is the large business centre. It’s just a shame you cannot take a tea or coffee in there with you.
Been in this lounge 7 or 8 times. Never fails to impress. Best business lounge I have been in.
Have to say, was there last week and was extremely underwhelmed. Poor food selection, no spa amenities at all (which if you’ve got time to kill, is a very useful thing in a biz / first lounge), few power points in the dining area, and, as noted, the WiFi is a scandal… There are many other lounges in this world where I’d welcome a layover.
You mentioned in Getting In that your frequent flyer card won’t get you in here. Does this mean that you only have to hold a business or first class ticket with Qatar or OneWorld partner airline to get in?
Correct. You can pay your way in, but elite status doesn’t get you into this lounge. There’s a separate lounge for status claiming passengers.
The alternative frequent flyer lounge is pretty dismal – almost standing room only last time I was there, limited food and the aroma from the smoking room permeates the whole place. Made me question why I’d bothered to chase Oneworld status.
I’ve started popping by the Oryx for a swim and shower instead. US$40-ish a visit, but an amazing feeling after enduring AKL-DOH in Economy.
I spent a total of 18 hours there last month on two separate days. Visually it is stunning. But I agree with most comments. It is a pleasure when empty (usually between 1am and 5 am) but when busy the exclusivity feel evaporates. Food is good but does not match the hardware of the lounge. Staff seems mostly indifferent, with exceptions. There are a la carte options at the buffet restaurant but never mentioned unless you ask. SHowers are good but hot. The temperature of the overall lounge is quite high.
I think it is good for a 2-4 hour layover, palpable during busy times too. For anything more I would not rely on this lounge. and i agree, the WIFI situation is unacceptable. At the end of the day it is a BUSINESS LOUNGE but impossible to do business without wifi in most cases.
Having said all that, I’d take all of that as opposed to the BA Galleries
I am upstairs at Al Mourjan right now, and agree with the dissenters. We had to search for a table and did get one, but breakfast (it is 6:30 am) was very disappointing. Rolls and pastries were dry, omelette was cold. The brew-your-own specialty coffee machine is out of milk. Staff wants to be helpful and is scrambling to be as accommodating as possible, but the demand never stops. We much prefer the Business class lounge in Istanbul. Looking forward to in flight breakfast on Qatar Airways.
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