Review: Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park

Introduction
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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
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Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park
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Doha is a rapidly expanding hotel market, and nowadays they have a property from just about every luxury chain. While W Hotels perhaps don’t fit in the “luxury” category, I really enjoyed my stay at the W Doha a couple of months ago.

The only problem is that most of the nicer hotels are located in the Diplomatic Area of Doha, which is a 30-45 minute drive from Hamad International Airport, depending on traffic.

However, the purpose of this stay was a bit different. I was landing from Cairo at 5:30PM, and departing for London the next morning at 7:55AM. I expected I wouldn’t be out of the airport before 6PM, and wanted to be at the airport the next morning by 5AM, so that I had plenty of time to catch up on work before the inaugural Qatar Airways A380 flight.

So my top priority was finding a hotel that was close to the airport. In looking at chain hotels, it seemed like the Crowne Plaza Doha and Marriott Doha were the two closest properties to Hamad International Airport. Neither are my preferred chains (I’m generally loyal to Hyatt and Starwood), though I am IHG Platinum, while I have no status with Marriott.

For what it’s worth, there’s actually also a hotel connected to Hamad International Airport, called The Airport Hotel. I incorrectly assumed it wasn’t open at the time, though that wasn’t the case. Oddly they don’t have an online reservations system, but instead you have to email the hotel to inquire about availability and pricing, which seems kind of ridiculous in 2014.

So I booked the Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park. The rate was either ~$200USD or 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points, so I redeemed points (they can indirectly be purchased for ~0.7 cents each, so that seemed worthwhile to me).

Crowne-Plaza-Doha-Rate

The Crowne Plaza was about a 15 minute drive from Hamad International Airport, and allowed me to bypass most of the traffic on the Corniche.

The lobby was simple but nice, with ample seating.

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Crowne Plaza Doha lobby

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Crowne Plaza Doha lobby

There was about a five minute queue for check-in. One thing I found interesting was that based on the dozens of people I saw in the lobby, I seemed to just about be the only non-Arab guest. Simply mentioning that as an observation, since at the W Doha I found almost the opposite to be true.

I was checked in by Audrey, who was extremely friendly and efficient. As I handed her my credit card she said “Mr. Schlappig, as you are a Platinum member we trust you, so there is no need for a deposit. You can settle your bill when you check out.” That’s interesting, and the first time I’ve experienced that.

I was also handed a welcome letter, which outlined the benefits I’d receive as a Platinum guest. This included a voucher for 25% off a spa treatment, as well as a complimentary drink at the hotel’s bar.

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Crowne Plaza Doha Platinum welcome letter

I took the elevator up to the third floor, where my suite was located.

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Crowne Plaza Doha hallway

I was assigned room 369, which was just on the left upon exiting the elevator. Interestingly ihg.com seemed to suggest I was upgraded to a “presidential suite.”

Crowne-Plaza-Doha-Presidential-Suite

But upon reading the room description, it seemed like the “presidential suite” was more like a one bedroom suite… which is still an awesome upgrade for a points stay (which usually aren’t technically eligible for elite benefits).

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Crowne Plaza Doha hallway

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Crowne Plaza Doha room entrance

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Crowne Plaza Doha floorplan

The room featured a large entryway, which led into the living room.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite entrance

The living room had a couch, two chairs, a dining room table with four chairs, and a desk.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite living room

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite living room

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite living room

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite dining table

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite desk

Between the couch and the desk was a large table with four bottles of water and a teapot.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite tea & water

The couch faced a flat screen TV, which could also be viewed from the desk.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite living room TV

Then there was a door between the living room and bedroom. The bedroom was fairly compact, though featured a comfortable king size bed.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite bedroom

That faced a flat screen TV, along with a luggage rack next to it.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite bedroom

The bathroom was connected to the bedroom.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite sink

The bathroom featured the tightest walk-in shower I’ve ever seen (and the door would only swing “into” the shower as opposed to “out,” so you had to squeeze into the corner in order to close the door).

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite shower

Then on the other side of the bathroom was a shower/tub combo. Franky I think they should have just stuck with that, given how small the walk-in shower was.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite bathtub

Then next to the bathtub was the toilet.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite toilet

Toiletries in the bathroom were provided by The White Company.

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Crowne Plaza Doha suite The White Company toiletries

While I didn’t have a chance to use any of the hotel’s other facilities, I made the trek to the seventh floor at 4AM, so I could snap some pictures. That’s where the spa, gym, and pool were located.

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Crowne Plaza Doha spa entrance

The gym was a good size with lots of modern equipment.

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Crowne Plaza Doha gym

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Crowne Plaza Doha gym

The pool was locked at that hour, so I didn’t have a chance to look at it.

The wifi in the room was fast (and complimentary just for being an IHG Rewards Club member), the bed was comfortable, and all too soon my sub-11 hour stay was complete. At 4:30AM I took a taxi back to the airport, ready for the Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight.

Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park bottom line

The Crowne Plaza exceeded my expectations. It was conveniently located, and I appreciated the upgrade to a suite as an IHG Rewards Club Platinum member. The room was well maintained and “fresh.”

I wouldn’t hesitate to return given similar circumstances in the future, though I might check out the hotel connected to the airport next time. When actually visiting Doha, I do prefer to be further down along the Corniche.

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Comments

  1. Hey Ben, aren’t you a MM with UA (even if you don’t fly them anymore)? With RewardsPlus you’re then Marriott Gold. No great shakes compared to your other programs, but nice for free status 🙂

  2. “I made the trek to the seventh floor at 7AM, so I could snap some pictures. That’s where the spa, gym, and pool were located”

    Don’t you mean 7pm?? A little confusing.

    Thanks for the report.

  3. “I made the trek to the seventh floor at 7AM, so I could snap some pictures. That’s where the spa, gym, and pool were located”

    Do you mean 7pm?? A little confusing.

    Thanks for the report. Looks like you got a nice upgrade there.

  4. *agrees with Al’s statement*

    Makes me wonder why they didn’t just stick with more of the red, since that looks really good on the walls and bed.

    Also am amused by the shape of the hotel from above- looks like an upside down set of costume rabbit ears.

  5. Just as an FYI for your next trip, the Oryx Rotana is the closest hotel to the airport and is very, very nice. The downside, of course, is that you probably aren’t a member of their frequent guest program, but for a transit stop I don’t think it matters much.

  6. Nice! We had a similar experience back in March. We got a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with showers and 1 toilet. A kitchen and bar plus living room. Excellent service all the way!
    BTW, did you use Uber while there? We found Uber to be a much better option than the local cab drivers. Not only did they actually know where they were going, we also got bottles of water and free 4G access. And anywhere in Doha it was $9

  7. About “The Airport Hotel”, personally I think it’s there mainly for QR premium cabin travellers with long connections or for those with major delays requiring QR to provide some form of accommodation. They don’t really expect ‘normal’ travellers to book it.

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