Review: Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
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Review: China Eastern Lounge Shanghai Airport
Review: China Eastern Business Class A330 Shanghai To Colombo
Review: Hilton Colombo
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Colombo To Doha
Review: Oryx Lounge Doha Airport
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We had a roughly 12 hour layover in Doha, as we were arriving from Colombo at around 1PM, and departing to Casablanca at around 1AM.

For the majority of our layover we decided to get hotel rooms at The Airport Hotel, which is the transit hotel at Hamad International Airport. I’ve reviewed this hotel before, so won’t be doing so again with this trip report. Suffice to say it’s an extremely convenient option for getting some rest between flights.

I’ve also reviewed Qatar Airways’ most premium lounges, including the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge and the Al Safwa First Class Lounge. Those lounges are both world class, and among the best business and first class lounges, respectively.

However, on this occasion we didn’t have access to either of those lounges, since we were departing on Royal Air Maroc in business class, while the above lounges are only open to passengers traveling on Qatar Airways.

Instead we had access to the Oryx Lounge, which is essentially the business class contract lounge used by all other carriers departing Hamad International Airport. Access to the lounge can also be purchased for 200QAR (~55USD).

The Oryx Lounge is located immediately below The Airport Hotel. If you’re facing the big seven million dollar teddy bear, it’s a couple hundred feet past it and to the right.

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Doha Hamad International Airport terminal

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Doha Airport Lounge signage

There you have to take the elevator up to the third floor.

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Elevator to Oryx Lounge & Al Maha Lounge

There’s a general reception desk, with the Al Maha Lounge to the left and the Oryx Lounge to the right. Upon presenting our boarding passes we were pointed right towards the Oryx Lounge.

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Doha Airport Lounge reception

There our boarding passes were scanned, and we were told that boarding calls wouldn’t be made in the lounge.

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Oryx Lounge reception Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge entrance Doha Airport

Hamad International Airport is only a couple of years old, so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the lounge was modern. It was also on the small side, though I guess that’s not a surprise either, given that a majority of flights into and out of the airport are operated by Qatar Airways.

The lounge was basically a long rectangular room, at least for the main seating area.

There were leather seats along the walls facing the interior of the lounge, and then couches facing one another along the center of the lounge.

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

I found it a bit odd that a Jet Airways crew sat in the lounge for a while. I’ve certainly seen pilots in some airline lounges, but not an entire crew.

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge seating Doha Airport

Near the entrance of the lounge was a small TV area.

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Oryx Lounge TV area Doha Airport

There was also a large table with magazines and newspapers.

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Oryx Lounge magazines & newspapers Doha Airport

Towards the back of the lounge was the food spread, which is also where there were dining tables, rather than just the couches and lounging chairs.

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge Doha Airport

The food spread in the lounge was very limited, at least compared to Qatar Airways’ lounges at the airport. There were a couple of stations throughout the lounge, most of which had sweets.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

On top of that, there was a main buffet area in the back left of the lounge.

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Oryx Lounge buffet Doha Airport

There were a few types of sandwiches, which didn’t look especially appetizing.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

There were also a couple of types of soup.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

Then there were ingredients to make a salad.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

There were also a few types of pre-made salads, as well as hummus, tabouli, etc.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

There were several types of bread to accompany it as well.

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Oryx Lounge food selection Doha Airport

There was also a cappuccino machine, in addition to a Nespresso machine.

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Oryx Lounge coffee machine Doha Airport

The only thing I consumed in the lounge was some water and an espresso.

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Oryx Lounge Nespresso machine Doha Airport

There were also a couple of separate stations with soft drinks and water. I may have missed something obvious, but I didn’t notice any alcohol in the lounge.

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Oryx Lounge drink selection Doha Airport

In addition to the main room of the lounge, there are also a few more private areas. There’s a business center with about a dozen iMacs. I thought it was rather poorly designed for two reasons:

  • There were virtually no outlets, which seems like the most basic amenity in a business center
  • I wish they had some stations without iMacs — personally I find value in having space to work from my computer while seated upright in a quiet area, and don’t want to use the lounge’s computer

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Oryx Lounge business center Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge business center Doha Airport

On top of that there was a game room with some video games and a foosball table.

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Oryx Lounge game room Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge game room Doha Airport

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Oryx Lounge game room Doha Airport

Then there was a quiet room with a bunch of reclining seats. I couldn’t really photograph it, since every seat was taken.

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Oryx Lounge rest area Doha Airport

There was also a family room, which I also couldn’t photograph, given how crowded it was.

Our flight to Casablanca was departing at 1:15AM, though boarding was scheduled for 12:10AM, which seemed way early.

However, we still decided to leave early, since we wanted to be sure we could grab cabin pictures before the plane filled up.

We left the lounge at around 11:55PM, and walked to gate C20, where our flight would be departing from.

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Walking to gate at Doha Hamad Airport

That was quite a haul, as it’s at the far end of the terminal.

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Walking to gate at Doha Hamad Airport

Our flight was departing from a remote stand, and sure enough at 12:10AM boarding was announced. There was no priority boarding, but rather it was a free for all.

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Royal Air Maroc departure gate Doha Hamad Airport

Since we were in business class we were encouraged to wait for the business class bus, though we decided to get in the economy bus, since it would get to the plane sooner. That way we could get better pictures of the cabin.

Oryx Lounge Doha Airport bottom line

This lounge is a huge step down from Qatar’s own Al Mourjan and Al Safwa Lounge, though I guess that’s to be expected, given that the government wants to create a better experience for passengers on “their” airline.

The Oryx Lounge is physically quite nice, though much more crowded than Qatar Airways’ lounges, and also has a sub-par food spread. I certainly wouldn’t make a point of spending more time at this lounge than I had to, but it’s still better than nothing.

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Food spread looks similar to the food spread in the RJ Crown Lounge in AMM. Which is the flagship lounge for Royal Jordanian (and basically the only lounge in the airport – I’ve used it for both EK and EY as well as RJ). So regionally speaking, this lounge appears to be on par.

  2. At least you didn’t have to go left for the Al Maha lounge. That lounge is absolutely horrible. Cramped, awful food. Check it out sometime. It’s a priority pass lounge!

  3. So you spent 12 hours in the lounge? Wasn’t there anything interesting to do outside the airport? Dine out in a nice restaurant? Sightseeing? Even with layovers way shorter than that I managed to sneak out of the airport in several place to at least do something different. I would go nuts if I had to sit for 12 hours in that place.

  4. @Santastico, he said he spent most of the layover in the airport hotel where they got rooms.

    But, for what it’s worth, there isn’t much to do in Doha. We had a 36 hour layover there in May and went into the city. We had a great stay at the W Doha but spent that first evening at the mall and saw a movie, the next day we went to the Museum of Islamic Art (INCREDIBLE facility!), saw the souk, and that’s about it. We left for the airport 7 hours early because we had nothing better to do, and we were flying Qatar business class so we had access to the nicer lounge.

  5. This is my regular lounge as most of the time flying out of Doha with the family is Qatar Economy but we have access through our Middle East based American Express cards.

    It’s hit and miss with the crowds. We always go in the games room with the kids as it’s always empty and the family room is always full.

    They’ve actually changed the food spread recently. It had been the same since opening until a month or so ago, it’s actually slightly better now!

    With regards to booze you have to ask a member of staff. Although I’m pretty sure they only have beer or wine available and they don’t serve it during Ramadan.

  6. This loks a lot better than the lounge they send me too when I’m flying Qatar in Y as IW Emerald. That lounge is jydt plain embarrassing…

  7. In my experience, RAM always tends to board early, especially for international flights. On my most recent flight from Casablanca to New York (JFK), the flight was scheduled to depart at 4:35am and boarded at 3:10am, almost an hour and a half before departure. Granted, there was some sort of secondary security screening, but it just consisted of guards taking out all the water bottles out of peoples’ bags that regular security allowed through. We did push back a little early (5 minutes), but it added over an hour of time on the plane (in economy) to an eight hour flight.

  8. Travel 3 or 4 times a years through QR.

    The Almourian Lounge is rapidly deteriorieting, it is getting more and more crowded and food options are getting more limited with some amenities have been enhanced a la BA.

  9. Did you get a chance to take a look at the Vitality gym on the 4th floor? Airport gyms are pretty rare so I’m curious to hear about it.

  10. “but it’s still better than nothing”

    Also still better than quite a few business class lounges you’ve visited.

    “It’s a priority pass lounge!”

    So Lucky missed out on visiting it and pimping our referrals on here? Sacré bleu!

  11. It is standard policy for Jet Airways to grant lounge access to all crew, not just pilots, when there is expected to be a small delay. Have run into their crews in lounges in BLR and MAA on multiple occasions. Got curious and asked one day.

  12. yes, you can ask for a beer or a wine. I think there’s even something like champagne if you’re lucky. I’ve been refused entry to this lounge (initially) with my Flying Blue platinum on an economy ticket and had to push a little to get in, although that should be permitted I think.

  13. “Ian says:
    August 8, 2016 at 5:06 pm
    Regarding Alcohol, you have to ask a server for a glass and they’ll bring it to you.”

    That´s true, but just one drink per person per stay. That´s what they offered me last time I was there.

  14. Are there shower facilities in the Oryx lounge? I’m wondering because I have a 13hr transit time in December and not sure whether it’s better to pay for lounge access or for a hotel room.

  15. I used the Oryx lounge twice. This is not even a lounge. I tried to use my Amex card and that wasn’t accepted to get there for free. Since I had a 10 hour layover I spent there after paying $45. I should have go out of the airport for that money. There is no “Food”. They only have snacks. Few sandwiches and some middle eastern sweets.

    This is a cheap shitty place. Not even better than a 3 star hotel lounge in a 3rd world country.

  16. HI THERE,
    thanks for the article, it going to help me In jan when I am travelling
    I have 22 hrs stay..montreal to Doha and Doha to Karachi
    they are not giving me hotel stay….what else I can do instead of paying $ 50 for that place
    please give me some idea…I am going crazy already

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