Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
Review: China Eastern Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Shanghai
Review: Grand Hyatt Shanghai
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
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Doha To Casablanca
Review: Hyatt Regency Casablanca
Review: Royal Air Maroc Lounge Casablanca Airport
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Casablanca To Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Doha To Colombo
Review: Saudia Business Class 777 Colombo To Jeddah
Review: Saudia Lounge Jeddah Airport
Review: Saudia Business Class 787 Jeddah To Manchester
Review: Pakistan Airlines Business Class 777 Manchester To New York
Review: Airspace Lounge New York JFK Airport Terminal 5
Review: JetBlue Mint A321 New York To Los Angeles
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.
There you have to take the elevator up to the third floor.
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.
There our boarding passes were scanned, and we were told that boarding calls wouldn’t be made in the lounge.
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.
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.
Near the entrance of the lounge was a small TV area.
There was also a large table with magazines and newspapers.
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.
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.
On top of that, there was a main buffet area in the back left of the lounge.
There were a few types of sandwiches, which didn’t look especially appetizing.
There were also a couple of types of soup.
Then there were ingredients to make a salad.
There were also a few types of pre-made salads, as well as hummus, tabouli, etc.
There were several types of bread to accompany it as well.
There was also a cappuccino machine, in addition to a Nespresso machine.
The only thing I consumed in the lounge was some water and an espresso.
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.
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
On top of that there was a game room with some video games and a foosball table.
Then there was a quiet room with a bunch of reclining seats. I couldn’t really photograph it, since every seat was taken.
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.
That was quite a haul, as it’s at the far end of the terminal.
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.
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.