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I recently had the opportunity to visit the Oryx Lounge at Doha Airport in Qatar. By opportunity I mean I had a 9 hour layover and had no intention of spending it wandering around the airport.
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With a 9 hour layover you don’t have a lot of options. You could buy a raffle ticket for one of the high end vehicles or motorcycles. It is too long to sit in the food court and not really long enough to leave the airport and see the town. While there are several airport lounges at Doha airport, most are reserved for business or first-class passengers. However, the Doha Airport Oryx Lounge is open to anyone as long as you buy access.
The Oryx Lounge is located near the freakishly weird 23 ft tall, yellow teddy bear lamp in the departures area, after clearing immigrations and security, on the 2nd floor. To access the Oryx Lounge you just need to show your boarding pass and pay QAR 200, which depending on the daily exchange rate is somewhere around $55-$57 USD for a maximum stay of 6 hours.
If you are flying into Doha airport from the US then chances are you had a long flight, mine was 14 ½ hours. After a long flight and looking at a long layover the Oryx Lounge is a welcome relief. While it might not be the most luxurious airport lounge it does have a lot of amenities that make a long layover tolerable.
One of the best things about the Oryx Lounge is the fact they have shower facilities. Located in the restroom is a separate room with a sink, toilet and shower. The staff at the lounge have razors, shaving cream, toothpaste and toothbrushes available and the shower rooms have towels and liquid soap and shampoo. If you want a wash cloth you need to bring your own. It’s always a good idea to put one in small zip lock bag and throw it in your carry on anyway.
There is something about taking a shower after a long flight to make you feel better and get ready for the next leg of your journey.
The Oryx Lounge has several other features that make it worthwhile.
While the lounge does not have a huge buffet that some airport lounges offer, they do offer food and drinks. The food area had soup, a variety of sandwiches, various desserts and sweets along with salads. There was coffee, tea, water and soft drinks available as well as juices. I was there during Ramadan so no alcoholic beverages were being served. I didn’t see any restrictions to bringing food in so you could always hit up one of the restaurants at the food court and bring it something if you are really hungry.
There are a lot of chairs and tables throughout the lounge along with USB and electrical outlets so you can charge your phone or fire up a laptop.
There is also a dedicated computer room with several workstations. The nice thing about these rooms are unlike other lounges, these are not just areas of the lounge but actual rooms where you can go and get away from everything else.
There is a game room with several games and a family room where only families with kids are allowed. That is a pretty good feature since they have a dedicated space and it keeps the rest of the lounge free from kids running around.
There is a quiet room with several comfortable chairs and footrests. Each area is somewhat partitioned off and has chargers next to the chairs. The only problem I saw was people tended to go in, set up camp and never leave so it was hard to get a chair.
There is also a smoking room with comfortable chairs and a couple of sofas. The room has several machines to suck out the smoke and while a lot of people don’t smoke, it is nice to find a comfortable place for those that do.
Overall, the Oryx Lounge at Doha Airport is worth the price if you have been traveling for several hours and have a long layover. The staff will have your gate assignment when it comes time to leave and it is a good option to just wandering the airport or trying to find a chair to sit in.
If I had to do it again I would definitely choose to buy access to the Oryx Lounge at Doha airport.