Review: The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport

Filed Under: Hotels

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One of the nice new features of the Hamad International Airport is that it has a transit hotel that’s airside. It’s so convenient to have a hotel that’s past security so that when you wake up you can shower and head straight to the gate.

The last time I had an overnight in Doha I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Doha, which is one of the closer hotels to the airport. Still, that’s significantly less convenient than staying airside.

In this case we arrived at 10:40PM and were departing at 7:40AM. We wanted to be at the gate early for the inaugural A350 flight, so it would be a short night.

I decided to book The Airport Hotel at Hamad International Airport. The rate for a basic room on their website was 800QAR (~$220). A friend alerted me that if you’re only staying for up to eight hours they’ll bump the rate down to 640QAR (~$175). It requires emailing the hotel, but they seem to respond pretty quickly.

Of course that’s still not cheap for eight hours, but it was the best option since I needed to get some rest.

Once we cleared security we found ourselves in the center of the terminal, by the huge teddy bear.

Teddy bear at Hamad International Airport

The elevators to The Airport Hotel are located to the right of the teddy bear.

Hamad International Airport Doha terminal

The Airport Hotel is located on the third level, which is one level above the Oryx Lounge and Al Maha Lounge.

The Airport Hotel Doha Airport elevator signage

The Airport Hotel Doha Airport elevators

Upon getting to the third floor I found myself in the rather spacious lobby (despite the low ceilings), which had plenty of seating.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport lobby

Just around the corner was the reception desk, where I was immediately assisted. The associate was courteous and had me checked in within a minute.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport lobby

I was assigned room 149, which was located on the opposite side of the terminal of reception. I had to take a short walk down the hallway, which was located above the main terminal.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport hallway

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport view

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport room entrance

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport floorplan

The room was a good size taking into account that this is an airside hotel room. The room had a long entryway with the bathroom to the left.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room entrance

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room entrance

The room itself was furnished in a very simple way. While the hotel is still new and therefore the furniture is “fresh,” I don’t think they could have picked out much lower end furniture than what they went with. The room featured a bed, which faced a flat screen TV and desk.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room bed

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room TV & desk

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room desk

On the desk was a kettle with instant coffee and tea, as well as a complimentary bottle of water.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room kettle

Then by the window was a chair and small table. I thought it was smart that the room had a sliding wood panel which covered the windows, rather than shades. They basically acted as blackout curtains.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room chair & table

The views from the room left a bit to be desired, to put it mildly. The room faced a security gate…

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room view

…and a lot of wiring as well. Not the most glamorous view I’ve ever had from a hotel room, that’s for sure!

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room view

Compared to the rest of the room I thought the bathroom was especially nice and spacious. It featured double sinks, a walk-in shower, and a toilet and bidet opposite one another.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room bathroom

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room shower

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room toilet

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room bidet

Toiletries were “Rituals” branded, and pretty basic.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport Deluxe Room toiletries

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, the pool and fitness center are located on the fourth floor, and are quite impressive. The lap pool is immediately above the center part of the terminal, so it’s one of the more unique views you’ll ever have from a hotel pool.

The Airport Hotel Doha Hamad International Airport pool

The best part of the stay, though? Since we were only a two minute walk from the Al Mourjan Lounge, a group of us headed over to the lounge in the evening for a couple of glasses of Krug. Assuming you’re in transit on Qatar Airways in business class you can always just pop into the lounge for something to eat or drink. Can’t beat that!

Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge Doha Airport

It was a short night, as I slept from around midnight until 4:30AM. The wifi in the room was functional, though I was surprised they didn’t have international adapters, which I figured would be a given in an airside transit hotel. That being said, I phoned the front desk for one, and it was quickly delivered.

The Airport Hotel Doha Airport bottom line

This hotel is expensive and not the most luxurious in the world, but it’s extremely practical. When you have a nine hour overnight (in reality only about six hours to rest), staying here is the only practical option, so I’d definitely return in the future under similar circumstances.

In the past I may have just “roughed it” in the lounge for the night, but I’m getting too old at this point, and there’s no substitute for a real bed, in my opinion.

I’d probably stay here again with an overnight layover of less than 14 hours, while for a longer overnight I’d stay in the city.

  1. Ben

    Do you still need a Qatari visa to stay at this hotel?

    Ive heard they offer city tours, do you know anything about that?

    With regards to the 8 hour deal, will they honor the rate even if your transit is longer than 8 hours?

  2. What a conflict – an evacuation plan that shows the aircraft gates (and your relationship to them) but that view of the cabling….. Huh? Maybe a room on the other side of the corridor – but hey! It’s a sleeping room anyway!!!

  3. I’ve read somewhere that the QR business class lounge has private “quiet rooms” that are ok for resting and possibly napping… Did you see any of these?

  4. “In the past I may have just “roughed it” in the lounge for the night, but I’m getting too old at this point”.

    You…to….old? Ha,ha, I guess that makes me a dinosaur! Thanks for making my day 😉

    Ps. Will be trying Qatar A380 for the first time due to the 5 day sale you posted on your site. Can’t wait to try their onboard bar. Thanks for the heads up on the promo.

  5. Thanks for the review. I leave on the 20th, arrive 6am on the 21st and have a 7pm connection to HYD. I was quoted and have a reservation for a 10-12 hour stay! Look forward to my first layover in DOH

  6. To me, $180 seems a bit high for 4-5 hours. I have a Qatar biz class flight soon from CAI with the similar overnight schedule (arriving in Doha around 11pm and then next morning flight around 9am etc). I am planning to just slum it in biz class lounge. I will try that “nap room style seating”. Any idea or experience for their shower facilities in biz lounge? Is it spacious and well-equipped?

  7. @ jessie — They do have showers, but they’re not very good. If I recall correctly they’re not actually private suites, but inside the respective bathrooms.

  8. One thing that might be of relevance to some, cancellation policy is you can cancel FOC up to one day prior to arrival. So if your plans change short-term, no costs.

  9. Was looking forward to your review. We booked a RTW J award 100K USDM miles (thanks to your blog), just rebooked BKK-DOH on the A380 (thanks to the review on your blog) which necessitated a shortened stopover in Doha so decided to just stay airside and enjoy the new lounge (again, thanks to your blog!).

  10. Hi Ben,

    In August, I arrive in DOH at 5:30 pm and connecting flight the next day at 9:45 am. I was thinking about staying at the Grand Hyatt. What would you recommend…staying at the airport hotel or the Grand Hyatt?


  11. @ John — That’s a toughie. That layover is long enough so you could conceivably go into the city and sightsee a bit, so I’d probably stay at a hotel in the city. The Hyatt is a perfectly nice option.

  12. Hi Ben,
    In February I will be in Doha for a connection of 20 hours. I travel from BKK in Qatar Airways First Class and then from Doha to Buenos Aires in Business Class.
    My question is if I can use the lounge for a few hours and leave and then reenter before shipment.
    Greetings from Argentina. Your articles are spectacular.

  13. I booked with qatar airways for a flight to washington DC and the travel agent told me that i have the right to stay free in a hotel if my transit is more than 8hours which means that everything is included in the flight ticket, He said that all what i need to do is asking for a voucher in one of the counters in the airport and he said that he booked me and that he called them in the airport and everything is okay right now.
    But i can’t imagine that it’s free !! is this a spam or something ???

  14. The hotel is quite OK, contemporary and clean. Perhaps Lucky did not experience the flight announcements from that side of the hotel that I did. Despite the wooden, shuttered doors being closed, it kept me awake and I asked for a room transfer to the arrival/airport side which has none of the annoying announcements.

    The Qatar FC lounge at Doha is enormous and had seated dining and another area at the opposite end for freshly made smaller meals and cocktails/beverages. The seating choices are incredible, with privacy or more open seating, whichever you prefer. They keep track of you and your flight and in-person advise you of boarding.

  15. Hi Ben

    I have a transit time in Doha for one day.

    the airport hotel is courtesy of Qatar Airways for transit acomodation.
    We fly in businnes and we thought they were going to give us a Hotel in Doha City but Qatar Airways has given us a night at the airport hotel.

    We have a 17-hour transit, we want to sleep in the airport hotel and the next day pay visa and do the Tour with Qatar

    Does the hotel have a restaurant? it is silent?
    From what time can we access the VIP room?


  16. @Ben, thanks for the review and pictures. The furnishings do look cheap (that desk!). How was your mattress? Sufficient support?

    The pool looks quite narrow in the picture (hotel says it’s 25 meters long, so great for laps). Are there lane dividers or lane markers? I’m wondering how hard it will be to get a swim in if the pool isn’t empty.

  17. I have a few forth coming trips through Doha with 8 hour layovers. I’m tempted by the hotel the even with the sub 8 hour rate it seems a bit steep. Has anyone tried the nap rooms? Any feedback would be appreciated.

  18. Lucky,

    I have stop overs in Doha between the west coast U.S. and Capetown S.A. in February of 2017. I booked a room at this hotel both outbound and inbound as I have a 9 hour stopover or greater each direction. The only question I have is this: how sound proof are the rooms? I once stayed at a transit hotel in Charles de Gaulle (Sheraton) and found the walls to be on the thin side.



  19. Hi lucky
    I have a 10 hour transit at doha in a few months . I’m traveling with kids too . Arrive doha 0500 and depart 1500 … Would it be wise to pay for a visa ,leave airport and book in doha city , stay in the airport hotel or just soldier it out in the airport with a 3 hour city bus tour ?
    Just thinking the airport hotel might be expensive as we may need two rooms . For at least 6/7 hours .
    Please help me make my mind up .

  20. Hi ,

    I have a layover in Doha 2 times … I was wondering do I need to purchase a visa or do Qatar give you one? Also how much does the Visa cost ?

  21. If you are flying with Qatar Airline and have a layover of 8-24 you can call and request complimentary transit accommodation. If the hotel is in the city they will organise a short term visa for you. If the layover is 11+ hours they will give you a food voucher as well.
    If you have a 5ish hour layover it might be worth it to try the free city tour with visa organised for you. Allow 4 hours.

  22. You mentioned that you cleared security to get to the hotel but the hotel is air-side?
    So when my flight lands at the gate, can I go straight from the gate to the hotel or do I have to go through immigration and security?

  23. Hello,
    If you stay (airside) at the airport hotel in Doha for a transit, can you access your checked baggage or survive just with what you have in your “carry on” bags?
    Thank you.

  24. Hi Greg,

    It’s an airside transit hotel, so you will only have access to your carry-on bags.

    (If you have a layover between 8 and 24 hours with no earlier connection possible, Qatar may provide transit accommodations. Qatar usually uses a hotel that is outside the airport but nearby. Since those hotels are outside the airport, you will have your checked bags with you.)

  25. Dear Transit Passengers please keep in mind that you will not be able to enjoy any facilities while transiting in Hamad International. Our TODAY’s experience of 21 hours of transit in Doha airport is a nightmare. They keep us at the Gate where we disembarked. They keep us as animals, we are ok as they checked our temperature on arrival but despite our long transit they don’t care. We all have to stay at the same Gate for the duration of our ENTIRE transit!!! Be warned regarding transit conditions as they don’t have any information on their official website. We will never fly with Qatar! Never ever again!
    01st April 2020

  26. I’m sorry for your experience, but keep in mind that these are extraordinary, unprecedented times. It’s hardly fair to blame Qatar Airways for your experience. I also have to ask why you were flying?

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