Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

Much has been said about the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Hamad International Airport. I recently visited the lounge en route from Dubai to Johannesburg. With a 3 hour stay in the lounge, I knew it would be a perfect chance to enjoy it in a more relaxed manner.

At 10 000 square metres, the lounge is expansive. Other than the space that strikes me as I walk into the lounge, it is how elements of water, metal and earth have been used to create a sense of tranquillity. The second thing that dawns on me is the abundance of seating options, with more formal table seating to lounging areas. If it is privacy and more silence you want, there are some quiet rooms available.  Because my 10-year-old and I are feeling a  bit peckish, we head to the main dining area - incidentally, the lounge offers both buffet and a la carte options. As it is already  11pm, we really want something light, and the fantastic chefs on duty offer us exactly that. I much prefer airlines to invest in service like this on the ground rather than gimmicks like on-board chefs who basically plate the dishes and no more. But to have a dish created from scratch in a restaurant context - that is money well spent. 
Abel Ikhuehi, the epitome of fine service and attention in the lounge.

My daughter begrudgingly let me get her picture!

While my daughter makes her way to one of the computers stations, I go the full-service bar where I try both champagnes available. The excellent Billecart-Salmon Brut and under-rated Lanson NV Rose flow freely and needless to say, I indulge. Both are different to what I had on my last visit to the lounge, something great for frequent travellers.  By the way, a  business class lounge offering two champagnes? There are not many of those around. 

While I do not mix drinks when I fly, I am tempted to try one of 6 wines, but travelling with a child makes one more responsible than usual, so I stick to a couple glasses of bubbly. But it is very impressive indeed.

Qatar Airways has many strengths. One of them is their onboard service, and the lounge is in many ways an extension of that, with service by staff a real highlight. There is a refined dignity about staff as they clear plates, top up drinks or replace cutlery. There is nothing obsequious about staff here. Genuine people. One man, in particular, a former employee at St Regis Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, Abel Ikhuehi, is an example of that refinement I am referring to. Ask for him on your next visit. 

The lounge is a perfect place to walk around between flights, away from the bright lights and bust duty-free area. The soothing decor and design, accentuated by a stunning water fountain and garden area, makes 3 hours between flights almost criminally too short - it is the kind of lounge where you want to linger and linger and linger. 

In short, the Al Mourjan Business Lounge sets the standard for business class lounges in the region and beyond. With an excellent product like Qatar Airways to feed passengers through its doors, you are assured of 5-star service on and off the ground. 
Lounge access is for Qatar Airways and oneworld First and Business Class passengers only. It is situated on Level 3 at Hamad International Airport - exclusivity guaranteed.