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REVIEW – Oryx Airport Hotel, Doha

Doha Airport Hotel

Oryx Airport Hotel

  • Location: Doha Airport (DOH)
  • Room Type: Superior Room
  • Rate: 950QAR


Intro


The Airport hotel at Hamad International Airport is your only option if you want to remain airside during a transit in Qatar. If you are flying on QR and have a connection of over 8 hours, with no shorter connection available, this is one of the possible hotels in which QR may accommodate you free of charge.

If, like me, you chose an 8 hour connection because you wanted to fly on an A380 and avoid connecting at an obscure time of day, you’ll have to stump up the cash yourself. Given the nuisance of clearing customs, driving back and forth to a hotel in the city, re-clearing customs and security – staying here makes a lot of sense unless your layover is 12 hours or more.

This was my first time ever staying in an airside hotel and I was really excited by the prospect of being able to look out of the window and see the busy terminal below. Regardless of how tired I am, there’s something about being at an airport that totally energises me. As soon as I see the airline logos and departure boards I feel an instant sense of being ‘home’ no matter where that airport may be.

 


Check-in


The hotel is located directly above the main concourse (the one with the enormous, multi-million dollar teddy bear) and shares a lift with a couple of the contract lounges at the airport. As such you’ll probably find yourself squeezing into the lift with loads of other people, even in the early hours of the morning.

As we stepped out of the lift and into the reception area we saw a mass of people waiting to check in. Upon closer inspection it transpired that there was one (enormous) queue for people without reservations and another (with one person in it), for people who had already reserved their room in advance.

My advice to you: If you find yourself needing to make a last minute booking here due to unforeseen circumstances, book online first and then head to the hotel.

Our room was located at the far end of the corridor, behind the reception, as we walked we passed numerous staff members delivering room service and preparing rooms for new guests. Every staff member we encountered made sure to greet us and wish us a good evening.

 


The Room


Walking into the room I was very impressed with how clean and elegant the design was. The choice of white walls and light wood really helps to give energy to the rooms. The ceilings were also much higher than I was expecting for an airport hotel.

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Doha Airport Hotel – Hallway

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A cool piece of Islamic art, hanging in the hallway. As you hop from one climate controlled, hermetically sealed environment to another, it can be tough to ground yourself and get a sense of place. These little local touches are always welcome.

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The superior rooms are more than big enough for a quick overnight stay and there is probably enough space here to do some yoga if you wanted to. I like how there is a proper desk as well as a small seating area by the window.

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There is enough space in the wardrobe to fully unpack two weeks worth if close if you should so choose! There was also an ironing board and safe.

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I love the design of the desk lamps at this hotel, I also think it’s great that all of the power sockets are fully international. This is exactly how it should be in hotels that see a large number of international travellers, it is seriously annoying having to call down to reception for a travel adapter only to be told that the hotel is all out… The bottled water was complimentary as were the teas and instant coffee. I would have liked to see a nespresso machine too but was not overly bothered given that we went straight to the QR lounge for freshly made coffee in the morning.

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The bathrooms at The Airport Hotel are undeniably impressive. Dual vanities, marble countertops and an enormous walk in rain shower. I like the small touch of the bamboo plant too. Bringing life to an otherwise sterile airport environment.

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Very cool design. Note the toothbrush on the right. Only one was supplied with the room but another was brought in under a minute when we called for it.

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Look at the size of that showerhead! The toiletries were a local brand that I’d never heard of before but smelled good and worked as advertised. There is also a washing line in the shower, great for drying off that swimwear that you have sitting in a damp bag at the bottom of your hand luggage…

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Nothing says luxury like a designer bidet, in a limestone room with recessed lighting, a giant mirror and 10ft high ceilings.

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My favourite aspect of the rooms here has to be the views of the terminal.

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My view of a Ferrari and a $6.8m teddy bear. Welcome to Doha.


Conclusion


Sure, this hotel isn’t cheap when you consider the 5* options in Doha proper, which can be had for a similar price. However, the luxurious bathrooms, high ceilings and ultra comfortable beds are certainly worthy of any 5* hotel. The service is excellent and the convenience factor is hard to overemphasise. Not only did we have a very cool view but within 5 minutes of checking out we found ourselves in the superlative Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge enjoying breakfast with friends!

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Andi and Johnny were on their way back from a quick trip to India. One of my favourite aspects of capitalising on airfare deals is how easy it is to maintain friendships all around the world. It was very cool just being able to bump into friends in Doha like this! There’s an awesome sense of camaraderie in sharing these bleary eyed, jet lagged moments…


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