Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa first class lounge in Doha is an architectural masterpiece with superb amenities and a quiet ambiance.
My flight from Kuwait landed at 7:55 A.M. and my flight to Paris did not depart until the following morning at 7:25 A.M. Figuring that it would at least equal most hotels in Doha, I decided to pamper myself with 23 hours in the lounge.
You should have seen the look on the face of the lady when I checked into the lounge. She must have thought I was crazy…and maybe I am. But I was welcomed into the lounge.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Seating
Unless I slept through the busy period, this lounge never got crowded. Seating accommodates about 200 and is divided into an indoor area and terrace (still technically indoors). The soaring ceilings give the lounge an attractive, open look. I don’t know about you, but I love this sort of minimalism.
Self-serve drink stations were positioned throughout the lounge, though attendants also roamed, offering passengers drinks or food.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Sleeping Rooms
Hotel-like sleeping rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. These rooms include a bed, desk, and private restroom with shower. I asked for a room immediately upon entering the lounge but ended up having to wait a few hours for a room to be ready. Once ready, though, I had access to it for the remainder of my stay.
You’re given a key card like a hotel room, which made it easy to go in and out.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Spa
Showers and restroom are also available.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Dining
Like the Al Mourjan business class lounge, there is a main dining room and a secondary cafe that serves freshly made sandwiches and salads. I had a pastrami sandwich with salad for lunch before retiring to my room and sleeping for the next 10 hours.
Around 1 A.M., I ventured out for a late dinner in the restaurant. Here’s a look at the a la carte menu:
I began dinner with a bowl of tomato soup, served with bread. A cold towel was offered prior to dining.
Next, farfalle with arrabbiata sauce.
Finally, I enjoyed pan-grilled sea bass as my main course.
For dessert, I had ice cream and a cappuccino.
The dining room is beautiful and like the rest of the lounge, minimalist:
I did not drink any alcohol during this visit, but a full bar was available around the clock:
Unlike the Emirates and Etihad first class lounges, I am not going to rave about this food. I loved having access to a nice a la carte menu in the middle of the night, but the pasta was unremarkable and the sea bass was tasty, but not extraordinary. Context matters, though. This was an airline lounge after all.
In the morning I had fruit plate with cappuccino and smoothie prior to boarding my flight to Paris: I was still stuffed from my late dinner.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Smoking
If you’re a smoker, Qatar Airways has designated a large room with separate ventilation for you:
Cigars are available for purchase.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Business Center
A business center includes computers and printers. Wireless printing is also available and the wi-fi network works well.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Kid’s Room + Video Game Room
A kid’s play room includes a shelf with classic children’s books, games, and a fußall table. In the room next door, video games for kids who are a bit older.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Nanny Room
If traveling as a family, nanny suites are available that make caring for the kids a bit more manageable. Just leave them with the help…
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Duty Free
You don’t even have to step outside of the lounge to go shopping: a private duty free shops is waiting for you.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Service
Lastly, let me mention that service in this lounge is a bit like Qatar Airways in the air. The product itself is amazing: amazing design, amazing amenities, good food and drink. But the staff is hit or miss. When I arrived, a gentleman quickly approached me to offer me a beverage of choice.
Throughout the morning as I sat and worked, he would constantly ensure I had everything I needed.
But service was slow in the restaurant. I had to ask for a drink: none was proactively offered nor were dishes cleared away.
Flying Qatar Airways is the same way. You’ll always have a nice product, but how polished a FA is varies greatly.
You don’t spend almost an entire day in a lounge unless it is worthwhile. I love this lounge and appreciated using it as my transit hotel in Doha. While this is not the best first class lounge in the world, it is one of the most beautiful. I look forward to returning.