When flying with kids, comfort is everything and long haul can be tough for little ones. Direct flights to certain places can often be super expensive or difficult to find depending on your destination. On our recent flight to Da Nang, Vietnam from Birmingham, UK we found some great value flights with Qatar airways (less than £350 return). The only down side was a 7 hour stopover at Doha Airport. We would be arriving into Doha at around midnight so no chance to get out and see the city as everything would be closed. I knew we would need some rest to recharge for the next leg of our trip – Doha to Da Nang. The Oryx Lounge Doha would be the perfect place to do so.
As I was traveling alone with my daughter, I didn’t fancy finding a random bench in the airport to try to get some shut eye. It never feels safe, is noisy and I doubt Piper would have slept at all. An airport lounge seemed the best option. On doing a bit of research, the Oryx lounge looked like the nicest.
How to get to the Oryx lounge, Doha Airport
On leaving your flight, just follow the transit signs. If you’re traveling with the same airline there’s no need to collect your bags. But you will have to go through a few security stops. Find the huge teddy bear in the centre of the airport – you can’t miss it. And head to the lifts just behind. Choose first floor for the lounge and you’ll get out just in front of reception.
You can’t seem to pre-book your stay in the lounge. This made me a little nervous but no need, they weren’t full. On arrival they offered us a quick look around before we parted with our cash and then we were in!
Sleeping at the Oryx lounge, Hamad Airport
As I was traveling with my daughter, we were directed to a separate family room. This was much quieter than the main areas. Even though it was pretty busy, we still found a nice long sofa we could stretch out on. Perfect after our cramped flight.
I always travel with a couple of cosy pashminas and along with some blankets from our flight, we were soon snuggled and sleepy. I think I managed 4 hours of shut eye. Piper even more. Although I didn’t wake fully refreshed, it was a wonderful way to recharge.
If you’re not traveling with children then there are plenty of comfy looking sofas around the main lounge. Whilst I don’t think sleep is particularly encouraged, most people were getting their heads down. There’s also a separate quiet zone with recliners. Unsurprisingly, this looked pretty busy!
Food at the Oryx Lounge
We weren’t particularly hungry on our arrival, this stop was about the rest, not the refreshments. But we did try out the snacks on offer once we had woken. There wasn’t a huge selection and not much freshly cooked as in most other lounges I’d visited. As we were there overnight, the options were breakfast based – bagels, fruit, nuts etc. and enough to keep us going. There were several coffee machines dotted around the lounge. I loved that I could pop out to grab a hot drink whilst keeping an eye on sleeping Piper through the glass wall of the family room.
There are plenty of bottles of water and soft drinks you can help yourself to. If you would like something alcoholic, just ask one of the staff members. This service is not available during Ramadan.
We took our food back to our cosy corner of the family room. But there were lots of tables you can sit at in the restaurant area.
Facilities at the Oryx Lounge Doha
If you’re not visiting the lounge to sleep then there’s quite a lot to keep you and the kids entertained while you wait for your connection. We found plenty of power sockets dotted around, both in the family rooms and the main lounge. Wifi was included and strong enough for Piper to watch a little YouTube and for me to catch up on the socials.
There’s a separate games room with table football and a couple of computer games, this was empty when we visited.
If you want to get some work done then there’s a room full of Macs and a printer. Although I do find most people travel with a laptop if they are going to need to log in. Again, this room was empty.
I loved that the lounge had shower facilities, we could freshen up when we woke and wash off all that horrible plane feeling. There weren’t enough available and we had to queue a while – not ideal if you’re rushing for a flight. But there were plenty of towels and toiletries available to use.
There are a couple of TV screens and comfy chairs around, the main one being next to reception.
There’s also an option to store your luggage next to reception if you fancy exploring the rest of the airport without lugging heavy bags around.
The Oryx lounge does not offer a call out service for flights, you’ll have to keep a close eye on the screens. Make sure you set a (quiet) alarm to give yourselves plenty of time to get your connecting flight.
Other options for a stopover at Doha Hamad airport
Doha Hamad Airport is relatively new so feels very modern, clean and a nice place to explore. If you’re transiting with children then there are plenty of play areas to entertain and many, many places to get food or drink.
Another option is booking into the onsite hotel which is located just above the Oryx lounge. I did look into this as I knew sleep was our main priority but it just seemed so expensive for the five hours we would manage to spend there – over £200.
There are other lounges available at Doha Hamad Airport, most are restricted to business and first class customers. Check out the full list here.
If you have a long stopover and it’s during the day, you could always pop out and explore Doha itself. A taxi from the airport to the main sights will take less than half an hour.
Was the Oryx lounge worth the money?
For us, without a doubt! The lounge costs $55 for adults and $28 for children between 2 and 12. So under £65 for our 6 hour stay. The fact that we could sleep, safe and secure and wake refreshed for our next flight meant I would have paid even more! If you’re not desperate for sleep though, or have a shorter layover or overall flight time, I’m not sure the food and facilities are particularly worth the price.
You can pay by card so no need to worry about finding a cash point.
Other useful info about the Oryx Lounge Doha
The Oryx lounge Doha is open 24 hrs
00974 4010 5860
If you’re looking for more help on taking long flights with children, then check out this guide on everything you need to know about traveling long haul with kids.
Make sure you pin it for later for your next visit to the Oryx Lounge Doha.