Hamad International Airport has to be one of the great oases for travelers and it is apt that the theme throughout is that of an oasis.
Light, bright, and super cool, HIA is the new benchmark for airports.
Nine years in construction, it reflects the minute attention to detail that has defined Qatar Airways.
That attention means your experience in the airport is as seamless as it can be.
And that is exactly what CNN International Travel Editor Barry Neild found when he described the airport as “the most luxurious on the planet.”
Big call, no not at all.
It is spotless, delightfully quiet – just a sanctuary for the weary or not so weary traveler.
And if you are weary, a visit to the wellness spa is perfect.
The Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre offers a selection of therapeutic massages, nail salon, and recreational spaces such as an indoor swimming pool, a hydrotherapy tub, gym, and squash courts.
The entrance fee of A$66 allows a passenger to access a range of facilities at the Vitality Spa that includes; 25m temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool; fully equipped gym; hydrotherapy tub and shower room.
And if you want to go further there are a variety of anti-jetlag massages, rejuvenating facials and body treatments available, starting from A$90. Also included in that cost is access to the Vitality Spa.
If you’re traveling in premium classes the Al Safwa First Lounge and the Al Mourjan Business Lounge and are the finest.
CNN’s Mr Nield says the Al Safwa First Lounge is “airport nirvana” and has the feeling of “hallowed ground.”
Indeed, perfectly described, for how else would you describe a lounge that offers fine dining with a four-course menu, private cinema, private bedrooms and a spa?
The problem is you get lost in time and forget you have to catch a flight.
And the Al Mourjan Business Lounge is adorned with exclusive marbles, designer furniture, and intricate embellishments.
Hand-crafted accents, high ceilings, and bronze walls, featuring traditional calligraphy, create an elegant Arabian ambiance.
For the peckish traveler, there are a variety of dining areas to suit your tastes. You can explore flavors from around the world on the spacious mezzanine floor, where you can choose between a continental or oriental brasserie, a global deli, and a patisserie.
To complement, there is an exemplary bar, serving some of the world’s finest beverages.
And delightfully unlike so many other lounges, this lounge is massive –being 10 times the size on an Olympic swimming pool.
If you want to stay connected, there are a range of business services, from conference rooms to business centers.
And customers looking for a quieter working space can use a private workstation, which comes equipped with personal display screens and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Qatar Airways and oneworld First Class and Business Class passengers can access this lounge at no additional cost, while Economy Class passengers throughout the network can purchase lounge access at the check-in counters, preferred travel agents, or Qatar Airways’ sales offices at a cost of A$170.
There is also a frequent flyer lounge, and Arrivals lounge and these can be accessed by Economy Class customers from A$75.
Another wonderful attention to detail is the Al Maha Services which offers a range of personalized meet-and-greet service to ensure a comfortable and speedy experience when arriving, departing or transferring through the airport.
And for those with a longer transit stop then the Oryx Airport Hotel is perfect. Located within the terminal it is there for in-transit guest. And it’s luxurious!