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I may be a relative newcomer to very fancy travel but I think I may just have found my new favourite place.
I recently had a flight transiting through Doha with Qatar Airways. With my oneworld Sapphire status that I have earned through British Airways, I have access to lounges within the network. Before I travel, I often look at reviews of lounges to see what they are like and if there are better options for me to go to in an airport.
Looking for reviews of the Gold North lounge in Hamad International Airport, Doha didn’t bring up any results. I saw a few for the south lounge, but I knew a north lounge existed.
It turns out it has only very recently opened, along with the Orchard, and it just happens to be that nobody from a lot of the big websites I follow has transited through there and left a review yet.
So in what may be a travel first, here is a review of the Platinum and Gold North Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Review of the Platinum and Gold Lounge North
The Platinum and Gold Lounge is located close to C and D gates at the north end of the airport. From immigration and security, you can either walk the length of the C gates or take the train to the far end of the terminal.
Coming down the escalator from terminal train, head to the right hand side of the duty free shops and the lounge with the friendly attendant will be on your left close to gate C15.
If you are after The Orchard or the regular business class lounge in the airport, continue through the duty free where it opens out to an expansive green area.
Note that this lounge isn’t on all the airport maps just yet (as of June 2023) such as the ones available on there websites,
How to access the lounge
This lounge is only for those with status. You need Gold or Platinum status with Qatar Airways Privilege Club, or be a holder of an equivalent status level with oneworld (Sapphire or Emerald) and flying on a oneworld flight in any class. Flying to or from Doha, this is likely to be on Qatar Airways. Patrons are allowed to bring in one guest.
I entered as I am oneworld Sapphire flying on a Qatar Airways economy ticket.
Layout and seating
As I entered the lounge, I was welcomed by the friendly staff member and had the layout explained to me. A buffet area was on my left and big lounging chairs were in front.
Toilets and showers were on the back wall for mens first and womens later on. At the far end is more food options with an a la carte menu that can be viewed using the QR code on the table and ordered with the staff.
The lounge is long and thin and overlooks the northern end of the terminal and has a very light and airy feel.
There are plenty of seating options from lounge chairs to recliners and booths in the restaurant area. Many of the seats have wireless charging available between them as well as USB and an international plug socket for charging.
Food and drinks
One thing is for sure in this lounge, you won’t be going hungry. A la carte dining can be ordered to anywhere in the lounge and there is a restaurant style area if you would like to sit at tables. The salmon sushi is excellent and choices such as chicken calzone, a caprese sandwich and a molten lava cake are also available 24 hours per day.
A lunch and dinner buffet is served between 11am and 4am and my chicken breast in rosemary jus and buttered vegetables were tasty. The vanilla bean brulee for dessert was a real highlight though.
The bar at the back of the lounge serves hot and cold drinks and has a wide selection of alcohol. I was a very big fan of the Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne which kept getting topped up for me by the excellent staff.
I wish I had more pictures of the food but I ate it too quick!
The full menu can be found on this link.
There is a business centre which consists of 6 desk style chairs on a long desk with dividers for privacy. This is perfect to get some work done and nobody else was using any of the desks when I was in there.
The wifi was fast and easy to log into. The wifi you log into is the same as the airport wifi but had speeds of over 100mb/s.
There were ample showers and toilets available for both men and women and there were two staff cleaning the mens toilets every time I used them. This was a common theme throughout my stay with it often appearing as if there were more staff than customers in the lounge.
There are no lockers in the lounge, so you will have to keep any luggage with you at all times. The Gold Lounge south, close to the teddy bear in the airport, does have lockers but is a smaller lounge if that is important to you.
There is also a smoking room and prayer room for those that need it.
Gold Lounge South
If your flight departs from A or B gates and you only have a short connection, it may be worthwhile going to the Gold Lounge South. (There is also a separate Platinum lounge south for oneworld Emerald frequent flyers which I haven’t managed to access)
I wouldn’t recommend the Gold Lounge South unless you only want to go in and grab a quick snack or drink. It is a lot smaller with lower ceilings and not much natural light. Whilst the food is similar, there appeared to be a lot less of it and the tables to eat at weren’t as comfy.
There also wasn’t a set area for working if that is important for you.
Summing up the Platinum and Gold Lounge North at Hamad International Airport
This is one of the best lounge I have been in with the service closer to a first class lounge than many of the other business class lounges I have been in.
The service was exceptional throughout being welcomed multiple times before I had even sat down left a real mark on me (like I said, maybe it’s just because I’m new to this level of service after being on a budget for so many years!). The lounge is open 24 hours per day and was empty on a Wednesday afternoon between 1pm and 5pm when I was there, I’m sure there were more staff than patrons for most of my stay.
If you have access to this lounge and are passing through Doha airport on a Qatar Airways or oneworld flight I highly recommend a visit and I would certainly transit through Doha again in future for the level of service at the lounge.
Dan is an avid traveller from London. His first big adventure was in 2010 living in Malaysia for 3 months and becoming a divemaster. He has been on the road almost constantly since 2015 travelling to destinations that aren’t on the mainstream tourist trail.