December 10, 2015

Review: Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Doha (DOH)

Flying Etihad A380 First Apartment to Dubai and Qatar Airways A380 First Class to Paris

Finnair Business Class, Stockholm-Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-London
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (LHR)
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge, Heathrow (LHR)
Etihad A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi
Etihad Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi T3, (AUH)
2 Days in Dubai
Dubai International First Class Lounge (DXB)
Qatar Airways First Class, Dubai-Doha
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge (DOH)
Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris
Hilton Paris La Defense
American Airlines Admirals Club, Paris (CDG)
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, Paris (CDG)
Finnair Business Class, Paris-Helsinki
Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki (HEL)
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-Stockholm



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Doha

Date of visit: December 5, 2015

Last updated: November 15, 2016

Location: Main Terminal
Access: First Class passengers flying on Qatar Airways
Opening hours:  Daily, open 24 hours

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge escalator to the lounge

Reception

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge reception

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge entryway


Passing through the long hallway leading to the main central area, you will find the Family Area, Parent's Room, Nanny Room and the Games Room located on your left and the Spa, Quiet Room and Prayer Room located on your right side.

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Service Desk

Seating

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, comfortable sofas and chairs

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge cubicles

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge seating


Seating


Seating


Seating

Dining



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge dining area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge dining area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, arabic coffee and dates/baklava


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge dining area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Arabic appetizers


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge dining area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, leather folder containing the menu card 


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, lunch and dinner menu

APPETIZERS

Vegetable Falafel
Izmir Kofta

SOUP

Lentil Soup
Seafood soup with Summer Vegetables

ITALIAN TASTE

Spaghetti served with Classical Bolognaise Sauce
Farfalle tossed with Arrabiata Sauce
Penne with Champignon, Broccoli, Mornay Sauce

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, lunch and dinner menu

MAIN COURSE

Oven roasted Hammour
Beef Tenderloin Steak
Grilled Chicken Breast
Lamb with Lady Fingers
Chicken Kabsa
Mutter Paneer
Potato and Vegetable Marsam Curry

DESSERTS

Chocolate/Peach Mousse Cake
Berry Summer Cake
Mango Cheese Cake
In House Arabic dessert option
Fresh Fruit Platter
Choice of Ice Creams


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, table setting


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Lentil Soup


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Seafood Soup with Summer Vegetables


Lamb with Lady Fingers


Oven Roasted Hammour


Mango Cheesecake


Cheese Platter


Mango Ice Cream


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge kitchen

Bar



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge bar


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge bar


Bottles of Krug champagne!!!

Deli



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, deli with the dining area on the left side


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge deli


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, sushi bar


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, salads


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, cold cuts


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, dining area with high chair

Prayer Room



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Prayer Room

Locker Room



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, locker room

Media Room



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Media Room


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Media Room

Business Center



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Business Center


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, one of the five workstations with iMac computer


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Arabic keyboard

Duty Free



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Duty Free


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Duty Free

Parent's Room & Game Room



Parent's Room and Game Room entrance

Parent's Room



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Parent's Room

Game Room


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Game Room


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Game Room


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Game Room

Nanny Room



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Nanny Room signage


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Nanny Room

Family Area



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Family Area


The family area has its own little buffet area offering drinks, desserts and baby food.


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, family area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, family area


One of several rooms inside the family area


Another room inside the family area


Shower room in the family area


Shower room in the family area

Spa and Quiet Area


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Spa and Quiet Area entrance

Spa



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge spa


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge spa


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, jacuzzi

Quiet Room



Quiet Room Number 7


One gets own key to the quiet room. Cool!


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, single bed


Lights and temperature controls


Work desk and TV


Wardrobe


Shower room with bath amenities from Rituals


Shower room with Rituals shampoo and conditioner (Organic argan oil & Eucalyptus) and bath and shower gel (Sweet orange and cedar).


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, twin room


Shower room

As of August 2016, a guest can use one of the quiet rooms for a maximum of 6 hours.

Gentlemen's Toilet



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, toilet

View



Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, view of Qatar Airways A380

Conclusion


Last week, I was fortunate enough to visit the newly opened Al Safwa Lounge which is Qatar Airways exclusive lounge for its first class passengers. I've seen a lot of pictures of this lounge prior to my visit so I knew more or less what to expect. Those who have previously visited this lounge thought that it was stunning and huge, and I totally agree with them. I've been to Lufthansa's First Class Terminal in Frankfurt more than a year ago and to Cathay Pacific's The Pier First Class Lounge in Hongkong in July and I have to say that Al Safwa is my favorite. Nevertheless, there are still things which I think this lounge can improve on. First, I thought that as much as the food I had during lunch and dinner tasted very good, I think that they should have better choice: like the ones being offered by Emirates in their First Class Lounges in Dubai or the ones being offered at The Pier First Class Lounge in Hongkong, which is presently being catered by The Peninsula. Second, I really think that they should offer free massage or something in the SPA as Emirates, Etihad and Thai Airways do offer complimentary massages in their lounges even for just 15 minutes. I was able to have a tour of the SPA although I did not have any treatment. Jessica, the SPA receptionist told me that the reason why they are not giving complimentary treatment is that because it is not owned by Qatar Airways. She said the SPA is owned by the same owner of the Airport Hotel and the SPA located inside the Hamad International Airport (which I thought have really expensive rooms). I wish Qatar Airways had opted to make a spa which they can call their own and which could have been available for their first class passengers free of charge since the treatments in the SPA really costs a lot. Also, the sign "Lift to the departures" was sort of confusing as I thought it was the way to another exit, but as I later found out, it is only being used by passengers taking the aircraft in a remote stand. Lastly, although there are individual shower rooms inside the quiet rooms, the only other shower room is located inside the family area and which I thought was not enough. They have a lot of shower rooms in Al Mourjan Lounge so why not do the same here in Al Safwa?


Of course, there are a lots of things I loved about this lounge, the most obvious is its stunning architecture which reminded me of the design of the Museum of Islamic Art. Then, there's the family room, and the business center which is more or less like the ones they have in Al Mourjan although here it is more private, although my favorite was no doubt the quiet room. This is actually the first time I have visited a first class lounge where you get a real bed, a TV and a shower room all for yourself! I love the Cabanas of Cathay Pacific as well as the slumber room of Thai Airways but the quiet room here is simply unbeatable. One has to remember though that you can not prebook a room so I suggest boking as soon as you arrive in the lounge in case you need one. There is also a smoking room, media room and prayer room which I thought were nice features as well. And because the lounge is exclusive to Qatar Airways first class passengers, I don't think this lounge will ever get crowded as they only have London, Paris and Bangkok routes with first class as well as their regional flights. Needless to say, this lounge is pretty much overstaffed which is a good and a not so good thing in itself. 


I was really happy I was able to visit the Al Safwa Lounge last week and even though it is not perfect, it is actually my favorite as this is probably the most beautiful first class lounge I have been to.



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