Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge the classiest in Heathrow?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is my review of the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

Here are the other articles in this series:

Qatar Business Class on the Boeing 777 Part 1 and Part 2

The Al Mourjan lounge at Hamad International, Doha

Qatar Business Class on the Boeing 787

My trip to Doha began with a trip to Heathrow Terminal 4.  This was the first time I have visited since Terminal 5 opened back in 2008.  Even then, because – in general – only long-haul BA flights went from Terminal 4, I was not a regular visitor.  If I’m honest, I didn’t recognise a thing apart from the general layout.

Qatar Airways makes a big play of its Premium Lounge in Terminal 4.  It is only open to Qatar Airways or other oneworld airline passengers holding a First or Business Class ticket.  If you are travelling in economy but have oneworld status, you must use the SkyTeam lounge which I reviewed on Monday.

In my experience, when an airline has a combined First and Business Class lounge, it usually operates at the level of a Business Class lounge.  The Emirates lounge in Terminal 3 is a good example of this, as indeed is the SkyTeam lounge.  The First Class area of the old Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1 was a bit of a joke and, apart from more chance of finding a seat, had very little to offer.

Qatar appears to have decided against this and is effectively running it like an exclusive First Class lounge but one which business class passengers can also enter.  As Qatar only has six flights out of Heathrow each day, it is unlikely that more than 150 people pass through the lounge.

It is effectively like the British Airways Concorde Room but with more daylight.  Instead of a reception desk, you are greeting by the equivalent of a restaurant maître d’ who checks your boarding pass and will store your bag and coat if required.

It is a very civilised environment.  Should you plan to turn up with a group of friends and get wasted, it is not the lounge for you!

On entry you are faced with a very Arabian water feature:

Qatar Premium Lounge water feature

and a lounge seating area – unused as it was very quiet when I arrived:

Qatar Premium Lounge seating

Off to the left is a small business centre with four terminals.  This worked fine, except for an odd system glitch which meant that attempting to cut and paste anything led to a pop up asking you to pay to continue the machine!  (It uses the same software as a pay terminal, just set to ‘free play’.)

Qatar Premium Lounge business centre

Newspapers and magazines are laid out on small tables throughout the lounge.  The magazine selection is not a patch on the British Airways Terminal 5 offering, but on a par with any other lounge with similar visitor numbers.  I did end up nipping out to buy a copy of Bloomberg Businessweek from WH Smith (if you have not read this since Bloomberg bought it, I thoroughly recommend giving it another go).

You are then forced to turn right into a wide corridor, before the lounge opens out at their impressive bar and casual dining area.  There is no buffet here – you can either order food from the menu or ask for things from the cold items on display.

Qatar Premium Lounge bar


Qatar Premium Lounge casual dining

Note that this area does not overlook the main apron – that is on the other side of the terminal.

It seemed rude not to start with a glass of champagne – after all, they were not about to run out in a hurry:

Qatar Premium Lounge champagne

Your options are Bollinger Special Cuvee, Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2004, Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Rose 2004 and Bollinger Rose Brut.  I went with the latter ….

The food here is where the lounge really scores.  I have never been impressed by food in the British Airways Concorde Room.  The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt still serves the best lounge food I have ever had.  However, the Qatar Premium Lounge food was impressive – especially as I was there as a business class and not First Class passenger.

I went with the teriyaki glazed chicken, with spring onion, teppan noodles, sweet miso and edamame beans.  And very impressive it looked:

Qatar Premium Lounge food 2

There is a full wine list available, including dessert wines, but I decided to stick with the champagne.

Qatar Premium Lounge food

This was good food.  Simple stuff (easy to prepare in a small kitchen) but well executed and well presented.  There is variety of light and heavy options, with Arabian selections as well.  Mini beef burgers, tuna nicoise salad, salmon risotto, Thai laksa rice, king prawn linguini and Za’atar roasted lamb neck (which, for novelty value, I should probably have tried) were also on offer.

All food is cooked to order.  You can see the kitchen at the back of this photo of the formal dining room:

Qatar Premium Lounge dining room 2

Yes, there is a formal dining room as well.  I didn’t sit there (the food is the same if you sit in the more casual area by the windows) but if you want a more formal meal then it is there:

Qatar Premium Lounge dining room

I followed up my teriyaki chicken with some cheesecake (very good, no soggy base) and a cappuccino:

Qatar Airways Premium Lounge London

It’s an oryx, before you ask, part of the antelope family.

Overall, this is a very smart and classy lounge, where you can happily enjoy a quiet drink and a restaurant quality meal before your flight.  I personally preferred it to the British Airways Concorde Room where I was two weeks earlier but comparisons are slightly unfair – the Concorde Room handles a magnitude of passengers more.

For food and drink in a business class lounge, it is easily better than anything else I know at Heathrow (the Virgin Clubhouse, where I have not been for a few years, is undoubtedly more fun but I doubt the food and drink can match this).  I am surprised that Emirates does not have something like this instead of their canteen-style lounge, albeit that does offer direct boarding of your aircraft.

After a couple of hours (and a l-o-n-g walk to and from the SkyTeam lounge at the other end of Terminal 4 to check it out) it was time to board.  The lounge is situated directly opposite Gate 6, so it was a 20 second walk from the entrance to the boarding gate and my Boeing 777 to Doha:

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Heathrow

My Qatar Airways flight report will follow in a day or so.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (21)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Adam W says:

    It does look quite impressive particularly for business class passengers. Nice review. Well done!!!

  • Henry says:

    It is a very nice lounge indeed.

    I think it’s a great environment and vibe. Food is really impressive, but not quite up to the standard you can sometimes get in the CCR – which I think is the problem: BA is just so frustratingly inconsistent, and QR wisely chooses to do simpler stuff consistuently excellently.

    Showers are a bit rubbish – they haven’t managed to fix the oscillating temperature problem BA showers in T4 always used to have.

  • Erico1875 says:

    Do groups turn up st other lounge’s and get “wasted”” ?

  • James says:

    Great review Robert! I am flying to Doha on Tuesday at 10.50am in J Class. What are the opening hours of their T4 Premium lounge please? Do they have an arrival lounge at Heathrow too?

    Many thanks.

    • Rob says:

      No arrivals lounge as far as I know, but as I came into Zurich on the return I am not 100% certain.

      Not sure what time the lounge opens but I would imagine at least 3 hours before the first departure (or c 6am, whichever is earlier, given that LHR normally kicks into gear about then.)

  • ts77 says:

    Thanks Rob – looks good, I will be flying out of T5 with BA in J soon, I would have made the trek to T4 to check it out but from I’m reading above it’s only for those departing T4?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.