My review of The Airport Hotel inside Hamad Airport, Doha

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This is my review of The Airport Hotel, situated inside Hamad Airport in Doha.

I think I am safe in saying that this is the only hotel in the world where you can look out of your window and see a 23 foot high teddy bear:

Hamad International Qatar Doha bear

However, as I doubt you choose hotels on the basis of whether or not they have views of 23-foot tall teddy bears, I should probably tell you some more about The Airport Hotel!

I decided to stay here because my flight to Paris departed at 7.55am.  I wasn’t arriving in Doha until 7pm and it seemed relatively pointless to leave the airport – especially as I would have to pay the visa fee.  This is despite the fact that there is a Crowne Plaza nearby (Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park) and I could have used another night towards my Accelerate target.

I was also one night short of triggering my Rewards free night and The Airport Hotel was bookable through them. appears to be the easiest place to book this hotel

Here is the first thing you need to know – despite being literally in the middle of the terminal, this hotel is incredibly hard to find.  It is not just me who has this problem as it crops up in many reviews.

There is only one lift to the hotel.  However, the lift is tucked behind a wall behind the bear.  There is a big sign saying ‘Airport Hotel’ and pointing in the right direction.  However, as you don’t know that there is a lift hidden behind the wall, you follow the sign.

And you follow it, and you follow it.  The problem here is that Hamad International Airport is, I think, the largest freestanding building in the world.  When a sign sends you the wrong way and you set off walking, you walk a long way before you give up and turn back.

Don’t bother asking the airport staff.  They don’t have a clue.

It took me literally 30 minutes to find the hotel after clearing incoming security.  I could have done it in 2 minutes had the hotel being signposted.

Once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised.  The rooms are not huge but are very attractively furnished:

Airport Hotel, Hamad Airport, Doha, Qatar review


Airport Hotel, Hamad Airport, Doha, Qatar review

There is a swimming pool but I did not have the time to visit.  This is a library picture:

Hamad Airport Hotel swimming pool

…. which looks hugely impressive (for an airport!).

Overall, once I found it, I was very happy with my 10 hours in the Airport Hotel in Doha and would stay there again.

The only downside of this hotel is that it is not cheap.  I paid roughly £160.  Once you factor in the visa fee and a taxi to the Crowne Plaza and back, however, it simply made no sense to go elsewhere.

After all, I was going to be getting up at 5am.  I didn’t want to miss any time in Qatar’s allegedly astonishing new First Class lounge before my 8am flight …..

If you are looking to book The Airport Hotel, I recommend doing what I did and using – this lets you collect a Rewards credit which effectively gets you 10% of your spend back.

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  1. Lady London says:

    Haha I bet this is the only hotel in the world where the directions to find it are “the lift is tucked behind a wall behind the bear” 🙂

  2. C Y S Yuen says:

    Is it really thay hard to find?

    It is just above the newly opened Al Safwa loinge isn’t it?

    It is right in the centre of terminal — as lobg as you know where that lounge is then you have access to the hotel.

  3. We booked the airport hotel a DXB for very similar reasons. On arrival at DXB – in the wee hours and rather groggy – I was surprised and delighted to be met at the aircraft gangway by a hotel representative who took our hand luggage and marched us smartly through the maze and right to the reception desk.

    That’s how it should be done! 🙂

  4. I too can vouch for it being difficult to find – the signs literally ‘dry up’ – one minute you’re going towards the hotel then you look back and notice signs pointing the other way because you’ve unwittingly walked past it!

    I can’t say I was a fan to be honest, the very idea of all the windows looking out over the inside of the terminal, so being forced to have the shutters closed for privacy, made us feel quite claustrophobic.

    That said, it certainly afforded us a few hours sleep and so allowed us to fully appreciate the service on the QR B787 back to Edinburgh in biz.

  5. I must have got lucky as we managed to find the hotel quite easy in transit to Dubai.
    From memory it’s very close to the escalator leading up to Qatar’s lounges.
    Also you can book hourly packages at reduced rates, we went for the 5 -8 hr package, in a twin room, for 640 QAR.

    • Did the same in October – for anyone wanting to do the same you book a night as normal on the hotel’s website and then email the hotel directly and ask them to adjust to the 5-8 hour rate (640 QAR, or ca. £120)

      This doesn’t permit booking via, but the cost saving is worth it.

      As it happened I ate something unfortunate on my last day in Bangkok before flying home that evening, so spent most of the layover being quite ill. Never have I been so glad to have booked a hotel room!

  6. As you were flying out in F could you not have headed for al-Safwa lounge and chanced your arm for one of the dayrooms?

    • Very possible (in fact someone I met in the lounge also suggested that) but I had work to do and wanted access to a proper desk as well as a proper bed!

      The downside risk (no dayrooms, transit hotel then turns out to be full) was also too high in my view.

  7. True, and they do seem to be in high demand. Looking forward to the return leg!

  8. Is this the hotel Qatar put you in if you have a forced long layover?

    • No. For STPC they use hotels outside the airport – typically the Oryx Rotana, for J pax at least.

      Which is good it you want to visit the museum,say. But bad in terms of cutting into your potential sleep time for shorter, overnight connections.

      • Ok thanks, I am booked in to Oryx, wasn’t sure if they were on and the same. Flying J. Just over 8 hour stopover during the day, so will look up the museum.

        Do you get transfers from the airport if flying J?

        • If you are staying on QR’s dime you will get transfers as part of the STPC package. You will also be given a meal voucher – the amount varies by length of stay.

          The Museum of Islamic Art is a short taxi (or Uber) ride from the Oryx. Stunning architecture by IM Pei. Definitely the (only?) must-see sight in Doha!

  9. The signage in Doha is awful. In the central part, you can end up going around in circles if you follow the signs!

    • Agreed,

      Especially hard to find your way round after still grumbling over the Visa entry fee issued by the happiest person in the world!

  10. My daughter who is the worlds biggest lover of teddy bears is rather disturbed by the bear in Hamad, she thinks it’s some sort of terminator mutation.

  11. Why You didin’t book avios redemption in First class to use rooms in first class lounge?

  12. We stayed here in november and agree it was tricky to find and expensive but we really did feel the benefit of a few hours sleep in a bed and having a decent shower.we found the check in and out very friendly and efficient and were given a suggested wake up call time which we received and then just a ten minute saunter to the gate.
    We would definately use again for any stop overs 7 hours plus as much better than trying to find a quiet comfy spot in the lounge

  13. Colin mann says:

    There are actually three lifts not one but they are all in the same location.

    It is not hard to find and the staff do know it’s location

    If you are coming down from checking it is to the right of the bear. Below it is a lounge and above it is the swimming pool.

  14. Thanks Raffles, contemplating it for a 19 hour layover in Feb… I’d need two rooms though and I guess this isn’t one of those hotels that gets reduced or is cheaper ever? What would anyone suggest for a 12pm arrival time and leaving again in the morning at 8am with a young family and grandma!

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