How to Survive a 20-hour layover at HIA (Part 2: The not-so-free stuffs)

Spending 20+ hours on Hamad International Airport can be made to be fun. Even more so if you’ve got some extra cash to blow. HIA features many facilities that’ll make those hours a breeze. Here’s some of them that I managed to check out during the visit.

  • The Airport Hotel is a convenient option for travellers who are spending over 8 hours on the airport. It is often best to pre-book the hotel as it almost always fully booked when popping in on arrival. The hotel offers a four-star experience within the Airport and travellers do not require a visa to use the facilities. Rooms are charged in 4-hour blocks and an 8-hour double-room stay costs 240USD.
  • The Oryx Lounge is an option for travellers who do not have access to other lounges as part of their booking class. Economy travellers can access the lounge at a cost of 55USD for 6 hours. This is a reasonable fare, considering that the lounge offers full use of the facilities including comfortable sofas, snacks and meals, a range of drinks, quiet sleeping areas (although there aren’t many couchettes) and showers. The showers are clean and it appears that not many lounge users bother to use them. A meal outside of the lounge costs between 12-40USD depending on what and where you’re eating.
  • Vitality Spa & Wellness Centre is located one floor above the hotel reception. It features a 24-hour service with access to the 25-meter heated pool, gym, hydrotherapy tubs and showers for around 38USD. The use of the squash courts and spa treatments are available at additional costs.
  • A Doha City Tour is an option if you wish to explore the city. Paid City Tours may be pre-arrange with Qatar Airways. A visa costs between 100USD to 140USD depending on your country of origin with a fee applicable for the appropriate tour. If you’re eligible for visa-on-arrival, you may purchase one and explore the city on your own too. For a list of things to do in Doha, click here.
  • The Food Court offers a range of outlets from Eat Street to Burger King. You can expect to pay around 12USD for a reasonably-sized plate of food from Eat Street featuring Italian, Chinese, Arabian and Indian Cuisines. Add about 3USD for a soft drink and you should be set. If you’d prefer to eat at Burger King, expect to pay between 12-20USD for a meal.

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