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

I’ve reviewed Qatar’s business class Al Mourjan airport lounge before at Doha, but this was my first visit to Qatar’s first class Al Safwa lounge.

As I stepped off my previous flight from Guangzhou, I was met by a person with my name on my sign. This person escorted me through transit security (and let me cut in front of everyone) and took me to the Al Safwa First Class lounge.

a group of people on an escalator
Escalator up to the lounge

The lounge is absolutely stunning. It’s an incredible space, and it feels like a museum. In fact, they even had pieces on loan from the Museum of Islamic Art on display!

a long hallway with a glass case and a plant in it
Al Safwa first class lounge

The lounge is very large, and it has a lot of different seating areas. When I was there, almost everyone was sitting in the semi-private seats near the (very large) dining room, but there’s a lot more space to the lounge.

a room with chairs and a laptop
First class lounge seating
a room with a large wall and a large floor with a couch and chairs
First class lounge seating

These seemed to be popular seats.

a group of chairs in a room
First class lounge seating
a water fountain in a building
First class lounge fountain
a large vases on display
Pieces on loan from Museum of Islamic Art
a large art piece on a wall

First, there’s an outdoor terrace (by outdoor, I mean open to the rest of the terminal). It wasn’t as well air-conditioned out there, which is perhaps why no one was sitting there, but there’s a lot more seating out on this terrace.

a row of red chairs and a table
a room with chairs and tables
Terrace space
a group of soda cans and bottles in a cooler
a group of chairs around a table
a room with brown leather chairs and a lamp
a chair and ottoman in a room

Within the lounge, they have private rooms similar to the ones they have in the business class lounge. These rooms have a sofa and seat and TV. This is perhaps somewhere to nap if all of the hotel-style private rooms are taken.

a couch and chair in a room
Private room
a tv on a wall in a room
Private room

There are also rooms for children and nannies. I did not see anyone utilizing these rooms while I was in the lounge, but they are there.

a sign on a wall
Nanny room
a room with cartoon characters on the wall
Nanny room
a white shelves with books and toys on them
Rooms for children
a room with tables and a table and a foosball table
Rooms for children

It’s not obvious to me that any of these consoles actually worked…

a game machines in a room
Rooms for children
a race car with a tv on the side
Rooms for children

In terms of dining, there are a couple of options. First, there’s a very large dining area that has some self-serve options as well as table service.

a bar with a bar and chairs
a table with chairs and napkins
Dining table
a restaurant with tables and chairs
Dining area
a tray of food on a table
Baklava tower
a silver tea set and glasses on a tray
Arabic coffee
food in a tray on a counter
Meat and cheese
a table with different food items on it
a group of fruit on a tray
a menu of a restaurant
Breakfast menu

I was there for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast options seemed pretty basic for a first class lounge.

a plate of fruit and bread on a table
Fruit plate and bread

After getting some food, I was able to check out one of the true private rooms. Essentially, these are like hotel rooms in the lounge available on a first-come-first-served basis.

a group of flowers in front of a large wall

The private rooms are pretty awesome. It’s like having a transit hotel in the middle of the lounge. One of the best perks to any lounge I’ve visited.

a bed with a purple blanket and a lamp on the headboard
Private room
a desk and chair in a room
Private room
a bathroom with a glass shower door
a long hallway with a table and a lamp
Hallway of private rooms

There’s also a business center, which was just as beautiful as the rest of the lounge.

a table with a vase of flowers and a lamp in front of a glass wall
Business area
a desk with a computer on it
Work station

A bit later, I grabbed some lunch in the dining room. I started off with some cream of pumpkin soup. This was just okay, as the pumpkin flavor wasn’t very strong.

a bowl of soup on a plate
Pumpkin soup

Next, I tried the spinach fattaya. This was probably the best thing I ate in the lounge!

a plate of food with sauce
Spinach fattaya

For an entree, I had some paneer makhni. I thought that this was also lacking flavor.

a plate of food with a bowl of soup and a salad
Paneer makhni

Finally, I had some dessert that the server recommended. This was essentially old pastry in a sweet cream. Not my favorite.

a bowl of soup on a plate

If there’s one thing I can fault this lounge on, it’s the food. The food was all very average.

Beyond the main dining area, there’s also more of a “deli” kind of area if you head straight past the luggage room. This area did not seem very frequently visited (the staff member in this area seemed really excited when I wandered over). This area had sushi, salads, and a sandwich bar. This isn’t any sushi bar like the one they have in the JAL first class lounges, but it’s there.

a room with a buffet and a large wall
More dining
a display case with sushi rolls and other food
a teapot and cups on a wooden tray
a salad bar with bowls of vegetables and other food
a trays of food on ice
Deli area
a long table with chairs and a table with napkins
Bar seating

There’s also a dessert room if you head toward the family rooms. There are cakes, macarons, etc. I sampled a macaron, and it was honestly pretty bad, even for lounge food. The texture was wrong, it was quite irregular, and the filling wasn’t good.

a group of plates of desserts
a group of desserts on plates
a group of glass containers with food inside
a tray of food on a table
a chocolate cone with flowers and a ball on top
Chocolate art
a room with chairs and a screen
Movie theater

Overall, this is an incredible lounge for many reasons. The space is beautiful, there are tons of great amenities (including what are essentially private hotel rooms), and there’s lots of food. In terms of the space, it’s probably my favorite lounge I’ve ever visited. But the food seriously needs improvement.

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