As mentioned in my previous post, after arriving from New York, I had a whole day to spend in Doha. While I initially planned to do at least a bit of sightseeing, the fact that I was quite tired and that it was very hazy outside resulted in me spending my whole transfer in The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa.
The +Qatar Offer
Rather than paying for the stay at the hotel – which I wouldn’t have done and would have stayed in the Al Mourjan Lounge instead – I took advantage of the +Qatar program. It’s an initiative run jointly by Qatar Airways and the Qatari government, and as part of the program, travelers with a stopover in Doha are eligible for a free night at one of the participating properties (or for two nights for a total of $100).
As part of the program, travelers are also eligible for free transit visa – but that part was not useful to me given that citizens of more than 80 countries, including Japan, became eligible for visa-free entry before I departed.
Booking a Hotel with +Qatar
Once you have your Qatar Airways’ ticket with a minimum of 12 hours transit time in Doha issued, it is really easy booking your hotel.
First, you have to go to +Qatar’s hotel booking page here.
There, after entering your preferred dates, you will be presented with the available hotels which include several four and five-star properties around Doha. If you search for just one night, the booking fee will show $0, while if you search for two nights, it will be $100.
As I was arriving early in the morning, and departing shortly after midnight, I searched for hotels available for one night. And, from the selection, I picked The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa.
After clicking “Select,” I was presented with a couple of tours and things like that that I could book for extra charge. And on the next screen, I had to enter my personal information, as well as my e-ticket number, and preferred check-in and check-out times.
I finalized the booking, and right away – besides the confirmation screen showing my booking code – I had the booking confirmations in my mailbox.
Just in case you are wondering where you can find your e-ticket number, you can do so in the confirmation email that Qatar Airways’ sent you after you booked your ticket. Specifically, it can be found in its “Passenger details” section, under your name.
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa: Check-In and Room
Because I was arriving early in the morning and departing late at night, I set my preferred check-in and check-out times as 07:00-08:00 and 22:00-23:00. While those requests were reflected in the confirmation email, it was never communicated to me whether or not the early check-in would be granted.
As such, after arrival – while enjoying a cup of tea in Qatar Airways’ Arrivals Lounge – I gave the hotel a quick call to confirm that I would be able to check-in right away. And, after getting a positive answer, I hopped into a cab and went to the hotel.
At the car, I was welcomed by one of the hotel’s staff member who escorted me to the reception. There, while my check-in was being processed, I was offered lime juice and a cold towel.
The room itself was very spacious.
To the right of the entrance, there was a bathtub that was exposed to the rest of the room unless shutters were lowered. Past the bathtub there was the bathroom itself with a shower, a pair of sinks, and the toilet.
Interestingly, the counter that separated the bathtub from the rest of the room also served as a counter you could sit behind from the other side.
Besides that, there was a large bed with a daybed at its foot, a wall-mounted TV, and a working desk facing the room’s door.
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa: Lunch at Sabai Thai
After relaxing a bit in my room, I decided to take a walk around the hotel, and grab a lunch on the premises.
Finding a spot to eat at was made easy by The Milelion’s review.
I decided to go to the same Sabai Thai restaurant – and after only being presented with the regular menu, I asked for the business lunch at which point I was presented with a separate menu. (Thanks for the tip!)
The lunch set in my case cost just 65QARs, and tasted fairly good. Since I was told at the reception that as Qatar Airways’ passenger I was eligible for a 35% discount on everything except room service, I tried asking for it.
However, even after (a bit of) insisting, I was told that it could not be applied to the lunch set. Which is understandable – but which would also have been explained beforehand.
Near the restaurant, there was also an artificial beach and a nice garden with a pool.
After lunch, I returned to my room, did some work, slept for a couple of hours, and then grabbed a taxi to the airport to catch the – unfortunately – last flight of my crazy Qatar Airways experience.
+Qatar and The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa Summary
Given that I had a very long transfer in Doha on my way back from New York, I really welcomed the ability to go and rest in an actual hotel room rather than just an airport lounge free of charge.
While I would have welcomed if there was an option to book an airport hotel with the offer, that is not the purpose of the program, and so it is understandable only hotels in the city center are offered.
As for the hotel itself, I really liked its design and the spacious room. At the same time, if I wasn’t traveling alone, I would have preferred a slightly more “private” layout of the room.
All in all, I can only recommend that you take advantage of this offer while it lasts. Currently, it is scheduled to end at the end of December, however, it had already been extended once, so it might be extended again.