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Simply Sunday – Sybaritic Single musings on airports, lounges and luxury hotels

A never-overcrowded airport lounge

A never-overcrowded airport lounge – in Doha

When not at a luxury hotel, the Sybaritic Single is most likely up in the air – and vice versa. Living in eternal transit, he yet cannot imagine himself sleeping on a couch in an airline lounge, no matter how tired he is. These are the times when quality airport hotels come into the scene.

By now, he has learnt which airports have great hotels attached to them, or at most a few minutes away as it makes his jet-set smoother and more time-efficient. Singapore Changi has a decent Crowne Plaza, Flughafen München used to have a cozy Kempinski and, of course, there is always an incredibly commercial Sheraton-CDG where one can charge a mobile phone in the lobby for a few euros.  Secretly, the Sybaritic Single has always hoped that hotels could just form part of airline lounges so that he could always remain airside.

Finally, the jet-setter’s dream came true with the inauguration of the monumental and almost mythical, after all the years of delays, Al Safwa first class lounge at Doha airport. Impressed by the awe-inspiring sensation of space dressed in beige and black, the Sybaritic Single was equally pleased to discover the inner sanctum: a dozen-room luxury hotel, concealed at the heart of the lounge.

Immediate check-in, perfect soundproofing and a relatively spacious ensuite bathroom with a thoughtfully powerful hairdryer meant good rest between flights and avoiding démodé shared showers. Curiously, the room did not have a single bottle of water, though a red crystal flute of chilled in-lounge Krug proved to be a pleasant alternative. Grilled scallops were served straight from the lounge, à la carte.

Eventually, an instant check-out without bills (well, there was nothing to pay, this was all courtesy Qatar Airways) and a brief cart ride from the hotel bedroom to the airplane suite, avoiding any security checks. Was it the Champagne or was that in-lounge luxury hotel indeed so effortless?