DOHA, QATAR. (...continuation) After flying for approximately 10 hours, we finally arrived in Doha at 3:30 in the afternoon. We are stopping over in the city until we fly out for our next destination at 8 in the morning the next day which gives us a long stopover of 16.5 hours. Prior going, we checked the possible options that we could take and found that we can either (1) stay in their lounge, (2) check in at the airport hotel or (3) check if we are eligibe for an overnight stay in a city hotel which actually applies to passengers who are stopping over for at least 10 hours and The overnight in a city hotel looked promising so we called up the airline's local office and verified if our ticket allows such. Luckily our ticket entitles us to such perk and we even got more than what we expected.
Perk #2. For some flights, a complimentary city hotel is being given
Upon arriving, we approached the Transfer counters located prior the arrival immigration booths primarily serving those who are staying in Doha for the night and are taking a flight to their next destination within 24 hours. The attendant at the counter got our passport and the boarding pass for the next flight. He keyed-in some information in his computer, looked for our STPC (Stopover Paid by Carrier) hotel vouchers and asked us to wait for about 30 minutes to process our transit visas so that we can go out from the airport and out into the city.
Perk #3. For passengers under STPC, free transit visa, airport-hotel transfers and meal allowance are being given
After 30 minutes, the attendant approached us to where we are seating and gave us our passports and vouchers. He also gave us directions on where we should go next to meet the hotel attendant who will pick us up. Aside from the free accommodation, transit visas and free hotel transfer, the voucher also entitles us to a meal allowance worth QAR 100. I was floored! For the price we paid for the ticket, all of these made it totally worth it.
The hotel attendant of the Grand Regal Hotel was already waiting for us at the arrival lounge. There were 9 other passengers under STPC going to the same hotel as we are so he had to call another vehicle to fit us all in. The usual drive of 15 minutes from the airport to the hotel took us 30 minutes since the roads were congested that day.
We arrived in the hotel a little past 5 in the afternoon and we finished the check-in process at 5:30. The rooms were spacious! I loved how soft and fluffy the pillows of the hotel are. We rested in our designated rooms for a while and went to claim our free buffet dinner in the restaurant at 6 pm. The dishes were all spectacular but I particularly fell in love with their lamb and beef dishes and the desserts! If there is anything at all that I have observed about Doha, it would be that they have amazing dishes and flavors and that they have an exemplary customer service worthy of commendation.
After having our dinner, we went out and about the city and explored the attractions that our feet were still able to cover. At around 9:30 in the evening, we were already back in the hotel ready to sleep. I immediately prepped myself for a much needed night rest, fluffed my pillows, turned off my bedside lamp and curled under the sheets as I was already thinking about the long day that awaits me tomorrow.