The flight was scheduled to land at 7:00 pm, after 12 hours in the air. Instead, at 7:00 we were pulling up to the hotel. This was thanks to the ease of getting thought the Doha airport. Rear plane exits and waiting busses made getting to the terminal easy. Most passengers were in transit so there were only a few of us to go through the customs so there was no line and our passports were promptly stamped, and visas acquired.
With a 12 hour layover ahead, a local hotel room seemed to make the most sense. So once we whisked through the airport the airport shuttle was waiting for us.
We were courteously greeted and once a signature was placed at the bottom of the invoice we strolled through the lobby in our travel clothes and the small backpacks we had on board. Our luggage was checked through to Singapore and we packed lightly for our 12 hour layover.
On our way to the elevators we passed men in long white robes and headwear accessorized with a black ring conducted business across silver pots of tea. The courtyard was dozens of floors below layers of hallways and the clean contemporary floors above were refreshing and welcome. After a quick shower and spruce up we headed to the Jazz Bar just in time for the last quarter of an hour of happy hour, only to be denied access. A light bag did not allow for the Baron to carry a second pair of shoes, so although his shirt was collared, his shoes were denied. We turned and went down the hall to the less dressy location.
The Cellar, practically full, squeezed us in at a tall table next to the bar. We sat across form each other, flanked on both sides. At the end of the table a deal was being conducted. The other side hosted a date. Presumably the first. In Qatar it seems that business deals and romantic encounters usually take place at hotel restaurants. It is the place to go for a nice glass of wine. And a cigar if the occasion warrants one.