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Qatar recently opened up a new business class and first class lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport known as the “Qatar Airways Premium Lounge” and it’s a stunning lounge. It’s very modern, spacious, and offers a great dining experience along with a unique outdoor terrace with sweeping views of Paris. Here’s my full Qatar Airways Premium Lounge at Paris CDG review.
Getting to the airport
We took a taxi from the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme to CDG on a cold and rainy Paris day. The driver informed us halfway through that she didn’t take credit cards (even though the law requires it) so we had to deal with that mess on our way but more on the drama of that situation later….
We eventually arrived to the airport right around the time that check-in opened which was about 11:40am. This was perfect because I knew the lounge opened up at noon and this would allow us to be among the first to enter which makes getting photographs much easier.
Qatar had a dedicated check-in line for both business class and first class passengers.
The Qatar agent handling our check-in was extremely personable and friendly. It’s always nice to get the lounge/flight experience off on the right foot with warm and welcoming service at check-in.
It took a little while to get our boarding passes because they had to first verify that we had return tickets from the Maldives, which was our final destination. I simply showed him my itinerary on the AA App and within a couple of minutes we were good to go.
I love the maroon sleeves that Qatar slips your first class boarding passes in (business class gets silver sleeves). The clever sleeve design is also practical since you can still easily view all the important details about your flight.
After check-in, we made our way off to immigration.
CDG airport has some really interesting escalator walkways that have a retro Disney World/Tomorrow Land feel to them. They’ve actually been featured in movies and album covers over the years.
With our heavy luggage on wheels, it felt a bit awkward going up these angled escalators, though.
The airport terminal is marked up with a lot of signs pointing you to the direction of the lounges, although they don’t show the Qatar symbol so it’s not initially clear that you’re headed to the right lounge area.
Our premium ticket gave us access to the expedited immigration line which is called the N1 line (Accès Nº1). Note that security is at the gates here so you’ll need to leave yourself a little extra time to get through.
Once we cleared immigration, we were off to the lounge which meant following more signs to the lounges/salons.
Eventually, we found the elevator to take us up to the lounges.
The lounge is located 7 floors up on the 11th floor at Terminal 1, which is also where the Star Alliance Lounge is and a restaurant.
Once the elevator took us up we made our way to the lounge and checked in.
The Qatar Airways Premium Lounge – Charles de Gaulle Airport
As soon as I entered, I noticed the stunning lobby area with a black fountain centerpiece. It’s a beautiful entrance area with wonderfully executed Arabic-inspired design.
Some might consider things like fountains as a waste of space, but I love lounges that go out of their way to create gorgeous lobbies and seating areas with unique fixtures. To me Qatar Airways just “gets it” when it comes to designing lounges, as I’ve been very impressed with their newer lounges.
In this lobby area, there are two monitors with up to date flight information. There’s also a small nook area with drinks and refreshments that felt a little out of place but I guess it’s nice to have an area on each side of the lounge where you can grab something to drink and some light snacks.
On the perimeter of this centerpiece, you can find an array of different seating options with varying degrees of privacy.
There are some semi-private suites for two people that you can grab along the wall.
The seating areas are very nice and the large windows allow a lot of natural light in.
As we walked walked farther into the lounge, I noticed some shelves with reading materials and some cool decor.
There are several rooms that we came across on our way to the dining area. The first was the computer workstation area which houses two computers.
The next is a small room with relaxing chairs and a TV. We chose to relax in the room below and it stayed very quiet during our time in the lounge. I liked that the room came equipped with universal power outlets and USB ports.
I also really liked the room next door with red carpet and low-lying sofas. I believe this section might be designed as a family room given the layout.
On the other side of the lounge, there are seating options lining the windows, which also come with small tables and outlets. While I liked the comfy seating options, if there’s one shortcoming it’s that there’s not a lot of practical space to set up your laptop on a counter, bar, or table.
The dining experience
Finally, we made our way towards the end of the lounge where we found the dining area with trees spouting from the center of the tables.
This area feels very open with the floor to ceiling windows and even though it was raining and cloudy outside, it still felt vibrant.
Towards the very back, there are some more private dining areas but these have more of a polished look and feel to them.
And on the other side, there’s some swanky cushioned benches built into the wall. This area of the lounge reminded me a lot of the look you’d find at some W hotels.
One really cool feature of this lounge is that there is an outdoor terrace with tables and chairs where you can enjoy your meal outdoors while plane spotting (and a second terrace for smokers). I believe you can see the Paris skyline and Eiffel Tower from this view. But it was miserable outside (wet and cold) when we visited so nobody bothered trying out the deck.
The dining at the lounge is buffet style and they offer both cold and hot meals. For breakfast, you can choose from an à la carte menu but they didn’t issue us a menu for lunch so I’m not sure if they don’t have one or we didn’t get one because we didn’t ask.
There’s a circular bar that’s essentially a deli where you can find a lot of cold food items, such as wraps, breads, sandwiches, and a number of Middle Eastern dishes, such as hummus. This area is also where you’ll find the barista coffee station and the bar, which is on the back side.
Personally, I loved the wraps and salads (the hummus was good, too).
For the hot dishes, I tried out some of the Byriani chicken and rice and really enjoyed that. I also tried a piece of ravioli which wasn’t bad, so overall I’d say the hot meal options seem to be high quality.
Between the deli options and the the different hot food choices, you should be able to put together a meal that leaves you well satisfied which is something that many lounges struggle to offer. So in that respect I think the dining at the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge certainly stands out.
This lounge also had a pretty amazing selections of desserts. They had chocolate mousse, crème brûlée, chocolate tarts, fruit cups, smoothies, and a few other very tempting items.
It seems a lot of others agreed with me because I noticed that several others loaded up their plates with multiple desserts as if they struggled to just choose one.
The desserts exceeded my expectations and put the whole dining experience over the top for me.
The one strike against the dining experience were the drinks.
Brad ordered a martini, which did not taste anything like a martini that either of us had had before. The server seemed to be confused about what was meant by an “extra dirty martini” which is really odd considering they advertised the bar as a “martini bar.” Also, I asked if they had any signature cocktails and they said “sure” and then brought me a gin and tonic… it was just an odd bar experience.
Outside of the botched drink orders, the service was pretty good, and they came around often asking if we needed anything. Again, I’m not sure if they had a lunch menu but I do think you could order food items from the table and be served that way if you wanted so I’d just inquire with the servers.
Bathrooms and showers
The bathrooms are private, clean, and very nice.
The shower facilities are on par with those you would find at a luxury hotel. They are very big and come with multiple shower heads. There are a total of five shower suites, including one handicapped suite.
There’s a nice sink area where you can freshen up and you can request certain amenities if needed.
There’s also separate prayer rooms found in the lounge.
Final word on the Qatar lounge at CDG
The Qatar lounge at CDG is a fantastic lounge. It’s got some solid dining options, a cool outdoor terrace, and plenty of areas for you to relax (although work stations are limited). It’s also a pretty stunning lounge in terms of decor and architecture. I wish I’d been able to enjoy the outdoor terrace but I still left this lounge thoroughly impressed and would happily return.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the digital smart wallet, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.