Travel and aviation nerds have been buzzing about Doha, Qatar, because its main hub, Hamad International Airport, has finally surpassed Singapore Changi Airport to win the coveted Skytrax Airport of the Year title.

Changi had been the reigning champion since 2013 for several good reasons, but Hamad’s architecture and luxury pushed it straight to the top this year.

Of course, there is much more to Qatar’s capital than its airport, but it’s always a comfort to know that your port of entry is a celebrated place. When visiting a highly acclaimed hub, it’s good practice to budget a little extra time to spend at the airport. After all, it’s worth seeing for yourself where all the noise is coming from.

Beyond the walls of the airport, you’ll find a city alive with commerce, entertainment and a glittering skyline symbolic of Qatar’s incredible riches. Outside the city lies a level expanse of desert (occasionally disturbed by camel races) and small farming and coastal settlements.

Qatar is lauded for its safety, wealth and multitude of different cultures. If you’re dreaming of exploring more of the Persian Gulf coast, we have a few recommendations for where you should spend your points and miles on a trip to the Qatari capital.


W Doha

W Doha

W Doha | Photo Courtesy of Marriott

Sophisticated and stylish travelers often feel at home during a stay at the W Doha, where urban vibes and trendy decor permeate every impeccably designed corner. This property is located just minutes from the shore, where guests can enjoy a stroll down the promenade or a day spent on the soon-to-be-developed beaches nearby.

The W Doha features several on-site restaurants from Michelin dine-ins to on-the-go options, plus the world’s biggest Sisley Paris Spa. If you’re planning on staying in town for an extended period, the W Doha also offers residence options at some of the trendiest live-work spaces in town.

For a Green Key certified property with a coveted address, redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points at the W Doha. A night at this property is available from 20,000 Marriott Rewards points.

Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha

Al Messila

Al Messila | Photo Courtesy of Marriott

If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate but also family-friendly, check out Al Messila. This gorgeous resort is located on its own complex of restaurants and residences, including the 14,000-square-meter Al Messila Spa.

Although one could easily stay tucked away within its boundaries, the resort is located just a 15-minute drive from the bustling West Bay area of Doha. That way, guests are free to balance their quiet spa days with the exciting city life outside.

Back on site, Michelin-starred executive chef Pino Lavarra offers expertly crafted dishes, and the hotel staff is happy to assist guests with curating a perfect spa treatment plan. For quiet luxury not far from the heart of Doha, a stay at Al Messila is an excellent redemption.

A night at this property is available from 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Cards to Help You Earn Marriott Points

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

One way to quickly earn a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy points is by getting the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card. Cardholders have the opportunity to earn Bonvoy points on everyday spending and also earn automatic Silver Elite status simply for being a cardholder.

Card members earn 6X points per dollar spent on purchases at Marriott Properties and 2X points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

With these built-in benefits, this card is well worth the $95 annual fee. However, there is an option available to those who don’t want to pay an annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

If you want some Marriott benefits without paying an annual fee, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card. You’ll still have complimentary Silver Elite Status and earn 3X points per dollar spent on purchases at Marriott properties. You’ll also earn 2X points per dollar spent on travel purchases and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases.

If you want a quick path to Silver Elite and a decent earning potential without committing to an annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold could be the right pick for you.


Hilton Doha The Pearl Hotel & Residences

Hilton Doha The Pearl Hotel & Residences

Hilton Doha The Pearl Hotel & Residences | Photo Courtesy of Hilton

While Doha is a well-developed metropolis, several ongoing projects aim to make the city even more attractive to tourists, businesses and residents. One of these projects is a district called The Pearl, a retail and residential project located about a 15-minute drive from the West Bay district.

The Hilton Doha The Pearl Hotel & Residences stands proudly at the entrance of The Pearl, offering visitors the opportunity to explore this ritzy area and its neighbors. Each room at this hotel is equipped with either a kitchenette or a full kitchen for maximum flexibility, plus several on-site dining options.

This property is surrounded by upscale restaurants, cozy cafes, high-brow retail and lively clubs, so be sure to explore the whole neighborhood during your stay.

An award night at this hotel is available from 43,000 Hilton Honors points.

Cards to Help You Earn Hilton Points

Hilton has a long-standing partnership with American Express and offers four different co-branded cards: three personal cards and one business card. Here, we’ll mention the perks of our top-choice personal and business credit cards.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a card with good earning potential and plenty of travel benefits. While it comes with a $195 annual fee (see rates & fees), cardholders can easily earn enough points to make up for it.

Cardholders earn 12X points per dollar spent on Hilton purchases and 5X on other purchases on the first $100,000 in purchases each calendar year, 3X points thereafter.

Additionally, this card is an excellent way to jump straight to Hilton Honors Gold status. Paying a $195 annual fee is a pretty small price to pay considering the benefits that come with Gold status. And depending on how much you’re planning on using the card, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to Diamond status, which is a definite bonus.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is our favorite credit card in the Hilton collection for those who can justify paying the hefty $450 annual fee (see rate & fees).

At first glance, it might not seem worthwhile to spend that much on an annual fee to hold a credit card, especially considering that the points earning potential is only marginally better than the other Hilton-branded credit cards.

However, when weighing the annual fee against the additional benefits, it might be a good deal if you’re looking to skyrocket your status to top-tier Diamond status as an included benefit of the card. It’s the only card on the market that includes top-tier hotel status just for holding the card.

Cardholders earn 14X points per dollar spent on Hilton purchases, 7X points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, and cars booked directly through select car rental agencies, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases.

Note that the value of the accompanying travel benefits surpasses the annual fee, so as long as you’re planning on using the benefits, this card is well worth it.


InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa


InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa | Photo Courtesy of IHG

It’s difficult to go wrong with an InterContinental property, and the InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa is certainly poised to impress.

Dining is a major theme at this property, with 14 different restaurants to choose from including Peruvian, Greek and even Tex-Mex flavors. Note that the InterContinental Doha Residences are housed within the same complex as the hotel, so extended-stay guests have the same access to the restaurants and amenities.

This property is ideal for guests who are in Doha for business but would also like to mix in a bit of pleasure. It’s only a 10-minute drive to the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) but also near the Katara Cultural Village and Katara Beach. A stay at the InterContinental Doha is an ideal redemption for digital nomads and business travelers alike.

A night at this property is available from 44,000 IHG One Rewards points.

Cards to Help You Earn IHG Points

IHG One Rewards Premier Card

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is the premium IHG co-branded credit card. This card charges an $99 annual fee. For that fee, cardholders will receive IHG Platinum Elite Member status and earn 10X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels. The card also earns 5X points per dollar spent on travel, dining and at gas stations, and 3X points on all other purchases.

IHG One Rewards Traveler Card

Of course, the Premier level card doesn’t suit everyone. If you’re an IHG Rewards member interested in opening an IHG card but don’t want to bother with any annual fees, then applying for the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card could be a better move.

This card offers the opportunity to bump up to Gold Elite status, which is a nice perk for members with Club Member status. Additionally, you can earn up to 5X points per dollar spent at IHG properties worldwide, 3X points on dining, utilities, select streaming services and at gas stations, and 2X points on all other purchases.


Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha

Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha

Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt

If you’re just popping by on a layover or don’t want to roam too far from the airport, then a stay at the Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha is a simple, budget-friendly option. This property is close enough to the airport to rest assured of making any tight connections you may have, but also close enough to downtown such that you can spend any free time visiting the National Museum of Qatar or the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park.

With the Hyatt Regency, you can always expect a modern, comfortable room with cozy, homey touches—perfect for a night of rest after a long flight. Whether you’re in town for a meeting or just popping in for a quick stopover, this redemption is an easy yes.

A night at this property is available from just 5,000 World of Hyatt points.

Cards to Help You Earn World of Hyatt Points

If you’re looking to maximize your earning potential with World of Hyatt, the best way to do that is by applying for a Hyatt co-branded credit card. With the World of Hyatt Credit Card, cardholders earn 4X World of Hyatt points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties, 2X points on transportation, restaurants, flights purchased directly through the airline and fitness club memberships, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Chase Travel℠

The above properties are great options in Doha, but they may not be as accessible if you don’t have points with the correct hotel program. If you don’t have a stash of brand-specific points, there is another option if you have flexible points available.

Many credit cards offer their own rewards programs that include the opportunity to redeem points on travel. If you’ve been focused on flexible credit card rewards instead of brand-specific hotel rewards, a trip to Doha could be a great way to redeem them.

As an example, you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards to book your hotel through the Chase Travel Portal. When Chase points are redeemed on travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, they are worth 50% more than other select categories for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card cardholders will see a 25% bump in point value for redemptions made through the portal. Either way, the bonus is a great incentive to use your Ultimate Rewards through the portal. Here is one special property in Doha that you can book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

For travelers who are truly looking for a getaway, check out the Banana Island Resort Doha. Located a couple of kilometers from the Doha shoreline, Banana Island is only accessible by catamaran.

This family-friendly, alcohol-free resort is perfect for an escape with the entire crew in tow. Featuring a surf pool, cinema, bowling alley, putting green, F1 simulator and a wellness center, this gorgeous accommodation has options that everyone can appreciate.

Soak in the lagoon pool, catch some rays on the beach or take a bike or a Segway around the island for a fun afternoon adventure. You can even take a diving course through Alghais Diving during your stay. For a refreshing family vacation, a stay at the Banana Island Resort Doha is an excellent use of your Ultimate Rewards points.

A night at this property is available from 26,600 Ultimate Rewards points.

Cards to Help You Earn Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

A consistent favorite in the Chase collection of credit cards is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. This card offers the ability to earn Ultimate Rewards points and benefit from travel perks. Its hefty $550 annual fee is offset by an annual $300 travel credit, not to mention the built-in insurance and protections for when you’re on the go.

Cardholders enjoy up to 10X points per dollar spent on car rentals purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and Chase Dining purchases made through Ultimate Rewards, 5X points on flights purchases through the Chase Travel portal, 3X points on other travel and dining, and 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If a $550 annual fee just doesn’t sound like a good time, consider the $95-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead. This card is ideal for a first-time Chase Sapphire applicant. You’ll still enjoy some travel benefits as well as the ability to earn 5X points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services, 2X points on other travel purchases, and 1X point on all other purchases.

Final Thoughts

Boasting a pleasant blend of East and West, Doha is an ever-growing enterprise that offers a variety of accommodations to a range of travelers. The booming commercial districts are ideal for business travelers while resort complexes are perfect for folks, friends and families yearning for a getaway.

Regardless of your points currency, Doha has a property for you. We recommend checking out these accommodations when planning your next trip to the Qatari capital.