Recently, my son and I took off on a one-on-one trip to Morocco. Because he was super interested in flying business class, we ended up using American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly on Qatar Airways. Though Qatar isn’t exactly “on the way” between the U.S. and Morocco, it made for a fun trip.
Our final routing of the trip was Cincinnati-Philadelphia-Doha-Casablanca. Because our QSuite flight from Philadelphia arrived in Doha in the mid-afternoon and our connecting flight didn’t leave until the next morning, we needed a hotel for one night. After looking through a couple of options, we decided on the Ramada Encore by Wyndham Doha.
Qatar Airways offers a stopover program that lets you book a transit hotel through the airline for as low as $23 per night, but you have to book your flight through Qatar Airways to take advantage. Since our flight was booked through American Airlines, our itinerary was not eligible, leaving us on our own to pick a hotel.
After looking at a couple of different options, we decided on the Ramada Encore by Wyndham Doha. I have a bunch of Wyndham points, but since the cash price was so cheap at around $50, I decided to book via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and save my Wyndham points. This was back when every Wyndham hotel cost 15,000 points; now this hotel only costs 7,500 Wyndham points per night. Perhaps that would have changed my decision.
Of course, rates vary by date, so be sure to do your own math before you book — but most of the dates I checked had very reasonable cash rates. We chose to pay with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® at a rate of 1.5 cents per point, so we paid 3,386 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
» Learn more: Your guide to the Wyndham Rewards award chart
The Doha Ramada Encore by Wyndham is about 15 minutes from the airport via Uber, which cost us the equivalent of about $5.50.
The lobby was clean and spacious.
My son enjoyed the series of clocks from different time zones hung directly behind the front desk.
We gave the desk agent our passports and reservation information and were checked in pretty quickly. Since I’m a Wyndham Diamond member, I tried to add my rewards information to my reservation. The agent put my information in, but because this was a third-party booking (Expedia via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal), I didn’t get any elite benefits or points for this booking.
The Ramada Encore by Wyndham Doha has a decent-sized exercise room with both weight machines and a variety of cardio machines.
There’s also a relatively large indoor pool located in the lower level of the hotel.
The hotel offers a buffet breakfast, but it wasn’t included in our rate.
» Learn more: Which rewards credit cards are best for family travel?
Room and bed
We reserved a room with two twin beds and were assigned to the fourth floor. The room and beds were nicely color-coordinated, and the beds themselves were comfortable.
In addition to a chair next to the beds, there was a desk with a chair in the room and a small TV.
One thing I appreciated was that the electrical outlets were configured internationally, meaning I didn’t need to use my power adapters and could just plug my computer and phone directly into the outlets in the wall.
The bathroom was small but nicely appointed, with a shower instead of a full bathtub.
The bottom line
All in all, the Ramada Encore by Wyndham Doha was a convenient and cost-effective transit hotel for our overnight stay in Doha. We were up and out early the next morning back to Hamad International Airport and the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class lounge.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Your guide to earning bonus points with hotel promotions
How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards