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Lounge Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG) East Hall

My flight from Boston landed just before 5am, so the first lounge I checked out was the Plaza Premium lounge in the East Hall, which is open 24 hours and was one of the few lounges in the Hong Kong airport that I hadn’t been to before.

Entrance to the lounge

Now, I’m not sure if it’s normally this dark or if it was just this dark because it was just past 5am, but this was the darkest lit lounge I’ve ever been to. Also, because I was there at just past 5am, there were very few people there, but it also meant that there was very little food out. So even though the lounge is technically open 24 hours, there might not be much stuff going on.

Seating

Center bar/food area

More seating

Seating

That being said, there was a ton of seating. The lounge is quite large, although there aren’t really any places for someone to take a nap. You could move two chairs together, but there’s no designated relaxation area like there are in other Plaza Premium lounges (including those in HKG).

Instant noodles and snacks

Snack mixes

Drink fridges

Hot food area (but none at this time of day)

Again, at the time of my visit, there wasn’t really any food out, but they did have malted soy milk to drink, which I enjoyed.

Eating area

Closed seating area

In general, I think I enjoy the Plaza Premium lounge in the West Hall more than this one, although that could just be because I visited this lounge when nothing was going on. But this lounge is also pretty dark and closed to the outside (i.e. no windows), while the other Plaza Premium lounge is not a cave. But both are accessible via Priority Pass, so you could go to whichever you like if that’s how you get lounge access.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific’s RENOVATED The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’m currently transiting through Hong Kong airport, and I have the good fortune to be transiting just a week after Cathay Pacific reopened their Pier Business Class Lounge. I’ve reviewed the renovated Pier First Class Lounge before, which is one of my favorite airport lounges in the world.

I’ll just go ahead and say that I think the Pier Business Class Lounge might be my favorite business class lounge in the world. It’s a GORGEOUS lounge with everything that you might want in a lounge. People often rave about Turkish Airlines’ business class lounge in Istanbul airport, but I think the Pier is way better.

The Pier Business Class Lounge is located near Gate 65. It’s just one gate further past the entrance to the Pier First Class Lounge. It’s true that this gate might be a little inconvenient depending on your departure gate, and the people mover in the airport only goes one way, but it’s really not that far of a walk to walk from the Pier to the Wing (maybe 15 minutes if you walk briskly).

Entrance to the Pier Business Class lounge near Gate 65

Entrance to the Pier Business Class lounge near Gate 65

I was immediately impressed by this lounge. I love the decor and feel of the renovated Pier lounges. They use much darker and richer colors than they use in the Wing, and the Pier Business Class lounge just seems to keep going on and on.

Entrance hall the lounge

Entrance hall the lounge

Directing you to some of the many rooms of this lounge

Directing you to some of the many rooms of this lounge

One thing that’s a nice feature is that they offer luggage lockers if you want to store your bags for a while. Helpful if you don’t feel like leaving your bags unattended in the lounge.

Luggage lockers

Luggage lockers

As you enter the lounge, there’s an office room of sorts on the right hand side if you want to get some work done. There are computers available for use, as well as comfortable semi-private chairs. And there are tons of outlets everywhere, which is great.

Bureau/office area of the lounge for working

Bureau/office area of the lounge for working

Looking from one end of the lounge down to the other

Looking from one end of the lounge down to the other

As you walk left from the entrance, you first come across the Food Hall. This seems to be an area for western options. For breakfast, there was everything you might expect for a western breakfast (e.g. eggs, hash browns, baked beans, sausage, muesli, pastries). They also have paninis, which is somewhat novel.

Food Hall

Food Hall

There’s a coffee bar staffed with a barista in this area as well.

Coffee bar

Coffee bar

Seating in the Food Hall

Seating in the Food Hall

Salads and such

Salads and such

Cheeses and meats

Cheeses and meats

Western hot breakfast items

Western hot breakfast items

Muffins

Muffins and sweet breads

Pastries

Pastries

Paninis

Paninis and rolls

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

Past the Food Hall is the Bar area. Lots of comfortable seating and a very large bar.

Bar area

Bar area

Bar

Bar

Seating in the bar

Seating in the bar

One of the things that’s incredible about this lounge is the size and variety of seating options. There’s countertop seating, two-person tables, communal tables, lots of sofas, etc. And everything that I sat in was super comfortable. The seating along the windows also features great views.

Seating along the windows

Seating along the windows

Apron views

Apron views

Lots and lots of seating

Lots and lots of seating

Past the bar is the Noodle Bar. This is a staple of many Cathay Pacific lounges around the world. The Noodle Bar features Asian food items (e.g. they had fried rice, stir fried vegetables, congee, and assorted dumplings available for breakfast), as well as a noodle bar where you can order made-to-order noodles (e.g. dan dan noodles). The Noodle Bar opens at 7:00am while the lounge opens at 5:30am.

Seating in the noodle bar

Seating in the noodle bar

Dim sum in the noodle bar

Dim sum in the noodle bar

Noodle bar

Noodle bar

Past the Noodle Bar is the Tea House. The Tea House had teas (obvi), but also a number of Asian and western sweets (e.g. glutinous rice balls, apple cake, earl grey tea cookies) and some tasty-looking juices.

Seating in the tea house

Seating in the tea house

Sweets at the tea house

Sweets at the tea house

Juices in the lounge

Juices in the lounge

Tea menu

Tea menu

Past the Tea House, there’s a desk where you can request a shower, and then at the far end of the lounge is their relaxation area. There are a number of comfortable loungers where you can rest and perhaps take a nap. It’s not super private, but it’s significantly better than what most lounges offer.

Chairs in the relaxation room

Chairs in the relaxation room

Overall, Cathay Pacific did an INCREDIBLE job with this renovation. The lounge is beautiful and functional and an awesome place to spend some time before your flight. Lots of delicious food options, tons of seating, outlets everywhere, decent wifi, showers, areas to take a nap and relax, etc. What more could you ask for?

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge (Renovated) Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’ve reviewed every other oneworld lounge in Hong Kong (the Wing, the Cabin, the Bridge, the Arrival, the Qantas lounge, and the Dragonair lounge), as well as many other lounges in Hong Kong (the Plaza Premium lounge, the United lounge, the Thai Airways lounge, and the Singapore Airlines lounge). I’ve even reviewed the old Pier lounge. But this is a review of the renovated Pier First Class lounge, and let me say that I think this is my new favorite airport lounge in the world. Holy moly is it great.

Entrance to the Pier

Entrance to the Pier

This lounge is beautiful. My photos do not do it nearly enough justice. It looks and feels like a cozy, luxury hotel. The lounge never felt crowded while I visited, and there’s lots of seating. The tables beside the chairs contain hidden power ports. The chairs themselves were also just super comfortable!

Hallway

Hallway

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

Bar

Bar

Work station

Work station

The lounge has shower rooms and day suites. The day suites are pretty basic, as it’s just a small area with a curtain, so there’s not much noise insulation, but no one was using any of them when I asked to take a look. The attendant said that you can use one for 1.5 hours. The shower rooms maybe aren’t as fancy as the cabanas at the Wing, but I certainly have no complaints about the shower rooms.

Hall of day beds

Hall of day suites

Day bed

Day bed

Shower

Shower

The food options in this lounge are both extensive and awesome. There’s a huge dining room with table service as well as a self-serve buffet in a separate room. For the self-serve buffet, think of the cold section of a good buffet at a luxury Asian hotel. For breakfast, there were pastries, breads, fruits, salmon, cold cuts, etc. For lunch, they had delicious-looking tarts and some savory cold dishes. Make sure to check the fridge for jars of more foods.

Service cart

Service cart

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Well-stocked fridge

Well-stocked fridge

Coffee

Coffee

Desserts

Desserts

Lunch foods

Lunch foods

The dining room is incredible. It’s easily much better than the dining room at the Wing, and I’d say I like this dining room better than the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney or the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai. The Wing always felt crowded to me (maybe because the tables are so close together), but the Pier’s dining room is spacious and gorgeously appointed.

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room

There’s a full made-to-order menu, and they even have a separate (smaller) vegetarian menu! I had some bircher muesli and juice for breakfast, and both were good. For lunch, I had a salad, eggplant with mapo tofu, and some mango sticky rice, along with a non-alcoholic ginger forest to drink. This meal was great, and I would happily pay money for this food (to me, this is a huge compliment to airport food). This food is actually good food.

Dining menu

Dining menu

Muesli

Muesli

Salad

Salad

Eggplant and tofu

Eggplant and tofu

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice

One final perk of the Pier is that they offer complimentary 10-minute massages. I chose the neck and shoulder massage, and the masseuse was very good.

Again, I think this is my new favorite lounge in the world. The lounge itself is beautiful, the amenities are awesome (incredible food options, free massages, day beds), and the service throughout the lounge was friendly and attentive. My only (incredibly minor) complaint is that the carpet in the hallway is really soft, so I found it oddly difficult to wheel my bag around. But seriously, I would go out of my way to use the Pier over the Wing, even if it meant trekking back to the low-numbered gates because the people mover only takes you in one direction.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific The Arrival Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’ve reviewed essentially every oneworld departure lounge at Hong Kong airport, but this was my first time stopping by Cathay Pacific’s arrivals lounge at HKG, appropriately named “The Arrival”.

To get to the arrivals lounge, you should follow the signs to “Pay-in/Shower lounges”.

Signs to the arrivals lounge

Signs to the arrivals lounge

Gotta go down a floor

Gotta go down a floor

The Arrival is located just across from the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge. The entrance to The Arrival is considerably smaller!

Right across is the Plaza Premium lounge

Right across is the Plaza Premium lounge

Entrance to The Arrival

Entrance to The Arrival

This lounge is super functional but not a place where you’d want to dilly dally too long. They have a lot of shower rooms, so you can shower after a long haul flight before you get into town. There isn’t much comfortable seating to just hang out because that’s really not the point of the lounge. A possibly oddity is that there are no toilets except for in the shower rooms, which further reinforces the idea that this lounge isn’t somewhere you’re supposed to hang out.

Bar seating

Bar seating

More seating

More seating

Dining area

Dining area

Shower room

Shower room

They have both a small buffet and a made-to-order menu. The buffet has plenty of desserts, some salads, fruit, and a soup. I enjoyed the fact that the fruit stand had whole fruit on it, as it seemed a little more for show than anything else because who really wants to commit to an entire dragonfruit? But I was undeterred and ate a whole mango, which was pretty delicious.

The made-to-order menu had noodle soups, bento boxes, and western options. I opted for one of the Japanese bento boxes and thought it was pretty good. I was also a fatty and sampled all of the desserts: the mango pudding was more like jello with chunks of fruit, which I liked; the other desserts were not worth eating.

Desserts

Desserts

Fruits and salads

Fruits and salads

Soup

Soup

Made-to-order menu

Made-to-order menu

Japanese bento with deep-fried vegetable cutlets

Japanese bento with deep-fried vegetable cutlets

Overall, this is a functional arrivals lounge. You can get a shower and grab a quick bite to eat before you head into the city. It’s not somewhere where you’d want to pass a lot of time.

Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Bridge Hong Kong Airport Lounge (HKG)

The entrance to the Bridge is right in front of you as exit the train that takes you to the higher-numbered gates. You go down a small escalator, and then you have the choice of going left or right. To the left is the coffee bar, shower suites, an IT bar, and the Bistro; to the right is the Bakery, the long bar, and a TV lounge. Both sides are pretty similar in terms of seating, but if there’s a specific amenity that you’re looking for, go to the respective side. For myself, I usually head to the right to get some egg tarts from the Bakery (I may or may not grab a couple to take with me on my flight because I’m a fat kid).

Entrance to The Bridge

Entrance to The Bridge

I love the seating and decor of the Bridge. Coupled with the fact that it’s pretty large with the two sides and the large windows with views of the apron make this one of my favorite airport lounges for sitting.

The Bridge seating

The Bridge seating

Cool decorations

Cool decorations

More seating

More seating

It’s also worth noting that this is one of the better lounges for sleeping (this is maybe less true now that the first class side of the Pier has reopened) because of the TV lounge area which has enormous couches.

Giant sofas in TV lounge

Giant sofas in TV lounge

The Bakery has a darker motif, and while the food selection isn’t nearly as extensive as the Wing or Qantas’ Business Class lounge in Hong Kong, I’m still usually pretty satisfied with the options. And they have egg tarts.

"Bakery" area

“Bakery” area

More hot food

More hot food

Salad bar in the Bakery

Salad bar in the Bakery

Bakery items

Bakery items

Sandwich options

Sandwich options

There’s also a large bar on the right side of the Bridge. There’s randomly some hot food options at the bar, and they usually have some special drink on offer.

More food

More food

Long bar

Long bar

Seating

Seating

The left side of the lounge has another dining area called the Bistro. Again, the food selection isn’t as extensive as other lounges, but I’m usually satisfied with the options. No egg tarts on this side, though.

Hot food in the Bistro

Hot food in the Bistro

Salad bar in the Bistro

Salad bar in the Bistro

More food

More food

The left side is also likely the better side to get work done because they have Solus chairs and a computer area.

Seating

Seating

Workstations

Workstations

And of course, if you’re fueled by caffeine, there’s a coffee bar at the end of the lounge. I don’t drink coffee, but I do eat dessert, and they had a dessert at the coffee bar that I didn’t see anywhere else in the lounge.

Coffee bar

Coffee bar

Views of airplanes

Views of airplanes

Overall, I really like the Bridge. I don’t think this lounge gets nearly enough love given that it’s not a first class lounge, but I very happily go here when it’s convenient. Cathay does a great job with all of their lounges in HKG (well, except for the Dragonair lounge), and the Bridge is no different.

Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Cabin Hong Kong Airport Lounge (HKG)

The Cabin is one of Cathay Pacific’s business class lounges at the Hong Kong airport, and it’s conveniently located below gate 23. The lounge is pretty long and has large windows overlooking the apron along one side, so it’s potentially a great plane watching location during the day. At night, the lounge is a little dark, or at least it feels that way because of the large windows.

Signage

Signage

While the Wing was quite crowded, the Cabin was not nearly as much, and it was easy to find a seat. While the seating might not be as “fancy” as the Wing, there are a variety of seating options depending on if you want to get work done, sit by yourself, or get a good seat with a view of the apron.

Dining area seating

Dining area seating

Solus chairs

Solus chairs

Seating that looks out onto apron

Seating that looks out onto apron

There’s no noodle bar in this lounge, but they still have a number of hot food options. One distinguishing feature of this lounge is its juice bar. I didn’t particularly enjoy the smoothie that I got, but it can be nice to have the option.

Hot food options

Hot food options

Bakery items

Bakery items

Salad bar

Salad bar

Bar with juice and smoothie options

Bar with juice and smoothie options

One downside of this lounge is that it doesn’t have any showers, so if you’re looking for a place to shower after a long flight, do not head to this lounge. But other than that, it’s a good lounge overall with some cool views and interesting food and beverage options.

Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

I’ve visited the Wing a number of times over the past year, but these pictures are from my first visit, which was late at night prior to the midnight bank of departures. Thus, the lounge was crowded given the relatively easy lounge access rules, and I had to hunt to find a seat. This also meant that I didn’t take that many pictures of the lounge itself.

There is one seating area that doesn’t seem to get too crowded, which is the slightly odd space between the dining room and the business class side of the lounge. This is one of my favorite places to sit because there typically aren’t as many people, and I’ve spent a number of hours at the bar seating overlooking the apron getting work done.

Less crowded seating area

Less crowded seating area

The lounge features a full bar and a smaller champagne bar, and people do go around offering to get you a drink if they see you without one.

Bar

Bar

Champagne bar

Champagne bar

One of the benefits the Wing has beyond Cathay’s other lounges in Hong Kong is a formal dining room with both an extensive buffet and an a la carte menu. The food is pretty good for an airport lounge, and there are tons of choices. The staff is also willing to accommodate dietary restrictions, so even though there might not be that much that you want to eat on offer, they’re totally willing to make something to order that suits your preferences.

Dining area

Dining area

Made-to-order menu

A la carte menu

Hot food station

Hot food station

Lots of desserts

Lots of desserts

Fresh fruit and sweets

Fresh fruit and sweets

More hot food

More hot food

Salad bar

Salad bar

Hot food

Hot food (on another day)

People rave about the cabanas, and they are quite nice (and the perfect place to spend some “quality time” with another person). But they are also sometimes hard to snag given how busy this lounge can get. If you’re just looking to get clean, the shower rooms are possibly the nicest shower rooms I’ve seen in an airport, although no one seems to talk about them much because the cabanas exist.

Hallway of showers and cabanas

Hallway of showers and cabanas

Shower suite (not a cabana)

Shower suite (not a cabana)

Cabana shower

Cabana shower

Cabana shower and tub

Cabana shower and tub

Cabana lounger

Cabana lounger

Cabana

Cabana

Overall, except for the crowding issues (which might be alleviated now that they’ve reopened the first class section of the Pier), this is a good lounge. The cabanas and shower suites are great, the food is pretty good with plenty of options, and the service tries to please. That being said, I think most of the oneworld lounges in HKG are pretty good, so I wouldn’t specifically make the trek out to the Wing if it weren’t convenient to the gate I needed to go to, and I’ve happily spent layovers at the Bridge or the Cabin, even though those are technically “business class” lounges.

Review: Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

After the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, my next stop was the Dragonair G16 lounge, which is right beside the Qantas lounge. I would not stop here unless you’re playing HKG airport lounge bingo, as there aren’t many redeeming qualities of this lounge, particularly with the Qantas lounge right next door. In fact, when I entered this lounge, the lounge dragon was somewhat surprised to see me and strongly suggested (in the nicest way possible) that I go to a different lounge.

Entrance to the G16 lounge

Entrance to the G16 lounge

This lounge does have a lot of seating. There are lots and lots of seats that they cram into the space. Like the Qantas lounge, it’s also open to the rest of the terminal, so it has a spacious feel.

Seating in the G16 lounge

Seating in the G16 lounge

More seating

More seating

Work stations

Work stations

More seating

More seating

The lounge also has a noodle bar. I’ve always thought that Cathay’s noodle bars aren’t quite as good as I want them to be, but a made-to-order food option is always a welcome sight in a lounge. Especially considering the sad state of the other food options in this lounge.

G16 noodle bar menu

G16 noodle bar menu

Food options

Food options

Hot food

Hot food

More hot food

More hot food

Drinks and snacks

Drinks and snacks

Another notable quality of this lounge is the private workstations. While there are some computers in the general seating area, there are a number of individual cubbies where you can have a bit of privacy if you’re looking to get work done.

Private work station

Private work station

Private work stations

Private work stations

Overall, I’m not sure why you would go to this lounge when there’s a significantly better lounge right beside it with the same lounge access rules. If you want a quiet place to work or you really want a bowl of noodles, you might stop by, but honestly, just go to the Qantas lounge.

Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG)

One of the lounges that I was most excited to try on my layover in Hong Kong was the recently opened Qantas Hong Kong lounge. This is one of the newest lounges in Hong Kong, and it’s definitely one of the best business class lounges I’ve been to.

Lounge sign

Lounge sign

The lounge is large and long. It’s open to the rest of the terminal, so it’s maybe a little noisier than other lounges, but it gives it a nice airy feel. There are lots of different seating options that are thoughtfully spaced out, and there are tons of electrical outlets. It’s very smartly designed with the business traveler in mind.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Circular table

Circular table

Children's area

Children’s area

Seating

Seating

Wine options

Wine options

Bar

Bar

There’s a wide variety of food options, although they’re almost all Western foods, which is a plus or minus depending on your perspective. I thought that the food was relatively mediocre when I visited, but I appreciated the variety and the availability of healthful choices. I specifically enjoyed the Japanese sweet potato and salted caramel cheesecake that I tried.

Hot food

Hot food

Food

Food

More food

More food

Desserts

Desserts

For a business class lounge, this lounge is awesome. I think it’s even better than the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul just because that lounge is so crowded. This lounge has a wide variety of food, tons of seating, tons of outlets, good wifi, and showers. It’s located above Gate 15. Hong Kong generally has great airport lounges, and this is no exception. Depending on what kind of food you’re feeling like and/or how willing you are to deal with other people, this is a great place to go.

I Hope AA Can Fill More Seats on DFW to HKG

I’m about to fly AA 137 from Dallas to Hong Kong on one of AA’s newish 77Ws in business class. I paid coach and applied a SWU, and my upgrade cleared way back when I purchased my ticket.

But here are the seat maps for the flight about 1 hour prior to departure:

First and business class

First and business class

Economy class

Economy class

While I’m super grateful that my upgrade cleared, those seat maps are not promising for the future of the route. Looks like most people are applying SWUs to get into business or first class, and coach is absolutely empty. Actually, this wouldn’t be a terrible flight in coach given that you could probably snag a whole row to yourself…