Category Archives: Lounge Reviews

Lounge Review: Pacific Club Salones VIP Calama Airport (CJC)

The Calama airport is probably where you’re flying out of if you’ve been to the Atacama desert (which is definitely worth a visit!). It’s not a large airport, but it does have a single lounge, and the lounge is accessible via Priority Pass (as well as a bunch of credit cards).

Entrance to the lounge right after security

Close up of all the credit cards that get you access

I believe I was the first guest of the lounge the day that I visited. It’s pretty sizable given how small the airport is with two large seating sections. The seating is pretty practical, the wifi was fast, and there were outlets everywhere. All pluses in my book.

Lounge

Seating and views

Seating

Seating

Seating and TV

Workstations

I was also surprised by how much food the buffet had. Granted, it was all covered in plastic wrap and wasn’t necessarily very appetizing, but there was mashed avocado, which I happily slathered on some toast.

Food

Food

Because I was the first guest, it looked like the drink fridges hadn’t been restocked, but someone later put in some soda, and there was a bar (with a bell that said to ring it if you wanted something).

Drinks

Drinks

Bar

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this lounge. You don’t have any other options, so it’s nice that the lounge is a good place to work.

Lounge Review: Primeclass Condor Lounge Santiago Airport (SCL) Domestic Terminal

This lounge is located across from Gate 26 in the domestic side of SCL. For being a domestic airport lounge accessible via Priority Pass, it’s actually quite nice.

Entrance to the lounge

Unfortunately, there’s no elevator up to the lounge, so you do have to climb a flight of stairs.

Welcome desk

The lounge itself is a smallish room with a skylight. But in spite of being pretty small, they cram in a lot of seats and partitions to give a decent sense of privacy. The lounge also was not very crowded while I was there, which helped.

Seating

Seating

“Business center”

Bar

Kids area

The buffet is pretty decent for a domestic lounge. I was particularly surprised to see sushi (I was not brave enough to try it). I mostly just ate almonds and granola. There’s also a full-service bar.

Raisins and almonds

Sushi

Meats and cheeses

Cereal towers

Sandwiches

More sandwiches

Muffins and donut(s)

Self-service drinks

In terms of being a good place to work, there were a fair number of outlets, and the wifi was decent. There’s also a small play area for kids, a shower (although it was “occupied” the whole time I was there), and a very small conference room (which was occupied by someone who I believe worked for the lounge the entire time I was there). Overall, a very pleasant domestic lounge.

Lounge Review: Salon Beyond Citibanamex Mexico City Airport (MEX) Terminal 2

The Salon Beyond by Citibanamex is another lounge at MEX accessible via credit cards. In this case, I used my Citi Prestige card to gain access.

Logo

List of cards that offer access

The lounge is just a large room with lots of comfy (but aging) chairs. There’s also a small area with dining tables. In terms of decor, the Amex lounge is nicer.

Seating

Seating (and view of not buffet buffet)

Bar seating

Kids Corner

Like the Amex lounge, however, nothing is self service. But unlike the Amex lounge, no one offered me any food. There’s a small “buffet” with a sign that says that you’re not supposed to take things, so I just stared forlornly at a fruit plate before someone gave it to me. I believe there was hot food on offer made a la carte, as I kept hearing the word “chilaquiles” in other people’s conversations with the lounge staff, but I didn’t actually see anyone eating any hot food, so who knows. Perhaps if you speak Spanish, you can get access to other food.

Liquor selection

Food (that’s not self service)

Also, the wifi was slower in this lounge than the Amex lounge, so assuming you have an Amex Platinum card, I’d probably head over there instead of use this lounge.

Lounge Review: Aeromexico Salon Premier Mexico City Airport (MEX) Terminal 2

I visited this Aeromexico lounge first during my layover since I was flying Aeromexico. When I arrived at 6am on a Friday, the lounge was quite crowded with most seats taken, although it cleared out a bit within 15 minutes.

The lounge is essentially a larger room with a smaller offshoot. It’s honestly tiny given that MEX is a hub for Aeromexico. Similar to US domestic lounges, it honestly doesn’t offer much to passengers.

Bar

Seating

Counter seating (too) close to food

Seating

Seating

Spa

The food options for breakfast were not great. A couple of pastries, fruit, yogurt, and cereals is all you’ll get. I did like that they had papaya, though, as at least it’s better than the sad melon melange you usually find in US lounges.

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Drinks

Drinks

Drinks

The other thing I liked about the lounge (there honestly wasn’t much) was that they had a whole bunch of coconut water. Perfect after a dehydrating flight. Aeromexico also offers coconut water in flight (and there were ads played on my flight for the brand that they carry).

All in all, not a lounge worth visiting.

 

Lounge Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Mexico City (MEX) Terminal 2

The Amex Centurion Lounge in the Mexico City Airport has been recently renovated and reopened. This lounge is accessible to those with an Amex Platinum or Amex Centurion credit card. There are Centurion lounges in both terminals, but this review is for Terminal 2.

Entrance to the lounge

The design of the renovated lounge reminds me of the Centurion lounges in the U.S. It’s pretty spacious with lots of different seating options. There are two floors to the lounge: upstairs, you’ll find the spa (and shower room), dining room, and tables; downstairs you’ll find a cafe/bar area, a small children’s area, and couches. There’s also a zen room tucked away (with a separate staircase from the rest of the upstairs). Centurion cardholders have access to a separate space.

Downstairs tables

Downstairs couches

More seating downstairs

Bar area downstairs

Upstairs dining area

Upstairs seating options

Upstairs seating

Zen room

Only self-serve refreshments in the lounge? Found at the zen room

Shower room

Shower room

Nothing is self service in this lounge, which means service can be slow(ish). There’s also potentially a language barrier (I am to blame for not speaking Spanish). But the hosts were generally attentive in offering drinks and food.

One thing that’s different about this lounge from Amex lounges in the US is that a lot of the food and drinks appeared to require payment. I was given a laminated card that said I was entitled to some food, but they have a more extensive paid menu of food options.

Complimentary menu

Fruit and granola

Overall, it’s probably the nicest lounge I visited in MEX in terms of sitting (although it did get quite crowded by the time I left), but I’m not a fan of the weird a la carte menu.

Review: Dan Lounge Tel Aviv Airport (TLV)

The Dan Lounge at TLV is accessible via Priority Pass (there are actually two of these lounges in different parts of the airport).

Entrance to the Dan Lounge

There aren’t very many airport lounges at TLV, which is why I think this lounge was so crowded when I visited. Tons of people, to the point where I had to wait a little bit to find a seat. It’s also not a huge lounge–it’s just a long rectangular room–given how many airlines it’s serving.

Busy lounge

The food options were not that extensive when I visited. There were a bunch of breads/pastries/cereals, there were a couple of cold foods like salads and yogurt, and that was about it. I had some oatmeal, which was about the only hot food I could find.

Food

Food

Food

Drinks

All in all, it might be marginally better than waiting in the terminal, but given how crowded the lounge was and the poor food options, this lounge isn’t really worth a visit.

Review: Club Aspire Lounge London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 3

On a recent trip to London, I had the chance to check out the Club Aspire lounge at LHR Terminal 3. This lounge is relatively new and accessible via Priority Pass (in Terminal 3, you can also visit the No1 lounge using Priority Pass).

Entrance to the Club Aspire Lounge

The lounge isn’t huge, but it’s got a variety of seating options. There are communal tables to work, smaller tables if you just want to sit with a traveling companion, and recliners if you want some rest.

Seating

Seating

Loungers

The food selection in this lounge isn’t extensive, but the food that was there seemed to be of decent quality as far as lounge food goes.

Hot food options

Cold food options

Snacks

All in all, I would probably choose the No1 Lounge above the Club Aspire lounge if you’re just looking for a Priority Pass accessible lounge (but I’d say that Cathay Pacific lounge is still my favorite lounge in Terminal 3 that I’ve visited so far).

Review: Plaza Premium Lounge KUL

The Plaza Premium Lounge at Kuala International Airport opened up relatively recently, but it’s a pretty standard Plaza Premium Lounge in Asia (that is to say, pretty solid for an international lounge that you can access via Priority Pass).

Entrance to the lounge

There’s plenty of seating in the lounge, although the lounge was decently busy when I visited. There could definitely be more power outlets, as a number of the seating options don’t have anywhere to plug into. The showers were also out of service when I visited.

Seating

Seating

Bar

In terms of food, there was a decent selection. Some of the options were super Asian (e.g., Hainanese chicken rice, sweetened barley soup, kuih), which I appreciated. The kuih (a general term for Malaysian/Singaporean bite-sized desserts that are often made with glutinous rice flour and are often vegan) were located at the bar, and you couldn’t serve yourself–you had to ask the bartender to get you some. Maybe that’s to prevent people like me from bingeing on them.

Drinks

Drinks

Condiments for chicken rice

Fried noodles and vegetables

Made-to-order noodles

Salad

Soups and porridge

Kuih

Overall, this is a solid lounge offering, especially since it’s accessible via Priority Pass. I imagine the renovated Malaysia Airlines lounges will be nicer once they reopen, but this is a decent alternative in the international area in the interim.

Review: Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge KUL – Renovated

Malaysia Airlines is currently renovating their main lounges in KUL, and on a recent trip, I had the chance to stop by one of these renovated lounges, namely the Regional Golden Lounge. If you’re departing from KUL and want to stop by this flight, go to the left right after you pass security. There’s an escalator with a sign to the lounge (don’t get on the train yet if you have an international flight).

Escalator up to lounge

Lounge signage

My first impressions of the lounge were very positive. The old Malaysia Airlines lounges in international terminal were large, but they just felt tired and old. This lounge was bright and vibrant in comparison. It was a tad crowded given that this is the main lounge that people are using, but I could still find a seat, and there were lots of servers around to help clean plates and offer drinks.

The lounge is pretty large and spacious. There are seats by the huge windows, counter seating, tables, gender-segregated nap rooms, showers, and a family area.

Seating

Bar

Seating

Seating

Dining area

In terms of drinks, there’s a coffee bar with a barista, an alcohol bar with a bartender, and your typical array of non-alcoholic beverages. People were also proactively going around and asking if people needed drinks.

Drinks

The food options were also pretty good. The buffet had a number of hot and cold food options, and there were also some made-to-order food options with a noodle bar and sandwich bar (the sandwich bar is easy to miss–it’s essentially at the coffee bar).

Food

Condiments

Food

Food

Food

Desserts and sandwiches

Salads

Fruit

Noodle bar menu

Sandwich bar menu

Coffee bar

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the lounge. It’s a huge step up from previous Malaysia Airlines lounges at KUL (although the domestic lounge is also pretty good for a domestic lounge), and I’m excited to see the main lounge reopen.

Review: American Airlines Flagship Lounge Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD)

I recently transited through ORD on my way back from Asia, and–to my surprise–I was handed an invitation to the Flagship lounge when I went to the Admirals Club. I am clearly a bad travel blogger for 1) not keeping up with AA’s Flagship lounge renovations and 2) not knowing what the access rules are (international first and business class on oneworld gets access; JFK-LAX/SFO transcon business and first class gets access; AA Platinum and up get access on international itineraries on oneworld airlines; oneworld Sapphire and Emerald and Concierge Key get access on oneworld itineraries).

In general, lounges in the US aren’t great. Particularly lounges run by US airlines. So I wasn’t expecting much when I entered. But I was very pleasantly surprised. The lounge was spacious, had plenty of seating, had lots of power outlets, had nice shower rooms, and had extensive food and beverage options.

Seating

Seating

Seating

Recliners

Seating

Seating and views of apron

Shower room

Snacks

Non-alcoholic beverages

Bloody Mary station

I’m not a big drinker, but the alcohol selection in this lounge was pretty extensive. Even though it was only 10am when I arrived, I was tempted to crack open a beer.

Wine

Wine

Beer selection

Liquor selection

The food selection was also quite impressive for a US lounge. There were lots of hot food options for breakfast, including an omelet station, eggs, bacon, potatoes, a lot of different baked goods, and steel-cut oatmeal. Although I hate on dragon fruit, I am shocked that they had dragon fruit given how expensive it is in the US (and it was actually pretty decent as far as white dragon fruit goes!). I believe they have sushi because of Japan Airlines, but the sushi was not very good, although the rest of the food I tried was reasonably good for airport lounge food.

Breakfast eggs and potatoes

Bacon

Baked goods

Baked goods

Cheese and meats

Salads

Sushi and fruit

Desserts

Bagels, English muffins, croissants for breakfast

Condiments–the individual-serving jars of ketchup, mustard, and mayo seem a little wasteful, though

Dining area

All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised by this lounge, and I’m looking forward to AA opening more of these lounges!