Airline: Cathay Pacific
Lounge class: The Pier, First Class
Airport: Hong Kong International Airport
Reviewed By: Chris Frame
Service with a smile
The Pier is under the main concourse with entry via escalators that descend below a large backlit sign. Once in the foyer, two friendly staff members are on hand to welcome me to the lounge. I am offered a tour of the facilities, but opt to explore at my own leisure.
The overall feeling is akin to that of a five-star hotel club. There space is bright, thanks to the use of mirrors and light tiling on the walls, but it’s not overpowering. This is juxtaposed with dark hues in the furniture, which creates a warm and friendly yet exclusive feel.
Along the forward wall, large windows overlook the apron. Unlike many airport lounges, The Pier’s location below the main concourse provides the unique view of looking up at awaiting aircraft. The sight of Cathay’s fleet at the windows is impressive.
Reading materials and entertainment
Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the lounge and the signal is strong. It was fast and worked well during my visit. The network is password protected, with details available via discreet signs throughout the lounge as well as at the concierge desk.
The Pier offers a wide selection of reading material. This includes the popular Hong Kong paper, The Standard, as well as a number of international publications that complement Cathay Pacific’s route map. There were also magazines and a selection of books to read.
A business centre provides a private and quiet environment for work, with iMac computers and phone, fax and copying facilities available.
The Pier is set up to allow for working throughout the lounge. As such, there are ample power connections. These come in the British-style 220 volt power sockets used throughout Hong Kong. I had my own adaptor, however, these could also be loaned from the lounge staff if needed.
The Pantry is an alfresco buffet-style eatery. Here, the food offering changes depending on the time of day. As my flight was an early morning departure, breakfast was on offer and included cereals, muesli, fruit, muffins, toast and even cakes.
I chose the muesli, some fruit and a blueberry muffin, all of which were excellent quality, and a nearby barista made me a perfect flat white.
The Dining Room provides heartier fare, with an extensive a la carte menu and waiter service at tables for two and four as well as booth seating.
It isn’t hard to find a drink at The Pier as there are several bars scattered about the lounge. Despite an early morning flight, I was on London time, so enjoyed a glass of Veuve Clicquot, although Möet & Chandon and The Peninsular Brut NV were also offered.
Several help-yourself drinks fridges provide a wide range of choices of beers and soft drinks and nearby, a bar service offers a range of spirits and cocktails. Choices include Malibu Coconut Rum, Kahlua, Baileys, Smirnoff and Midori. It is here that you’ll also find Hennessy VSOP brandy and Chivas Regal 12-year-old whisky.
The Retreat consists of 12 nap rooms. These areas include a bed with pillow and overhead reading lamp, and ample space to set up your laptop if you’re looking for a quite place to work in private.
Another delight here is the view. Large windows offer a direct line of sight to the awaiting aircraft, however, if you want to sleep you can lower the block out blinds. There are also shower suites with large rainforest showers.
Throughout the lounge, LED screens show Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and One World carrier departure details. There are no standard boarding calls, with flights called only if there are changes to departure times or gates.
Amenities for families
This lounge is really designed for business travellers who frequently travel on Cathay Pacific. As such, it doesn’t have a strong kids offering. Hong Kong International Airport has a wide variety of entertainment options, so if you’re travelling with children the lounge is probably a shower and snack stop before heading back into the terminal to keep the kids entertained.
Biggest wow factor
The overall feel of the lounge. It’s welcoming and warm, yet secluded and sophisticated. It feels exclusive, without being snobby. The designers have managed to find that perfect balance between function and form. Plus the view of the aircraft is a real bonus.