Features

The Hong Kong Airport lounge guide

30 Jun 2019 by Craig Bright
Cathay Pacific Bridge lounge

Unsure what the best lounge is to visit at Hong Kong International Airport? We take you through your choices.

Oneworld Member Airlines

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Bridge

Where is it? By Gate 36 on Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Oneworld carrier business and first class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver tier members (on a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight), and Marco Polo Club Gold tier members and above (on a Oneworld carrier flight), and Oneworld Sapphire tier members and above.

What’s it like? Opened back in 2013, The Bridge is one of six lounges offered by Cathay Pacific at its home hub – four of which business class passengers are able to access. With the closure of The Cabin lounge on the Departure area’s main thoroughfare last year, The Bridge is now arguably the best placed option for passengers departing out of Gates 28-50. A number of nice features are available here, notably the Bakery, which serves fresh breads, pizzas and other baked goods, and the Coffee Loft serving specialty coffees. There’s also the manned Long Bar, offering up signature cocktails exclusive to the lounge complemented by great views of the tarmac, and the main dining option the Bistro. Shower suites, a dedicated IT zone and a panoply of different seating options round out the lounge’s offerings.

Key facilities The Bistro, Coffee Loft, manned Long Bar, the Bakery, shower suites, IT zone

Opening hours 5.30am-12.30am

Lounge review: Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Deck

Where is it? Near Gate 6, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Oneworld carrier business and first class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver tier members (on a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight), and Marco Polo Club Gold tier members and above (on a Oneworld carrier flight), and Oneworld Sapphire tier members and above.

What’s it like? This is the newest of Cathay Pacific’s lounges at Hong Kong Airport, having opened in March last year replacing the former Dragonair G16 Lounge at the same location. It’s also among the smallest, accommodating up to 186 guests, but it does have a unique feature among the airline’s other lounges – The Terrace. This open-ceiling, L-shaped “verandah” takes advantage of the lounge’s balcony location on the eastern side of Terminal 1, offering good seating for those that want to get a view over the rest of the building. The smaller size of the lounge, as well as its location away from the main thoroughfare in the airport, make it a reasonably quiet and uncrowded option for travellers.

Key facilities Shower suites, Noodle Bar, buffet

Opening hours 5.30am-12.30am

First look: Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Pier Business Class

Where is it? Near Gate 65, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Oneworld carrier business and first class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver tier members (on a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight), and Marco Polo Club Gold tier members and above (on a Oneworld carrier flight), and Oneworld Sapphire tier members and above.

What’s it like? Located adjacent to its First Class counterpart, The Pier Business Class Lounge is one of the largest lounges that Cathay operates at Hong Kong Airport – but it also has a number of other things to recommend it. Seating is plentiful, the atmosphere modern and facilities impressive – along with a manned bar, there’s also the Teahouse for dedicated tea enthusiasts. Cathay also gave the lounge an added enhancement in February in the form of The Sanctuary, a dedicated 700-sqft yoga and meditation space within the lounge opened in partnership with gym operator The Pure Group.

Key facilities Shower suites, Noodle Bar, buffet, manned bar, Teahouse, business centre.

Opening hours 5.30am-12.30am

Lounge review: Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge, Hong Kong

The Pier First Class

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Pier First Class

Where is it? Near Gate 63, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific and Oneworld carrier first class (+1 guest) passengers; Marco Polo Club Diamond tier members; Oneworld Emerald tier members.

What’s it like? A favourite of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific readers, The Pier First Class Lounge is regularly voted the Best Airport Lounge in the world in the annual Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards. The lounge has a suave, atmospheric feel – credit to the work done on during its refurb back in 2015 – with the manned bar especially worth paying a visit to. This is aided by the professional service from members of staff, top-quality drinks and smooth jazz playing in the background. As Business Traveller editor Tom Otley wrote in his review of the lounge back in 2016: “I sat on one of those stools, and tried not to jump to the conclusion that this was the best lounge I had ever been in”. A la carte dining is available at the restaurant, and there is a small room reserved for breads, cheeses and other small buffet items if you’re looking for just a small snack. If you can get a spot, head to the spa for a treatment as well.

Key facilities Shower suites, a la carte dining, buffet, manned bar, spa (First Class Lounge only).

Opening hours 5.30am-12.30am

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific, The Pier First Class, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Class Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Wing Business Class

Where is it? Near Gate 2, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Oneworld carrier business and first class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver tier members (on a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight), and Marco Polo Club Gold tier members and above (on a Oneworld carrier flight), and Oneworld Sapphire tier members and above.

What’s it like? It may be one of Cathay’s oldest lounges, having first opened all the way back in 1998 in the early days of the airport, but fortunately for guests The Wing has since undergone an extensive redesign, with the final phase of the project being completed in early 2013. The open-ceiling design of the lounge means that natural light through the huge windows of the airport terminal is plentiful. The Wing is smaller than its siblings The Pier and The Bridge, and it can get a bit crowded depending on the time of day. However, there are plenty of good facilities at The Wing, notably the airline’s popular Noodle Bar, a Coffee Loft, a Long Bar, and an IT zone, along with individual “pods” with small tables that are good for working in.

Key facilities Shower suites, buffet, Noodle Bar, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, IT zone, work “pods”.

Opening hours 5.30am-Last flight

Lounge review: Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Class, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Lounge – The Wing First Class

Where is it? Near Gate 2, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Cathay Pacific and Oneworld carrier first class (+1 guest) passengers; Marco Polo Club Diamond tier members and Oneworld Emerald tier members.

What’s it like? The second of Cathay’s dedicated first class lounges after The Pier First Class lounge, The Wing First Class offers its own suite of facilities, notably geared towards unwinding and relaxing in seclusion. This is exemplified in the lounge’s Cabanas – five private areas with their own large bath and rain shower, day bed and working space. Each one provides bathroom amenities, bath robes and towels, and you can even request to have your clothes ironed for you and additional pillows and duvets delivered to you at the Cabana. If these aren’t available, though, the lounge also has a number of shower suites for guests to freshen up in. On the F&B front, The Haven restaurant offers a la carte dining with a menu that rotates weekly along with a buffet that includes dim sum, cheeses, cold cuts and desserts. Also be sure to head to the exclusive Champagne bar.

Key facilities Private Cabanas, shower suites, Champagne bar, a la carte dining at The Haven, buffet, workstations.

Opening hours 5.30am-Last flight

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

Qantas – The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 5 after the Departures (North) immigration and security clearance area, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1.

Who gets access? Qantas, Emirates and Oneworld member airline first and business class passengers; Gold tier Qantas Frequent Flyer members and above, Sapphire tier Oneworld members and above, Emirates Skyward Gold tier members and above; Qantas Club members.

What’s it like? Qantas didn’t need to open its own lounge in Hong Kong by any means, considering that its members get access to the plethora of facilities operated by the city’s flag carrier and fellow Oneworld member, Cathay Pacific. Nevertheless, passengers travelling with the Flying Kangaroo – or with other Oneworld member airlines – can instead opt to head to Qantas’s own lounge by Gate 15. This is a spacious lounge, aided by its open-ceiling design and the eschewing of walls in favour of low railings, both of which help make it feel well-lit and roomy. Seating is plentiful, but it’s the lounge’s F&B offerings that are perhaps most notable, including buffet and a la carte dining, dim sum trolleys, a manned bar and barista service.

Key facilities Showers, buffet, yum cha dim sum trolleys, a la carte dining, manned bar, barista service

Opening hours 7.30am-11.59pm

Lounge review: Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong International Airport

Star Alliance Member Airlines

Thai Airways – Royal Orchid Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 40, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Thai Airways and Star Alliance member airline first and business class passengers; Royal Orchid Plus Gold tier members and above, and Star Alliance Gold tier members and above

What’s it like? Occupying some 715 sqm, Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Lounge is one of three Star Alliance member airline lounges at Hong Kong Airport. All three have separate areas for first and business class passengers, with the Royal Orchid Lounge splitting these into 20 seats in the first class area and 120 in the business class section.

Key facilities Buffet, self-serve alcoholic beverages, massage chairs, children’s game zone

Opening hours 6am-11pm

Singapore Airlines – SilverKris Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 5, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance first and business class passengers; KrisFlyer Elite Gold tier members, PPS Club members and Star Alliance Gold tier members (business class section only); Star Alliance Gold tier members; Solitaire PPS Club members (first class section)

What’s it like? Arguably among the best of the Star Alliance member airline lounges at Hong Kong, the SilverKris Lounge is technically a single lounge but it does have separate areas for first and business class passengers. In the main business class section, guests will find a manned bar, ample space, showers, sleek private work pods, and a pretty good buffet selection. Its only major downside is that it is entirely indoors rather than open-air, making it feel a bit less spacious and brightly lit than some of the other lounges in Hong Kong (if this is a particular issue you can always head to the “open-air” United Club Lounge).

Key facilities Shower suites, buffet, manned bar

Opening hours 6am-12.30am

Lounge review: Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge Business Class, Hong Kong

United Club Lounge, Hong Kong Airport

United Airlines – United Club Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 60, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? United and Star Alliance airline first and business class passengers; MileagePlus Premier Gold and Star Alliance Gold tier members

What’s it like? As with the other two Star Alliance member airline lounges at Hong Kong Airport, the United Club lounge has separate areas for first and business class passengers. This is a decent-size lounge, made all the better by its open-ceiling format that provides views over the terminal and ample lighting. That being said, its facilities are somewhat limited – food is buffet only, and seating isn’t quite as varied or plentiful as Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris lounge, for example. United has previously teased the opening of a dedicated section within the existing lounge that will be set aside exclusively for its Polaris business class passengers – two of the airline’s three Hong Kong services, to San Francisco and New York (Newark), are operated by aircraft with Polaris business class seats.

Key facilities Shower rooms, business centre, buffet, self-serve alcoholic beverages,

Opening hours 6am-11.59pm

Lounge review: United Club Lounge, Hong Kong

SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge Hong Kong

SkyTeam Member Airlines

SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 5, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? SkyTeam Elite Plus members; Business class passengers travelling on flights operated by: Aeroflot, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Xiamen Air.

What’s it like? Large, modern (it opened in 2015) and not all that busy considering it is the only lounge catering to all SkyTeam member airlines flying out of Hong Kong (unless you’re flying with Xiamen Airlines, in which case you also get access to the CNAC VIP Lounge – more on that below). The design of the lounge is bright and modern – it only opened in late 2015 – with the large wooden divider between the busier dining area and quieter seating space a particularly welcome feature.

Key facilities Showers, business centre, bar, yoga room, noodle bar, cooked-to-order cuisine

Opening hours 5.30am-1am

Other Airlines

Emirates Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 40, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Emirates first and business class passengers; Emirates Skywards Gold tier members and above. Paid access is not available.

What’s it like? While it may seem a little old-fashioned at first, the Emirates Lounge in Hong Kong shouldn’t be written off your list. The food in particular is fantastic, offering a lovely selection of tasty pan-Asian and Middle Eastern dishes at the buffet. It’s also incredibly uncrowded, meaning guests don’t have to tussle to secure one of the generously spread out seats. Staff are pleasant and attentive, too. The lounge is also open-ceiling, giving it ample lighting, though a facelift could be warranted, particularly to provide all guests with power outlets by their seats, something that is noticeably lacking in the current space.

Key facilities Showers, business centre, buffet, self-serve alcoholic beverages

Opening hours 4.50am-7.20am/3.25pm-12.05am

Lounge review: Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Airlines lounge area

Hong Kong Airlines Lounge – Club Bauhinia

Where is it? Near Gate 23, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Hong Kong Airlines, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Drukair, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, HK Express, Hong Kong Airlines, Philippine Airlines, S7 Airlines business class/elite passengers; Fortune Wings Club Silver tier members and above;

What’s it like? The older of Hong Kong Airlines’ two lounges, Club Bauhinia isn’t the largest space you’ll find at Hong Kong airport at 506 sqm, but it is one of the most “local” in feel. This is particularly the case with the buffet, which features a number of typical Hong Kong favourites such as soybean curd dessert, Hong Kong-style milk tea, egg puffs, dim sum and made-to-order noodles from a cart. Like its younger sibling Club Autus, Club Bauhinia serves as one of the “de-facto” business class lounges for a number of other airlines as well. For Club Bauhinia, this even includes a few carriers that also have access to lounges operated by members of their airline alliances, chiefly American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Eva Air and Finnair.

Key facilities Shower suites, buffet, self-serve alcoholic beverages, rest area, workstations.

Opening hours 6am-1.30am

Lounge review: Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia, Hong Kong

Club Autus main area

Hong Kong Airlines Lounge – Club Autus

Where is it? Near Gates 201-230, Departures Level 7, Midfield Concourse

Who gets access? Hong Kong Airlines, Aurora Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Fiji Airways, Juneyao Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, S7 Airlines, Sky Angkor Airlines, VietJet Air and Virgin Australia business class/elite passengers; Fortune Wings Club Silver tier members and above; lounge voucher holders (HK$350/US$45).

What’s it like? The newer – and significantly larger – of Hong Kong Airlines’ two lounges at its home hub, Club Autus opened its doors in September 2017 following a HK$35 million (US$4.5 million) investment. Club Autus is about twice the size of the older Club Bauhinia lounge – the word “Autus” in Latin means “enlargement” – and features an open-ceiling set up that provides ample lighting. F&B comprises an extensive buffet with live cooking stations as well as a bar. If you’re looking to rest, the lounge has six secluded chaise longue seats with power outlets nearby, making them good spots to take a quick nap. There are also some workstations with a printer and two computers if you need to get some work done. One thing to be aware of, though, is that there are no announcements in the lounge so guests will need to keep an eye on the flight information screens around the lounge.

Key facilities Buffet, live cooking stations, alcoholic beverages, rest area, workstations.

Opening hours 6am-1.30am

Lounge review: Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus, Hong Kong

Plaza Premium First - Infinity Room

Independent lounges

Plaza Premium First

Where is it? Near Gate 1, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Plaza Premium and Priority Pass members (with additional fee); Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers.

What’s it like? This is the Plaza Premium Group’s newest addition to its Hong Kong lounge offering – a more premium (and slightly more expensive) option designed to more closely rival an airline’s first class lounge offering. Located adjacent to the group’s core Plaza Premium Lounge (East Hall), Plaza Premium First is quieter, less packed and offers a distinctly elevated experience. Key among these is a dining option that includes an a la carte concept, Primo, as well as the standard buffet, a whisky bar, shower facilities and spa and massage facilities. As of last year, the Plaza Premium First Lounge acts as the lounge for Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class passengers.

Key facilities Whisky bar, a la carte dining, shower suites, spa facilities, draught beer

Opening hours 24 hours daily

Lounge review: Plaza Premium First, Hong Kong

Plaza Premium Lounge (East Hall) - Hong Kong

Plaza Premium Lounge (East Hall)

Where is it? Near Gate 1, Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Plaza Premium and Priority Pass members; Business class passengers travelling on Air Mauritius, Air Niugini, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Jet Airways, Malindo Air, MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Shenzhen Airlines, Turkish Airlines.

What’s it like? Plaza Premium Group gave its main lounge in the East Hall of Hong Kong Airport something of an overhaul in 2017 – it actually moved next door, with the new Plaza Premium First lounge being built in the space formerly occupied by this Plaza Premium Lounge. The hardware of the lounge has had a definite improvement – the design looks modern and new, and there are also a fair number of private “cubicle” seats that are good if you’re travelling solo. The buffet section is quite extensive; seating is varied comprising dining tables, high-top tables and armchairs; and the shower suites are clean, large and modern. The lounge’s biggest downside, however, is that it can get pretty packed depending on the time of day you visit, given that the lounges doors are open to quite a wide variety of travellers. If you’re departing closer to Gate 40, head to the less crowded West Hall lounge instead.

Key facilities Shower suites, bar, buffet, work cubicles.

Opening hours 24 hours daily

Plaza Premium Lounge West Hall HKIA The Social

Plaza Premium Lounge (West Hall)

Where is it? Near Gate 40, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Plaza Premium and Priority Pass members; Business class passengers travelling on Air India, Air Mauritius, Air Niugini, All Nippon Airways (ANA), American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Jet Airways, Malindo Air, Philippine Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Shenzhen Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Smile, Turkish Airlines.

What’s it like? While it has begun to get busier than it used to, the Plaza Premium (West Hall) lounge is still far more likely to have a shorter queue than its East Hall sibling simply by virtue of its location. You’ll want to take the tram shuttle one stop to get to it, but the greater guarantee of getting in – and securing a prime spot once inside – may make it the better option even if your flight isn’t departing from a gate nearby. For some carriers, notably Air India, ANA, El Al Israel Airlines, EVA Air, SAS, SriLankan Airlines and Thai Smile, the West Hall lounge is the defacto facility, not the East Hall lounge.

Facilities here are decent, though you may have difficulty staking a claim to them. At the back to the left are some nice seating capsules with small desks, if you can nab yourself one. A key tip would be to head down the small corridor beside the buffet to a secluded area with armchairs and its own small buffet – it’s often empty, but does get closed off depending on the time of day, so be sure to see if your luck is in.

Key facilities Showers, spa facilities, self-serve alcoholic beverages, buffet

Opening hours 24 hours daily

Lounge review: Plaza Premium Lounge (West Hall), Hong Kong

The Centurion Lounge, HKIA, private Centurion area

The Centurion Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 60, Departures Level 7, Terminal 1

Who gets access? American Express Platinum Card and Centurion Members.

What’s it like? This was the first Centurion Lounge from American Express in Asia when it opened in October 2017, located close to the Plaza Premium Lounge (West Hall), Emirates Lounge, United Club Lounge and Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Lounge. Given its young age, this is an especially contemporary-looking lounge and while it has a sophisticated, dark colour scheme it’s an “open-air” lounge meaning there’s plenty of light. Particular highlights include the manned cocktail bar and breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

A private area is exclusively available for Centurion Members and their guests. This includes more seating options and onsite Member Services Professional support to help with any travel, reservation or card services requests.

Key facilities Shower suites, reading room, phone room, staffed bar, buffet,

Opening hours 5.30am-12.30am

CNAC VIP Lounge

Where is it? Near Gate 25 on Departures Level 6, Terminal 1

Who gets access? Premium passengers on Air China, China Southern, Myanmar National Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines

What’s it like? Run by the China National Aviation Corporation, the CNAC VIP Lounge is open to passengers on a number of Chinese airlines – and, curiously, Myanmar National Airlines. If you’re a smoker, it’s possible you may been past the CNAC VIP Lounge at Hong Kong airport, even if you haven’t ever stepped inside it. That’s because this lounge is secreted away downstairs on the main Terminal 1 thoroughfare, adjacent to the area’s smoking lounge. Features are relatively straightforward, comprising a buffet, self-serve alcoholic beverages, and workstations.

Key facilities Self-serve alcoholic beverages, workstations, buffet

Opening hours 5.30am-8.30pm

Loading comments...
Business Traveller September 2019 edition
Business Traveller September 2019 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls