Tried & Tested

Lounge review: Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

25 Apr 2019 by Craig Bright
Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

Background

Emirates is not stingy when it comes to having its own lounges in the destinations it serves, with most in Asia-Pacific having a dedicated Emirates Lounge. Hong Kong International Airport is no different.

Emirates operates four flights a day out of Hong Kong. Three of these are non-stop to Dubai, departing at 0035, 0735 and 1755, while the fourth, departing at 2100, stops over in Bangkok. Read our recent flight review of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER business class from Bangkok to Hong Kong here.

As I discussed in the above review, Emirates’ business class fares between Hong Kong and Bangkok are especially competitive, meaning travellers can get a good business class experience – including a visit to the Emirates Lounge – on this short hop without having to break the bank.

Where is it?

Located by Gate 40, on the upper level. It is possible to walk this distance from the security and immigration checkpoints (give yourself about 10 minutes) but it’s better to get the shuttle train and take it one stop to get to Gate 40.

West Hall Lounge Signage - Hong Kong International Airport

The Emirates Lounge is located upstairs and can be reached either by elevator or escalator. It’s nearby the Plaza Premium West Hall Lounge (read a review here), the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge, the United Club Lounge (read a review here), the American Express Centurion Lounge (read a first look here), and Plaza Premium Group’s Refreshhh by Aerotel “Private Relaxation Cabins”, which offer showers, meals and resting areas.

Who gets access?

First class passengers and Gold tier Emirates Skywards members can enter the lounge along with one guest, while Platinum tier members can bring up to three guests (one adult and two children below the age of 17). Business class passengers also receive access to the lounge but are not eligible to bring in a guest.

While Emirates does now allow travellers to purchase access to a number of its lounges worldwide, its Hong Kong lounge is not one of them. In Asia-Pacific, paid access to Emirates lounges is available only in the following cities: Auckland, Bangkok, Brisbane, Colombo, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Tokyo (Narita).

A full rundown of Emirates’ lounge access policy for all its worldwide lounges can be found here.

What’s it like?

At first glance, Emirates’ lounge in Hong Kong does seem a little old fashioned. Its colour scheme of light brown/beige seats and floor tiles, and dark brown woods certainly doesn’t scream of the same ultra-modern aesthetic you’ll find in lounges such as The Centurion Lounge or some of the Cathay Pacific lounges at HKIA, but I wouldn’t necessarily say its dated either.

Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

There’s definitely a touch of character in the lounge, from the framed embroideries that adorn the walls to the dark wood shelving and world-time clocks, and that’s not a bad thing in the otherwise highly modern feel of HKIA.

Just after entering the lounge, guests will walk down a small corridor towards the main seating area, but before that on the left there’s a small Business Centre with about half a dozen desks and computers as well as a printer and photocopier.

There aren’t any private meeting rooms guests can make use of for discussions, though there is a small alcove just next to the Business Centre with a small table and a handful of seats that affords slightly more privacy than the main open area of the lounge.

Indeed, this is an open-air space – great from a spaciousness standpoint, but less so if you’re after privacy. That being said, the space was far from crowded when I was there on a Monday evening and was plenty peaceful despite being open to the ambient sounds of the airport.

To the right-hand side you can look out over the terminal and across to The Centurion Lounge, while in front is a large window with views over the tarmac. The lounge was largely empty when I arrived with only a handful of other guests, and it hadn’t got substantially busier by the time I left.

Seating is largely limited to two different kinds of armchairs set up either in pairs or fours with small coffee tables, or dining tables. This is also an area where the lounge could do with a bit of an upgrade as power outlets are hard to come by at the seats and tables.

Since the lounge was fairly unoccupied when I arrived, I had no trouble finding a seat to my liking (top tip – there’s a small alcove at the far right-hand side of the lounge by the emergency exit door that offers some well-hidden seats).

The relative lack of other guests also meant the staff were attentive and friendly.

There’s an extensive selection of reading material at the lounge, comprising magazines and international newspapers located next to the self-serve coffee and tea-making facilities, and drinks fridge (largely containing cans of soft drinks and beer).

Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

Alcoholic beverages are on the other side of the lounge by the buffet and are self-serve, with a decent selection of spirits, wines and champagne.

Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

A surprisingly good feature of the lounge has to be its food offering. While airline lounge buffets aren’t always top-notch, the modest selection of dishes at the Emirates Lounge was especially tasty and included a good range of Western, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.

The curry was especially good, and my only complaint would be with the salmon, which was rather dry.

Emirates Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport

If you’re looking to freshen up, the lounge does also offer a few shower cubicles.

Verdict

All in all this is an enjoyable lounge to spend a few hours in, especially considering the competitive fares that tend to come with an Emirates business class ticket. It’s spacious, quiet and largely empty making it a nice sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of HKIA. The design isn’t cutting edge, and perhaps it could do with a bit of a refresh (particularly with regards to power outlets) but it’s a pleasant and comfortable space to work, rest or freshen up.

Fact file

  • Best for… its quiet environment with ample seating
  • Don’t miss… the tasty selection of dishes at the buffet
  • Opening hours 0450-0720; 1525-0005
  • Location HKIA Terminal 1, near Gate 40
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