Plaza Premium has two departure lounges at Hong Kong International, one in the West Hall, and one in the East Hall. Depending on where your airline departs from, you can choose which best suits your needs or departure gate.
I had previously visited the East Hall when flying First Class with Swiss.
On that occasion I was seated in a “secret” room at the end of this East Hall Lounge – you can see a picture of it in that review.
That room was shut for this review (or possibly because of renovation – see below), so I was in the main lounge of the East Hall.
This time I was flying with Qatar Airways in business class to Doha, but was given directions to the East Hall Lounge, possible in error since my gate was 29.
Where is it?
Go through South Security and then down the escalator. The lounge is near Gate 1.
What's it like?
This is quite a large lounge, but be warned, at busy times you will queue to get in here. The lounge takes paying guests and also those flying business class with airlines that don’t have their own lounges at the airport. When I arrived the queue on the right was for paying and credit card guests, the one on the left for airline guests.
The lounge is slightly disorientating in its layout at first. It is very dark after the bright terminal, and though the lighting is atmospheric, the design by Hong Kong designer Kinney Chan of KCA avoids box-like areas – instead the lounge curves around to the right and seating areas are hidden behind screens, so it can take a while to find your perfect spot.
The first area you come to is the circular bar, which also serves hot food from it such as Chinese spring onion pancakes – cooked at the bar. If you are flying business and an airline guest you can obtain drinks from here on showing your boarding card – there was Stella Artois on tap, for instance. Otherwise you either pay for drinks, or there are cans of beer in the fridges you’ll find if you follow the corridor around to the right (pictured below).
The lounge is divided into several areas, though it’s hard to work out what they are at first since it’s so dark. At the time of my visit there was work being carried out on the lounge, though I didn’t see evidence of it – I think this may have been to the showers and spa area, because they were not on offer.
There is lounge seating with a fair amount of power sockets for laptops and devices, and free wifi, although for some reason that our IT person has explained to me and I’ve failed to understand, I cannot connect to the in any Plaza Premium Lounge, including the ones at London Heathrow (something to do with security settings).
The lounge also has business centre facilities, internet workstations that are Wi-Fi enabled, shower rooms (for extra charge – see below for pricing), private resting areas and several areas where you can get hot and cold food. This ranged from fried noodles to bowls you can fill with nachos or wasabi nuts. There is also a counter offering a range of salads and Hong Kong-style Fish Ball Noodles and XO sauce.
Follow the corridor around to the right and you’ll find not only the hot food counter but a cold drinks fridge.
Who can enter the lounge?
Anyone who pays. In addition, you can gain access if you are a member of some of the lounge cards.
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily; +852 2261 2612; Level 6 (Departure Level), Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport (near Gate 1). Tel +852 2261 0888.