BEST FOR Convenience, a range of amenities and a warm sense of hospitality
DON’T MISS The Noodle Bar with bowls of made to order specialties whipped up in minutes
ACCESS First and Business Class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver and above members; members of all tiers who earn lounge passes through the airline; and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members
BACKGROUND Cathay Pacific always endeavors to take care of its upper class passengers, especially those on long-haul flights, with some special Hong Kong-style hospitality and spice. To that end, the airline offers a choice of four smart business class lounges at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok’s International Airport: The Wing, The Bridge, The Deck and The Pier. The airline’s signature lounge at this time is The Pier, which opened 2001 and underwent a complete refurbishment in 2015, with a fresh look designed by Studioilse, the London-based design studio led by Ilse Crawford.
WHERE IS IT? Each lounge in Hong Kong is located along the line of gates that number from 1 to 65 so chances are, no matter where your gate is you are never far away from a lounge. Located at Gate 65 in the North West concourse, The Pier’s new Business Class Lounge covers more than 35,000 square feet with seating for up to 518 people. Cathay’s lounges take guests on a journey down a street that is either “fast” or “slow.” The fast lane is punctuated by food and beverage offerings interspersed with terrariums of tropical greenery and culminating in the wellbeing area – a place to wash, refresh and relax. The slow lane at The Pier, for example, runs between lounge seating at the windows and glazed timber screens, where guests can find a quiet space to sit or work.
WHO CAN ACCESS? Admittance is given to First and Business Class passengers; Marco Polo Club Silver and above members; members of all tiers who earned lounge passes through the airline and Oneworld Emerald members and Sapphire members. Most lounges open at 5:30 AM and close at 12:30 AM.
WHAT”S IT LIKE? There is a base motif of contemporary Asian style, with deft use of granite and marble, leathers and dark cherry woods, conveying a sense of heartfelt warmth, simplicity, and even a bit of mystery giving way to a feeling of “a life well traveled.”
All the lounges offer a similar presentation of food offerings. In the Food Hall, self-service kiosks offer tapas, bakery, salads, hot food and chilled food in the morning, along with a cheese board, antipasto and fish platter. Guests can place their order and pick it up from a counter beside each kiosk.
While all the lounges offer a cocktail bar, the Long Bar at The Wing lounge is by far the star. The single, simple marble counter frames a large open room of comfortable chairs. At The Pier, the bar operates more like a hotel lounge. The drink offerings feature a range of spirits, French and Australian wines and cocktails.
The Noodle Bar has become the iconic feature among the worldwide lounges of Cathay Pacific. There are various choices of Cathay Pacific signature noodles including Dan Dan and Wonton noodles, which chefs can whip up to order in minutes. The bar also offers Asian style noodles, Chinese dumplings and buns.
Beyond the bustle of the metaphorical street, guests enter the Tea House at The Pier, which marks the transition into the wellbeing area. In this quiet space, visitors are presented with an interactive tea menu with 10 choices plus one seasonal selection, giving them an opportunity to see and smell the teas before they choose. A tea sommelier is on hand to make recommendations according to passengers’ preferences.
The Relaxation Room is a quiet space filled with low soft textile loungers and footstools. Most recently, The Pier added The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga, designed in partnership with The Pure Group. This 700 square-foot area is divided into two zones – The Body Sanctuary, dedicated to yoga, and The Mind Sanctuary, for meditation. In The Wing, a calm and quiet space is offered with a bit of artwork – in this case, a whimsical collection of barnyard pig sculptures.Showers are available in these lounges as well, although private resting rooms are not. Massages are offered at The Pier. At The Wing, guests can linger over the balcony and watch the patter of passengers below. Other lounges offer windows with views out on the runway.
VERDICT As lounges go, Cathay Pacific offers some of the best in its class, with focus given to sense of place and always with Asian flare. Lark Gould