For as long as I have known that Cathay Pacific existed as an airline, I have been longing to try out their premium experience in Hong Kong. Cool, Comfortable, and Classy are a few terms that immediately come to mind when I think of Cathay Pacific, and this is certainly reflected in their lounge offerings at Hong Kong and across the globe. The airline works very closely with the architecture and integrated design firm Foster + Partners, founded and still led by the legendary Norman Foster, the same firm that designed Hong Kong International Airport. The stylish, timeless design is found throughout each of the airport’s lounges, of which there are five total.
To try and visit more than one lounge without feeling rushed, I got to HKIA about three hours before my scheduled departure time. Cathay Pacific’s MarcoPolo frequent flyer club members share the check-in counters with Business Class, which meant there was a bit of a queue even with a lot of counters. With my bags tagged and on its way into the belly of the terminal, I got my first CX boarding pass with a premium assignment on it. I also got a lounge invite printed on the boarding card stock, which recommended The Pier lounge as it was closest to my departing gate, at the very end of the long terminal.
While HKIA is a beautiful airport and is efficient both landside and airside, the same could not be said for getting from one side to the other. I have flown through HKIA many times, and it still baffles me to see no immigration and/or security lane for premium customers, not even for Cathay’s First Class passengers. The line at the southern security checkpoint moved reasonably quickly, but immigration took a bit longer with a wait of about 10 minutes.
After clearing security, the first class portion of The Wing is located immediately to the left. For the business class section, passengers need to head down the escalators, through the maze of duty free luxury goods, and towards gate 4. Half way between the luxury bazaar and gate 4 is the business class entrance to The Wing, marked by a marble wall with modern signage, and a small platoon of Cathay Pacific ground staff checking boarding cards.
There was a dimly lit area just beyond the entrance with some lounge chairs and a dark hallway which led to the showers.
To the left of the entryway is a set of stairs – the agents directed me upstairs and I ascended the steps without further question. Arriving at the upper level, there was a longer counter full of agents that can assist with any flight changes or requests.
Just past the upper lobby is the main living area where there are couches, Cathay’s signature “solus” chairs, and of course the signature “Long Bar”.
Past the main living area, the lounge narrows into a corridor that then splits to the left and the right. To the right is another tranquil seating area with some computers, tables, and lounge chairs, called “The Coffee Loft”. There was a bar with a commercial sized espresso machine (obviously).
Turning to the left from the hallway, is “The Noodle Bar”. I have been looking forward to sampling the wonton noodles (which fellow bloggers and passengers alike have raved about). The catering at Cathay’s lounges is provided by The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel. Needless to say, the food was amazing, and probably the best of any business class offering I have had the pleasure of sampling. In addition to the freshly prepared noodles was a small buffet with a few dim sum favorites, fried rice, and soup.
After finishing a succulent bowl of wonton noodles, I decided to head towards the far end of the terminal and not stick around for too long. Before heading down to the concourse level, I stopped by the help counter to get a lounge re-entry stamp on my boarding pass since the initial lounge invitation card was already collected upon entering The Wing.
After a nice leisurely walk down the length of the terminal, and admiring the some unique tails rarely seen in the western world, I arrived at the entrance to The Bridge – Cathay Pacific’s newest lounge at HKG, located in the middle of “the fork” at the far end of the terminal building.
Proceeding down the escalators, I turned left into The North Wing of the lounge, which features a large sectioned-living area, a dining area called The Bakery, and another iteration of The Long Bar. The lounge was spacious, and passengers were spread out and utilizing every kind of seating space available. I headed down towards The Long Bar to grab a drink.
This was easily the most stylish lounge I have ever visited, on par with the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK. Of course, unlike the Clubhouse, The Bridge had that Asian flair which makes it so elegant. After grabbing a glass of the Piper Hiedsieck on offer, I headed back towards The Bakery for a bite to eat. There was a nice selection of western and Chinese dishes – I helped myself to half a dozen delicious egg tarts.
I spent about an hour in The Bridge, and could have spent a whole lot more. There was a whole other South Wing of the lounge that I didn’t get a chance to explore (actually didn’t know it existed). The South Wing had another dining area call The Bistro, The Coffee Loft with more upright table seating, and the shower suites.
There is no shortage of Cathay lounges at HKG, and from what I can tell, they are all beautifully designed and furnished. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to pay a visit to The Cabin or The Pier, but The Wing and The Bridge already exceeded my expectations. This was only with Business Class access – I can only imagine what the first class section of The Wing, and the newly refurbish first class section of The Pier, would look like.
The Wing was a must visit as its “the original” Cathay Pacific lounge. Noodles from The Noodle Bar were the most delicious food I have ever consumed at an airport, but other than that and views from The Long Bar, the lounge felt crowded and a little dark from the black marble. Pretty ironic since there is so much natural light with the open ceiling.
As I said before, The Bridge lounge is quite possibly one of the nicest and functional lounges I have ever had the chance to visit – even nicer than The Private Room in Singapore. Unlike The Private Room, there are actually several seating types that allow you to get lazy and comfy and there are unobstructed views of the tarmac. The lounge definitely has an upscale residential feel, which reflects the company’s attempt at creating “a home away from home”. If you happen to have Oneworld lounge access in Hong Kong be it through elite status or travel in a premium cabin, a visit to The Bridge is a must.