One day, two flights, and as many lounges as we could fit in. This was the day Breada and I had ahead of us and it was one I had been looking forward to since we booked our tickets back to Bangkok. I was especially looking forward to our “tour de lounge”. Cathay Pacific (CX) is known for having some of the best business class lounges in the world and due to a four hour layover we were going to experience at least two of them and hopefully more. Plus, we had the CX lounge in Taipei to enjoy, which makes three guaranteed lounges on the day, but I wanted more. I wanted all four main CX business class lounges at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), plus the one in Taipei. Hitting all five was going to be tough, but I was confident. My only worry was would I have enough room in my stomach for all the food and wine I would be drinking?!
Our first lounge was the CX lounge at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (TPE).
My first impression after walking in was “wow this place is huge!”. It’s hard to tell how big it is when you’re outside because it’s one of a handful of lounges running down a hallway, but once inside you quickly realize you have plenty of space to spread out.
There are four separate rooms within the lounge : two for relaxing ( well they are all great for relaxing! ), the famous CX Noodle Bar, and the bar area. There is also space to store your luggage while you relax and a business area with Mac computers to get your work done, and a printer and fax should you need them.
Each room has plenty of chairs and tables designed both for individuals and groups. There are a couple conference tables throughout the lounge, perfect for big groups to get things done. Each room had a beverage area stocked with beers and soft drinks, plus quick bites to eat in each of the two relaxing rooms.
The Noodle Bar was unbelievable and a must try if you’re in a CX lounge. I tried the beef noodle Taiwanese style and the pan fried pork buns. Both were excellent and some of the best food I had the entire day. At the same time, I was a little disappointed at the number of hot food options (none) besides the noodle bar. Don’t get me wrong, the noodles were amazing, but I think they could have had a couple other options as well.
The last room in the lounge had the bar area, plus plenty of additional seating. While we were there the lounge wasn’t busy at all, but given the size of it you could have 50 people inside and it still feel empty. We grabbed a couple seats near the windows to relax, but unfortunately there wasn’t much of a view. The lounge hangs over the road leading into the airport, which isn’t exactly what I’d call scenic.
Today was going to be a day of wine, considering it’s normally too expensive for us to buy. Breada went for a Côtes du Rhône and I had a Sauvignon Blanc. It was an all French wine list, not that i’m complaining. I’d take prison hooch at this point and be happy.
Overall the TPE lounge was a great start to the day, and besides a limited hot food selection and a poor view, it is the perfect place to relax before a flight.
- Large Size
- Noodle Bar
- Limited Hot Food Selection
- No/Bad View
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Our first stop at HKG was The Bridge, the first of hopefully all four CX lounges the airport offers.
The first thing I noticed was how busy it was, especially compared to the lounge at TPE. HKG is a much busier airport, plus it’s CX’s hub. That, and The Bridge is also the most central located of all the CX lounges at TPE.
Even though it was busy, it wasn’t overly crowded to the point of being uncomfortable but considering there are four lounges I expected it to be a little quieter. Luckily, there are a few different sitting areas so you don’t realize just how many people are there unless you take a walk through the entire area.
One thing I got to do there that I was looking forward to was test out one of the CX exclusive Solus Chairs.
Another thing I noticed was the number of food options. There was a wide variety of things to eat, whether it be finger foods or full meals. I ended up just getting a small piece of quesadilla, some small slices of pizza, nachos with guacamole, and some assorted desserts. This was just a small taste of what was a very large and varied food selection.
While the desserts were some of the best of any of the lounges, the pizza (self admitted pizza snob) and the quesadilla were just ok at best.
BONUS POINTS – As we were about to leave the lounge, I noticed one of the big glass jars on the bar area had…sour gummy worms!!! How could I live with myself if I didn’t have a few?
- Centrally Located
- Sour Gummy Worms
- Busy (Likely due to the central location)
- Lack of private seating
The next CX lounge on the list was The Wing. The Wing held some of the best pieces of the previous lounges we visited. There was a Noodle Bar, showers, as well as a “coffee loft” and a beautiful “Long Bar” serving a full selection of beers,wines, and spirits.
Like The Bridge, there was a decent selection of buffet food besides the food offered at the noodle bar. I tried a little bit of a yellow Indian chicken curry that was quite good. That was one of about six different dishes offered, plus finger foods and desserts.
There was a nice view of the terminal below near the coffee loft and the noodle bar, and I never miss an opportunity to people watch. I also liked the design of the lounge itself. It wasn’t in a room itself, the entire lounge was like one big loft. The open air design was a nice change from some of the other lounges we’ve been to lately.
One aspect of The Wing, which unfortunately we couldn’t experience, was the dedicated 1st class area of the lounge. The business class area was stunning, so I could only imagine what the 1st class looks like. Apparently there’s a champagne bar, which I’m sure Breada would have loved.
- Dedicated 1st Class Section
- Open Air Design w/ View
- Coffee Bar
- We couldn’t get into the 1st class lounge
I decided as I was writing this post to split it up into two. There’s just too much information and I’d probably bore people to death with one long post. Needless to say, if i’m splitting it in two, then we must have hit more lounges, right? Tune in to the next post to find out!
What’s your favorite lounge? If you haven’t been, which one sounds best to you? Let me know in the comments!