If you know me, or have read a few of my posts, you’ll know one of my hobbies is travel hacking. In short, travel hacking is the art of traveling for cheap or even free in some cases. In this case, we flew Business Class from Hanoi to Hong Kong on DragonAir for just 9,000 British Airways Avios + $16 each, which is a steal considering the same flight was going for ~$1000. What made it better is I transferred these points from my American Express account last year at a 50% bonus, so it really only cost me 6,000 points each! If I were to redeem those points for cash I’d get a whopping $60. Anyway, like always, I’m going off on a tangent. I’m here to review our pre-flight experience at the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge located in Terminal 2 of Noi Bai Airport.
The VN Lotus Lounge is open to business and first class travelers, as well as passengers holding elite status with any SkyTeam airline or members of the Marco Polo Club. To get to the VN Lounge, go through security checkpoint “B”, and after getting through security take a right and you’ll see an escalator on your right hand side next to Gate 28. Follow the escalator up and you’ll immediately see the lounge. Since we were flying Business Class with Dragonair, we just showed our boarding passes and were warmly welcomed into the lounge.
In my opinion, the lounge itself is quite nice. It’s fairly large and there is plenty of room to spread out so people aren’t on top of each other while they relax. Granted it could have been a slow day at the airport, but considering our flight was in the afternoon I doubt that. It’s open concept so there’s not many areas for privacy, which could irritate some guests, but I didn’t mind.
The lounge overlooks the runway, so if you’re sitting near the windows you have a great view of the planes taking off and landing. The massive windows also bring in plenty of natural lighting and really brighten up the lounge, at least during the day. There was an excellent view of the terminal below, which was great if you wanted to do a little people watching.
The lounge itself has a decent bit of amenities to keep you comfortable while you wait for your flight. They had newspapers from across the region as well as a variety of magazines, all in multiple languages. There’s a small self-service buffet area with both hot and cold items. There was also a pho station, which I guess is a necessity considering it’s Vietnam. I personally tried the braised chicken with beans, the spring rolls, and the pho. The chicken and the pho were delicious, but I will say the spring rolls tasted a little stale, likely due to being under the heat lamp a little too long.
If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, they also had small snack items such as cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, and desserts. We sampled a little bit of everything and it was all pretty tasty. Breada said the dragon fruit was the freshest she had in the entire country, and I was pleased to see they had apples, something I hadn’t had since we arrived in Vietnam 3 months ago. I would have liked for them to have passion fruit, but that’s just me being picky.
There is a bar serving beer, wine, and most liquors. The beer is self serve but for the wine and liquor there’s a bartender who will take care of you. We each had the white wine, which was a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, and it was delicious. Considering we hadn’t had a good glass of wine in months, it was exactly what we needed. So much so, we probably had about a bottle each.
If alcohol isn’t your thing, there is a variety of juices, sodas (both Coke and Pepsi products!), and about 3 different kinds of bottled water. Still wondering why anyone would need that much variety in bottled water, but I guess people have their preferences.
If you’re on a long layover or just need to freshen up, there are showers equipped with everything you’ll need: shampoo, body wash, razors, toothbrushes, and combs. While I didn’t test out the shower, it looked more than adequate. I did give myself a quick shave, and while the razor is nothing to write home about, it got the job done. If you’re looking for a quick nap they have lie flat chairs tucked away in a corner near the bathrooms. They also provide blankets and earplugs on request.
There is also a smoking room as well as a massage room equipped with 3 massage chairs. The words on the buttons were faded on the remote so I just hit a bunch of buttons and let the chair do it’s thing. Wine in hand, I haven’t felt that relaxed in quite a while. I could have potentially missed my flight just hanging out in there all night, but there is an attendant working the lounge that will come around with a listing of the flights about to board, even before they’re announced. Also, despite the massage room being adjacent to the smoking room you can’t smell the smoke outside of the room at all, which is always a plus.
All in all I was very pleased with the VN Lounge and would have no problem returning the next time I fly out of Hanoi. While it may not be the greatest lounge in the world, I highly recommend anyone flying a premium class out of Hanoi to check it out!
Stay Tuned for our review of the Hanoi-Hong Kong flight in Business Class as well as the United Club Lounge in Hong Kong!