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Saturday 30 May 2015

Spoiled for choice at Hong Kong International Airport

There are airport lounges and there are airport lounges, Some are barely functional with a choice of soft drinks and snacks and a handful of day old newspapers.

Then there are the Cathay Pacific lounges at Hong Kong International Airport; five in all, offering a wide choice to frequent flyers, business and first-class passengers and those lucky enough to snaffle an invite.

When my flight was slightly delayed last week (it made up the time during the flight), I was delighted to find myself ensconced in the luxury of The Pier, the lounge closest to the departure gate of my Hong Kong-Melbourne Cathay departure. 

There's a warm welcome, a choice of seating arrangements, a massive array of daily newspapers from around the world; plenty of power points for charging phones and laptops, a good selection of wines and snacks and, holy of holies, a noodle bar where were your dishes are made fresh to order. And very good they are too.

The Pier services gates 62-66 at HKIA; The Wing at gates 1-4; The Cabin is at gate 23, The Bridge at gate 35 and there is a fifth lounge in the arrivals hall. 

Cathay Pacific boasts that its lounges offer daybeds, luxurious showers and space to relax, refresh, work or socialise. You can choose whichever sanctuary suits you the best. 

The Wing is the flagship lounge and has been widely praised for its architecture. There are 35 Cathay Solus chairs designed to accommodate single and the lounge is managed by The Peninsula Group, which also owns Hong Kong’s iconic Peninsula Hotel.

Like at The Pier, there is a noodle bar, and passengers can enjoy delicious Char Siu Bao pork buns as well as a choice of noodles. 

There is a long bar overlooking the runway and a coffee shop, as well as an area with six fully equipped IT workstations, as well as high-speed wifi. The lower level also features a total of 24 shower suites lined with Travertine stone and warm bamboo wood.

The Haven, in the first class lounge, features a buffet spread that is frequently replenished as well as an a la carte menu and a Champagne Bar. 

Like The Wing, The Cabin was designed by London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners. The modern design is separated into five zones for working, relaxing, being entertained and refreshments. The IT Zone has wifi, a choice between PCs and Macs and a video conference suite. 

Guests can also borrow one of 20 wifi enabled iPads that have been pre-loaded with the latest apps including newspapers, magazines and games.

There are plenty of dining options at The Cabin including a self-service buffet and Cathay Pacific’s first delicatessen - The Deli - where they can enjoy made-to-order hot sandwiches, fresh antipasti and salads. There is also a Health Bar serving freshly squeezed juices and hot or cold Chinese herbal teas.

The Bridge consists of north and south wings, each extending from the central reception
area. The north wing features The Bakery, which offers freshly baked bread and pizzas, as
well as sandwiches, pastries, Asian and Western soups, and fresh salads. 

The south wing features The Bistro, a self-service food area and the Coffee Loft, along with nine shower suites.

The Pier, where I spent my time, is designed to feel like a luxurious apartment. I thought it was great, but it is apparently due to undergo a refurb soon.   

Finally for passengers arriving in Hong Kong who want to freshen up, there is The Arrival, which offers eight showers as well as workstations, wifi, televisions, and international papers and magazines. There is also a complimentary self-serve buffet. 

For details of who can access the lounges see 

Cathay Pacific has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from six major Australian cities, offering a choice of flying in economy, premium economy or business class.Cathay has at least three flights daily from Sydney, three flights daily from Melbourne, daily flights from Brisbane, seven flights weekly from Cairns and Adelaide, and ten flights weekly from Perth. 

The writer was given lounge access by Cathay Pacific   

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