Review – The Pier, Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Today we will be reviewing the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge, The Pier, located in the Hong Kong International Airport.

For a quick summary on our visit scroll to the very bottom of the post.

Location

While we were disappointed to be leaving the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong after an enjoyable visit I couldn’t help but be excited about getting to spend some quality time at The Pier, Cathay Pacific’s Business class lounge in Terminal 1. We were flying on American Airlines in their main cabin extra seats but as a Platinum member — Oneworld Sapphire — it afforded us access to the many lounges offered throughout the airport by fellow Oneworld member Cathay Pacific.

fullsizeoutput_626Entrance to the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong, The Pier

The Hong Kong airport is rather massive and there is certainly no lack of options when it comes to lounges. Cathay Pacific actually has multiple brands of business class lounges to choose from within this same terminal but after enjoying The Pier lounge in London on a previous trip I knew I wanted to visit the same one here in Hong Kong.

fullsizeoutput_612The front desk of the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong, The Pier

While most lounges I have been to are either on the same level as the concourse or on the level above, this one actually requires going down an escalator to enter. Upon stepping off the escalator we were immediately greeted by a friendly Cathay Pacific agent who verified and scanned our boarding passes before allowing us to enter.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 8.24.34 PM.png

The entrance to the lounge is located next to gate 65, which actually ended up being perfect since our flight to Los Angeles (LAX) left out of gate 65, giving us a little extra time to relax and avoid a long trek across the airport to our gate. Also, for anyone interested, The Pier, First class lounge is located near gate 63. And as I mentioned above Cathay Pacific has a few other lounges around the airport so if you’re short on time it could make sense to simply go to the lounge closest to your gate. The full list of their other lounge options can be found on their website here.

Seating

Since I had visited The Pier Business class lounge in London earlier this year I knew what to expect in terms of the style and seats. However, I was more than impressed when I arrived by the size and additional options that weren’t offered in London, but then again, I was hoping for something like this with Cathay Pacific being the flagship carrier of Hong Kong.

fullsizeoutput_618Seating along the far window of the business class lounge after walking in

fullsizeoutput_616Business center in the Cathay Pacific Lounge, which is off to the right after entering

fullsizeoutput_5ffMain lobby area looking from the bar at The Pier, Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge

fullsizeoutput_5fdAnother shot of the main lobby area looking from the bar at The Pier

The lounge was broken up into what felt like distinct sections, with the first main area being the most open. There were also floor to ceiling windows that would’ve brought in natural light had it been earlier in the day. This is also where the bar is located and as you walk towards the back of the lounge there was a perceived gradual relaxing between the rooms before finally reaching the back of the lounge. The setup had multiple areas for food, then came the showers, followed by a tea room, and finally the relaxation room full of day beds in a softly lit ambient atmosphere.

 

If you end up here on a long layover it would be extremely easy to put yourself in the relaxation area and take a nap–we’ll cover this more further down in the amenities–just keep in mind it’s a designated quit area and there was a noticeable difference from the main section of the lounge. So if you decide to take a nap make sure you have someone there to wake you up or set an alarm with your headphones cause the last thing you want to do is miss your flight. Since our flight had a 7:40 pm departure time we opted to spend the majority of our time in the main lounge area since we wanted to hold off sleeping until our flight took off.

Food & Drink

Given that we booked this specific flight in economy and gained access to the lounge based on our status we wanted to take advantage of the food and drink offerings and not rely upon whatever dinner they were planning to serve us onboard.

fullsizeoutput_5f9The main bar at The Pier Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge in Hong Kong

The bar was stocked with a full selection of premium liquor, wine, and beer — all of which are complimentary for guests. They also had soda and coffee to choose from here. It was at this point that we decided to start out our visit with a relaxing gin and tonic made with Bombay Sapphire gin before exploring more of the food and drink options.

 

 

 

The lounge had multiple areas serving food that included things such as chicken and mushroom pie, fish, reuben sandwiches, grilled eggplant & olive paste Panini’s, rolls, an assortment of vegetables, potatoes, soup, chicken, and the all-impressive made-to-order noodle bar with a selection of self-serve steamed pork dumplings nearby. Everything looked tasty but I ended up going straight for the made-to-order noodle bar since I enjoyed it so much when I visited the London lounge. It’s a very cool concept since they give you a buzzer after ordering so you know exactly when to come back and pick up your food. Once I received my order of Shanghai noodles I went ahead and added some steamed pork dumplings to perfect my chopstick skills 😉 before leaving and it turned out to be delicious — dare I say, some of the best dumplings I had the entire trip.

fullsizeoutput_5f1Sitting area with booths located in section of lounge with the made to order noodle bar

fullsizeoutput_606Our Shanghai noodles with pork dumplings from the made-to-order noodle bar

fullsizeoutput_601The Pier had no shortage of delicious steamed dumplings available in the lounge

When it’s all said and done the food options are excellent in this lounge and you would be hard pressed to leave hungry.

Amenities & Lounge Staff

The Pier Business class lounge in Hong Kong has all of the typical amenities you would need when traveling and even a few additional extras. As you can see on the signage below they have a business center, luggage storage, showers, and a relaxation room.

fullsizeoutput_61eThey also had multiple departures boards posted throughout the lounge to track flights

fullsizeoutput_62aAnd the relaxation room was almost entirely empty during our visit to the lounge

There were three sections that made up the relaxation room and they all had very comfortable lounge chairs with privacy dividers and dim lighting. I didn’t spend much time in the loungers but I doubt I would’ve had much difficulty falling asleep if I had. If you are really looking for some privacy you can walk all the way to the back of the lounge and turn right–then get your pajamas out–cause here you’ll find the most secluded area in the lounge.

 

 

 

The bathroom was large and had plenty of room if the lounge were to ever get crowded, but the time I used it I was the only person in there. There was also another bathroom closer to the front of the lounge so I wouldn’t ever foresee the time when the lounge was so busy that a line would form. The lounge also had shower suites that I would presume are very nice based on the rest of the lounge but since I wasn’t visiting on a layover and came straight from the hotel there was no need to use them.

fullsizeoutput_636Tea Room in The Pier, Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

fullsizeoutput_5f5Seating in the Tea Room in The Pier, Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

When I discovered the Tea room I was a little confused at first but once I realized exactly what it was I was rather intrigued. The tea room “bar” area was staffed with an attendant who was there to answer any questions about the tea selection, provide recommendations, and prepare the tea. Since we thought it would be cool to test out the tea room we inquired about the caffeine free options–not wanting to risk caffeine before a 7:40 pm flight–but unfortunately they didn’t have any to choose from. This was a little disappointing but if that’s the worst thing that happens during a visit to the lounge then I would say it was a pretty good experience. And hopefully I can make it back sometime one morning to truly give it a test.

How can you get in the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge?

The Pier, Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge offers a few ways to gain entry:

  1. Flying in either Business Class or First Class internationally on your itinerary with Cathay Pacific or another Oneworld carrier
  2. Flying internationally in any class of service on your Oneworld itinerary as a Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald member
  3. Flying with anyone who has one of the above statuses as they can bring in a guest free of charge

Pros

  • Massive lounge that actually qualifies as Cathay Pacific’s largest in Hong Kong
  • Friendly staff with plenty of food options such as the made-to-order noodle bar
  • Would be very easy to take a nap if you find yourself on a long layover

Cons

  • When I asked, they did not have a selection of decaffeinated tea, which would be a nice option before an evening flight

Final Thoughts

This lounge does an excellent job of removing the stress of the Hong Kong airport and bringing you into a relaxing environment. This is something I find to be even more important at an airport as large and as busy as Hong Kong International. As stated we also briefly visited The Bridge but we both enjoyed our time at The Pier much more. The only thing The Bridge had that we found superior to The Pier was the bar area–if you are someone who enjoys sitting at the bar then The Bridge would be a good stop to make. But overall I really enjoyed the ambiance, the food, the service, the seating, and how large the lounge actually is. Lastly, unlike a lot of other airport lounges around the world Cathay Pacific actually does an excellent job of covering the details of ‘The Pier’ lounge in Hong Kong here. We had a great time here and if anyone else finds themselves visiting we would be interested to hear how your experience compares to ours! 🙂

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