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Review: The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific


Before setting off on my return journey from Hong Kong to North America with Cathay Pacific business class, I took some time to visit The Pier Business Class Lounge.

The Pier is only one of many lounges that Cathay Pacific offers at its home airport in Hong Kong. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the The Pier First Class Lounge, and I was intrigued to explore the business class section this time around. 

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Access

The Pier Business Class Lounge lives just beyond The Pier First Class Lounge, situated near Gate 65, whereas the latter is situated closer to Gate 62.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Escalator access

The lounge is accessible by passengers who hold Cathay Pacific or Oneworld business class tickets, with no guest allowance.

Marco Polo Diamond members are granted lounge access for themselves and two accompanying guests, while Gold members can enter with one guest, and Silver members have only individual access.

Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members are allowed one guest, regardless of the cabin class they are travelling in.

Upon descending the escalators and turning left, you’ll encounter a set of check-in desks that evoke the feeling of checking into a hotel rather than an airport lounge. Here, I handed my boarding pass to the associate, who promptly granted me access to the lounge.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Check-in desks

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Seating

The Pier Business Class Lounge is a sprawling airport lounge. With over 3,306 square metres and accommodating over 500 passengers, it’s the largest lounge in Cathay Pacific’s network.

The lounge was designed to reflect the city of Hong Kong, and showcases a blend of modern and traditional elements with a warm ambience.

High-quality natural materials like limestone and cherry wood furnish the space, and are further accentuated by the careful placement of lush greenery and soft lighting.

Moreover, lightweight partitions and timber screens are strategically placed throughout the lounge to divide the space into separate sections without compromising the lounge’s open and inviting feel.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Seating

Upon entering the lounge, a split hallway greeted me. To the left are the main seating and dining areas within a series of interconnected rooms, similar in design to The Pier First Class Lounge.

Furthermore, the lounge features a convenient locker area where you can securely store your luggage and personal belongings, so you can effortlessly navigate your surroundings.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Lockers

In the first of the lounge’s many “rooms” upon entering, you’ll find the Food Hall, which is designed to resemble a market with a wide range of seating styles.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Food Hall
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Food Hall

There’s high-top marble bars equipped with charging outlets and USB ports for connectivity needs, dining tables, as well as picnic-style benches.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Food Hall seating

In the next room over, you’ll find a cozy seating area with leather armchairs overlooking the tarmac. This area is perfect for individuals or small groups of two or three, or if you’re keen on snapping a photo of the Cathay Pacific aircraft.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Seating
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Seating

Continuing further in, you’ll note the windows and seating area spans the length of the lounge, with equally impressive views. Here, you’ll find a variety of seating options to suit your needs, including individual armchairs and group seating.

Armchairs equipped with a side table have a drawer which reveals charging outlets and USB ports to keep your devices powered up.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Seating

Here in this room, you’ll also find a fully staffed bar to help yourself to a drink.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Bar

Over in the next room, you’ll find The Noodle Bar, a Cathay Pacific staple, complete with ample booth seating and communal-style seating.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – The Noodle Bar seating
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – The Noodle Bar seating
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – The Noodle Bar seating

Heading even deeper into the confines of the lounge is the lounge’s signature feature, The Tea House. This space is exclusive to The Pier, and you won’t find it in any of Cathay Pacific’s other lounges.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – The Tea House seating
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – The Tea House seating

It’s worth noting that at the time of my visit, the lounge was rather busy and slightly chaotic, which somewhat detracted from the experience. However, fortunately, the lounge’s sprawling size meant there was enough seating for everyone.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Dining

The Pier Business Class Lounge has a strong food and beverage selection, with five distinct areas to choose from.

Starting with the Food Hall, there’s a variety of quick bites, both hot and cold. You can either grab something on the go or sit down for a meal.

The selection leans towards Western dishes such as pizza, cold cuts, cheese, and salad. Along with self-serve fresh juices, sparkling, red, and white wine, you can also find a fully stocked refrigerator offering an ample choice of soft drinks and beer.

For coffee enthusiasts, there’s a bespoke coffee cart inspired by Asian street food carts. The coffee cart serves freshly brewed specialty coffee made to order by expert baristas.

However, no Cathay Pacific business lounge experience is complete without visiting the Noodle Bar. Here you’ll find Hong Kong- and Asian-inspired specialties such as sample dim sum, char siu buns, dumplings, and other regional specials.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Noodle Bar menu

There was also a small buffet of hot items to choose from, if you wanted to supplement your Noodle Bar orders with a few other items. 

I had limited time in the lounge, so I went straight to the Noodle Bar, where I indulged in not one, but two classic dishes: wonton noodles and dan dan mian. I must say, both dishes were excellent and I dutifully polished off each one.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Wonton noodles and Dan dan mian

The wonton broth had a clean and refreshing flavour, and the wontons themselves had a delicate yet satisfyingly chewy texture.

Meanwhile, the dan dan mian was an explosion of flavour, with a complex and bold taste that was at once spicy, savoury, and slightly sweet. The chilli oil added just the right amount of heat to balance out the dish.

The lounge’s bar area has a wide range of alcoholic beverages, such as spirits, cocktails, beers, and wines. Additionally, Piper Heidsieck Champagne, also available with various other airlines and airport lounges, is among the premium offerings.

Lastly, The Tea House serves a wide selection of teas by trained specialists, as well as some fresh baked goods. It’s a unique nod to the airline’s roots and a neat addition to the lounge.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Tea House menu
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Pastries at The Tea House

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend as much time in the lounge as I would’ve liked, due to having to get a last-minute antigen test upon checking into my flight to Paris. Otherwise, I would’ve certainly loved to sit down with a cup of warm tea to properly appreciate the ambience of the Tea House. 

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Other Facilities

At the very end of the lounge lies a hidden gem: The Relaxation Room. Plush upholstered daybeds are nestled in semi-private alcoves with subdued lighting so you can doze off easily.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Relaxation room
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Relaxation room daybeds

There’s a total of 14 of these inviting daybeds, accompanied by footstools. These daybeds aren’t quite as swanky as the Day Suites in The Pier First Class Lounge, but would still serve well any passengers in need of a nap.

Outside of this relaxation zone, you’ll find two generously sized plush sectionals that face each other, serving as a comfortable waiting area if the day beds happen to be occupied.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Relaxation room seating

Adjacent to The Relaxation Room are no less than 13 exquisitely appointed shower suites.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Shower suites hallway

The hallways that lead to the shower suites and bathrooms have a distinctly modern appearance, with grey slatted walls. Stepping inside, the shower rooms are marble-clad with a walk-in rain shower, toilet, and a single vanity.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Shower suite
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Shower suite
The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Shower suite

There’s adequate room available to place your bags or suitcase; however, the rooms are somewhat limited in size. Nevertheless, I thought the shower rooms were visually pleasing and well-equipped with Aesop bath amenities.

Similarly, the lounge’s washrooms have a clean and modern aesthetic, complete with stylish brass fixtures, elegant marble counters, and Aesop bath amenities.

The Pier Business Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific – Restroom

One final feature that I didn’t get to check out on this visit is The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga, a newer addition to the lounge that offers a mini yoga room with four yoga mats and a flat-screen TV with guided relaxation programs.

Conclusion

The Pier Business Class Lounge is a high-end lounge that ticks all the boxes for a comfortable lounge experience before taking to the skies, even in spite of some reports that the quality of food and services has gone down in recent years. 

One of my favourite elements of The Pier Business Class Lounge is the local elements that embody the essence of Hong Kong. From the Tea House to the mouthwatering Noodle Bar, the lounge’s food and drink offerings are an authentic reflection of the airline’s home territory. 

Add in the well-equipped relaxation areas and shower suites, and I’d rank Cathay Pacific’s The Pier as one of the better home-base business class lounges among all the airlines out there, with only one gripe that I wish I had more time to fully appreciate the lounge on this visit. 




This story originally appeared on princeoftravel

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