Cathay Pacific Airways is known for its impeccable in-flight service. So it should be no surprise that the services the airline offers to weary travelers whose feet are planted firmly on the ground are similarly spectacular.
The bustling Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) has a collection of Cathay luxury lounges. The Pier First Class lounge reopened at Gate 63 in June 2015 following renovations, and lives up to the brand. My husband and I weren’t flying Cathay on our recent flight to Dallas. However, his executive platinum status with American Airlines luckily gained us free admission to The Pier.
We glided down an escalator that transferred us from a bustling airport into a calm oasis.
The interior walls are a subtle light jade green onyx. A long narrow hallways greets you, along with a squiggly couch and signs pointing you to the various options, including a restaurant, bar, day suites, massages, and showers. This is definitely the place to spend a long layover.
My husband and I had less than two hours in the lounge. So we had to rush through the amenities. We chose to sample the food first. The dining area was huge, and felt a bit sterile.
However, the menu is from the Peninsula hotels (the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong is a famous luxury destination). This was literally our most upscale meal that we had on the trip. Luckily, we didn’t have to pay anything for it. My husband decided to take full advantage of the benefit, and ordered us starters, entrees, and dessert!
For starters, we tried the black pepper seared tuna with white beans, cucumber and baby spinach. The tuna was very fresh and tasty. We also tried the fragrant chicken with lettuce peanut chili dressing. The dish had a nice crunchiness and you will enjoy it greatly if you enjoy peanut sauce. For the entree, I tried the tasty seafood rice in soup, which came with generous helpings of scallop, crab meat, shrimp and dried rice. My husband ordered the braised barramundi — roasted pork with bean curd sheets. For dessert, we tried the mango sticky rice with purple rice. It was very tasty, but I wish the sticky rice was just a tad bit sweeter. Overall a fantastic meal — with quality on par for celebrating an event such as an anniversary, rather than a visit to the airport.
Next, my husband scheduled a foot massage for me (my first foot massage EVER — I’m not usually a massage person). The foot massage came with a complimentary mini neck massage (the other option is a small hand massage). For me, relaxation at an airport does not come naturally. I am a nervous flier. But the massage helped me relax more than usual. Of course, the intercom announcements about flights were an unwelcome interruption to this reality break.
With the large leather armchairs and the “gentlemen’s tonic” hand balm, I definitely felt like I was crossing into some sort of private club for men. I got the feeling that most of the visitors are male business travelers, not women like myself.
With the massage completed, my husband and I grabbed a couple of cocktails from the circular bar at the other end of the entry corridor. We ordered a couple of basic vodka-soda drinks. But you may want to try the famous Cathay Delight green mixed drink (it matches the jade-colored walls). The drink’s mysterious ingredients allegedly include coconut milk, fresh milk, kiwi juice and mint leaves. It’s basically a delicious creamy calorie bomb.
The Pantry was also located nearby, with quite the snack food spread. That’s some well-lit pretty food!
By this time, I was scanning the seating area to check out some of the other visitors. The lounge was quite quiet. One lady with oversized sunglasses and high wedge shoes sat alone nearby. A family with two children who wore headphones and played with their iPads as they dined sat in a group. A few middle-aged men who appeared to be business travelers roamed about by themselves.
The lounge is also great for plane enthusiasts. The large windows offered a great view of a Thai Airways plane.
The seating area was outfitted more like a residence, with plenty of armchairs.
Unfortunately, our whirlwind tour of the lounge lasted just under two hours. Certainly, one could spend many hours comfortably in such a wonderland. Other amenities that I did not have time to experience included the day suites. The suites offer a view of the runways and are equipped with day beds, reading lights, and curtains for privacy.
We rushed out to find our flight already boarding and the red “final boarding” sign flashing at our gate. It was a sign of this lounge’s greatness that we were late for boarding, since my husband is usually eager to be the first in line.
- The Pier First Class Lounge, Cathay Pacific.
- “Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge Now Open,” One Mile at a Time Blog.
- “Review: Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport,” One Mile at a Time Blog.
- “Review: Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong Airport,” PointChaser Blog.