Renovated Cathay Pacific Pier first class lounge at Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific offers a true gluttony of lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. This has developed over time with business class lounges across the terminal space. The earliest two, The Wing and The Pier also included first class lounges. Not just a sub-section or exclusive area, these entirely separate lounges provided high end amenities. Both business and first class lounges at The Wing were renovated last year and now The Pier is receiving a similar update, with the first class lounge first. After being shut for a while it has now reopened featuring an even better restaurant, day suits, massages and bar all with fantastic furnishings.
I first visited the reopened Cathay Pacific Pier lounge in late August 2015 while on transit to Doha. In the subsequent months I have now visited the lounge a few times and have updated this post.
Like most of the Cathay Pacific lounges, The Pier is below the departure level accessible by lift or escalator. The first class lounge entrance remains slightly after the business class Pier lounge. The new lounge feels much more like a high quality hotel lobby than before. Warm colours and organic materials make it feel less structured and homely. Down the entrance and past the front desk is an information/announcement desk, which then opens to the main foyer. From here you can walk between the bar, buffet, seating area, day suits, showers and dining room.
Cathay Pacific have selected some fine designer furnishings for their lounge. The seating has a good selection of variety with larger tables present. The small side tables have draws which provide 240V and USB power sockets.
Top first class lounges often set themselves apart by provide restaurant style dining experiences. All Cathay Pacific lounges excel on the food front so it’s no surprise here. There is a menu almost as comprehensive as the Qantas First Class lounges. The food quality is excellent however I have noticed over several visits the menu does not change. It is perfect for an infrequent visitor like myself but somebody there weekly or more often would find this frustrating. Fish dishes are great, no doubt as others have noticed the Asian cuisine is somewhat tamed for a western palette so some it may be best to stick with western dishes.
On the opposite side between the entrance and bar is a self-serve bench of food that suffices for many. Featuring a range of sweet and sour snacks along with a fridge full of goodies. Even if you eat in the dining room I find myself coming here to get some added sweets.
One of the selling points of this lounge is its Day Suites. Presented as a place to nap the simply read a book while on an extended wait, I found them quiet but a little lacking. They are located behind the showers, accessed from a long corridor and each feature wide windows. With a bit of tinkering with the controls you can darken the room with the blinds and light dimmers. They do provide a blanket but otherwise there is little else provided. It feels more of a place to relax and read a book than much else. They are private although they don’t feature a door but rather a curtain. I am not certain how well it would work with multiple people but would be concerned about how much noise a conversation would make. Compared to the sleeping rooms some lounges of other first class lounges – Lufthansa and even Malaysia Airlines win out. Besides the view, the cabanas in The Wing lounge would be my preference here.
Like all their other lounges, The Pier has fantastic showers and you shouldn’t hesitate in using them. However, the both the showers and day suites are easily outclassed by the renovated The Wing’s cabanas. If you’ve got hours to spare, move to The Wing as the new cabanas are easily worth it. The Pier has one last trick, which is the complementary massages. These last about 15-20 minutes and are they can provide for three people at a time so you’ll have to book in advance. If you’re on a short transit, ask them before going to dine or whatever else. Particularly on my first visit when I was feeling rather physically exhausted, the massage helped immensely, at least for the immediate time.
Finally, because these lounges directly face the planes you’ll get some good views from the seating area, day suites and dining room. The adjacent gates seem always occupied by A380s predominantly Emirates but also Air France. If you’re lucky you’ll see a Lufthansa 747-8.
Overall a great lounge easily up to the standards one would expect with Cathay Pacific. Can’t say enough about the detail of furnishing, flooring, facets in the washrooms etc. The food is great and varied while the massages definitely deserve being my reasons to visit. If you’re departing from any far gate and have access to oneworld first class lounges then this provides a fantastic environment to wait for your flight.