Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
While Plaza Premium currently operates dozens of lounges at airports around the world, when the company was founded more than twenty years ago, it started with two lounges – one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Hong Kong.
In this article, I will review one of those two – the Plaza Premium Lounge that can be found in Hong Kong International Airport West Hall – which I visited prior to my HK Express flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo Haneda.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Location, Opening Hours & Access
The Plaza Premium Lounge (West Hall) is located airside in HKIA’s terminal 1. It’s located one floor above the main departures level, and can be accessed by a pair of escalators (or an elevator) located near gate 40.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day, and it can be accessed by Priority Pass members, as well as through other similar programs. It’s also possible to buy one-time access into the lounge through the Plaza Premium website directly and through services such as LoungeBuddy.
Finally, some airlines – including HK Express – invite their business class and elite passengers to visit the lounge for free.
As for the lounge itself, while it was not large, it offered a variety of different seating options. And – at least during my visit – there were plenty of open seats.
There were several hexagonal semi-private pods – each with a desk, a sofa chair, and a power outlet. In the same area, behind the pods, there were also some sofa chairs in a more typical lounge set-up.
Other than the above, there was also a dining area with more than a dozen dining tables and a couple of communal counters.
As for the lounge’s buffet itself, it was spread across a couple of kitchen islands and thematic stations. I’ll talk more about the details of what was on offer in the next section.
While showers were available in the lounge, I didn’t check them out, and so I can’t comment on them.
Food and Drinks
Drinks in the lounge included a selection of soft drinks including soy milk drinks, canned beer, and bottled water.
There were also orange and apple juice dispensers, as well as Carlsberg beer on tap.
As for hot drinks, there was a pair of coffee machines and a selection of Twinings tea bags.
Free liquor was only available in a section of the lounge reserved for passengers of select airlines.
As for food, there were some light options including snacks such as marshmallows, candies, and cookies, and a selection of bread.
There was also a salad bar.
Then, there was a noodle station where one could get a bowl of Hong Kong-style fish ball noodle soup topped with a wide selection of condinements.
Other main dishes included sweet and sour fried chicken, siu mai, and pasta.
Sides included fried potatoes, sauteed vegetables, and fried rice.
Finally, there was also a dessert – butter bread pudding with vanilla sauce.
Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong Airport West Hall Summary
The lounge – even though it was not, understandably, as nice as Cathay Pacific’s lounges at the airport – was bright and airy, and offered a decent selection of food and drinks.
I also found the quality of the food to be fairly good – I tried several items and enjoyed all of them. Especially the noodle soup.
Ironically, I found the lounge to be much nicer than the underwhelming Singapore Airlines lounge that I was invited to prior to my Singapore Airlines business class flight – one of my favorite experiences in the sky.