Review: Qantas Lounge, Hong Kong Airport
People often talk about the passing of the golden age of glamorous travel. However, Qantas’ lounge in Hong Kong airport goes a long way to restoring some of that.
The lounge is situated above the area beside Gate 15 and can be accessed from the stairs and lift there. More conveniently, however, if you use the North departure gate after checkin, then immediately after passport control, you can simply turn right and the lounge door is on the same level, a few steps away.
The lounge is large, although it can get fairly busy at times, and laid out over a long area most of which is open-ceilinged up to the airport roof atop.
There are numerous seating area, some more private nooks and a dining area with waiter service which has large communal tables as well as smaller tables for two or four. There are showers. One omission is the lack of any business area including computers, printers and the like.
A focal point is a generously sized sit down bar.
A number of features combine to make it an excellent lounge. First, there is a wide range of high-quality, substantial food. This has a lot of western and Australian favourites, but also Asian food. At certain times of day, for example in the morning when the lounge has passengers awaiting a Japan Airlines departure, it has a good selection of Japanese breakfast items. It’s easy to feel one has a proper meal in this lounge than in other equivalent lounges, not only because there are decent entrees, but also hearty soups and delicious desserts.
Secondly, the service is excellent. The golden age is evoked by waiting staff wearing white and black blazers, although the female trousers detract from the look somewhat. There is a seated dining area where there is table service, albeit more for drinks than food, and staff are friendly and very quick – indeed on one visit, one eager staff member whisked away my plate while I had simply gone to fetch a drink on my own. An example of this excellent service is the fact that I have seen staff coming through the lounge with a tray of ice cream, offering a bowl to each passenger, and the like.
Thirdly, the lounge does an excellent job of projecting the airline’s Australian identity. This is obvious from the combination of elegant design with a contemporary feel. It also shows through not only in the food, but also in the drinks – a good range of antipodean wines, both Australian and from New Zealand – and at least one Aussie draft beer at the bar (personally, I’d rather they replaced Singha with another). There is Australian television playing, and a wide range of Australian newspapers available in the evenings.
At other times of day, there is an excellent selection of international press available, with more British titles than any other lounge in the airport.
The lounge’s opening hours are longer than advertised elsewhere: in fact, 7.30 to midnight, daily.