Cathay closed their two small lounges in the airport and consolidated them into one new lounge which opened in June. It is located at level 3 in concourse G departures. As Cathay said when it opened, “the Bangkok lounge adopts the airline’s new lounge design template that has already been employed at Cathay Pacific lounges in Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Manila.” It is styled in a contemporary, spacious fashion and I like that a lot. A full description from the airline is available here, although on Cathay’s website they do not currently have up to date opening hours.
The lounge has a small business area, a lounge area next to it, a drinks and salad serving area in the middle which feels a bit sparse, and then at the end the noodle bar with booth style seating.
Pros of the lounge for me are:
- It is very well staffed.
- It is very light and has good views out so you can watch plane traffic.
- It is well located and convenient for those Cathay flights which leave from pier G.
- It feels a lot more spacious than the old Cathay lounges, which were smaller and felt cramped. When I have been in there have always been seats available.
- The business area with computers is less cramped than the old one.
- It is very well provided with power point and USB sockets, including ones built into the tables which can be slid out using the elegant leather style handle.
- The bar is a huge improvement on the old drinks section. As well as being staffed, it has a wide selection of drinks and, for example, a proper Italian coffee machine from which a member of staff will make fresh coffees. They also now have champagne (Piper Heidseck) which I don’t recall from before.
- There is now a Noodle bar offering freshly made hot food.
However there are some points which I think need work for Cathay:
- The noise! The lounge has music, which personally I don’t want at any level in the lounge. What is more, it is loud to the point of making me unable to sleep on one recent visit.
- The dish and glassware details really need work. For example, the crockery is beautiful but the porcelain spoon I got was chipped at the end. So I got another, which was chipped in the same place. I got another, which was chipped in the same place… and so on. Similarly, the glasses are overly large and slope inwards, so that it’s uncomfortable to hold one anyway and it easily slides out of your hands. No sooner had I noticed this than a staff member dropped and smashed one in the middle of the Noodle Bar area, so it’s not just me who sees it as a problem.
- The hot food from the Noodle Bar tastes somewhat artificial. For example I had a mushroom soup which really had an MSG taste to it.
- The sandwich selection has diminished. The new sandwiches are in the style of mini buns and served at a proper temperature unlike the heavily refrigerated ones of yore. But there’s less selection.
- The old lounge routinely served duff Chilean wine with a bog standard Bordeaux red and unfortunately Cathay’s current propensity for dreadful wine choices continues. At the bar the choice is a 2013 Belleville Big Red Shiraz or a 2013 Renmano Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, or for whites from the same producers, 2012 and 2013.
The lounge does need to fix some details but overall it’s a lovely lounge and a big improvement.
Guest Blogger: Christopher R.