In an earlier post, we reviewed Cathay’s Business Class lounge in Singapore, at Changi Airport Terminal 4, before its opening. We were told that many design features were modelled after Cathay’s flagship lounge, The Pier in Hong Kong. Therefore during our recent flight from Hong Kong to Milan, we booked ourselves onto Cathay business class. Unlike Singapore Airline’s SilverKris lounge in Changi which has just one lounge in T2 and T3, Cathay’s four lounges are spread across the one terminal in Hong Kong’s airport. I’m guessing this is for convenience due to proximity to various boarding gates. In this article, we will do our best to answer the question – ‘Which Cathay Pacific lounge should you visit in Hong Kong?’
Which Cathay Pacific lounge should you visit in Hong Kong?
We had a long stopover in Hong Kong recently and had ample time to visit the four Cathay Business Class lounges – The Pier, The Bridge, The Wing and The Deck. In terms of our lounge preference, The Pier definitely comes out tops and I would relish the opportunity to visit it again. The Bridge follows as second, followed by The Wing and then The Deck. Do check the opening hours of the lounges before going – they are not open 24 hours a day.
Located between Gates 63 – 65, The Pier is Cathay’s flagship lounge. It is also the biggest, comprising a dining area, a bar for drinks, a noodle bar, and a tea room. Unlike the SilverKris Lounge in Changi which is designed to have wide open spaces, I like that the lounge was segmented into rooms, giving one a heightened sense of privacy. I found the design of the lounge very thoughtfully done too – marrying both oriental and contemporary touches. There were also many long tables and benches in the lounge, which made for a good place for families or groups of friends to get together.
Opening hours: Daily from 5.30am, closed at 00.30am
Click here to find out more about The Pier.
The noodle bar is where you can get different types of noodles made to order, including noodles from the menu made on the spot. We tried the beef noodles, wanton noodles and dan dan mian (a type of noodle in peanut sauce). All were very good, but I got to say that the dan dan mian was the best of all. It was lightly spiced and you could taste the subtle flavours of the chilli and Sichuan pepper.
While visiting Cathay’s lounge in Singapore, we were told that each of the green tiles of the Noodle Bar were different. Each tile was specifically sourced and arranged to give a certain aesthetic, with elements of wabi-sabi (imperfection). The little booth seating added to the private feel of the noodle bar. There was local craft beer available too.
Food area and coffee counter
You will see the coffee counter when you first enter the lounge. As it was late in the day, we did not try the coffee. But do try the biscuits – it was the best dessert I had in the lounge. There was also a buffet area which served hot food.
We had some tea from the tea room, which is a collaboration between Jing tea and Cathay. I do like Chinese tea and I regret to say that the tea was somewhat diluted. The ‘宫廷普洱 ’ gong ting pu erh (a high grade of Pu Erh tea) that I ordered was too light for my preference. So was the Organic Jade Sword tea which S ordered. There was hardly anyone in the Tea Room while we were there.
Rest areas and viewing gallery
There are rest areas in the lounge which oversee the runway – great if you’re an aviation geek. I love the plush leather seats facing the runway. The design of Cathay Pacific’s lounge in T4 is very similar. The lounge also has 14 shower suites if you need a shower before a long flight.
The Bridge is located near gates 36. It has quite a grand entrance, as the reception area comes into sight as you take the escalator down. It was a quieter lounge – great if you would like to have some time alone. As there are fewer people there as compared to The Pier, it is a great place to finish work assignments during transit without getting disturbed. A point to note is that The Bridge closed pretty early while we were there, at about 11.30pm. We were directed to The Pier instead. There were 8 showers and we took a shower without the need to queue. As compared to the other lounges, I found The Bridge’s design to be the most modern.
Opening hours: Daily from 5.30am, closed at 00.30am
Click here to find out more about The Bridge.
The Wing is located near Gates 1- 3. It was a lot busier than The Pier and The Bridge. I’m guessing because there were several red-eye flights departing from gates near that particular lounge. The Wing has 23 shower facilities. It spans over two floors and has a super long bar, which overlooks the tarmac. As The Wing is the first Cathay lounge to be built, it’s worth checking out, though I thought the space was a little too open.
Opening hours: Daily from 5:30am until last departure
Click here to find out more about The Wing.
The Deck feels as if you have stepped into the living room of a friend’s place. The set up is very much like a living room, with comfortable leather chairs surrounding a table in the centre. The Deck is probably the smallest of the four lounges. It has a small noodle bar and part of the lounge overlooks the airport terminal.
Opening hours: Daily from 5:30am until 00:30am
Click here to find out more about The Deck.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
Comparison between Cathay Pacific’s and Singapore Airlines’ flagship lounges
On many levels, I found Cathay’s flagship lounge The Pier to be much more comfortable than Singapore Airline’s SilverKris lounge in Changi. Don’t get me wrong – the SilverKris lounge is comfortable if you need a short rest before transiting on to another flight. The SilverKris lounge was built to accommodate a large number of passengers in a practical, business-like fashion.
The biggest difference is that Cathay’s lounge, The Pier, feels like a well-designed friend’s home. One which you wouldn’t mind arriving at the airport three hours earlier just to have a meal (from their noodle bar) and a cup of tea (albeit a watery one) at their tea room with some desserts. Aviation geeks would enjoy sinking into the rich leather couches of its viewing gallery at the lounge, which provides a bird’s eye view of the planes on the tarmac.
We found Cathay Pacific’s Business Class flight to be good as well, but it appears that more emphasis was given to its ground product (the lounges), as compared to its in-flight offering. The Cathay lounges stand out for me due to the subtlety in its design language and the attention to detail. It’s the feeling you get when you enjoy being in a place, but don’t quite know why until you spend some time to think about it.
Note: In recent weeks, Cathay faced strong headwinds due to the onset of the 2019 novel coronavirus which caused multiple flight disruptions around the world. We were one of the affected passengers as our flight from Rome to Hong Kong was cancelled, and we flew back to Hong Kong from Madrid instead. We can only hope that Cathay will be able to weather the storm and continue operating its lounges, which provide a charming and unforgettable experience for travellers.