HKG: Hong Kong United Airlines UnitedClub
The United Airlines Hong Kong United Club is either one of the best on the United network, or the worst lounge at Hong Kong, depending on your athetic bent. It's better than the usual United offerings, but United lounges are just very poor compared to what other airlines offer.
It is a pretty good lounge, although by the time you get to the far end of the long pier at Chek Lap Kok airport, you'll settle for anywhere just for a bit of a lie down and a bit of a rest, and the United Club Hong Kong will certainly let you do that.
The United Club Hong Kong lounge is at the end of the long pier, upstairs, and at the other side of the V shape to Thai Airways' Hong Kong lounge.
It is open to the roof, with great views of the hoi-polloi below you, over the aluminium and glass barrier. Throughout the lounge there are great views of the planes and of the sunset over the sea. If you're just changing planes, it is a great location to acclimatise to China.
The lounge - previously known as the United Hong Kong Red Carpet Club - takes up most of the point of the V, and it's divided into several separate sub-lounges you can wander around through, separated by high grey walls that have art in little cases.
Alas the Hong Kong United Club lounge isn't particularly colourful, having rather dull green armchairs that are harder than you expect, however there are some cosy corners where you can just curl up with a G&T and watch the world go by, away from the draughts in the main terminal.
There are plenty of seats, but when the flights are due to leave over the Pacific this place can get packed.
The best, and most empty, place to sit is on the far side of the lounge, overlooking the wing of the terminal, on the hard plastic dining chairs. Few people sit here.
FoodFood comes in several varieties: Asian, Western, and American.
Most of this is on the central square pod that is right in front of you when you walk in.
There is a small salad bar with salad, sweet corn, tomatoes, ham, cucumber & pasta salad, and a good chilli sauce.
Next to this there are a few speciality sweets, titbits, and liquorice. Further around are pasta in heated tourines, noodles, Dim sum, rice porridge, curry, and satay.
There are sandwiches tightly wrapped in cling-film, and ice-cream in the small table-top freezer.
However if you are looking for the Japanese food, walk further around to the shower corridor. Here there is small sushi counter, and it is really rather good.
Don't miss the make-your-own Tacho bar, which is close to the front door, with shells and all the right condiments, including a lot of grated cheese.
BarThere is a self-service bar in the United Club Hong Kong, which is mostly organised around a small nook directly opposite the front door. It is OK, with 10 spirits and two types of wine (one white and one red) but is fairly nondescript, and hidden.
Notably, few passengers in this lounge will partake of Alcohol (unlike, it must be said, the BA or Qantas lounges).
Beer is in a totally different fridge, opposite the Sushi counter, where are three types: Ashi, Bud and Tiger.
BathroomsThe lounge has two showers; however there is often a queue.
Ask at reception for a towel.
There are a small selection of amenites such as soap in the shower, but don't expect too much: however just having a shower after the long walk to the lounge is welcome.
Business FacilitiesIn the Hong Kong United lounge there are several large HDTVs, which seem to be permanently on CNN, without sound. Computers are on the peak of the V – right at the far end of the lounge - with 4 fairly fast PCs.
There is also a small central workroom which has desks, a photocopier, but no computers.
There are a couple of racks of Newspapers, which contain most of the US press, along with Chinese and Asian newspapers, and every single daily German newspaper.
However there are no English newspapers.
Magazines are also a bit Spartan: in particular there are mostly Chinese language versions, but there are also a few US magazines such as the Economist and Newsweek.
AccessIf you get desperate for a lounge at Hong Kong, and want to pay-per-entry, you can buy a daypass on the United Club Hong Kong door for US$50 - however the Premier lounge may be better, as it also has sleeping rooms and better showers.
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