KUL: Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Business Class Lounge
Located in the Satellite Building, the Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge is up on the Mezzanine: once off the train to the Satellite, take the hidden escalator on the right, up to the balcony, and right a short way until you see the adverts for the Plaza lounge, and many of the airlines using it: it is very close to the Cathay Pacific lounge.
A Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge review often says that it offers a chic, swish place to wait for your flight. What they omit to mention is that since Malaysia Airlines dropped skyteam, all of the the skyteam airlines use this lounge, as do many Star Alliance ones, and indeed many non-affilated airlines. In mid-afternoon when many of the planes depart, there can be bedlam in the KLIA Plaza lounge.
It shouldn't be that way - Hong Kong interior designer Kinney Chan designed the Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur, along the lines of its sister Plaza lounge in Hong Kong airport, and it features similar a mother-of-pearl reception wall, crystal chandelier and New Zealand wool carpets. When the lounge is empty it is a genuinely good place to be.
The Plaza Premium lounge KLIA reviews are typically mixed. It does offer lots of different seating areas, a business centre with computers, meeting rooms, and even a VIP room.
As you enter there is generally a crowd of people fighting their way in past the desk - if you're already been in a wave of your boarding card normally surfices. Then the first thing you see is the bar: this is genuinely impressive, and one of the best airport lounge bars at KLIA: indeed, it is way up there in world standards.
The Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge is in effect a big long box, curved around the corner of the Satellite building, and with a great view of the apron and gates below the lounge. The best seats are by the window, but all the seats are arranged in banks of 2+2, with small thin tables between them: as a lone traveller you typically have to pick up a spare seat - after asking other passengers to remove their luggage from tem. There are power sockets (UK square pin only) between the seats.
The quietest areas are at the far end of the lounge - where the bathrooms are - and at the lounge entrance - opposite the bar. There is also the VIP room, which is normally unlocked, but few people wander in here. It is right at the end of the lounge, through the double doors.
Close to the food area there are dining tables, and a strange high upright bench with a couple of small bar tables: fewer people choose to sit here too, and it's often a better place to sit.
Overhead, close to the bar, there are some lovely chandeliers: indeed, when you can see the lounge for the people, it really looks quite impressive.
FoodFood options are great in the Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge. At one end of the lounge there is a small alcove, with a buffet. Here there are big heated tubs with stir fry and sweet and sour chicken, chicken biryani and basmati rice, and a noodle bar specalising in Hakka Pan Mee noodles.
Cheese, nuts, and snacks like pandan and cupcakes are also available - look at the display beside the bar for some more options.
There is typically a hot desert too, and some chilled ones.
There is hot soup too, with a type that rotates daily.
There is an OK salad bar, with six bowls sitting on a bed of ice, and three types of dressing.
BarThe bar in the Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge is quite simply brilliant, and the best of any lounge at KLIA. It beats into a hat the woeful sports bar in the Malaysia Airlines lounge.
From the marble topped bar the barman will check your boarding card to see what you are permitted 'free'. If you pay per entry, you pay per drink. But if you get in by means of a Business Class boarding card on some airlines you'll get free booze: it all depends, and you have no real way of knowing without the barman looking it up in his chart.
Wine is generally good, with some decent new world wines - both red and white. There is one 'default' wine displayed on the bar, and some other alternatives on the shelf behind the bar: As always, it pays to ask what the options are.
Beer is just Heineken on draft, with a couple of other fairly bland alternatives in bottles.
However when it comes to spirits, there is a fine selection, including some great malts. The barman will delight in mixing up cocktails too, and takes great pleasure in this: however, always ask what the price is before you go down this road or you could be in for a shock.
Business FacilitiesThere are decent business facilities in the Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge - the problem is getting near them. Most people use the computer workstations as additional seats, or to eat their dinner at.
There are two computers close to the bar, and four at the far end of the lounge: these are generally the quietest.
There is free wifi in the lounge: you have to collect the password from the front desk.
Newspapers are in the lounge, but are pretty poor: they are in a rack under the TV beside the food bar.
BathroomsShowers and toilets are in the lounge, but are the tiniest toilets you've ever seen, and worse they are pretty open to the lounge: they are right at the far end. It is often best to leave the lounge to use the facilities in the main terminal.
AccessThe Kuala Lumpur Plaza Premium Lounge is the main KLIA pay in lounge. It is also the Priority Pass lounge Kuala Lumpur. If you pay per entry, the basic package for 2 hours is 128MYR (about £20GBP, rising to 168 MYR, or 10 hours for 188MYR, but you'd have to seriously consider your stopovers if you want to stay in here that long: there is a transit hotel in the Satellite building too, and that might be a much better and cheaper option - plus it offers a decent bed.
The lounge is also used by a vast number of airlines serving KLIA. As a result it is also the Turkish Airlines Lounge Kuala Lumpur, the Eva Air Lounge Kuala Lumpur, the Bangkok Airways Lounge Kuala Lumpur, and so on.
A real curiosity of the lounge is that HSBC Premier World MasterCard Credit Card and HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card holders get free entry (but limited to only a certain number). They will swipe your card on entry, but you won't be charged.
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