BKK: Bangkok Cathay Pacific Lounge
Read the full story here: Cathay Pacific open new Bangkok lounge.
The brand new Cathay Pacific Bangkok Lounge is one of the airline's best new lounges, much larger than most outstation lounges, and seats 140, with a noodle servery and a great cocktail bar. The Cathay Pacific Business lounge Bangkok is in the airline's newest style. It feels more like a living room than an airline lounge, with sunlight filtering through the windows onto the great designer furniture and lighting with bespoke chairs and side tables. There is even the new design of Solo chairs.
The Cathay Pacific lounge in Bangkok uses what is being described as a "new lounge design", similar to the latest Cathay Pacific lounges in Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Manila, and was designed by Studioilse, the London-based design studio led by Ilse Crawford, who wanted to create an environment that felt relaxed, and engaged the senses, while focusing on wellbeing as a core principle.
The Cathay Pacific Bangkok lounge is a large 679 square metres, with seating for no less than 140 people, however it is designed as a combined First and Business Class lounge, with no separate areas. To do this the new lounge has been built with warm, natural materials like wood and stone, softening the acoustics where possible and adopting what the airline call a 'considered approach' to lighting.
Cherry wood walls and a limestone floor are framed with details such as glazed screens, green ceramic tiles in The Noodle Bar, bronze highlights in the main entrance and brass in the Bar.
The Cathay Pacific Bangkok lounge also has lots of plants which add colour to the space while specially sourced artworks reflect the local culture. Spot the giant abracts around the entrance, which certainly catch the eye.
As you enter, on your right is the main lounge proper, with firstly the main relax area, around a central curved seating space, with four enormous curved white armchairs. Beside here are a line of Solo four seats. Even though this is the main relax area, most passengers coming in tend to flop down here,, making it a noisy busy space.
Next up is the bar on the right, and a small corridor to the bathrooms, which are pretty good.
Opposite the bar are again, four low chairs which wouldn't be out of place in a smoking lounge. You can also sit at the bar. Beside here is a small side corridor with the computers.
Then at the far end is the quietest part of the lounge - which is also the most empty. A really good area with a long sofa, and a great view up the airport terminal. Chairs here though oddly face inward, so you can't see the view.
Against the wall are four recliners, which do face out towards the tarmac. There are some more of these in the bar area too.
Back by the entrance, if you go straight ahead is the food servery with western food. It is dominated by strange high tables, but nowhere to sit other than by the window. It's clear - you are expected to come in here, and stand eating, or sit at the long white marble bench.
Finally at the far end is the noodle bar - and what a noodle bar! It is one of the best on the Cathay network. There are lots of small 1+1 seats along the windows, and a huge long bench type seating along the middle. The noddle bar where you place your order is in the middle, and there is a small drinks station at the far end, with beer in the fridge.
The overall feeling of the Bangkok Cathay Pacific lounge is of a designer space with well-chosen furniture and lighting, including bespoke chairs and side tables. There are in-built lamps and sockets everywhere for charging tablets and laptops.
There are OK view of the airport runway although the years have not been kind to the old BA space, with the curved glass somewhat opaque. It is hard to take photos of the planes.
The new Cathay lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, replaces its older much smaller facility, in part by using a large section of the old British Airways lounge, which with the large cutbacks to the BA service from Bangkok is no longer needed. As it is now regarded as a holiday route, flights to Europe are daytime (both for BA and Finnair) and in the early morning the lounge is packed with oneworld travellers. Similarly, with the Qantas Bangkok Lounge closure, in the evening the Cathay lounge is packed with Aussies.
FoodThe Cathay Pacific Bangkok lounge dining area features Cathay Pacific's signature The Noodle Bar, which offers a selection of Asian noodles including wonton noodle soup and tom yam soup, freshly prepared by a chef.
During the morning, until 11:00am, there is also an authentic Thai breakfast, with noodles and fish heads.
For more mainstream western food there is the Food Bar servery. The salads are good - although, as it is Thailand, take care - a cheese platter, pastries and other desserts.
BarThe main central Bar offers up a good cocktail list with wine and beers. Wine is generally Australian or New World, with three types of white or red - they are on display behind the bar. The barman has a cocktail list, but you have to ask to see it.
There are two types of Champagne on offer, and it pays to ask to see the options.
Beer however is rather poor, with just Singa or Heineken in cans. It is however in the fridge, so you can serve yourself.
A major issue with the Cathay lounge is that there are no showers. The nearby Louis Tavern lounge does have showers - but you need to pay. If you are a Qantas passenger, you also have access to the Emirates Bangkok lounge which also has showers.
Business FacilitiesThe new Business Centre is called the Bureau which has three individual workstations with dual operating system iMacs and printers; it is behind the screen to the left of the bar.
There is free Wi-Fi access is also available throughout the Cathay Pacific Bangkok lounge - the password is on display in the lounge.
A small newspaper table is by the main doors, next to the relax space. It has newspapers and magazines, including Hong Kong and Thai newspapers, however there are no UK newspapers.
AccessThe new Bangkok Cathay Pacific lounge is located at Level 3 in the Concourse G Departure Hall, which is not the main shopping and dining area, as you may think. That is one level above - you need to take the lift down to get to this lounge.
BA passengers with a Silver or Gold card, or in Business Class, can use the Cathay Pacific lounge for the newly retimed three class only daytime flight back to London Heathrow. There is no pay-in access: you cannot buy access on the door.
The new Bangkok Cathay Pacific lounge is open 0530 - 1930, except on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday when it closes at 0030.
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