AMS: Amsterdam KLM Crown Lounge 52 NonSchengen
It's mind-bogglingly big and KLM's flagship lounge at Amsterdam; one of the largest Business Class lounges on the planet, classy, stylish, new, but with it must be said, not that much in the way of facilities such as food or drink, and a third of the lounge closes during the day.
The KLM Crown Lounge 52 takes its name from the nearby gates, located just up and off the main drag of Holland Boulevard; take the stairs by the Heiniken Café, or the lift. It's very close to all the shopping, plus the airport's library and museum.
The Amsterdam KLM Crown Lounge is arranged like a giant letter L, open and inviting, with an abundance of signature red chairs and vast angle-poise lamps (oddly, an iconic UK brand, and nothing to do with the Netherlands). Indeed, it is these super-sized jumo angle-poise lamps that set the tone of the whole lounge. There is a huge amount of light thanks to the massive windows and cool lighting effects.
Indeed, the only problem is that there is just one small food area, and one main bar, with a couple of smaller refreshment stations dotted around the lounge. The small bar / food area is right next to the entrance, on the left, and around here it gets seriously crowded during the day, with vultures descending on the rather sparsely stocked buffet.
As you walk left, you walk up to the next level (even though it seems as if the lounge is on one level; it's not). You walk up a ramp to an area with more seating, a small curved business area and a glass walled smoking lounge.
To the right there are acres of more seats, and odd white benches stretching across the lounge. At the far end of the right hand segment is the special part of the lounge which is only opened in the evening when most long haul flights depart, and it has another dining area and another quite select bar: as few people find this area of the lounge, it is much calmer than the rest of the lounge which can descend into a madhouse in the evenings.
There's also a darkened relaxation nap room with large bed-like chairs called cushioned chaises for a quick nap. Just be aware that no wake up service is provided, and it is very easy to fall asleep for hours.
FoodFood-wise, the Amsterdam KLM Crown Lounge non-Schengen is adequate, but not startling good; it is no BA Concorde room that is for sure! Instead the small buffet it right by the entrance. At least the menu is changed 3 times a day, and there is a theme four times a year; which tends to alternate through Dutch, Asian, US and European themes.
When there is hot food at lunch and dinner times, there is the Dutch traditional dish of pea soup with smoked sausage. To follow for desert, there are the great Dutch inventions of caramelised waffle cookies.
There are of course trays of ham and cold meat, plus a bowl of salad leaves, if you don't fancy the scrum before the hot food, and a few bowls of nuts and nibbles.
At least in the non-Schengen KLM lounge there is hot food; in the Schengen (short-haul/European) lounge, you have to make do with cold food.
BarThe bar is really poor: there are vastly better places to drink than the KLM Lounge Amsterdam, although the bar does look quite impressive as you walk in.
There is Heineken on draft, as you would expect, and another beer on draft in the fridge.
Wine is in the little trough on the curved bar: there is a sparkling wine, along with two types of red, and two of white.
There are just five bottles of spirits on optics above the bar - and indeed at the little mini bar at the top of the slope and in the separate bar which opens later in the day. Gin is Bombay Sapphire, Vodka Smirnoff, and Bacacdi, VSOP, and Dewards make up the rest of the mix.
There are a dozen private shower rooms, which are quite good and well equipped. Towels are available from reception.
Business FacilitiesThere are OK business facilities in the KLM Lounge Amsterdam. On the upper level is a small curved wall, behind which are several PCs, which are fast and work well. It can however been a right pain to get to some of the middle seats, as everyone pushed back their chairs. There is also a laser printer.
There are power sockets dotted around the lounge, and the free wifi is good and fast.
A small selection of newspapers is on the curved rack by reception.
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