LHR: London Heathrow Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge
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The reception area in the new Cathay Pacific London lounge makes extensive use of classic white marble, one of the key components adapted from the design of The Wing and The Pier at Hong Kong International Airport.
The Cathay Pacific LHR Business Class lounge occupies the large area at the back of the lounge complex, with what Cathay like to say are four distinct zones where passengers can relax or work. In reality, this means banks of 136 rather dull red and grey seats, spread over most of the lounge, with computers by the entrance, dining tables on the right, and a long white marble bar near the food area. There are windows, but the view is rather set back from the other lounges, and you'll need to squint to see the runway in the distance.
The areas in the Cathay Pacific business class Lounge London Heathrow are divided by low walls which double as newspaper racks, while lift music plays continually. At one end of the lounge there is a large TV - generally on BBC News - and here the two sound systems fight it out. Relaxing, it is not.
Crucially, there is no sleeping, or even napping area in the lounge, and no real variants on the seats either: if you want a kip, the AA lounge is better, while the BA lounge offers more variety. The lounge can also get very busy in the evenings, just before the three main Cathay flights at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm: however during the day it can be all but deserted.
If you prefer more western food, there is a hot plate which is empty during the day, but in the evening there is a meat and a veggie curry and rice, along with pasta and a couple of pasta sauces. Soup is available in the evening, with a dark dry brown bread. All day there is a salad bar, but it is rather poor with lousy presentation, and with only one type of dressing (French), which you can take to the long table beside the buffet, and admire the "Cathay Pacific Landscape Wall" (that's the big glass wall, which separates the First Class section).
BarThe bar is pretty good for wine, but poor for spirits, with three very good whites and a rosé in the chiller, and two reds on the counter top. There is little influence of the new world here. Whites tend to be Italian, while the reds are French, although occasionally a California red appears.
There is no champagne, but there is normally an Austrian Prosecco for bubbles. Beer is in bottles in the fridge, with some London specials along with Tiger and Singa. There are spirits on the worktop, but only basic Gordon's Gin, Black Label, Smirnoff, and Jack Daniels. There is also a huge and quite complicated coffee machine.
BathroomsShower facilities are among the best at Heathrow, with five fully equipped shower suites common to both lounges, again in the classic white marble. You need to ask at reception for a towel.
Business FacilitiesJust by the entrance there is a small glass walled business centre with six computers. Alas, these weren't replaced when the lounge was updated, and they are really slow, with only IE6.
There is a printer on a small marble pedestal, but with most travellers bringing their own laptops, few people use these computers. Alas, the wifi is appallingly slow - down almost to dialup speed in the evenings when most people use it - and as a result, this is not the lounge to do any work in. The AA lounge offers much faster Wifi. There are also very few power sockets in the lounge: to find them, look under the pine side tables which have lights on. Sockets are UK/Hong Kong style only.
Along with low newspaper rack in the middle of the lounge, there is also a larger rack with most of the daily UK newspapers (Mail, Independent, Times, Telegraph, Standard, but no Guardian), and all of the Hong Kong, Finland (all 3 national daylies including the Helsingin Sanomat), Italian, and Spanish newspapers. Magazines are also surprisingly good, with everything from Hello to the Economist.
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