AKL: Auckland Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge
To get to the area of the airport that has the Air New Zealand Auckland International Koru Club, after security go past the duty free shops, then up the escalator, right at the sign for VIP Lounges, right up the small rather dowdy corridor, up another escalator and double back on yourself.
The Air New Zealand Auckland lounge has recently had a most welcome fashion makeover, and the old dreary green look of the 1980s has gone, to be replaced by fresher green corduroy sofas, however the place is still decidedly gloomy - especially the inner lounge area.
This is probably the worst place to hang out in the Auckland Air New Zealand lounge, as it is the one most people make for, and yet it's often crowded, particularly before the flights for the US & UK leave. Instead you can sit at the couple of tables around the bar, or go further in to the area close to the windows.
The best place in the Air New Zealand Auckland lounge is the old first class section (now used for business since Air NZ abandoned this class), up past the main area, which has had a revamp, and this offers great views of the gates, tarmac and runway, plus its own separate beer fridge.
There is a good selection of all the NZ newspapers on the stand on the far side of the inner area statue, with lots of copies of the NZ Herald, and occasionally a Sydney Morning Herald. At the far end of the inner area (the old business centre) there is also a small cinema area, with a large wide screen TV.
There are no sleeping facilites in the Auckland Koru Club, however in a very Kiwi fashion there are hammocks! There are two of them - right by the window, which means the light streams in.
There is a small children's room, at the far end, and left around the corner. Facilities are fairly basic, with just a few toys and a TV.
FoodFood has gone downhill lately in the International Air New Zealand Auckland lounge, and isn't actually as good as in the domestic lounge (or even as good as in Sydney). The food changes 3 times a day, with the best selection at breakfast, when there are scones & clotted cream.
By lunchtime there are just a few olives, gherkins, a very bad hummus, some cheese (3 types, with edam in odd red squares sliced into slivers) cold beef, and a pretty good pate. Scones and cream make a brief reapperance at teatime, while in the evening there are hot dishes.
BarThe bar is much better, with some decent Kiwi sparklers and two whites.
The beer fridge is a real delight, having a vast array of everything from DB Export Gold, to Steinlarger, Monteith's dark, and Becks. On the main part of the bar there is (in free pour bottles) Bacardi, Jim Beam, Coruma rum, Grants Whisky, and Bacardi, along with two red wines.
BathroomsThere are bathrooms with OK showers in the lounge, and there is also a spa, however only genuine business class passengers with a long haul flight (not Tasman or Pacific islands) are permitted.
The Spa shuts in the middle of the day, and even when it's open, the options are basic: in effect you can get a massage, but that's it.
Business FacilitiesThere is no longer a business centre: instead on the far wall of the inner area has four desks, with four (relatively fast) internet computers. There are telephones by each computer, which can receive (but not make) calls.
There is one telephone cubical, which charges NZ$4 to make, and then $4 a minute for calls: your mobile may be a lot cheaper.
Free Wifi is available in the Air New Zealand Auckland Koru Lounge, from two networks: the two are called AirNZ which is not encripted, and Koruclub2 (User: koruclub, password: nelson). At the far end of the room there is a large desk with heaps of various types of mobile phone charger adapters mounted on it - a nice free perk.
Newspapers and magazines are good. In the early evening, there are even the UK daily papers (although they are 2 days old).
There is also a separate games counter, with two PS2 bolted to the shelf at the far end near the children's room.
AccessThe Auckland Koru Club doubles up as the generic Auckland Star Alliance lounge, and as such is used as everything from the Singapore Airlines Auckland Business Class Lounge to the Thai Airways Auckland Lounge.
Entry is of course possible with a Star Alliance Gold card. Failing that, and if you are desperate to get in, you can buy a daypass to the Auckland Lounge. Air New Zealand charge NZ$55 for what they term an 'ad-hoc' customer, and you are (in theory) limited to 4 hours. If you want to stay longer, it's a whopping NZ$85!
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