A Royal (dis)HHonor: Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction
Aloft San Francisco Airport
Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to Singapore
St. Regis Singapore
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge Singapore
SilkAir Business Class Singapore to Koh Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Koh Samui to Bangkok
Le Meridien Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Lounge Bangkok
Royal Jordanian Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco


The feeling walking off our Royal Jordanian flight was one of the most bittersweet I’ve ever experienced. I was still in tears, probably mostly out of happiness, and couldn’t help but laugh at the same time that life wasn’t quite over year. I was walking through the terminal like a total drunk, due to a combination of my weakness and the purpose with which I walked in wanting to get to the lounge and call my family.

Transit security was quick, and we headed to the Cathay Pacific transit desk, as they weren’t able to issue our boarding passes to San Francisco when we had checked in at Bangkok Airport.

The process took a while, and I think the guy checking us in was pretty damn close to offloading me, given that I was a total mess.

After we got our new boarding passes we headed straight for Cathay Pacific’s new “Wing” lounge. The first class section had just completed renovations a week or two prior, so we were excited to check it out. At the entrance we were welcomed upon showing our invitations, and directed up the elevator.


The Wing entrance

Quick confession — I think people over hyped the old first class “Wing.” I generally don’t find OneWorld first class lounges to be exceptional, given the fact that both OneWorld Emerald and first class passengers get access to the lounges, meaning they’re a lot busier than other first class lounges.

But damn, the new “Wing” is one sexy lounge. It’s in the same area it was pre-renovation, so is “open air” and overlooks the terminal. The new furniture is really, really nice and stylish, though.

There’s plenty of seating, and there are servers roaming around offering drinks.


The Wing


The Wing

There’s also a bar right by the entrance.


Bar

I don’t usually drink a whole lot, but after the Royal Jordanian flight I decided it would make sense to down a few glasses of champagne, so we headed to the dining area to sit down. I was super impressed by the new dining area, which is both larger and more stylish than before.


Dining area


Dining area


Dining area

The food spread and service also improved considerably, in my opinion, given that the dining area is now catered and serviced by The Peninsula.

While the buffet wasn’t huge, all of the food was artfully presented and looked very fresh and high quality. There were six hot dishes, a carving station, a selection of cold options, and an impressive dessert selection.


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet

After a good dose of liquid nutrition we headed over to the champagne bar, which is around the time I started to feel alive again.


Seating by champagne bar


Seating by champagne bar


Seating by champagne bar

The champagne bar was stocked with Moet and Veuve Clicquot.


Champagne bar


Champagne bar

After a bit more champagne I grabbed a cabana. As I said in the outbound installment, the new cabanas are stunning, possibly the nicest airport bathing facilities anywhere. I rounded off the layover with a nice bubble bath.


Cabana


Cabana


Cabana


Cabana


Cabana

At around midnight we left the lounge for our departure gate, which was just a minute walk from the lounge. Within about five minutes boarding was announced, and I headed aboard feeling much more relaxed (and tipsy) than a few hours prior.


Departure gate


Departure gate


Aircraft to San Francisco

On the whole Cathay Pacific’s new lounge is a huge improvement over the old one, and now ranks as one of my favorite lounges in the world.

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Comments

  1. Good installment Ben, the renovated Wing looks much nicer than before, Champagne Bar seems to be a nice touch. Have they renovated the Pier as well?

  2. Glad you made it! Can’t wait to visit the Wing 1st class (twicw) during my RTW trip in October.

  3. I still think the QF F lounges in SYD and MEL are the best F lounges in OW by a wide margin. I found the buffet at the new Wing to be underwhelming (btw, the Peninsula catered the lounge before the renovation) and those gray armchairs to be too deep and too wide to be comnfortable. Overall, I give it a 7 out of 10.

  4. I’ve not showered at the Wing, but by far the best part of the The Pier is the water pressure. Living in the US you forget how good a hard shower feels with all the water restricted shower heads. Luxurious. Decadent.

  5. A bubble bath in an airport? Nice! Great way to recover (along with the champagne). Those pics seem to have been omitted. ­čśë

  6. @ CVG_Kid: Do you know that you can remove all the flow controls from the shower head? When we built our house in 2011, I had the builder install a ceiling mounted shower head with extra wide pipes. Before installation, I removed the flow regulator from the shower head. The result? A Wing/Pier style shower experience every day. To avoid running out of hot water, we installed a tankless water heating system.

  7. Nice, I have that flight in Sept, CXJ. Weird question, leaving at 0030 & arriving at 2200 pst, is the flight in darkness the entire time?

  8. @TravelOG – just took the same flight a month ago….and you’re right, pretty much a dimmed cabin the entire flight.

  9. @lucky – Which is your favorite of the CX 1st Lounges at HKG?

    I will have a 3 hr layover in HKG next month and depending on whether or not my flight is nearby, should I try to make it to any specific lounge? Or are the Pier, Wing, and Cabin all pretty equivalent experiences?

  10. @Ethan – I was underwhelmed by the Pier. Easily skipped. The Cabin I found to be incredibly cool in design, but it’s “just” a biz lounge. Looks like the Wing is where it’s at now!

  11. Wow this report feels so calm….I bet you walked like a zombie for the first two hours after disembarking from that nightmare.

    A side note, the dinning area looks like my company’s cafeteria, without all that marble. Nothing special….

    Hope you stop at LH FCT on your way back !!

  12. @ Carl — Nope, don’t believe they’ve updated The Pier, unfortunately. Then again I rarely make it out there due to the location.

  13. @ Ryan — Totally agree the Qantas lounges are still the best in OneWorld, though I’d rate this lounge ahead of the BA Concorde Room.

  14. @ TravelOG — Indeed as stated above it’s actually light for much of the flight, though they keep the window shades down so the cabin stays dark.

  15. @ EthanSF — I’d definitely give The Wing the edge over The Pier. The one thing I love about The Pier are the relaxation rooms, which are great if you just want a bit of privacy and to relax. But other than that The Wing is better, in my opinion.

  16. Sounds like there’s less emphasis on table service than at Singapore Private Room, BA Concorde Room, FCT etc. Do they bring you menus?

  17. @ Kai — There are only a few Cabanas so there is often a waiting list. It definitely makes sense to add your name to the list in advance if you want it at a certain time.

  18. @ Explore — Hmm, I don’t recall receiving a menu, though I was not in a state where I’d totally remember. :p

  19. @zach @dbeach @lucky thanks every time I try thinking about it my head explodes. The whole time travel thing takes some mental gymnastics as I’m leaving the 15th and arriving the 14th.

  20. Indeed the CX First lounges are excellent. The renovated Wing has become my new favorite since it opened and have only been to the Pier a couple of times since.

  21. I am wondering why don’t CX improve the dining area. This is still quite underwhelm. They renovated this Lounge, it was a chance to step up their service to be more like a restaurant and order from a Menu like TG F, LH FCL, BA concorde room, AF F, or QF F. Like many said here that among One World Lounges, QF F Lounge at SYD and MEL is still a big step ahead of this lounge.

  22. Great review and pix of The Wing. I’m surprised by the apparent size of the dinning area. The Wing will probably be recorded as one of the top five lounges, world-wide. And yes, a friggin’ Bubble Bath is certainly a First World consideration. When one needs to recover from an experience like your Royal Jordanian event, what better way? Nice to hear that you have recovered.

  23. I’ve never understood the fascination with sitting in a bathtub in a hotel or airport lounge, that has been used by who knows who else coming and going from all over the world.

  24. Still does not hold a candle to the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney in terms of quality of the food…and no massage or facials either

  25. just a data point: i arrived at the wing this morning at 6:45 am and was told cabanas were already all booked! maybe there was something lost in translation? i will try again later as i have a long layover.

  26. @ pavel — They do only have a few, so you’ll want to add yourself to the waiting list as soon as possible whenever there.

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