Review: KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam (Schengen-side)

Introduction
KLM World Business Class 747 Los Angeles To Amsterdam
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Airport (Schengen-side)
Air Europa Club Business 737 Amsterdam To Madrid
Apartments Vs. Hotels In Madrid (And Elsewhere)
Air France Business Class A321 Madrid To Paris
Air France Business Class Lounge Paris Charles DeGaulle Airport
Air France Business Class 777 Paris To New York
Delta SkyClub New York JFK Airport
Delta One (née BusinessElite) 757 New York To Los Angeles


Once we deplaned at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the E Gates, we exited through a very efficient passport control and headed toward our connecting gate to Madrid, which was in the C Gates.  Schiphol has two KLM Crown Lounges, one of them, the “Schengen Lounge,” located between the C and D Gates (where most of the Schengen Area flights depart), and the other, which Ben reviewed last year, located between the E, F and G Gates near the non-Schengen departures.  Since our flight was departing closest to the Schengen lounge, we headed there.

Having transited both Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle on this particular trip, I think (and I don’t know that anyone would disagree) that Schiphol is by far the preferred airport to connect in if you’re transiting onto an other European destination.  I’ll get into the specifics about a CDG transfer later on in this series, but suffice it to say Schiphol is extremely well laid out and easy to navigate.  It’s easily one of my favorite airports of all time, and certainly my favorite in Europe.

We arrived in the Schengen-side lounge, which had a bright blue check-in area (I have to say, KLM does stick with a theme) and a few different seating stations.

Schiphol Airport Schengen-side Crown Lounge
Schiphol Airport Schengen-side Crown Lounge

Almost as soon as we entered the lounge, the status on our connecting flight (which was supposed to depart at 11:05am) changed to a nearly two-hour delay (with a new departure time of 12:55pm).  In fact, the entire departures board was lit up in red with delays on nearly every intra-Europe flight.  We’d landed in very heavy fog, and some of the agents suggested it was weather-related, though we found out that it was a waterfall effect from the Parisian airport strikes, which were wreaking havoc on schedules throughout the continent.

Though it was busy, we found a nook and now that we’d have some time to kill, I decided to inquire after the shower rooms, since we’d just come from a long-haul overnight flight and a little freshening up would be in order.  The customer service desk took our names, as there was a bit of a wait.  The wait wasn’t too long though, and within about 15 minutes the agent announced over the PA system that two showers were available for both me and my friend.

Crown Lounge shower room
Crown Lounge shower room
Crown Lounge shower room
Crown Lounge shower room

The shower room was basic, with a built-in soap pump, but perfectly functional for my purposes.

Once I was showered and changed, I headed back to our table and wandered around to check out the food and drink selection.  Though I was neither particularly hungry nor thirsty beyond needing a coffee, the two-hour delay eventually convinced me to pour myself a mimosa.  KLM offers a selection of juices and some French cremant sparkling wine.  It being Holland, there is also plenty of beer, along with the regular selection of refreshments.

A mimosa at the Crown Lounge
A mimosa at the Crown Lounge

Though I noticed a tray filled with Ben’s beloved stroopwafels, I was not as enchanted by them as Ben was.  (However, my friend had about 5 of them, so maybe I’m the odd man out on this.)  These were a bit gummy.

Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels, biscuits, and other beige sugary delights

We’d been given conflicting information on when boarding for our flight to Madrid would begin, so to be on the safe side we left the lounge a little after 12:05 to head to the gate area.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam (Schengen-side) Bottom Line

I’d read reports from others that the Crown Lounges were a Dutch national disgrace with unpalatable food, but the Schengen-side Crown Lounge seemed more than adequate for my purposes, and I appreciated the shower rooms and ample seating.  You won’t get fancy champagne or a particularly delicious-looking or generous spread of food, but it was a perfectly pleasant place to spend a few hours between flights, and the attendants at the lounge were helpful.

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Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for the great review. Appreciate the conciseness.
    Visiting AMS for first time in August(with wife and 17yo son)– flying in from DUB (Aer Lingus) and, then after 2 nights, on to TLV (Transavia). Would love to access KLM Crown Lounge–is there any way for me to access it? Does it even make sense given my airlines and their locations? (And any other advice always appreciated!) thanks.

  2. The way the Dutch eat stroopwafels: pour yourself a hot drink (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever). You put the stroopwafel on top of the mug for a minute or so, warming it up. Then you eat it. It’s far tastier than eating it straight-up cold.

  3. @Erik: seriously, that’s why people put their stroopwafel on their cup? I’m 38 now, Dutch, and I never ever knew that, hahahahaha!

    @Nick: even though I’m Dutch, I really love Schiphol as well. That is… unless you have to go from one side of the airport to the other. There are no trains/subway/buses, so you’ll have to walk all the way. Going from a high numbered C-gate to an F-gate will take you a very long time. I’m happy to hear immigration went fine, it tends to get busy at the desks.

    However, I find it horrible that you ONLY mention the stroopwafels and not the other cookies on the picture. Why do you want to emphasize only their existence? Next thing you know, you’ll be talking about Chinese cookies! (j/k of course)

    If you ever have more time at AMS, just let me know. I’ll drop by and get you a stroopwafel the way it was meant to be. Not some dry cookie (as it seems like they were), but the real thing!

  4. The shower cabins in the KLM Crown Lounges at AMS are pretty nice, but I absolutely hate the wall-mounted soap dispensers. While I prefer my toiletries in disposable mini-bottles, I understand the environmental argument against them, especially in a lounge shower that is turned over every 20 or 30 minutes. Accepting the need for bulk dispensers, then, I still can’t comprehend why KLM doesn’t supply proper shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The lone, all-purpose cleanser currently offered feels and smells like hand soap.

  5. @Mark S.: Really good point. I try to only shampoo my hair a few times a week, so I only used the cleanser as a body wash, and it never registered to me that (indeed) it was an all-purpose cleanser. Which is, to be sure, a little chintzy.

  6. @Nick — Chintzier still when one considers that KLM supplied individual bottles of shampoo and conditioner and a bar of soap until a few years ago. Again, I understood the switch to bulk dispensers, but the consolidation to one all-purpose cleanser was, frankly, bizarre.

  7. We were eating some Dutch apple pie at Winkel 43, and two KLM flight attendants told us about putting the stroopwafels on top of our “wrong coffee” to warm them up. Wrong coffee is another way to say American coffee. Those guys were awesome, and I’d love to have them on my flight.

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