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Having arrived in Hong Kong about 20 minutes early, I had a well over four hour layover before my connection to Bangkok, and then onwards travel to Colombo and Male.
I quickly cleared transit security, where there surprisingly wasn’t a wait at all, much to my delight.
My primary objective for this layover was to check out the new Qantas Lounge Hong Kong. Though having just gotten off an ultra longhaul flight my first priority was a shower, and there’s no better place to do that than at Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge. That’s because this lounge has cabanas, which, unlike the ones in British Airways’ London Heathrow Concorde Room, are actually gorgeous. I’d say they’re probably the nicest shower facilities at any lounge in the world.
It was my lucky day, because there was no wait for a cabana, which is rare. It’s worth noting that only a subset of the showers in Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge are cabanas, so you have to explicitly request them.
While I love “The Wing,” after a shower it was off to check out the new Qantas Lounge, given that I had heard so many great things about it. Qantas opened this new lounge in 2014, and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews.
I guess the best way to describe the location of the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong is that it’s at exactly the opposite end of the pier of The Wing.
If you’re originating in Hong Kong and take the South immigration channel you can turn left and there’s an immediate entrance to The Wing. Meanwhile if you take the North immigration channel and turn right there’s an immediate entrance to the Qantas Lounge.
It’s located above gate 15, so if you’re in the central part of the concourse your best bet is to just go up a level and access the lounge through the upper level walkway.
Below is a picture of where the walkway entrance to the lounge is, in the context of the main level of the concourse.
The entrance to the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong is gorgeous, and upon presenting my SriLankan boarding pass I was promptly admitted. It’s worth noting that the Qantas Lounge is a shared first & business class lounge. There’s no separate first class lounge, so obviously the lounge won’t be quite to the level of the Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney.
For what it’s worth, the lounge is open daily from 9:30AM until 11:30PM. When the lounge first opened it was only open in the evenings, so it’s nice to see that they extended the hours.
My first reaction upon entering the lounge was “WOW.” I loved everything about it. First of all, the lounge is massive. Massive. Which in a way puzzled me, since I can’t imagine this lounge ever getting close to capacity (well, as long as we keep secret how nice it is). 😉
But beyond that I loved the decor, which is true across the board for Qantas lounges, in my opinion. Qantas gets decor right. It’s sleek, industrial, edgy, and at the same time agreeable. I also love the fact that it’s an open air lounge, so you have great views of the concourse and tarmac.
Anyway, near the entrance is a large seating area, with a variety of seating options. There are long benches with coffee tables, more traditional lounge seating, etc.
Past that is the bar, which is both understated and dazzling.
Surrounding the bar is a dining area with dozens of tables. There are tables along the edge of the lounge overlooking the concourse, as well as tables more towards the interior of the lounge.
The lounge has an emphasis on communal tables as well, which I find interesting. Presumably most people aren’t traveling in groups of a dozen, yet that doesn’t stop Qantas from having several communal tables.
Across from the bar and more into the interior of a lounge is a “secluded” seating area, which includes several long benches.
Past the bar and dining area is even more seating. Lots more seating.
I can’t say enough how impressed I was by the design. I love how the furniture throughout the lounge matches, yet every section is unique in terms of the color scheme/finishes.
Seriously, the amount of seating in this lounge… what the heck?
Are they trying to shut down every other lounge?
They must have gotten an amazing deal on rent.
Like, really amazing deal.
Like really, really amazing deal.
For an airline which has at most a few flights a day to Hong Kong, the amount of space in this lounge is beyond puzzling.
Anyway, there were also a couple of magazine racks at both ends of the lounge with popular publications.
In terms of food, there was a buffet setup towards the center of the lounge, across from the dining area.
They had a good selection of self serve wine, soft drinks, etc. There were servers roaming around in the event that you wanted to order another kind of alcoholic drink.
Then there was an espresso machine (with proper Australian terminology, including “long black”).
While I’d say the buffet was average in size, the quality was top notch across the board. There wasn’t a single dish which didn’t look appetizing.
The starter options included:
- Salad of green beans and soft-boiled egg with vinaigrette
- Grilled squid with Thai mango, coriander, and mint, in sweet chili dressing
- Potatoes and green peas in horseradish dressing
- Mesclun salad with palm sugar and red wine vinaigrette
Then they had a handful of salad options:
- Cherry tomatoes with wild rocket, Spanish onion, and pine nuts, in lemon dressing
- Grilled king brown mushrooms, barley, thyme, and sherry vinegar
- Spiced cauliflower and chickpea with raisin and hazelnut
- Cucumber, radish, celery, and mint
- Couscous with trio of colored pepper and Spanish onion in honey balsamic dressing
- Roasted carrot with cumin, pistachio, and garlic yogurt
Then there was a cream of mushroom soup.
Then for main courses they had:
- Farfalle pasta with green asparagus and black olives in rosemary butter
- Asian fragrant rice
- Braised pork in chillies
- Sautéed baby corns with red radish and garlic
Lastly for dessert they had:
- Lemon tart
- Chocolate chip macadamia brownie
- Salted caramel cheesecake
- Coconut sago with dark palm sugar syrup
- Seasonal fruit salad
As is the norm in Qantas lounges, the food execution was excellent.
In addition to the main buffet area there was a second self serve bar at the far end of the lounge, which had wine, soft drinks, an espresso machine, etc.
The Qantas Lounge also has a handful of shower rooms. While they don’t compare to the ones in The Wing, they’re still very nice, and feature ASPAR toiletries.
I had a rather odd interaction when trying to photograph the shower rooms. The shower attendant didn’t really speak English, so I did my best to explain I didn’t actually want to shower, but rather just wanted to take pictures of the shower room. She wasn’t following, so when I opened the door and started snapping pictures she snuck up behind me and gave me the strangest look, as if she thought I was photographing because I had discovered something terrible in the shower room.
The wifi signal in the lounge was fairly strong, so I managed to get some work done for a couple of hours. Then at around 5:15PM I figured I’d quickly pop into the Dragonair G16 Lounge, just to see what’s that like, given that it was a short walk away.
Qantas Lounge Hong Kong bottom line
No wonder people rave about the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong — it’s fantastic. The lounge is massive, the decor is gorgeous, and the food spread was excellent quality. While the Qantas onboard product isn’t my favorite in the world, their lounges consistently blow me away, including the Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney and Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles. This is yet another fantastic addition.
Also keep in mind that the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong is a oneworld business class/Sapphire lounge, so virtually any mid-tier elite or business class passenger flying oneworld can access it — you don’t have to be flying Qantas.
How does the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong compare to other lounges in Hong Kong? I’d say it’s one of the two best business class lounges in Hong Kong, along with Cathay Pacific’s “The Bridge” Lounge.
Given that I’m a oneworld Emerald and can access first class lounges, would I visit it again? Absolutely! I’d say I still prefer Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge for the shower rooms and the champagne bar. But for just lounging, it’s tough to beat the decor and seclusion of this lounge, given how crowded “The Wing” is nowadays.
If you’ve visited the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong, what was your experience like?