My New Favorite Priority Pass Lounge (With A La Carte Dining & Massages)!

Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent lounges, with over 1,000 lounges around the world that members can access. The variance in quality between Priority Pass lounges is huge. Some lounges are beautiful but have a limited food & drink selection, other lounges have bad decor but a good food & drink selection, other lounges have a bad food & drink selection and and bad decor, etc… you get the point. šŸ˜‰

However, earlier today I visited a Priority Pass lounge for the first time, and I think it might be my favorite one in the word. No, it’s not physically the most beautiful, but I’ve never been to a Priority Pass lounge with such great amenities and such well intentioned service.

Specifically, I’m talking about the Grand Lounge Elite Mexico City Airport, located in Terminal 1.

I looked up the Priority Pass options at Mexico City Airport before my trip, and was intrigued when I read this about the lounge:

Complimentary shoe shine, hand & foot massage, and nail (Gel) service available.

A Priority Pass lounges with free massages? As it turned out, that was only the beginning.

The lounge’s decor is perfectly okay… certainly nothing special.

The buffet wasn’t impressive either (it actually looked actively unappealing, though maybe that’s just because of my disgust with hot dogs in general, and in particular those hot dog machine things).

However, everything else about the lounge impressed, from the amenities to the staff.

The lounge had over a dozen attendants. They all had earpieces and would communicate with one another, and then one person would be assigned to you to take care of you. When you walk into the lounge an attendant welcomes you and helps you decide where to sit, and it goes from there.

The lounge offers a la carte dining, and the selection changes several times throughout the day.

When the food is ready it’s brought to you on a tray with a padded leather backing that you place on your lap. It might not look like much, but the pasta tasted excellent.

The lounge also had custom made espresso beverages. I had a cappuccino, which was delicious, though I’m still trying to figure out what the foam art on it was (can anyone guess?).

Our fabulous server constantly checked on us and encouraged us to order more, though we weren’t hungry.

On top of that, you can receive a complimentary 15 minute massage, nail service, shoe shine, etc. I made an appointment with just 30 minutes notice, and this service is actually provided in the lounge’s other location, so when it was time for my treatment I was escorted to that lounge. I could choose between a hand or foot massage. I chose a hand massage, and it was excellent.

It’s hard to put into words the “X factor” of this lounge, but the attention to detail and genuine pride everyone took in the lounge really made me feel so comfortable and welcome. For example, the bathrooms had mouthwash, deodorant, shaving cream, etc., which you don’t often see. There was even a bathroom attendant who would open the bathroom door for you, hand you a towel after washing your hands, etc. As you’d expect, the bathroom was spotless.

Then when you leave the lounge, each guest is offered a Hershey’s Kiss and thanked for their visit. Oh, and if you don’t feel like walking to the gate, they’ll drive you there in a golf cart (though we didn’t take them up on this offer).

Bottom line

I’ve never in my life been more impressed by a Priority Pass or contract lounge. Physically this lounge isn’t anything special, but this lounge is the perfect example of how much of a difference a bit of effort can make. Between the a la carte dining, massage, offer of a golf cart to the plane, attentive service, and all the other little touches, I felt like I was in the international first class lounge of a really well intentioned two star airline, rather than in a Priority Pass lounge.

Has anyone else visited this lounge? What’s your favorite Priority Pass lounge?

Comments

  1. We tried to use this lounge during a recent layover, but there was a 60-min wait (at least they were willing to call you back) at this location and the other Grand Elite location around the corner. The Amex Centurion lounge was available, but packed to the gills and no better than the gate. Noticed a Mastercard lounge as I was walking to my gate…lo and behold, my Citi Prestige card worked. The space was bright, airy (although no windows) and peaceful. Very limited nibbles and only one drink included, but much better than the gate and with plenty of space.

  2. I was also impressed with this lounge when I was there last month. I’m not sure that it’s the nicest Priority Pass lounge I’ve been in, but it’s up there, that’s for sure.

  3. Yes, it’s a woman’s face with a leafy headdress on one side, but you’ve got to turn it around to see it.

  4. You pretty much had the same experience as I did on my MEX- IPC travel in this lounge. Service is impeccable – best Iā€™ve ever experienced in any priority lounge across the world for sure, and honestly from a service perspective alone, maybe the best lounge service ever.

  5. MEX has a ton of lounges, which is nice. as 54austin mentioned, theres even a Mastercard one! And 2 of the 3 Amex lounges accept Gold cards

  6. @Lucky, how’s this possible: “However, earlier today I visited a Priority Pass lounge for the first time, and I think it might be my favorite one in the word. No, itā€™s not physically the most beautiful, but Iā€™ve never been to a Priority Pass lounge with such great amenities and such well intentioned service.” You visited a PP lounge for the first time…but you’ve never been to a PP lounge…

  7. So, if they accept AMEX gold cards, it should be noted that it was not an AMEX centurion lounge as stated in a previous post. There are AMEX centurion and AMEX INTā€™L lounges. Very sure that if it were a proper and real AMEX centurion only centurion and platinum members of America Express are allowed entry.

  8. And yesterday I went to the iASS lounge at Nartia. At least you get a free beer (can of Asahi). After my first beer went up to the check in counter and said I want to check in again with another Priority Pass. They got a little confused which is always good fun with Japanese. But it worked out and got another beer. And then went back up and used my 3rd Priority Pass to try to get another beer and they laughed at me and said OK! šŸ™‚ Right next to the iASS lounge in Terminal 2 at Narita is a good cheap conveyor belt sushi place. Good 130 yen Tuna sushi.

  9. “though maybe thatā€™s just because of my disgust with hot dogs in general”

    I thought you loved the ones that Lufthansa serves in their lounges and premium cabins…

    Also, for someone who isn’t a huge fan of PP lounges, you sure seem to enjoy pimping them out for referral$ whenever you can…

  10. You need to visit the Priority Pass lounge at YQB….voted best in North America for a couple years, and I agree! Nice to have at my home airport.

  11. The next time I come here and have the ā€œFree Email Newsletterā€ box bouncing in my face will be the last time I come here.

    Does treating your readers like idiots pay well?

  12. Is this a new PP addition? Need to check it out next time for sure.
    As for the latte art, rotate 120 degrees clockwise and you will see a face.

  13. @Stanley

    “So, if they accept AMEX gold cards, it should be noted that it was not an AMEX centurion lounge as stated in a previous post. There are AMEX centurion and AMEX INTā€™L lounges. Very sure that if it were a proper and real AMEX centurion only centurion and platinum members of America Express are allowed entry.”

    The Amex lounges in MEX have existed for at least 15 years. The 2 lounges that allow Gold cards have “cabanas” for platinum members and a completely separate area for centurion and black cards.

    They are branded as Centurion though. Note the name and on the right, the image of the gold card

    http://first2board.com/pointssummary/files/2013/07/centt2mex2.jpeg

  14. The current description couldn’t be more accurate for this lounge. For me, as Mexico City resident, the lounge offer 48 hrs free charge parking at the airport!!!, that works magnifically when you travel on short trips.

    I wish to have also this lounge at Terminal 2 @ MEX, where is the Aeromexico main hub (the major airline in the country)

  15. Oh, wow.
    Lucky, I cannot BELIEVE that you’d review this lounge positively. It’s GARBAGE.
    Haha just goes to show how SOME tacky americans will be so easily won over by people in third-world countries waiting on you hand and foot (to the point of being obnoxious, and smothering), BECAUSE THEY WANT YOUR MONEY.
    Try NOT tipping (enough), and you’ll see how these people stop being “so attentive”. Haha
    Seriously, dude. Wise up.

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