Review: The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction
The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong
W Taipei
Plaza Premium Airport Experience Zone Taipei Taoyuan
Cathay Pacific 405 A330-300 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Arrival Lounge Hong Kong


Cathay Pacific’s check-in was near the South Wing of Hong Kong Airport immigration, at aisle B. We entered through there – on the plus side, there are less people, but on the other hand I was aching to revisit the Qantas Lounge, which is my second favourite lounge at Hong Kong Airport. That’s located right past the North Wing of immigration, so I had to take the trek across the terminal back there.

Keep in mind that the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong is a oneworld business class lounge, so apart from status, you can get in the lounge with basically any oneworld carrier. I’m assuming that with Emirates’ partnership you can also visit the Qantas Lounge flying Emirates first or business class, though I’m not sure about that.

img_2043The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Signage

I went past the hallway that runs past the side of the 7th floor, and made my way into the lounge, where I was quickly allowed in by the lounge attendant.

img_2044The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

img_2045The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

I walked into the lounge, where there was an initial seating area with comfortable lounging chairs resembling a coffee shop.

img_2046The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

I’ve talked about the lounge before in a previous review, though I would like to revisit the lounge with better quality pictures. The lounge is downright gorgeous. It’s bright, airy, the “bare concrete” floors are amazing, and the layout is spacious. It’s not nearly as luxury home-style as the new Cathay Pacific The Pier lounge, but it’s definitely more modern.

The lounge features an extensive amount of seating, a buffet, and a bar, all of which have phenomenal designs.

img_2048The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bar

The entrance also featured a departures board with all flights, so suffice to say it wasn’t very helpful, as the display only showed a few flights per rotation.

img_2047The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Departures Board

I first walked behind the bar past another seating area, lined with similar colours as the bar – black and white, modern hues, with supposedly-Oriental style lamps above. To the right of that was a picture of the Hong Kong skyline, which just added to the “modern rustic” feel of this area, which I loved.

img_2049The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Barside Seating Area

I then had a quick visit to the bar (I came back later, but I’ll talk about it now). This wasn’t my first time at this bar, though it was my first time eating there. I’ll talk about the food later and focus on the aesthetics now.

I think that the actual bar is brilliant. It’s not exactly Oriental-themed like Qantas first tried to strike, though I’d argue this looks even better. I like how modern and upmarket the bar looks, something a lot of lounges don’t strike.

img_2053The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bar

While there’s action at the entire bar, as a non-alcoholic soda drinker the place to be was by the end, where there’s literally seltzer water on tap.

img_2050The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bar

Each seat at the bar is set up as if it were fit for an upscale Chinese (fusion) restaurant, complete with a wine cup, a napkin and chopsticks. Obviously there’s a knife and fork as well if you ask the bar for it – unlike what you’ll get at some Cathay Pacific lounges, everyone at the bar is incredibly nice and helpful.

img_2052The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bar Seating

As you can hint out at in the above photos, there was also an “indoor” nook for larger groups. It’s not really intended to be a quiet zone, which this lounge doesn’t really have, since it’s entirely open-air – but it is a creative space, considerably quieter and is fully equipped with power ports.

img_2054 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Indoor Nook

img_2055The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Indoor Nook

Past the nook was a partition introducing yet another seating area. As myself, as well as other reviewers have noted, the lounge is amazingly big for an airline with a few flights out per day. It’s almost like the lounge was built for Qantas’ oneworld partners.

img_2056The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating Area

There was “wallside bar seating”, which isn’t my favourite type of seating, and I don’t seem to be the only one, as the wallside bar seating in the entire lounge was constantly empty. While they do have back support and one power port per chair, so do the comfier armchairs around the area, and it’s not like the lounge ever fills to full capacity. I do like the fact that they have the option, though.

img_2057The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Wallside Bar Seating

There was more dining seating, including communal tables and tables for two. If I was on a later flight I’d be in for the “plate of the day”, which can range from steak, to fish, to something else altogether (I’ve heard amazing things about the plate of the day, but I’ve never been in the lounge late enough for it). I know that whilst their signature char siu dish (more on that later) is available anywhere in the lounge, dim sum and the plate of the day is only offered if you’re at the tables, though.

img_2058 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2059The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Restaurant Seating

As someone who (blindly) aspires to be a head chef sometimes, if you cut out the “restaurant” part of the lounge, I’d be super intimidated because of how HUGE it is happy to run it as a separate flagship restaurant.

img_2061The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Restaurant Seating

img_2063The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Restaurant Seating

Being a concourse-level lounge at Hong Kong Airport it goes without saying that during the daytime the lounge has some of the best views.

img_2060The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac Views

I even had a good view of a Lufthansa A380 at one point, which I’m excited to get on next February.

img_2106The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac Views

Past one point was the entrance to a part of the lounge which is only open for a certain amount of time, so it was actually my first time entering the “rear” end of the lounge. I went through the “door”, which had one of those lanterns laced around the lounge in anticipation of mid-autumn festival.

img_2064The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Entrance to Second Half Decoration

Speaking of the lanterns, I feel like they went slightly overboard. If they took every single lantern and replaced it with some mistletoe, you’d be wiping your mouth by the time you passed the bar (and not with the alcohol selection they appear to have, either). Moving on…

Past the second area was yet more seating, which included some wallside bar seating, a lot of couches and some more configurations that we had yet to see.

img_2066The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2067The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

I mean, would you really want to sit on one of these open benches, especially since the lounge is maximum 10% at capacity? I guess this “they do it not because they have to, but because they can” attitude is purely based off their new partnership with Emirates.

img_2068The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2082The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

The “main seating” that’s actually built for comfort, though, is still there, and in large numbers. While there’s a lot of amenities in the first half of the lounge, the second half is purely seating. There’s no way the lounge can ever pass a third of its capacity, ever.

img_2069 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2075 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2076 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2081The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

img_2077The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There are a few “secluded” benches near the end, which may be sat on if there’s ever a large group in the lounge (bench seating is rarely ever comfortable, and it’s not like it’s a restaurant area either, but at least there are tables to work from).

img_2070 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bench Seating

There was more communal seating with their very own power ports, which I always appreciate, as they’re actually useful for longer meetings.

img_2071 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There’s a main food spread in the first half of the lounge I’ll cover later, but the “rear” end of the lounge isn’t purely forgotten. You still have orange juice and a few biscuits, as well as wine (there’s a coffee machine, but it’s not like real barista service at the bar is that far of a walk away).

img_2073 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong “Rear End” Food Spread

img_2074 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong “Rear End” Food Spread

I went to the very end of the lounge, and found more bench seating (this is secluded bench seating, so since the lounge doesn’t have daybeds, it makes sense, as people with long layovers can sleep here – it makes less sense in broad daylight by the walking aisle).

img_2079 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Secluded Area

img_2080 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Secluded Area

I assume the area next to that is a children’s play area, though the toys are certainly BYO. There is a nice flatscreen TV that can be watched from there, though.

img_2078The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Children’s Play Area

One reason I came back to the Qantas Lounge Hong Kong was to revisit the lounge’s food options. From the buffet, the lounge had several hot options, all of which were great.

img_2083 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2084 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2085The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

I can’t quite remember what I got, but it was certainly an infused rice, some chicken and a spinach cannelloni, as well as corn soup with croutons. I do remember enjoying all the food I got, though.

img_2107The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread Options

Even if you don’t want hot food, you’re spoilt for choice. There were multiple salads, pastries and desserts. I was more concerned about the amount of food that went to waste every night than everything else.

img_2086 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2087 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2088 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2089 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Man, even looking at the food, my mouth is salivating right now.

img_2090 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2091 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

I’m not sure of the point of the drinks section given that there’s an entire bar right across the area to your disposal, but there’s always the option if you just need a drink real quick.

img_2094 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Drinks Spread

img_2093 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Drinks Spread

I’m not sure of the point of the coffee machine, though – you literally have the bar to your disposal, which offers barista service, and it can’t be that much slower than this machine.

img_2092The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Coffee Machine

I sat by the bar with my food, so I could have a little look at how it was going by the bar.

The bar manager was really hospitable, and asked me if I wanted a drink. I asked him if they had any mocktails. He said “of course!” and recommended a fruit punch, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. He also had an Asian fruit punch on the menu, including lychee, ginger ale and a few other ingredients, which sounded really nice, so I went with that. The soda water in the drink was straight out of the soda water tap they had.

img_2108The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Bar Asian Fruit Punch

He also asked me if I wanted to try their signature char siu rice. Who was I to turn that down? After all, I hadn’t had a proper, non-packaged char siu in what seemed like forever. He brought that out in ten minutes or so, and I loved it. The pork melted in your mouth, the rice was perfectly cooked and well seasoned, and the sauce was equally amazing. I didn’t really know what to do with the pickled sides or the cilantro on the plate, though.

img_2110 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Signature Char Siu Rice Dish

img_2111The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Signature Char Siu Rice Dish

There was one last thing I needed after a long day at school – a shower. Out of the four lounges, I decided this would be the most appropriate time to shower, as I wanted to spend the majority of my time here anyway (I was just in the other three for quick picture tours).

The shower attendant wasn’t as nice as the last time I visited, but was still gracious and quick on giving me a shower room.

img_2105The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room Entrance

The shower rooms are extremely well appointed – they’re not dripping in gold, but they’re modern and decorated with stylish restraint.

img_2095 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

img_2096 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

img_2097 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

img_2098 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

The actual shower area was bigger than I remembered it to be, though my one critique is that if you were to spend a long time in the shower, there wasn’t anything stopping water from flowing out into the bathroom. The shower head worked, though, and was fantastic.

img_2099 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

img_2101 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

There was only one rainforest showerhead, though that’s fine with me. Water pressure was excellent, which was nice.

img_2102The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

The shower rooms all feature Aspar toiletries.

img_2100 The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room Toiletries

img_2103The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room Toiletries

I mean, the shower rooms even have power ports – what more could you want?

img_2104The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room Power Ports

It’s worth noting that the last time I came in the lounge I actually had a nice talk with one of the lounge attendants. It’s worth noting that the bar attendant was the only staff member I had interactions with, though he was still one of the warmest lounge attendants I’ve ever had. We’re definitely looking at one of the best outstation lounges in the world, though I didn’t have the same impression of this lounge as I did the last time.

Bottom Line

The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong is almost uselessly big, in the best way possible. It’s run in a way that the lounge attendants would definitely be able to manage it at full capacity, though given that it’s bigger than some of Cathay Pacific’s lounges, I doubt they’ll ever have to deal with that, at least anytime soon.

I definitely still prefer Cathay Pacific’s The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, with the exact same entry requirements, to this lounge, though admittedly we’re up to some stiff competition. This lounge won my favourite lounge in the world award of 2015, for good reason (the Pier only opened in June 2016). I’d call this lounge in the same league as the Swiss Business Class Lounge Zurich, Cathay Pacific Lounge Taipei, United Club Hong Kong and the Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong (admittedly I have a Hong Kong bias, but that’s because I’ve yet to visit many of the best lounges outside Hong Kong).

What are some of your favourite lounges?

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