Review: Cathay Pacific The Cabin 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


While I’d want to hang at the newer lounges at Hong Kong, I decided to quickly picture tour the three lounges I hadn’t visited at Hong Kong Airport since I got my new camera. I reviewed two of them with an iPhone 5 and one of them with a faulty Olympus camera, so suffice to say that the picture quality was crap.

I decided to visit the Cabin first, as the last time I visited was 2014.

img_2112 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Exterior

img_2113Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

I was quickly checked in by the agent and asked for a re-entry stamp, which was promptly given to me. I don’t get the logic of lounge invitations, to be honest. Other airlines like Singapore manage to put all your lounge entry information on your boarding pass, so why can’t Cathay Pacific?

I walked forward to a red carpet that links together all parts of The Cabin. The Cabin consists of a few rooms connected by a straight hallway, so while it isn’t a big space, it’s got lots of natural light, which I like.

img_2136Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

Turning left would take me to The Deli and The Health Bar, and turning right would bring me to the I.T. zone (the below signage is reversed, as it’s in the opposite perspective as I was when I entered the lounge through the main entrance).

img_2115Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Signage

One thing I noticed about the lounge was that it was significantly less crowded than the last time I was here. That could’ve been a combination of the fact that it wasn’t really peak season, and the fact that it was late afternoon.

The first area I passed was the Deli. The Deli was decked out in black leather, so I’m assuming it wanted to look sleek. It was obvious that the marble floors weren’t up to standard compared to Cathay Pacific’s latest lounges, and the carpet was getting worn, though I still figured it was a pretty nice space.

img_2116 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong The Deli

img_2117 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong The Deli

The space also featured the “Long Bar”, which offers comparable barista service, spirits and drinks to other Cathay Pacific lounges. I didn’t use it this time, though there are some smoothies and different mocktails on offer.

img_2126 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong The Long Bar

There are different seating areas in The Deli, which include these. They’re not at all practical for eating and not comfy at all, so I’m assuming it’s just for maximising capacity (unlike The Qantas Lounge, this lounge actually needs to maximise capacity sometimes).

img_2125 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong The Deli Seating

img_2123Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong The Deli Seating

The food spread was fine – the hot food was generally mushy and put there for way too long, and the cold food was generally good.

img_2118 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2119 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

img_2120Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

As part of the mid-autumn festival festivities, mooncakes were offered, which were nice.

img_2121 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Mooncakes

There were also lots of cold cuts, which I really appreciated. These were actually of a much higher quality than the hot food offered, so if I stayed longer I would’ve stuck to these cold cuts.

img_2122 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Cold Spread

There was reading material on offer between all the nooks of the lounge.

img_2124Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Reading Material

I went past the hallway to find a relax area, which I’m assuming was “the Health Bar”. It wasn’t anything related to health and it wasn’t a bar, but it was a really neat relax area. The last time I was here it was packed, but I actually had a much more positive impression of this area after I was able to see through the crowd and look at the seating offered. It definitely wasn’t enough seating, though.

There were armchairs near the “airport side” of the lounge, which are always pretty comfortable, though they were also worn, especially for a five-year-old lounge. You’d never be able to tell it was brand new in 2011.

img_2128 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Armchair Seating

img_2129 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Armchair Seating

img_2132Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Armchair Seating

There were also the signature Solus chairs, which I actually find nice for working at times, though I do find the new Solo chairs much better for lounging. As far as they go they’re good design chairs, but something tells me Cathay Pacific put way too much effort into designing them.

img_2130 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Solus Chairs

img_2131 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Solus Chairs

img_2133 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Solus Chairs

Near the side were armchairs that you’d expect at a coffee shop, next to blinds that you could pull up if you wanted to. If you wanted to admire the tarmac, though, there are comfortable, padded high (cuddle) chairs directly facing it.

img_2134 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac-side Armchairs

img_2135Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac-side High Chairs

At this point I was approached by a manager who had been following me all along, who politely asked why I was taking pictures. To stop myself from going through any legal crap, I said “I have a friend who has a 12-hour layover at Hong Kong and I’m photographing all the lounge options so he can choose the best lounge”. He smiled and said “please”. 😉

Tarmac views were also awesome, though unlike The Pier, there aren’t runway views. I snapped a picture of a beautiful Philippine Airlines A330.

img_2114Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac Views

On the tarmac side, the seating stayed true for the IT Zone. They still have to maximise capacity as the lounge is in the “sweet spot” for families, due to how close it is to all the shops, so they can’t make one entire side a business center, despite the entire lounge’s IT focus. So lined up by the tarmac is just another set of armchairs and high cuddle-chairs.

img_2137Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Seating IT Zone

There’s also a further alcove for relaxing, for those who want a private, quiet space away from all the noise in the rest of the lounge (not that there was any noise when I was there, so it was empty, given that it’s substantially darker given how secluded it is).

img_2140 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Secluded Area

img_2141Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Secluded Area

The highlight of the lounge when they made it was the I.T. zone, where there’s an entire bar with power ports, and a lot of seating where you can presumably have conferences. I don’t think there’s any X-factor to this part of the lounge, though – it’s not like The Pier or The Bridge don’t have equally nice business centers (actually, thinking back, that’s one thing The Qantas Lounge lacks).

img_2139Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Computers

With the rows of seats it almost feels like a classroom, to be honest. That’s not a bad thing when you’re having meetings, but when you’re not…

img_2138 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Seating

img_2142 Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Seating

img_2143Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Bar

There was also a fridge where you could grab drinks, which was smart in theory, given that you could quench your thirst during a business meeting, but wouldn’t want to be gnawing away at the (subpar) food you’d get in the rest of the lounge.

img_2144Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong IT Zone Drinks

I didn’t really have time to linger, as I wanted to photograph The Wing and The Bridge before getting on my flight, so I was on my way.

Bottom Line

What does The Cabin have running for them that you won’t find in any other oneworld business class lounges at Hong Kong Airport?

  • It’s not the food – the food is subpar
  • It’s not the bar or barista service – you can get way better coffee at The Bridge, The WingThe Pier, or The Qantas Lounge
  • It’s not the IT zone either – while that’s what the lounge was advertised for, I don’t think the lounge is substantially better in terms of their IT offerings, as The Bridge and The Pier also have dedicated iMacs and their dedicated zone. If anything, I think the lounge should have 4-5 business rooms for Skype calling, etc.
  • It’s not their showers or their noodle bar – those are inexistent here
  • It’s not the decor – it’s old and shabby
  • It’s not the space – the lounge’s crowded

So, while The Cabin’s a nice space, it didn’t stand out for me in any way, and I’d still try to go for the newer lounges if I could. I like the fact that Cathay Pacific has different lounges, though as someone who’s familiar with all of them, this one is near the back of the pack.

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