The battle between international airlines to win over premium passengers isn’t just reserved for the in-flight experience. On our trip from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, we had the pleasure of experiencing a revolutionary new design and passenger experience at the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at their home in Hong Kong International Airport. Dubbed “The Pier,” this one of a kind airport lounge provides first class passengers with a wide range of services all set in a simple yet contemporary setting.
In this post, we will share our review of the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge, the Pier, along with tips on how to make the most of your luxury travel lounge experience.
Unfortunately, our Cathay Pacific First Class flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to leave Hong Kong just after midnight. Fortunately, because we came from Macau by ferry, we had about 7 hours to kill before our flight. That was plenty of time to make the most of our Cathay lounge experience. We managed to figure out how to experience every luxury travel lounge experience offered at the Pier Lounge, the best Cathay lounge in Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific maintains over a half dozen lounges at Hong Kong Airport, spread throughout Terminal 1. With names like “The Wing,” “The Bridge,” and “The Pier,” each lounge offers premium passengers a space to unwind before their flight. For me, it’s another time to make the most of our business class or first class flights.
Which is the Best Cathay Lounge Hong Kong?
The best lounge in Hong Kong airport for Cathay Pacific Airlines passengers depends on the class of travel and the location of your flight. Passengers with Cathay First Class Lounge access can choose between the Pier Lounge Hong Kong Airport and the Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong. There are more Cathay Pacific Business Lounge options. Some of the lounges have different features.
- The Pier Cathay Pacific Lounge: The Pier First Class Lounge is located near gate 63 and it features the Cathay massage service as well as Day Suites. It also features a la carte dining.
- The Wing Cathay Pacific Lounge: The Wing First Class Lounge is located near gate 4 and it features several cabanas for first class passengers. It also features a la carte dining.
- The Pier Lounge Hong Kong for Business Class Passengers: The Pier business lounge has a noodle bar and a relaxation room. It is located near gate 65. It also features a la carte dining.
- The Wing Lounge Hong Kong for Business Class Passengers: The Wing business lounge has their “Long Bar” for Cathay cocktails. It is also located near gate 4.
- The Deck: The Deck Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Hong Kong has shower suites and also has a noodle bar. It is located in Terminal 1, near gate 16.
- The Bridge: The Bridge Cathay Business Class Lounge is known for its IT zone. It is located in Terminal 1, near gate 35.
- The Arrival: The Cathay Arrival Lounge Hong Kong is on level three, between Terminals 1 and 2, past the arrivals hall. The lounge provides food and shower suites.
Each of the Cathay Pacific lounge options is contemporary in nature and offer comfortable spaces for business class and Cathay Pacific frequent flyer passengers. You really can’t go wrong with any of the Cathay Pacific airport lounges but remember to choose your lounge based on your Cathay Pacific ticket class.
Learn our top tips on How to Make the Most of a Business Class Flight Experience
The Design of the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
First opened in 2001, The Pier Hong Kong experienced a complete makeover in 2014. For the #AvGeeks out there, Studioilse, a London firm, designed the lounge. They aimed to capture the look and feel of a contemporary apartment. Or, an apartment that happens to seat 231 passengers. Flying out on a Sunday night, The Pier was nowhere near capacity. I’d love to return to The Pier at a peak travel time to see if the design maintains a sense of being at home.
As soon as we walked inside, The Pier just seemed different. Natural woods and neutral colors. It just seemed more design-oriented than functional, like most airport lounges. It also seemed so different from the huge terminal that it was set in. Quiet and peaceful.
Dining in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong First Class Lounge
One of the first things we did when we sat down in the lounge, even before taking the requisite luxury travel blogger photos: Cathay Pacific champagne. Amber simply ordered a glass without much thought and started to enjoy her experience right away. I walked around, took photos, and had a typical AvGeek experience.
A few days prior to leaving Hong Kong, we got together with a friend and mentioned that we would be experiencing the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge. He mentioned that we had to try the hamburger from The Dining Room. Similar to eating ice cream in the air, eating a good burger at an airport lounge seemed like an extravagance. We made a note of it.
Historically, most airport lounges only offered pre-made food. Some sandwiches and snacks, or maybe some food kept warm in a chafing dish. Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot more lounges that offer sit down dining. The first time we experienced this was during a breakfast service at the Etihad Business Class Lounge at Dublin Airport. We’ve also seen it while flying Qatar Business Class.
The Dining Room at The Pier offers made to order meals off an a la carte menu. I started with a Chinese chicken dish with a spicy peanut chili dressing. The dressing was surprisingly spicy. Amber enjoyed a warm mushroom salad with breaded cheese and a truffle vinaigrette. She let me sit facing the tarmac to enjoy the #AvGeek view. It was hard to pay attention to our conversation with an Air France A380 just over Amber’s shoulder.
After all of the hype, the burger was juicy and perfectly cooked. And, served with Champagne. When Amber read the a la carte menu, it was the first time she realized how many different Cathay Pacific Champagnes were offered in the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge. Our first glasses in the lounge were Veuve Clicquot. We drank The Peninsula Brut with our burgers, as you do.
First Class Lounge Cathay Pacific Hong Kong – Services
On the advice of a friend, and after watching a promotional video from Cathay Pacific, we opted not to “lounge hop” but rather to just relax at The Pier. With loads of time to kill, we figured we’d have enough time to experience all that The Pier has to offer. And believe me, there’s loads to do in their Hong Kong first class lounge.
To keep passengers happy and to attract new premium passengers, airlines have been loading up their lounges with more and more amenities. Showers, day beds, and fine dining are the norm. The Pier is no exception, but instead of going bigger, Cathay Pacific kept things intimate. We liked it.
Cathay Massage Options at the Pier Lounge
With 7 hours on our hands, Amber and I started with a massage appointment. The Pier Lounge provides guests with a complimentary 15-minute foot or neck and shoulder massages. To keep things nice and orderly, Cathay allows guests to schedule their massage ahead of time with electronic beepers. We actually scheduled our massages first thing, yes, even before Champagne.
After our burgers and Champagne, we continued to experience the lounge. By drinking more Champagne. After another glass of Veuve, Amber noticed another passenger enjoying a glass of pink Champagne. That’s when she remembered Moet Rose from The Dining Room menu. Only about two hours into our lounge experience, she had run through all of the Cathay Champagne menu. But, what else is a girl to do while waiting for her Cathay massage appointment?
The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong – Day Suites
We’ve been fed, we’ve had a few glasses of champagne, it was now time to relax. We sought out The Pier’s Day Suites. The Day Suites are little daybeds with pillows, all behind curtains, offering some privacy for a quick nap. Unlike the first class foot massage, there are no reservations required for the Day Suites. It’s first come, first serve. But, they do like to limit the amount of time during busy periods. That wasn’t a problem for us. I think Amber actually got in about 30 minutes of napping.
It was harder for me to fall asleep. The Day Suites are up against the windows, offering views of the tarmac. For an AvGeek like me, this was pure heaven. Thankfully the same Airbus A380 from the Dining Room was still at its gate when I decided to close my eyes for a few minutes. When I woke, she was still there. If this was daytime and the flight line was more active, odds are Amber would have had to pull me out of the Day Suite kicking and screaming to make our flight. Instead, we left the Day Suites for our scheduled Cathay massage.
After making our way through the Champagne list, having a back massage, eating a couple of good burgers, and taking a nap in one of the Day Suites, our six hours actually flew by. We had some time to freshen up in one of the 14 showers. It’s another example of the decadence of using the premium Cathay lounges.
The Peninsula and Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge
It took me a while, but I noticed something different about the staff of The Pier. They weren’t dressed in the standard Cathay Pacific uniform. Instead, they wore muted uniforms and their name tags read The Peninsula.
Cathay Pacific partnered with The Peninsula, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious hotels, to staff The Pier. I’m convinced this had a lot to do with the quality service and great food. It’s why The Peninsula Brut was included on the Champagne menu. I think this is really cool. Both Cathay and the Peninsula are institutions in Hong Kong and it’s fitting they teamed up.
Update: Shortly after our visit to The Pier, management of the lounge changed from The Peninsula to Plaza Premier, who manages some of their other lounges, but we’ve been assured by Cathay Pacific Airways that they will continue to offer the same quality food.
Six Hours in the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
We loved our experience in the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong! I can’t say enough about what an amazing job Cathay Pacific and Studioilse have done with The Pier. It is unlike any other premium lounge out there. The attention to detail was mind-blowing. From the materials used, to the sounds, the aromas, everything was designed to make the traveler feel at home. The Peninsula staff provided great service. If you are traveling to or from Hong Kong and can book in Cathay First Class, build in some extra time at the airport to experience The Pier.
And, yes, the final count was three different Champagnes in the lounge. Amber tried all of them. She, particularly, was excited to board, where Krug Champagne was served. There’s something to be said for a luxury travel experience that includes four kinds of Champagne in one evening.
FAQs – First Class Lounge Cathay Pacific
Here are some of the most common questions we receive about Cathay Pacific The Pier Lounge:
- Can passengers purchase access to the Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong? No. Cathay Pacific lounge access is restricted to first class passengers or to select Marco Polo Club members and oneworld frequent fliers with status. To purchase access to other business classes lounges in Hong Kong airport, check out the Priority Pass Lounge Membership. The Priority Pass is the next best thing to an airport first class lounge. They offer business class lounge access at over 1,200 business class lounges without even flying business class.
- How many Cathay first class lounge options are there in Hong Kong? The Pier Cathay Pacific Lounge is the only dedicated first-class passenger lounge at Hong Kong airport. Cathay Pacific also operates The Wing, which is for both business and first class passengers. The Wing First Class Cathay Pacific Lounge is located in Terminal 1 near gate 4. They have cabanas with showers and tubs and a Cathay Pacific Champagne Bar.
- Where is The Pier Lounge located? The Pier Lounge Hong Kong is located in Terminal 1, on Level 6, near Gate 63. Look for the Pier Lounge sign and follow the escalator down.
- What are the hours for the Cathay First Class Lounge Hong Kong? The Pier Lounge Hong Kong is open daily from 5:30 am until 12:30 am.
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