After spending most of the morning walking around Hong Kong and having dim sum in the city, we took the Airport Express train back to the airport. Since we already had our connecting boarding pass, we collected our hand carried luggage from the Cathay Pacific Arrival lounge and then proceed past security and passport control to enter the first Cathay Pacific lounge.
Naturally the first one we visited was The Wing First Class lounge since we arrived via First Class. As our credentials were checked, I enquired if they have any cabanas available so my Dad could get a nap. Our first priority was also to get a shower.
The private cabanas at The Wing has been renovated and while it already features a bathtub previously, Cathay Pacific has given each cabana a clean slate of life. Inside the cabanas, the furnishings gave it a polished feel and would not be out of place in a 5-star hotel.
For those that do not need the cabanas, the shower rooms are slightly more spacious than that of the Business Class sections. Though in all fairness, Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong has some of the best managed shower rooms, and they are all nicely equipped. After all it was these lounges that showed me how wonderful it was to be able to clean up after a long layover or before a red-eye flight.
For some reason, the amenities inside the shower rooms and the cabanas in The Wing First Class section is by Jurlique. Though the amenities in The Pier which was recently opened, was by Aésop which is more in-line with the offerings onboard the flight.
After the shower, I went to walk around the lounge. The nicest part of the lounge is perhaps the Champagne bar with the bright red sofa that gives a nice contrast to the black marble floor tiles. The ambience in the First Class section is more grown-up and feels like an exclusive club, which befits the status. The other section of the lounge also features the individual cubicle chairs that is unique to Cathay Pacific lounges and I do enjoy relaxing or just working inside those chairs at times for the privacy they offer.
Other amenities in the First Class section includes a sit-down restaurant with a full menu for guests to order from. There is also a couple of workstations behind the wall in the section overlooking the atrium for guests wanting to get some work done.
I actually liked what Cathay Pacific has done to make The Wing lounge more up to date and giving it a different feel compared to the Business class lounge. However I would be even more pleased by what they accomplished with The Pier First Class lounge, which I visited as I left my Dad to rest in the cabana.
One of the main difference is that The Pier is located one floor below the main departure concourse while The Wing is located one floor above. This means that The Wing usually have a better view over the terminal and feels very airy. In order to minimize the feeling of the low ceiling, the lounge has been redesigned to feel like a boutique hotel lobby.
There is a main central walkway that is covered in plush carpets and golden marble wall panels, while being furnished with warm wooden accents. It makes it feel like a luxurious abode. The amenities in the lounge are spread around the main central walkway.
On one corner there is a row of cubicles with Apple iMacs and the dark wood panels makes it feels warm and cozy like a library.
Another section is the main lounge area where there are plenty of comfortable and oversized loungers. Instead of using the usual individual chairs, the designer used wingback leather armchairs. This gives a more open feel and certainly makes the space feels more intimate. Dispersed through the area, there are also trays filled with dried fruits and nuts along with small plates for guests to obtain some snacks.
At the other end of the walkway, there is a very nice horseshoe-shaped bar counter with stools making the area feels really like a hotel bar. Around it there are designer chairs with potted plants. The space does not feel monotonous like most airport lounges with the variety of design themes and that was what stood out for me. I could really laze all day in this lounge and feel comfortable.
While the lounge might have open spaces, the partitions comes in the form of magazine shelves with benches that creates a feel of a library. These partition leads to the main lounge area where guests can read a book or just get a bit of a shuteye.
Speaking of taking a nap, the lounge actually features several private daybeds. Guests could obtain access to these daybeds, the shower room and the complimentary massage via a reception counter along the central walkway. The daybeds does not have an attached bathroom but it features a view of the tarmac and has a curtain to keep the space private.
Beside the daybed area, there are several shower rooms and these are also beautifully designed, featuring Aésop amenities. That certainly makes it a better lounge to shower in compared to The Wing.
Similar to The Wing, there is also a sit-down restaurant at The Pier located beside the bar section. The dining area features tarmac views as well and has a long bar section for solo diners. An interesting thing to note is that both First Class lounges have different menus.
While both restaurants have food supplied by The Peninsula Hong Kong, the menu at The Pier is more comprehensive and includes more Asian dishes. As such, I decided to return to The Wing to pick my Dad up since our connecting flight is due to depart from the gates nearer to this lounge. During this time I also booked the appointment for a complimentary 15-minute foot massage.
There were 2 standout dishes amongst the several that we ordered from the dining room and they were the glazed pork neck that came with a bowl of rice and some vegetables. For dessert, I absolutely loved the mango with glutinous rice and this version came with purple glutinous rice instead of the usual sticky rice. The recipe works and with that we actually had a full dinner such that we could skip the dinner onboard our next flight.
From the moment I stepped into The Pier, I instantly liked the decor and furnishings. Perhaps it was the non-conformist design of the lounge that makes it feel like being in a boutique hotel, or maybe it was the fantastic cuisine served in the restaurant, or that complimentary massage that adds a touch of luxury. All in all, I really enjoyed spending my layover in The Pier and would really recommend First Class passengers to skip the cabanas at The Wing and head here instead, for this just might be the best First Class lounge in the world.