Since I had plenty of time before the scheduled boarding of my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, I decided to venture to the United Club which is about 5 minutes walk from the Thai Royal Orchid lounge. They are actually located in opposite section and the walk will provide a nice view of Hong Kong’s airport terminal and Cathay Pacific’s The Bridge lounge reception.
United Club is actually closer to the boarding gates for my flight and it is located in the same area along with Emirates’ lounge. With a fairly small entryway to the lounge, it actually misleads guests into thinking it is a fairly small lounge. There is a nice foyer with a large reception area which means there are plenty of room for guests when waiting to be checked in.
As the staff saw the First Class on my boarding pass, they directed me to the separate Global First lounge behind its own closed doors. It was like a lounge within a lounge!
Upon entering the lounge, I was provided with a menu but I did not order anything since I had already eaten in the Thai Airways lounge.
Aside from the menu, there was a decent selection of food in the Global First lounge. There was even some hot food like chicken satay and shrimp dumplings.
Besides the few hot food available, there are also the usual cold cuts, salad, pastries and like all good old United Clubs, various chips and cookies.
No snacks for me this time but I could not resist the dark chocolates in the lounge. Those are great and premium lounges certainly should have some dark chocolates to offer.
The Global First lounge does have a nice selection of beverages like fresh cold pressed juices that were bottled individually. There is also an array of wines and liquors on the buffet counter, along with a tray of tea bags and espresso machine on the end.
There was no one else in the Global First lounge and that made it very private, allowing me to take multiple photos of this newly renovated lounge. Plenty of seating made it comfortable though the enclosed space meant the area was darker than the Thai Airways lounge.
The lounge has some really comfortable high-backed armchairs for reading and there are plenty of countertops beside the armchairs with power ports. All in all, the space was much more conducive for relaxing, reading and working on the laptop than the Thai Airways lounge!
And for those that wants more light, there is a small atrium seating area that is open to the whole terminal making it brighter.
The Global First lounge has its own shower room located next to the magazine shelves. And these shower rooms were much better in design compared to the Thai Airways lounge. It made me regret my decision somewhat to head to the Thai Airways lounge first.
Besides the newer conditions of the shower rooms, they also feature bath amenities from ‘Cowshed’. This was the same brand of toiletries found in the lavatories onboard United First Class. The United Club certainly has a better shower facility for First Class passengers though I have forgotten to check out the showers in the main lounge.
Since it felt a bit awkward being alone in the Global First lounge, I continued to walk around the larger United Club. That allowed me to digest the dinner I had and experience the whole lounge. There are snacks and drinks counters spread across this lounge which seems to be larger than the Thai Airways lounge but it is definitely also more crowded.
It should also be noted that the food and beverage selection in the main United Club is not as diverse or as complete as Thai Airways. In fact because the counters are not placed or concentrated together, it makes it kind of difficult for guests to find something.
The main United Club for Business Class passengers is open to the terminal and overlooks the tarmac as well. This meant it was bright like the Thai Airways lounge, though its armchairs were upholstered in a more sombre colour. In fact the interior design was similar to the newly renovated United Clubs in the United States, making it more familiar for frequent United Airlines flyers.
There are plenty of seats in the back of the lounge and then the design of the lounge also segments the space to provide some quiet nooks for a reading corner with the magazine shelves strategically placed beside it.
Other facilities in the lounge includes a very well equipped meeting room for business travellers to work and discuss with their colleagues on the go.
There is also luggage storage rooms with coat hangers placed around the lounge which certainly adds to the convenience factor.
Overall, I actually liked the way the designer did with the space as it segmented it into several areas including a more cozy TV lounge area. Thus the space certainly makes it more comfortable and modern compared to the Thai Airways lounge. If I was looking to lounge, read and maybe take a shower, I would most certainly pick the United Club. But if meals were my main priority, I still think the Thai Airways lounge has an edge in Hong Kong.