Originally, I had about 1 and 1/2 hours of layover time but the early arrival into Bangkok meant I had more than 2 hours of transit time. Flying with Thai Airways’ premium cabin meant I was able to access both the Royal Silk Lounge which is the Business Class lounge for Star Alliance Gold members and travellers flying on Business Class with Thai Airways and their partner airlines. However if passengers are flying with a flight operated by Thai Airways, they gain access to the Royal Orchid Spa as well which is the whole point in my opinion.
Access to the Royal Orchid Spa can be found on Thai’s websiteRoyal Orchid Spa can be found on Thai’s website and is limited to Royal First Class and Royal Silk Class passengers departing on Thai-operated international flights for that particular day. No guests are allowed which means all the passengers entering must hold a valid outward boarding pass on Thai Airways.
Guests flying First Class are entitled to a 60 minute massage and can choose from 2 types of full body treatments or a neck/shoulder massage for 30 minutes and a foot massage for 30 minutes. Business Class passengers can only choose either one of the 30 minutes massage. Since I arrived quite early, I was able to get an appointment for a 30 minute foot massage immediately.
There is a waiting lounge for guests to be seated before they attend to you. Otherwise guests could also wait in the lounge if the appointment time is somewhat later. For First Class passengers, the one-hour full body massage is conducted in one of the treatment rooms located on the left. Otherwise the neck/shoulder and foot massage are by the right side of the spa. Surely, one should not expect the best massage in the world but they are actually sufficiently relaxing after a long haul flight. I had gotten the one hour body massage before and I would certainly urge First Class passengers to go for it if they have adequate time since that is one of the best perks of flying Thai First Class.
After my massage, I was ushered to the main seating area where I was asked for something to drink. In addition, they came over with a questionnaire to rate their services. For the massage, I usually prepare some small change to tip the masseuse, generally around a few dollars for their time and effort, and usually more for the hour long massage, though they are up to the passenger themselves.
Even with the half hour massage I still had plenty of time and relaxed in the spa for a while with some festive snacks that they have (Chinese New Year snacks at the time of my visit; goes to show how delayed this trip report is!). After finishing my tea, I head across to the main Royal Silk Lounge which is the one for Business Class passengers. Thai Airways also have a couple more Royal Silk Lounges around the terminal but the one across the spa is probably the largest and it is connected to the Royal First Lounge.
The Royal Silk lounge extends nearly two-thirds of the length of the whole lounge such that it has 2 separate entrances with the second one being located just below the security and immigration line. Travellers not flying on Thai Business class should most likely enter the lounge here if checking in from Bangkok.
That means this space is quieter with lesser crowds if you prefer a serene environment. In here, there is a bar that is staffed by a bartender with a shelf stocked with current magazines and newspapers.
There is a long table with some packaged snacks between this area of the lounge and the main buffet area. From what I noticed, these are Thai-produced snacks to promote Thai food and could be a seasonal item. However what I noticed for this long-shaped lounge is that there are different kinds of snacks laid out on tables spread at different positions. In fact the snacks are even different from the one in the spa so it makes it feel like a treasure hunt of sorts. Good for when you have time to kill in a lounge.
Otherwise there is a main buffet area in the middle serving simple breakfast fare. Food choices range from steamed buns and Thai breakfast specialty like banana and glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf. There are quiches, croissants and sandwiches for western guests but the range of buffet options was limited.
The most appealing item was perhaps the congee or porridge station where guests could select condiments to add to piping hot fresh porridge. Since I already had porridge on my flight I skipped this, and had some snacks instead.
After that I discovered yet another table containing some traditional Thai-Chinese cakes, and some of these are familiar in other parts of Asia too.
The lounge did have a great variety of beverages. On top of the usual coffee, tea and soft drinks, there were cans of Chang beer in the fridge. Another beverage area has a coffee grinder with espresso machine and yet more drinks and juices.
Aside from the lounge seats, there was a section with kids toys dedicated for children. This makes it a welcoming option for families with kids.
Several workstation cubicles can also be found with printers for guests who need to do some work while waiting for their flight.
Considering this is the main hub for Thai Airways and the main Business Class lounge, the offerings was too far spread out and limited in variety or appeal. They do offer food to eat and a space to relax, but the lounge do need more organization and a bit of a refresh as the furnishings are a bit worn and dated. With the better facilities found in other hub lounges across Asia, Thai’s is looking rather tired, so passengers might want to check out their newer Royal Silk lounges around the airport which I did not get to see since this one was the most convenient being located near the spa for the massage. As a transit passenger or departing passenger on Thai Airways’ Business Class, I would just value the spa more than the use of the lounge and thus skip the lounge in favour of a 30 minute relaxing massage!
Note: I was planning to write about a continuing flight from Bangkok to Jakarta on Thai Airways’ Business Class onboard their regional Airbus A330s but as I have written about it before and the experience was similar, I decided to skip it, but readers interested can read about it on the link.