Getting to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport from the city centre in Part Dieu is pretty easy with a direct train that drops passengers off at the train station which is connected to the airport terminal. The train station itself is an architectural showpiece making it even more worthwhile to get to the airport via train.
However there was a long walk to Terminal 1 where most of the Schengen and International flights depart from as the train station is closer to Terminal 2 and Terminal 1F and G, while Lufthansa has its check-in counters in Terminal 1B. Terminal 1F and G are in renovation when I visited so the space was empty. Arriving at the check-in counters for Lufthansa, I was served immediately since there was no queue in both premium and standard line.
Check-in was thus conducted quickly with my bags tagged all the way to my final destination. I was also informed I could use the lounge past security and with that I head to the odd-sized luggage counter to drop off my skis. With the light passenger traffic, the security screening conducted one floor up from the check-in was quick as well. And from there onwards, I was inside the light-filled circular terminal in no time. The sunny weather on the day of my travel with plenty of glass windows meant the terminal itself is comfortable to spend the time waiting.
Though with the lounge access, I decided to head there instead to spend the time waiting. The Salon Confluence is located behind the duty free shops in the rotunda building which is Terminal 1B of the Lyon airport. The entrance of the lounge faces the window so there are no views of the tarmac from the lounge but it does receive natural light from the terminal windows.
Beside the reception desk there was a small luggage storage area but it has no lockers nor are there any staff guarding the area. Thus guests leave their belongings here at their own risk.
Across from the reception desk there is a large pillar with shelves that is stocked with newspapers and magazines. It was nice to have a selection of English and German newspapers here, in addition to some inflight magazines of airlines that uses this lounge.
On the right side of the reception desk, there is a small chamber that contains a couple of workstations computer with a printer that functions as a small Business centre. With the light passenger traffic, the lounge was also sparsely populated with the business centre empty.
Next to the Business centre was the buffet section with a central island that is comprised of a long bar table with stools around it. Power outlets line the central island making it easy to charge your devices while having a snack or a drink.
Along the wall, the buffet section has 2 chilled beverage compartments, with one containing soft drinks, juices, champagne and beer. The other compartment contains packaged yogurts and some chilled desserts.
On the buffet console, there was a soup pot with bread basket on the side. A selection of fruits ranging from apples, oranges and pears can be found in a large bowl.
At the top shelf, there was some candies provided in jars. Below it, there was porcelain bowls filled with mini pretzels, raisins and mixed nuts. Moving on, there was more cold plates containing olives, corn, pickles, cold cuts and assorted cheeses.
Hot snacks like fried samosas and mini pizzas round up the food selection in the lounge.
Above the buffet console, there was also an open bar with several liquor that guests can help themselves. At the end of the buffet was an espresso machine with a selection of tea bags and a hot water dispenser.
The amount of snacks and beverages here are reasonable considering the size of this lounge and what I liked was that the flight information display is easily available throughout the lounge with one beside the buffet area.
Next to the buffet area, there was a dining area with a chest-height partition. There was circular dining tables split over 2 rows of bench seating with more dining chairs spread out in the area. The dining setup has been configured for couples though it is easy to move the tables around for larger groups.
The main lounge seating areas are comprised of rows of black leather armchairs with a small table in between. Ambient lights and circular decorative patterns acts as some barrier between armchairs. It does make the space more open yet afford some bit of space between guests. Over by the windows, there was more comfortable wing-backed loungers that would be nice to spend the time reading. Small side tables are set between these loungers making it easy to place your drinks or belongings on the side.
The nicest part of the lounge though is the end where there are more comfortable sofas for families or those seeking a cozier space.
Beyond the sofas, there was a circular archway that leads to the highlight of this lounge. This space is furnished with plush carpets that comprises of 8 loungers complete with ottomans facing each other. In the middle was a faux fireplace but the wooden panelings exude a warm ambience.
On the walls there was vintage skis and snowshoes as decorations, which completes the feel of this lounge since Lyon is one of the major airports that serves the French Alps. The dimmer lighting in this space makes it suitable for guests who just wants to relax before their flight.
A delay in my departing flight meant I spent slightly more time than I planned here. However the nice space and the ample snacks and drinks does keep me occupied and I would certainly recommend travellers who have access to this lounge to use it when departing out of Lyon-Saint Exupéry and I would rate it as one of the nicest third-party lounge I have visited, since it even puts some Business class lounges to shame.