Cathay Pacific's The Pier Business Class Lounge: An Inside Look

The Pier Business Class Lounge, Cathay Pacific Airways’ newly renovated lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, is now open! Originally inaugurated in 2001, The Pier has provided Cathay Pacific’s premium lounge guests with unparalleled comfort and convenience over the past 15 years. In conjunction with their recent rebranding efforts, Cathay Pacific has given both The Pier’s First and Business Class Lounges an extensive renovation.

Last year, Cathay Pacific Airways unveiled their state-of-the-art The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. This year, The Pier makes headlines once again, except it's now the Business Class Lounge’s time to shine. The Pier Business Class Lounge is not only Hong Kong International Airport’s largest lounge - it’s the largest Cathay Pacific Airways lounge in the world, coming in at an astonishing 3,306 square meters with room for 550 guests. This is approximately 1,006 square meters more than pre-renovation lounge.

This lounge, as with the other Cathay Pacific Lounges in Hong Kong, is operated by Hong Kong based Plaza Premium Lounge, a world leader in premium airport services renowned for their award-winning network of premium pay-in airport lounges around the world. (You can book access to the vast majority of these lounges with LoungeBuddy here). Plaza Premium Lounge also operates a growing number of lounges around the world for carriers and related companies, names like Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, the SkyTeam alliance, and American Express.

This fully refurbished oasis offers guests an understated atmosphere of luxury. As with The Pier’s First Class Lounge refresh, the Business Class Lounge is designed by Studioilse, Ilse Crawford’s London-based design studio. You may also be familiar with Studioilse’s involvement as head designer for some of Cathay Pacific Airways’ most recent lounge renovations abroad, including Tokyo-Haneda and Manila. In all cases, but especially for The Pier, they’ve created an environment that focuses on wellbeing, ensuring that passengers will feel relaxed and refreshed through an engagement of the senses.

The contemporary design certainly aligns with Cathay Pacific’s branding and commitment to a “Life Well Travelled”. Imagine the lounge space as a high-end version of the typical street in Hong Kong, albeit with a much more luxurious feel. There are distinct fast and slow lanes, enabling passengers to enjoy the lounge facilities at their own personally desired pace.

Entrance

Upon entering the lounge, guests will discover a warm, modern lobby, where any friction and frustrations encountered in the terminal will immediately dissipate. Disarmingly friendly lounge agents welcome guests at the front desk, marking their transition to warmer, more hospitable environment.

As previously mentioned, the lounge is divided into distinct “fast” and “slow” lanes. In the fast lane, passengers will find a wide selection of food and beverage offerings, with terrariums of native tropical greenery added into the mix to create a more healthful, holistic, natural vibe (to replenish energy levels, of course). The fast lane culminates in an area specifically designed for the enhancement of wellbeing, with showers and a relaxation room perfect for napping.

Separated from the fast lane by glazed timber screens, the slow lane is a quieter zone for passengers to relax or get some work done before taking off. Located between the timber screens and clear glass windows overlooking the runway, 23 solo chairs anchor the slow lane, which provide a heightened level of peace and privacy within an exclusive environment.

Fast Lane

Upon entering this airport oasis, you’ll be whisked directly into the fast lane. Quickly grab a bite to eat or take your time and sample a delicious selection of international and local cuisines. The journey starts in the Food Hall, a fun and vibrant space, a smorgasbord of cosmopolitanism featuring a collection of self-service kiosks. These kiosks create a dynamic, interactive atmosphere where discovery and experimentation are encouraged.

One of the main kiosks is the coffee cart, where professionally trained baristas prepare freshly brewed coffee for guests to enjoy. The coffee cart’s design is inspired by the ubiquitous street food carts found across Asia. With illy supplying the coffee beans, guests can count on a cup of coffee of the highest quality.

The self-service kiosks each offer guests something unique - you’ll find tapas, salads, hot food, chilled food, and a bakery in the morning, along with options like cheeseboards, antipasto, sandwiches, fish platters, desserts, and fruits. The feeling in the air is part-food market and part-deli, a bustling, lively, convivial place where guests can discover freshly-cooked, made-to-order food and drinks. It’s a pleasant engagement on the five senses (namely smell, sound, sight, and taste).

Further down the street, guests will unearth a full service bar with an extensive drink selection. This is the perfect setting to enjoy a range of spirits, wines, and cocktails in an informal atmosphere.

Of course, a flagship Cathay Pacific Lounge is never complete without its iconic signature landmark, the Noodle Bar, where guests can order a hearty, steaming bowl of wonton or dan dan noodle soup. Alternative options include Asian style and vegetarian noodles and steamed dim sum (dumplings and buns) throughout the day. It’s a very popular dining option for lounge guests and a must-try for first-time Cathay Pacific lounge guests.

Slow Lane

When you’re ready for rest, relaxation, or productivity, it’s time to head on over to the slow lane for a chance of pace. Here, guests can expect to find extensive lounge seating with excellent views of the runway.

One of the highlights is the collection of 23 bespoke Solo Chairs, which provide a more comfortable, quiet space for guests to catch up on some work and enjoy a bit more privacy. The spacious Solo Chairs come with high partitions on either side, as well as a side table, in-built reading lamp, and a coat hook, providing a degree of flexibility. It’s ideal for weary travellers looking to curl up and relax, as well as business travellers looking to catch up on last-minute emails prior to boarding. Seats are equipped with power and USB sockets for easy and convenient charging of electronic devices.

The Bureau is another excellent place to work, particularly if you’d rather work on a desktop computer. Here, guests will discover ten individual workstations, each equipped with the latest iMac computer and a printer, along with a classic desk chair and lights.

As with most luxurious high-end airport lounges these days, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the lounge is a given, as are toilets and lockers for storing personal belongings.

Relaxation Zone

Beyond the bustle of the street near the relaxation zone is the Tea House, a brand new concept exclusively designed and developed for this lounge. Here, the atmosphere is calm and relaxing, and visitors can chat and relax with a cup of tea at traditional Chinese-inspired chairs grouped around wooden tables.

Upon entry, guests are presented with an interactive tea menu to see and smell the different teas offered before making a final decision. For those who are unsure about what to get, a tea specialist will be able to recommend different types of tea depending on the guest’s personal preferences. Ten tea choices are on the menu, along with a seasonal tea brewed with loose tea leaves.

Supplied by JING Tea, the choices include:

  • Ceylon Breakfast
  • Earl Grey
  • Whole Chamomile Flowers
  • Whole Peppermint Leaf
  • Lemongrass and Ginger
  • Japanese Sencha
  • Japanese Jade Sword
  • Traditional Iron Buddha
  • Jasmine Silver Needle
  • 1990s Royal Loose Cooked Puerh
  • And of course...Seasonal Tea

There’s no better way to freshen up before or after an international long-haul flight than a relaxing shower in one of the 14 shower suites. A relaxation room near the showers provides low upholstered loungers and footstools. These loungers, set in a room with filtered light casting a shadowy glow to create a transcendental atmosphere, are absolutely perfect for passengers looking to de-stress, unwind, and get some rest before their flight. Transport yourself to a more relaxing plane of existence where you can meditate and contemplate Far Eastern philosophical teachings.

Atmosphere

The Pier Business Class Lounge provides guests with a luxurious, relaxing experience by focusing on warmth and simplicity. High quality natural materials come together to provide a sense of generosity and permanence to the space, making guests feel as if they’ve been transported to an established, high-quality environment rather than a transitional area between flights.

A material palette consisting of limestone (floors and bathrooms), cherry wood (panelings, screens, and ceiling), bronze (reception desk and details throughout), and leather and mohair (upholstered furniture) help to create a warm, timeless environment that ages gracefully and improves with repeated use.

Softened acoustics and an abundance of natural vegetation help form a green, natural, healthy aura that relieves and drastically reduces stress and anxiety, replacing these states with wellbeing and tranquility. The feel is authentic, and meant to simulate the tranquil, soothing, harmonic atmosphere of an Asian home. Contemporary Asia, heartfelt warmth, considered simplicity, joy of discovery, and “A Life Well Travelled” - you’ll find it all here at one of the world’s best business class lounges.

Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge HKG Lounge Recap

Capacity: 3306 square meters, 500+ guests

Location: Terminal 1, After Security, Adjacent to Gate 65

Operating Hours: 5:30 AM to Last Departure

Special Features and Highlights: Food Hall, Noodle Bar, Tea House, Solo Chairs

Amenities: Beer/Wine (free), Wi-Fi (free), Premium Drinks (free), Premium Food (free), Printers/Copiers (free), Showers (free), Complimentary Snacks, Newspapers/Magazines, TVs, Flight Monitors, Internet Terminals

Entrance Requirements: First and Business Class customers; Silver, Gold, and Diamond members of The Marco Polo Club; Sapphire and Emerald members of the oneworld alliance.

Additional Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Cathay Pacific Lounges in Hong Kong International Airport

The Ultimate Guide to oneworld

Cathay Pacific's The Pier First Class Lounge Grand Reopening

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