The Pier First Class Lounge

By | February 15, 2016

Many in the blogging world think that Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong is one of the best airport lounges in the world.  It just opened after remodel in June 2015.  If you would like to see what it looked like before the remodel, check out this post.  I was excited to try it out after my stay in Hong Kong before flying back to LAX.

I arrived at HKG three hours before my flight as I had heard that The Pier First Class Lounge is quite a hike.  There was no line at the Cathay Pacific First Class check-in.  I was a bit taken aback when they took my checked bag away before tagging it (or even before I handed over my passport).  The agent assured me that they would take care of things; which they did.  My bag arrived in LAX just fine.

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I was printed a voucher to get in to any of the Business or First Class Lounges.  The agent explained where The Wing was, but didn’t tell me about The Pier.  When I asked, she explained I could visit there but that it was at the other side of the terminal and that likely my flight to LAX would be boarding close to The Wing.

After heading through security I found a terminal map.  The Pier First Class Lounge is located near Gate 63 while The Wing is located near Gate 3.  I took the tram to the end of the terminal (you can also walk).  From there it was another 3 minute walk or so to The Pier.  Note: The tram only runs in one direction.  To get back you must walk the length of the terminal, so give yourself plenty of time.

The Pier First Class Lounge – Hong Kong

There is a sign for The Pier First Class Lounge on the main floor but you must take an escalator (or elevator) down to enter the lounge.

IMG_2034 The Pier First Class Lounge

Upon checking in at the front desk, the staff took my lounge voucher.  Note that if you want to visit another lounge, you need to get your boarding pass stamped for re-entry before leaving your first lounge.

This is my crude diagram of how The Pier First Class Lounge is laid out.

The Pier First Class Lounge

After checking in you enter the main hall of the lounge.  It is a rectangle and the entrance to all of the other rooms are located off the hall.  The color scheme of wood and onyx (stone green) is uniform throughout and it seems that Cathay Pacific is moving their entire branding towards this mid century modern look.  I much prefer it to the cold white marble of their other lounges.

The Pier First Class Lounge

The Pier First Class Lounge

First thing I did was book my free 20 minute massage.  I was given a pager that would alert me of my appointment.

I decided to visit the dining room first as it was past lunch time and I was getting hungry.  There was enough seating for probably 100 people; when I visited there were maybe 15 people dining.  They had full service wait staff as well as a staffed bar.  The only one negative I had with Cathay Pacific my entire trip was the staff in the dining room.  They were not at all attentive and I had to flag them down for anything including refills of my water.  Not a big deal, but definitely did not live up to the service I had with Cathay Pacific in every other instance.

IMG_2042 IMG_2043 IMG_2045 The Pier First Class Lounge

I was given a menu and decided on the Fragrant Chicken for a starter, followed by the Dan Dan Mien and Wok Fried Chicken (no prawns) for the main course and Seasonal Fruit Plate and Mango Sticky Rice for dessert.  And a Moet sparkling rose to go with it all.

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Menu (February 2016)

Menu (January 2017)

The Fragrant Chicken was probably my favorite part of the meal; it was delicious, flavorful and just a bit spicy.

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The Dan Dan Mien was a peanut based soup with basic ramen noodles.  The Wok Fried Chicken (hold the prawns) was fresh and well seasoned too.  You can see the massage pager in the photo below.

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The fruit was fresh as advertised and the Mango Sticky Rice was delicious; sweetened with coconut and a good chunk of fresh mango. Yum!  I also had a glass of mango juice to go with it.

The Pier First Class Lounge

The food was all delicious, clearly prepared fresh (hadn’t been sitting under a warmer) despite the mediocre service.

When I returned in January 2017 I tried the burger and fries for my main course and creme brûlée for dessert.

I still had a while before my massage so I checked out the day suites.  There are 8 day suites and they all have large windows that look out at one of the gates.  When I was relaxing a British A380 taxied to the gate.  The lights could be dimmed and a sun shade could be lowered (it is not a black out curtain, you can still see through it).  While there is no door to the suite, a heavy curtain allows for privacy and it would be very possible to nap.

IMG_2051 IMG_2047 IMG_2048 IMG_2049 The Pier First Class Lounge

The shower suites were very well appointed but nothing compared to The Cabanas at The Wing.

The men’s restroom (separate from the shower suites).

The Pier First Class Lounge

It was time for my massage so I headed to the spa area.  There was space for three nooks for people to receive treatments, but I believe there was only one therapist on duty during my visit.  I opted for the foot massage which included food cleaning and 20 minutes of massage.  It was quite relaxing and worth booking; especially since, like all things in the Lounge, it was free.

The Pier First Class Lounge

I then headed for a drink in the bar/library area.  They had quite a full menu of cocktails; I went with my favorite Moscow Mule.

IMG_2053 The Pier First Class Lounge

Each seating area had a small table with pull out drawer that had power outlets and USB charing ports.

The final area I visited to grab a soda water before leaving was the pantry that was a self serve buffet area.  There were tons of snacks and drinks for a quick bite if you didn’t have time for the dining room.

IMG_2056 The Pier First Class Lounge

After getting my boarding pass stamped for re-entry, I headed to my assigned gate (Gate 3).  I arrived with 15 minutes to boarding so I decided to quickly check out The Wing First Class Lounge.

The Wing First Class Lounge – Hong Kong

Located just off of Gate 3 and not far from security, The Wing First Class Lounge is located a floor higher than the main concourse and is built above The Wing Business Class Lounge.  The check in desk is shared between the two lounges; once checked in if you are First Class you are invited up stairs to the First Class area.

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My guess is that The Wing will be renovated in the next year or two.  It is fine but doesn’t conform to the new wood/onyx design of The Pier First Class Lounge or even the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Bangkok.

It is open air so feels much less intimate than The Pier.  It also uses white marble and black and maroon furniture and feels slightly dated.

As I said, i didn’t spend much time there however I did visit the champagne bar that is at the far end of the lounge.

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The Wing First Class also has a dining room, buffet area, full service bar, showers and cabanas; however I don’t believe they have any spa services.  I am sure the food is just as delicious (and maybe the service better), however based on visual design, I definitely preferred The Pier.

Conclusion

The Pier First Class Lounge is by far and away the best airport lounge I have visited.  It just felt more personal than the giant, over the top Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai.  I’m not sure how The Pier could be improved, save for the service and distance from most of the gates at Hong Kong.  It is definitely worth a visit if you are flying First Class from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific (or a oneworld partner).  Note: oneorld Emerald status holders can also visit The Pier First Class Lounge when traveling on Cathay Pacific or another oneworld flight no matter the class of cabin.

SingleFlyer Round the World Trip

Emirates Lounge LAX
Emirates First Class LAX-DXB
Park Hyatt Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge DXB
Emirates First Class DXB-BKK
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Cathay Pacific First Class BKK-HKG
Hyatt Regency TST Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Pier Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class HKG-LAX

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