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Taipei - Taoyuan
- Zones for working, dining and relaxing
- DIY Taiwanese Burgers
- There's not much 'happening' here
- Dining is buffet-only
- Futuristic design is a break from the norm
At its home hub of Taipei's Taoyuan Airport, EVA Air offers a suite of lounges for its elite frequent flyers and business class guests, with the latter welcomed into The Infinity lounge.
Featuring a funky design and many similarities with the airline's Bangkok business class lounge – a favourite of Thai Airways passengers bound for Australia, who can also access the space under Star Alliance rules – you'll find the usual amenities for working, dining and relaxing, including themed shower rooms for something different.
Australian Business Traveller stopped by EVA Air's flagship business class lounge, The Infinity, before a recent flight from Taipei to Brisbane to bring you this review.
Location & Impressions
After clearing passport control and security screening at Taipei Taoyuan Airport’s Terminal 2 – or just security if you’re in transit – take the escalator up one level from the centre of the departures hall (near those passport desks) and follow the signs to EVA Air and The Infinity.
You’ll turn right at reception and walk along a corridor, past plenty of seats and benches…
… before discovering the mood-lit dining area…
… and behind that, the centrepiece of the lounge – a ‘tree’ that changes colour every few seconds, but cleverly makes way for plenty of travellers to sit underneath:
The Infinity lounge caters for all EVA Air departures, opening from 4:30am to 11:30pm daily.
EVA Air operates four distinct lounges at Taoyuan Airport – the others being The Garden, The Star and The Club – and each is designed to serve a different set of passengers.
The Infinity welcomes EVA Air business class passengers booked on Royal Laurel Class, Premium Laurel Class and ‘Business Class’ flights, along with business class and first class passengers departing on other Star Alliance airlines.
It’s bettered only by The Garden, exclusively for EVA Air’s Infinity MileageLands Diamond cardholders, but is a step above The Star next door – primarily for Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers not flying in business class – and The Club, which EVA provides for its own Silver-tier members: not to be confused with the invitation-only Virgin Australia lounge and VIP program of the same name.
Near the colourful tree, you’ll find an extensive buffet zone…
… and let’s start with the hot food, such as you’d find in the evenings before stepping aboard an EVA Air flight to Brisbane – our visit found pan-fried chicken fillet, penne pasta…
… vermicelli noodles, mixed vegetables, Chinese cabbage with tofu…
… fried rice, and pork belly:
That pork belly goes quite well in a DIY Taiwanese Burger, which a nearby sign helps to explain…
… without being a large as a typical Western burger, so it won’t spoil your appetite if planning to dine on board, given this lounge is designed with business class flyers in mind.
Fruits and salad ingredients aren’t far away…
… and around the other side of the buffet zone, a hot dog counter, if that’s what takes your fancy:
There’s a selection of beer, wine and spirits available, including Taiwan’s own Kavalan whisky (and other spirits not pictured)…
… joined by the expected juices and soft drinks, plus machine-made espresso coffee and a water dispenser (chilled, boiling or room temperature):
For dessert, there’s Haagen-Dazs – and not little portions, but entire vats like you’d see in the ice cream shop, so scoop as much or as little as you want!
Given not every dish is eaten with a knife and fork, there are also nifty signs you can leave with your meal if you’re getting up for a moment, to signal that you’re not quite finished, or that the staff are all-clear to take your plate away:
However, given this lounge is strictly for business class passengers only – not Gold-grade frequent flyers travelling in economy – having something available fresh to order would elevate the dining experience and make the lounge feel a little more premium, as even Taipei's independent Plaza Premium lounges offer this, as does China Airlines' flagship lounge.
Away from the coloured lights, bench seating lines the lounge’s terminal-facing windows, where you can set up your laptop and look back towards the check-in hall…
… with a business centre available too, but which was in use during our visit. WiFi covers the lounge with our speed tests clocking downloads around 40Mbps and uploads not far off at 35Mbps – more than acceptable.
While the lounge’s funky lighting may look a little too ‘sci-fi’ in photographs, it’s a bit more subdued in person, and before a late night flight, actually helped create quite a relaxing environment.
Of course, if you’d rather a more ‘normal’ lounge experience, there’s a line-up of seats behind the lounge’s working benches…
… with a selection of reading material nearby, offering content in a variety of languages, including some English titles.
Themed shower suites are available too, but given their popularity in the evenings, we didn’t want to keep others waiting just to take photos.
All up, The Infinity is a funky space to await your flight with a variety of zones, dining options and fast WiFi to keep you occupied, although we’d love to see more power points throughout to provide extra seating flexibility during peak times.
It’s not a lounge we’d arrive three hours early for, as there’s not a great deal ‘happening’ here, but as far as relaxing before your flight or dining on the ground to maximise your sleep in the air, The Infinity has you covered.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance and EVA Air.
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