Taipei - Taoyuan
- Plenty of space for laptop work
- Reasonable range of hot food
- Less impressive than the 'real' business class lounge
- When there's work to be done, you can choose the environment that best suits you
EVA Air's home hub at Taipei's Taoyuan Airport offers not one, not two, but four lounges: each designed to serve a different set of passengers.
Among them, EVA Air's The Star lounge caters for Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers taking Star Alliance flights in premium economy or economy class – as business class passengers are directed to another lounge, as are the airline's own highest-tier frequent flyers.
Here's a look at what The Star lounge has to offer.
Editor's note: Lounge visits for this review took place prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions, although every effort has been made to provide the most up-to-date information.
Location & Impressions
Situated in the airport's international departures area (beyond passport control), you'll find The Star by taking the escalator upstairs in Terminal 2 just behind those passport counters, and which shares a reception desk with The Infinity lounge next door.
At reception, you'll turn left. Following the corridor brings you to the main lounge space.
Following a refurbishment in recent years, the space adopts a more modern feel than it did previously.
That's particularly achieved through the use of lighting, such as stars on the ceiling in darker places of the lounge.
Other areas instead provide more of a 'daytime' feel, with sky on the ceiling and a stronger burst of light – so take your pick, depending on your time zone.
Many of the seats here are perfect for sharing a drink and snack with a travel companion.
Others are instead better suited to laptop work.
The lounge's modern style continues into the buffet area, kitted out with a more colourful design and better lighting.
The night-themed sky here takes things to another level, almost reminiscent of a spaceship or galactic skylight, for something different.
The Star currently opens daily from 4:30am until 11:30pm, with no boarding calls except for delayed flights to minimise disruptions.
With four lounges at its Taipei Taoyuan Airport hub, EVA Air's The Star lounge primarily caters to the following guests:
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Gold members prior to EVA Air and Star Alliance flights.
- Other Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers departing on an EVA Air or other Star Alliance flight.
- United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members prior to Star Alliance flights.
These travellers also have access to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at the same airport under Star Alliance rules, while EVA Air and other Star Alliance business class passengers may also visit EVA Air's The Infinity lounge next door, which has more extensive dining options than The Star.
Additionally, EVA Air's top-tier Infinity MileageLands Diamond cardholders can visit the exclusive The Garden lounge nearby, while MileageLands Silver cardholders flying economy or premium economy may visit EVA Air's The Club lounge close by.
With all food and drink served via that futuristic buffet zone, you'll find a variety of hot options such as basil fried rice and stir-fried water spinach.
That's joined by chicken meatballs and penne pasta, as well as Taiwanese meatballs with custard buns.
The buffet continues with rice vermicelli mixed with vegetable julienne, Chinese cabbage tofu, and a side of mixed vegetables.
There's also a DIY rice noodle bar, with clear instructions.
Just take one of those white balls below with noodles and meatballs, pour in some soup, add any toppings from the nearby selection and you're all set:
If you're not so adventurous on the food front, you can also assemble a pork hot dog:
On the lighter side, there's a range of fresh salad ingredients, as well as cheese and crackers.
Breads and spreads aren't far away, as is scoop-it-yourself Movenpick:
Beverage selections are more limited than in EVA Air's other lounges, with a small number of spirits at the bar, joined by machine-made espresso coffee, and wine and beer in a nearby fridge:
This mid-evening visit before EVA Air's Taipei-Brisbane flight found most of the working spaces vacant, including the large communal working benches.
Some of the workstations line the windows, providing AC power outlets to help you get the job done.
Others line the lounge walls instead, which may be less distracting when there's serious work to be done.
Looking for something in between? The lounge's refurbishment introduced a central working area – just look for this art installation overhead.
Below that finds more working benches, again with power at the ready.
If you're looking for more casual seating but still with the ability to recharge, aim for a chair beside a wall, as you're likely to find outlets here.
The lounge also provides a business centre with mood lighting, computers and printing facilities, although the use of these may be restricted due to COVID-19.
WiFi speeds for connecting your own devices sat around 32Mbps for both uploads and downloads, being more than sufficient for most travellers.
Given EVA Air's flights to Australia normally depart around midnight, there's a good chance your lounge visit will call for relaxation more so than working.
If that's the case, you'll find a row of recliners towards the rear of the lounge.
Alternatively, many of the seats offer a cocktail table as you kick back and prepare for departure.
At the refurbished end of the lounge, the seats offer a good degree of privacy, without feeling being boxed in.
Prior to COVID-19, reading material was also available – including some English-language titles – although this may be limited or restricted in line with local regulations. Shower facilities are available, too.
All things considered, with a reasonable range of food paired with places to work and relax, The Star is the go-to lounge of Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers travelling in premium economy or economy class.
In that respect, the offering here is more than fair – and if things get too busy, you could try visiting EVA's nearby The Club lounge instead.
But if you're perched up in business class, you'll be better-accommodated at The Infinity lounge next door, which provides extra space to relax, and broader food and dining options more on-par with the expectations of business class flyers.
Better yet, if you're an elite Infinity MileageLands Diamond cardholder, you can also visit The Garden with its noodle station, cocktail bar and generally quieter atmosphere.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance and EVA Air.