Invite-only airport lounges are often shrouded in mystery – their locations and perks a closely guarded secret. Virgin Australia has Beyond; Qantas the Chairman’s Lounge. Across the ditch, Air New Zealand has a VIP haven of its own: Koru Club.
And we now know where it is and what awaits those on the guest list.
Exclusively designed for the airline’s Elite Priority One members, of which there are believed to be as few as 100, Koru Club is very different from a standard Air New Zealand Lounge, as revealed by Stuff.co.nz who recently stumbled across the entrance and took a photo to prove it.
For starters, you can’t simply earn your way into the club through flying, alliances or credit card purchases. You need to be personally invited by Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran – sadly he hasn’t responded to texts, so no luck for me just yet.
The exact location of Auckland’s Koru Club has now been revealed – via an emergency evacuation plan – to be at the far end of the main Air New Zealand Koru Lounge, hidden behind semi-frosted glass doors with a discrete ‘By Invitation Only’ sign the only hint at what lies beyond.
Images from Stuff show an intimate mix of lounges and dining tables for a la carte dining, charcoal carpets and timber-look panelling. A sweeping curved window overlooks the departures area, while the map reveals a boardroom for meetings on the go, plus showers for a quick freshen up.
On top of access to the exclusive lounge, Elite Priority One members enjoy lofty perks such as valet parking, recognition upgrades and seat guarantees, along with personalised meet and greets where staff members await your arrival at the end of the aerobridge.
Members also receive a welcome pack, complete with a Craggy Range 'Aroha' bottle of wine, a personalised boxed titanium pen, welcome letter, membership card, personalised luggage tags, Deadly Ponies luggage tags holders, and a book of benefits.
At a glance, Koru Club appears quite similar to the Sydney Virgin Beyond Lounge, albeit on a smaller scale. That too has booted the buffet in favour of a restaurant-like experience, though its windows afford a view across the tarmac to Botany Bay.
Short of patiently waiting outside for a glimpse inside as the doors open, we don’t know for sure what else lies within, but you can be sure we’ll do our best to find out.
In the meantime, Air New Zealand’s Auckland Koru Lounge is an excellent alternative, featuring vibrant decor, buffet dining, and an eclectic mix of zones to stretch out while you await your flight.
Air New Zealand Koru Lounge access is open to Business Premier (business class) guests, Airpoints Gold status holders and above, and those holding Star Alliance membership.