Cathay Pacific’s new flagship lounge – The Pier First Class at Hong Kong – is less like an airport lounge and more like an upscale and wonderfully oversized apartment.
It’s an apartment with its own tended bar, stocked with top-shelf wine, champagne and spirits…
… a dining room with an à la carte service and room for 100 of your friends…
… and even therapists on hand for a free foot massage or neck and shoulder massage.
There’s also a library where you can relax with a good book or e-magazine, and a ‘home-office’ zone with six iMacs.
You have to admit, that’s one damned impressive apartment! It even has its own bespoke scent – a fresh Oriental fragrance created for Cathay Pacific.
But the standout feature would have to be the ‘day suites’ in The Pier’s Retreat zone.
Each of these eight nooks is furnished with a comfortable daybed, a reading light, adjustable lighting, window blinds (if you don’t want to enjoy a view of the runway) and heavy curtains which can be drawn for added personal privacy.
There are also 14 spacious shower suites finished from natural limestone and timber.
Other spaces in The Pier include The Pantry, where passengers can enjoy ‘grab and go’ snacks from separate breakfast and all-day dining menus.
It’s a radical transformation of the tired old bunker near Gate 63 which now subtly showcases Cathay Pacific’s ‘life well travelled’ brand mantra with its cornerstones of what the airline terms “heartfelt warmth, considered simplicity and contemporary Asian values.”
Ilse Crawford, the London-based designer behind Cathay’s new-look lounges, drew on the concept of a lush apartment as her blueprint.
This extends from 'real' furniture throughout the lounge, rather than 'contract' furniture, and the careful selection of art to softer lighting and different music played in different 'rooms'.
The Pier First Class Lounge will be open from Saturday June 20 to first class passengers, Marco Polo Club Diamond members and Oneworld Emerald members (include Platinum-grade Qantas Frequent Flyers).
The adjacent Business Class lounge will be closed in July for its own overhaul.
When the shutters roll back up sometime in early 2016 they'll reveal a massive space of around 3,000 square metres featuring a noodle bar, teahouse, sitting room and relaxation room.
David Flynn travelled to Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
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