Review: Qantas Hong Kong Lounge
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge makes a very welcome return to the HKG loungescape.
China - Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
- Variety & quality of food
- Plenty of seats and AC/USB ports
- Contemporary design
- No dedicated quiet zone
- The lounge can get very warm in the later afternoon
- Plenty of pre-flight dining delights
Almost a decade after it first opened, and three long years in a pandemic pause, the Qantas Hong Kong International Lounge is back – and depending on who you talk to it’s either just as good as before, or even slightly better.
Either way, the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge remains an unexpected gem in the HKG loungescape, even allowing for the flagship lounges of Oneworld sibling Cathay Pacific.
If you hold Qantas Platinum status you might pop into Cathay’s The Wing First lounge for its à la carte dining room menu, Champagne bar and private Cabana suites – or, if you have a lot of time up your sleeve, head down to The Pier First (when it reopens around the middle of 2023).
But either way, it’s well worth swinging back via the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge for some great food, delicious cocktails and a friendly vibe before your Qantas flight back to Australia.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: access
So who gets through the door of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge? As a nominal business class lounge, the access list is quite generous:
- travellers in first and business class on Qantas flights as well as Oneworld partner airlines (such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways)
- Qantas Frequent Flyers holding Platinum One, Platinum or Gold status (who may also bring one guest into the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, as long as that guest is flying with Qantas or a Oneworld member)
- frequent flyers with other Oneworld airlines holding Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status
- Qantas Club members (who can also bring one guest into the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, as long as that guest is travelling on the same flight)
- travellers on Qantas flights with a Qantas lounge invitation pass
- members of the invitation-only Qantas Chairman’s Lounge
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: opening hours
At the time of writing (May 2023) the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge opens at 2.30pm and closes at the departure of the last Qantas flight – and in the short term that’s likely to be QF128 to Sydney at 7.30pm, or QF30 to Melbourne at 10pm.
Those hours means the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge can be a go-to ahead of the afternoon and evening flights by Cathay Pacific as well as overnights by Finnair and Qatar Airways.
(That said, earlier openings could eventuate if Qantas arranges for its Hong Kong lounge to be the contracted lounge for airlines with morning flights, as was the case in pre-pandemic days with Japan Airlines).
Visiting the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is located just across from Terminal 1’s Gate 5. After checking in for your Qantas flight at Terminal 1’s J check-in desks, head to the adjacent Departures (North) checkpoint and after clearing security and immigration, take a sharp turn right – that’ll set you onto a walkway leading straight to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge looks deceptively small, but the relatively narrow footprint stretches on and on through multiple seating and dining areas, allowing space for almost 300 travellers.
And it’s a look influenced by location: you know this is a Qantas lounge, but also that you’re in Hong Kong.
As it happens, the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is almost identical to its pre-pandemic days, barring a refresh with some new furniture and a somewhat warmer colour palette which contributes to an overall lighter ambience.
Taking pride of place just beyond the entry to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is the old favourite BBQ pork bar, serving up not just its namesake char siu but the lounge’s other cook-to-order dishes, along with cocktails, wines and beers.
The rest of the lounge is given over to several dining and seating areas, from armchairs for solo travellers or couples to padded banquettes and benches.
So go exploring: you’re certain to find your own space.
The far end of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge appears set up as a family-friendly zone for kids, although there’s no official designation as such.
(Also missing is a declared ‘quiet zone’ where travellers can seek respite from those annoying fellow flyers making loud FaceTime calls or watching streaming video sans earbuds.)
Almost everywhere throughout the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge you’ll find AC and USB outlets to keep your tech charged up, while the WiFi is free and very fast (with a wireless printer on hand when you need some last-minute hard copy).
Due to the lounge’s elevated position on the upper level of Terminal 1 you can enjoy views out across the departure gates and taxiway, dominated by the soaring Sky Bridge which connects T1 with the Satellite Concourse and is tall enough to let a double-decker A380 pass below.
However, the terminal’s tall west-facing glass walls also let in plenty of warmth from the afternoon sun, which can result in the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge becoming a bit of a ‘hot spot’ for the wrong reasons.
That alone could make you want to freshen up before your flight – thankfully there are 12 spacious shower suites kitted out with Li’Tya body wash, shampoo and conditioner.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: dining
There’s absolutely zero risk of going hungry at the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, especially once you sit down at one of the dining tables.
Apart from that delightful char siu barbecued pork, a ‘plate of the day’ menu is also available.
During our visit this listed options of
- Guangdong-style chicken with black beans and steamed rice
- braised beef brisket noodle soup, or
- cuts of that delicious BBQ pork with steamed rice, smashed cucumber salad, cabbage and radish pickles
This ‘plate of the day’ menu changes every month, so even frequent flyers to Hong Kong can look forward to some variety.
Come 5pm and the Yum Cha trolley rolls around, offering a selection of dim sum and Qantas’ signature salt and pepper calamari.
Rounding out this feast is the mandatory self-serve buffet with a generous range of mains, salads and desserts.
During our recent visit the buffet’s spread included the following:
- mushroom soup
- braised lamb
- macaroni & cheese
- roast chicken salad
- vermicelli noodle and tofu salad
- potato and bean salad
- caramel cheesecake
- mango & pomelo pudding
- chocolate brownies
And yes, that’s the same morish caramel cheesecake as the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge made famous with frequent flyers.
The L-shaped BBQ pork bar doubles as a cocktail bar, and the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge has its own ‘signature cocktail’ in the Rabbit – a delightful blend of Aperol, Limoncello and passionfruit.
Also on the menu is a Hong Kong Highball (tangerine whisky and soda), Chi Chi (rum, pineapple, vanilla and lime) and Gibson Fizz (gin, dry vermouth, pickle juice and soda).
The bartenders will happily mix up classic cocktails such as a mimosa, screwdriver or gin & tonic, while Platinum One frequent flyers and Chairman’s Lounge members can also enjoy a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Oh and of course, there’s proper barista-pulled coffee.
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge remains an impressive part of the Flying Kangaroo's international lounge network.
There’s nothing to stop you walking 10 minutes back towards the southern end of the terminal to visit Cathay Pacific's The Wing lounges, especially The Wing First if you hold Qantas Platinum or higher status – but the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge should satisfy all but the fussiest of flyers.
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Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
12 Apr 2017
Total posts 212
I visited the Qantas HK lounge 2 days ago on Monday 15th May. I rate it the best Qantas lounge I have been in. Even better than the Qantas first lounge in Melbourne. This one is so much better than the business lounge in Singapore. I tried the small ‘The Deck’ Cathay lounge first and headed into the Qantas one once it opened. Fantastic. I strongly recommend it.
05 Mar 2015
Total posts 393
Visited this lounge last week on my first trip back to HKG in years. The city's pretty much the same, happy to say the Qantas HKG lounge is the same too, even has a few of the staff from before! Great food, loved the Rabbit cocktail and the 'under the shelf' Champagne for P1s. If I had more time I probably would have gone to The Wing for a meal but was very happy with the Qantas lounge, even with a very busy flight to Sydney the lounge wasn't too crowded, just had a nice 'buzz' about it, and that friendly relaxed feeling you get in a Qantas lounge compared to some of the others. 10/10, Qantas!
12 Apr 2013
Total posts 1460
IMHO the best lounge in HKG is Cathay Pier BUSINESS one. Yes, I been in Pier First and still believe that Business is better. QF is good, though I prefer Pier any day.
31 Mar 2014
Total posts 3
One of the best Qantas Lounges in the network, from both a hard and soft product perspective. The staff are exceptional and go out of their way to make your stay a comfortable one. Thank you Qantas for reopening this lounge.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
10 May 2019
Total posts 6
I loved the HK lounge prior to Covid and was really disappointed when Qantas announced its permanent closure .. It has a great ambiance , great staff ,, great location , I cannot wait to get back there later this year 👍
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
11 Nov 2016
Total posts 37
It is crowded and noisy and not relaxing at all. CX Pier F is streets ahead of anyother lounge at the airport.
I usually have a policy of visiting the operating carrier's lounge before a flight in case of last minute issues with the flight. HKG is the only airport at which I will not do this. Walked in here once after the peace and quiet of CX Wing F to be greeted by a wall of noise. I didn't last five minutes before returning to the Cathay lounge.
01 Jun 2023
Total posts 1
Entry requirements aren't quite accurate. Enquired on behalf of my wife who holds a complimentary pass with entitlement to use in QF-operated International Lounges and is travelling on QF ex HKG in September. QF Frequent Flyer team neatly sidestepped honouring the complimentary pass, claiming that the lounge "owners" had elected to decline entry to those holding complimentary passes. I suspect the tiered members won't be arguing with that stance, but none the less disappointing. Seems like a bit of a "boys club".