Taipei - Taoyuan
- Can be quieter than EVA Air's lounges, and welcomes many of the same passengers
- Good selection of hot food
- Super-fast WiFi
- Design feels quite 'dated'
- Could do with more power points and better sparkling wine
- Among the rest of the hot food sits a DIY garlic bread toaster!
Tucked away on the upper level of Taipei's Taoyuan Airport, Singapore Airlines' SilverKris business class lounge welcomes not only passengers flying with Singapore Airlines, but of all Star Alliance carriers: including EVA Air, which calls Taiwan home.
Although EVA Air runs four of its own lounges nearby, the Singapore Airlines lounge can be a good alternative to escape the hustle and bustle during busy periods, particularly for Star Alliance Gold cardholders.
What's more, the SilverKris lounge in Taipei also welcomes Virgin Australia's Velocity Gold and Platinum members flying with Singapore Airlines, so without further delay, here's what it has to offer.
Location & Impressions
Situated in Terminal 2 at Taipei's Taoyuan Airport, Singapore Airlines' SilverKris Lounge can be found on the upper level just beyond passport control, nearby all the EVA Air lounges, a China Airlines lounge and two Plaza Premium lounges:
The entrance is easily spotted once upstairs...
... and once inside, you'll find a mostly rectangular space with high ceilings and plenty of natural light...
... although later in the afternoons, the lounge isn't as bright, and the lamps throughout the space don't do the best job at keeping it lit:
Towards the far end of the lounge, a central buffet area where you'll find all food and beverages.
The SilverKris Lounge opens daily from 5:30am until 5:45pm, making it accessible for all Singapore Airlines flights and many Star Alliance flights.
Unfortunately for Australian travellers, EVA Air's Brisbane flights depart Taipei at 11:20pm, almost five hours after this lounge closes, so there's no chance of 'lounge hopping' before that flight unless arriving incredibly early – but if you've arrived from Brisbane in the morning and are connecting elsewhere, this lounge would instead be available.
- Business class and first class passengers (as offered) of Singapore Airlines and other Star Alliance airlines departing from Taoyuan Airport, a line-up that currently includes Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members prior to the same flights
- Other Star Alliance Gold members prior to Star Alliance flights
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide and United Club members prior to Star Alliance flights
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders prior to Singapore Airlines flights only
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members prior to Singapore Airlines flights only
There's a reasonably good variety of hot food available from the buffet, such as wok-fried chicken, egg fried rice and golden fried fish in sweet and sour sauce...
... and for something a little lighter, prawn and vegetable dumplings, assorted vegetables and vermicelli noodles with vegetables...
... joined by Singapore signature bak kut teh (pork ribs in broth)...
... pork buns and siu mai...
... and, something I've not seen in a lounge before, a nifty garlic bread toaster:
True to its word, pop in a piece of garlic bread, dial the nob to three minutes and when you hear the toaster 'bing', your tasty snack is warm and ready:
Joining the hot foods are other breads, pre-made sandwiches and fruit...
... nibbles like potato chips, and cake for dessert:
On the beverage front, machine-made espresso coffee aside a water dispenser (chilled, boiling or tap)...
... soft drinks, juices, milk and water in the nearby fridges...
... and a self-serve bar with beer, wine and spirits:
The house sparkling was Martini Asti, which I'd class as a very entry-level drop: it's neither Prosecco nor Champagne – instead, an Italian sparkling – and can't say this comes close to the Charles Heidsieck served in business class onboard Singapore Airlines:
For working on a laptop, benches line some of the walls here and provide desk-level access to power...
... while there's also a larger bench in the centre of the space which avoids feeling too 'boxed in', but which doesn't provide the same ease of power access:
Elsewhere, power points can be found near some – but not all – of the seats. You'll have the best luck when settling down near the windows, where most of the power outlets can be found.
Like those at the bench seats, these accept a wide range of international plugs without requiring an adaptor, included the larger rounded pins common of South Africa and the Indian subcontinent, which rarely fit in these international-type outlets:
Internet speeds here are lightning-fast, with tests showing average downloads of 84Mbps and average uploads of 40Mbps during my visit – faster than any of the EVA Air lounges I visited on the same day.
When work is all done for the day, there are plenty of seats where you can socialise or just relax...
... including a TV viewing area...
... but which could do with a bigger screen – particularly if you're sitting a couple of rows back:
Reading material is available, with some English-language titles if you hunt through the selections...
... and unlike some of Singapore Airlines' other 'outstation' lounges across Asia, Taipei's SilverKris lounge offers shower facilities.
That's useful to keep in mind, even if you'd otherwise visit EVA Air's lounges instead, because there can sometimes be a 'shower queue' given EVA's broad network of long-distance flights including to Europe and North America, whereas from Taipei, Singapore Airlines only flies to Singapore, so SQ's showers are in less demand.
Overall, Singapore Airlines' SilverKris Lounge in Taipei is best-described as "adequate": with a good range of hot food, it's certainly not "bad", although the design is a lot more dated than seen in many other Singapore Airlines lounges around the world, such as in Bangkok, Brisbane and London.
Even so, the SilverKris Lounge can be a good alternative to EVA Air's often-busier business class and Star Alliance Gold lounges nearby, during the times that SilverKris is open, as Singapore Airlines' lounge tends to be quieter – proving a better place to work, and with faster WiFi, even if the design here isn't as modern.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance.