What makes a great hotel executive lounge?

By Chris C., October 26 2017
What makes a great hotel executive lounge?

TALKING POINT | Hotel 'executive lounges' or 'club lounges' are literally a business traveller’s home away from home, so when choosing where to stay, the quality or even availability of a hotel lounge can be a strong influencer for many high flyers.

So what do you like to see in a hotel lounge – is it space to work, the dining options or something else?

This is what I personally look for, but as every traveller is different, we'd love to hear your preferences too, so be sure to share them in the comment box below!

1. Different zones for dining, working and relaxing

The very reason that guests visit a hotel’s lounge varies by the time of day – in the morning it’s normally for an easy breakfast, during business hours it’s to work on the laptop or for a quick refreshment in between meetings, and in the evening it’s for a pre-dinner snack or a nightcap.

Fill the lounge with sofas and there’s nowhere proper to eat breakfast, but line up the dining tables and there’s nowhere to relax… finding the correct ratio with limited space can be tough, but in my book, the Hyatt Regency Sydney hotel has the mix just right.

There’s a dedicated dining area conveniently adjacent to the buffet, snacks and coffee machines…

… an entirely separate ‘relaxation’ space with comfy chairs and cocktail tables for light refreshments…

… and also a 'working corner' with a view, whether that's on your own tech or one of the hotel's computers::

Read our review: Hyatt Regency Sydney Hotel, Darling Harbour

2. Easy access to power

The best hotel lounges for business travellers provide not just complimentary WiFi for all lounge guests, but also easy access to power points within the lounge to keep smartphones, tablets and laptops recharged.

That's exactly what you'll find in the M Club lounge at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park hotel, which I turned into an office for the day...

... and also took advantage of the larger tables which afforded space to work when I wanted to, and to take breaks for lunch and coffee, while my devices remained plugged in and powered up.

Read our review: Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park hotel

3. A room with a view

If you’ve stumped up extra for a Club or Executive room, typically found on the highest floors of the hotel with a view to match, why settle for anything less in the lounge?

In Hong Kong, guests staying at the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel on the Horizon floors can take in a view of Victoria Harbour from the Horizon Club lounge…

… where many of the tables also line the windows for a bird’s eye view of the Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline:

Read our review: Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong hotel

When travelling on business, what do you look for in a hotel lounge, and does a truly knockout lounge influence where you stay? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Chris Chamberlin has stayed as a guest of the Hyatt Regency Sydney, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park and Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong hotels.

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

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13 Jan 2015

Total posts 588

Having only stayed in a couple of these lounges, I find that whilst they're all had decent hard product, it's the personalised service that brings me back to places. My best experience in this regard has been at the Regent Singapore. They come and talk to you if you wish and address you by name to the point where I visited 2 months apart and the concierge lady immediately recognised me for the previous visit.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1194

You're right about the service being the differentiator. My best experience was at the Changi Village Hotel at Singapore which is basically tucked next to the runway in a charming Malay style village that makes you forget you are only 20kms from the Singapore CBD..

The lounge is comfortable but nothing fancy. What makes it special is the amazing service of the staff who are only too happy to serve really good Asian food and drinks. One night we were there, an evening storm came in so we couldn't go out for a Hawker market dinner so the staff extended the food time in happy hour and we had an amazing Yum Cha style dinner out on the balcony watching the planes battle the weather as they landed at Changi.


05 Sep 2017

Total posts 11

Wholeheartedly agree with the comment on the Changi Village Hotel. Certainly not the best hard product but the staff are the best I have found in a lounge. Getting that blend of professional yet friendly and interactive is not easy but this lounge has totally nailed it!!

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10 Nov 2011

Total posts 133

Definitely agree about different spaces for different activities. A good lounge should have a good amount of space so that you don't feel crammed in, and a range of interesting furniture so you can choose between say a table or a more relaxed arm chair. Food is important, I usually look for a selection of good canape type snacks rather than a full meal offering. The Hilton KL used to have one of the best selections of canapes that I'd ever seen in a lounge, but last year they changed the menu to a more substantial offering that I personally didn't like. Number one though is service from staff and this makes all the difference. The staff in the lounge at the Hilton in Singapore are simply amazing. I've stayed there many times and even though the hotel is on the older side, the staff make all the difference. From the moment they make personal contact to offer assistance with arrangements prior to arrival, to the moment you check out they look after everything for you.

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08 Aug 2014

Total posts 5

Agreed with Hilton Singapore. Had to stay for a few days due to a mates wedding earlier this year. I’ve never met such attentive staff.

The finger food at night is important as it will often be dinner if I’m travelling for work and catching up on the days emails. Hilton Southbank in Melbourne were leaders prior to being sold.

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09 Feb 2015

Total posts 371

The level service and quality of food and drinks always leaves a lasting impression. The best executive lounge from my experience was the Pan Pacific Singapore. The service we experienced was next level, and the view from the 35th floor isn't bad either.

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31 Jan 2016

Total posts 91

'What makes a great hotel executive lounge?'.

An employer who values the concept and is willing to pay the additional money helps so you can actually use one...

For me, good food/snacks and private work space with appropriate connections that are accessible.

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25 Feb 2014

Total posts 24

Mandarin Oriental Singapore for selection of food and drink including French champagne for breakfast and cocktails at sunset. Colombo Hilton for staff friendliness they remember you months later . treated like family just wonderful.

17 Feb 2017

Total posts 17

I agree that it is service that makes the difference. The best Club lounge I have experienced is at the Intercontinental hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Great friendly service, , good seating with ample power points, excellent snacks and 'meal of the day' as well as decent drinks. So many 5 star lounges let themselves down by providing shocking quality wine.

29 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

The lounge at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is AMAZING! Stayed there a couple of years ago on the 116th floor and the views are breathtaking. The lounge huge and service first class. High tea is a highlight.

Stayed at the Marriott Beach Road in Lat August and the service there was equally first class. There is a dedicated floor in the next building that you access via a walk way on the first floor. Food and beveridge is first rate although they don’t offer high tea like the Ritz Carlton.

What I definitely DON'T like in hotel executive lounges (and in airport lounges for that matter) is when they have a TV blaring loudly, usually with some 24-hour news channel on. The reality is that these days we all get our news from our devices, and what we are really looking for is peace and quiet. Nothing worse than trying to have a relaxing glass of wine in the exec lounge at the end of a long hard day and having CNN blasting from across the room...

As far as great exec lounges go, the Grand Hyatt in Beijing is hard to beat, as is the Park Royal Pickering in Singapore.


03 May 2013

Total posts 667

No children under 10.

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 25

The Best Lounge IMHO is the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur..Even if you dont have Status, Club Rooms can be often booked for under $100 a Night

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06 Mar 2015

Total posts 233

I have had the privilege of staying in quite a few Hotels that have Executive Lounges and by far the best is the Hilton Amsterdam, Situated on the rooftop with stunning views and really excellent food and drinks. It was easily the best ever!!

Well worth the extra cost of the rooms. We were a family party of 8 and only once ate in the very expensive restaurant. The Executive Lounge was all that was needed. Very pleasant indeed.

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore [Valley Wing] takes a lot of beating.

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