After about two hours at The Pier first class lounge in Hong Kong, I was met by another agent who took me back to the Malaysia Airlines transfer desk on the arrivals level. By this point there were no more business class seats available on my new flight, so I was stuck with a middle seat in coach. That’s a long fall from the lie-flat seat I originally booked to Kuala Lumpur. Regardless, I was excited that I had the opportunity to visit The Pier after its renovation.
With a couple hours left to kill I chose at this point to visit The Wing first class lounge, which is directly upstairs from the transfer desk. If you’re originating in Hong Kong and just checked in, you can find the first class lounge by turning left on the mezzanine immediately after clearing security. (Don’t go down the escalators.)
I’ve visited this lounge before several times, usually getting so distracted by the Champagne bar that I’m rushing for the flight while a helpful lounge attendant calls ahead to hold the plane. 🙂 And it is a nice airport lounge compared to most. But I think The Pier has it beat. I’m providing a short review of The Wing here to provide some basis for comparison.
The first thing you notice upon entering is the Champagne Bar, with its overstuffed maroon sofas and several bottles of Champagne available for self-service. (A waiter will also offer to provide you a glass if one passes by.)
This is generally where I prefer to spend my time with a glass of Moet or The Peninsula Brut. I like the comfortable seats, and it’s fairly quiet.
The closer you get to the dining area, the larger the rooms become and the more people are present. As you move past the Champagne Bar there is a narrow seating area with a display of magazines and newspapers, followed by a much more traditional bar and lounge space. If you want something other than Champagne, come here for a selection of speciality and custom cocktails.
The decor is incredibly different from the plush carpet, dark wood, and green marble walls of The Pier. Instead black and white marble are accented by ribbons of light and a mix of maroon and ivory leather. I think both are attractive, but I prefer the warmer touch of The Pier.
In fact, I usually get lost searching for the doors to the shower rooms and bathrooms along the left wall. The smooth black surface does a good job of hiding them.
The other thing you’ll notice is that this lounge is open to the concourse below. I’ve never found it to be terribly noisy, but it is more active than The Pier, which is secluded. One benefit of the open space is that you get some nice views of airport traffic, including some of Cathay Pacific’s fleet.
For an idea of how far away The Pier is located, that far structure forms the left arm of a “Y” shape. You can find The Pier in the right arm.
Dining options at The Wing include both a buffet and sit-down restaurant, like those available at The Pier. However, the menu is different, and the buffet has greater emphasis.
The restaurant is a fully enclosed room behind the buffet. It’s smaller and can get crowded before departures, though I was fortunate it cleared out around the time I visited. There’s open seating in the middle and slightly more private seating behind thin columns on either side.
In addition to a second buffet in the back, you can choose from a limited menu. Again, catering is provided by The Peninsula.
I chose the beef cheek, which was fine but not spectacular. I was more impressed with the meal I had a The Pier.
As I mentioned in a comment on yesterday’s post, I’m not that wild about cabanas, which are available here if you have a long layover and want to relax. Sitting in the public area and watching other people — or just listening to the commotion of the airport — is far more interesting to me.
Ultimately it’s a good move to offer customers two different experiences. There are probably some features of The Wing that some people really like just as there are features of The Pier that I really like, and Cathay Pacific can cater to both tastes — or borrow ideas from one to try in the other. I don’t think you would be disappointed by a visit to either first class lounge.
This post isn’t meant to be an exhaustive review of The Wing, so you may want to read One Mile at a Time for another perspective on this airport lounge.