Emirates has its own lounge at Johannesburg airport. Having transited in from Namibia, I wanted to see if it had shower facilities so that I could freshen up before my overnight flight to Dubai. Also, because I had a short connection in Dubai, I wanted to make sure I showered before I took a 24+ hour journey back to the Americas.
The EK lounge at O.R. Rambo airport is located between the South African Airways lounge as well as the British Airways galleries lounge. I made my way in, and was greeted by a friendly Australian gentleman and requested to use the shower facilities, which was granted.
The entrance to the Emirates lounge at Johannesburg – JNB airportSince this was a late evening flight, there were no queues for the showers. I did notice only 2 on-hand, so I am unsure if it is busier at peak hours.
Shave kits, dental kits and shower kits are available on request.
The shower also allowed me to do some serious re-packing for my bag, which was necessary after a week and a half’s worth of laundry in a single, carry-on sized bag. Most airline lounge showers that I have encountered are like private bathrooms rather than simply shower stalls, meaning that you generally have your own commode, sink, mirror and accessories (like hair dryers, electrical outlets, trash bins, etc) to use. This was purely a shower with a bench and a hangar for your clothes. Totally fine, but just worth knowing in advance.
The shower itself was just O-K, since the water alternated between spouts of cold and hot, but hey, its still a shower 🙂
Then, I made my way into the lounge. The food spread is marvelous in the EK lounge at JNB. The entire spread is entirely self-serve. I was most shocked by the availability of MOËT champagne in the ice buckets! Maybe I am just jaded.
The fare as far as lounge food goes is superior to most other lounges I’ve been to. There are small, plated dishes ranging from appetizers to fruit plates to fancy desserts. You can arrange your own cheese plate and garnish it with whatever additional toppings and condiments you desire. The hot food items are also really varied and tasty – you can find everything from Indian vegetarian dishes to filet mignon in blue cheese sauce.
There was plenty of seating area at this hour, which made it nice and relaxing to get a few nibbles in before my flight. I also noticed that there was a business center, as well as plenty of interesting magazines and newspapers on-site.
I wasn’t expecting to have much time to spend in the lounge, but boarding was a bit delayed so I was able to enjoy a glass of Moët and snack up while also reading some of the magazines.
The walk to the gate area was about 10-15 minutes, so it is best to budget the time accordingly. I would also suggest doing any Duty Free shopping beforehand because the locations are right before the lounge and it is prudent to get the shopping done when you have time rather than rushing before departure.
Overall, I was satisfied with this lounge at JNB. It is not stunning or even charming by any means, but it provides the essential amenities which will save travelers a pinch if they’re needing a freshen-up, some light gourmet fare, a drink or a quiet place to read and relax before a long flight.