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The Best Star Alliance Lounge in Hong Kong

April 25th, 2013 · 17 Comments · Airline Lounges, Hong Kong

If you have either reached Star Alliance Gold Status or are a member of the United Club then you are entitled to use three different lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of months last year I have had the opportunity to explore the three options extensively. Below I’ll share the pros and cons of each of the lounges in Hong Kong. If you have the chance I would certainly recommend checking them all out but if time is tight then I think this article will help you deiced which lounge to relax in before your flight.

Jump to the:

Star Alliance Lounges Hong Kong

Find the Star Alliance lounges in Hong Kong Airport

 

Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge at Hong Kong Airport:

Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge Entry

Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge Entry

I start with the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge because of its location. After passing though security and customs, this is the most convenient lounge, just head down the escalators to the level with the gates and head towards gates 14-20. It’s less than a five minute walk from customs.

Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge Layout and Features:

Entry to the lounge is though a large sliding door which leads to the check-in desk with the exceptionally friendly Singapore Air staff, which is normal for Singapore Air but unusual for most airlines. The rep at the counter almost always will remind you that there are no announcements in the lounge. Behind the entry area is a large room with desk for getting some work done. Several of the desks have computers available for use. I can’t say I have ever seen anyone using the computers, so if you need a computer I would say it would be no problem to access one. Of course there is free WIFI in the lounge, which is the case with all of the lounges I’ll discuss in this article.

After the office area is the main seating room which forms a T at the junction from the entry with plenty of seating in both directions. This area has a wide selection of newspapers and magazines and is the only lounge where you can pick up a copy of the Singapore Straits Times. The current edition is normally available shortly after the 1st flight gets in from Singapore. Overall there is a good selection of both English and Chinese periodicals. The main seating area also has a self-service bar area with an assortment of cans of soft drinks, juices and beers, bottled water, wine and a small selection of hard alcohol. There is also a small choice of snacks, but don’t waste your time with these snacks the food selection in the “dining room” is top notch.

Bar and seating at the Silver Kris Lounge

Bar and seating at the Silver Kris Lounge, Singapore Air

By turning right at the T junction you will reach the dining room that contains a wide range of western and eastern treats. The room has several buffet style counters to display all of the food, plus there are sit down tables in the room as well as bar type seating.

Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge Food Buffet

Check out the Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge Food Buffet

Turning left at the T junction leads to the first class seating room which is nothing particularly special. The room has similar chairs as the main part of the lounge. The room has a sign that says for 1st class only, but there is no one checking, though on the other hand you are not missing anything if you do not enter the area.

1st class seating at the Silver Kris Lounge

1st Class seating at the Silver Kris Lounge Hong Kong

One note about the layout, there are no windows in this lounge so it is generally dark compared to the other lounges.

Singapore Air Silver Kris Food:

Dining Room Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge

Large Dining Room in the Singapore Air Silver Kris Lounge

The Singapore Air lounge offers what might be the most diverse food offering of the three lounges. The lounge serves both a breakfast and lunch/dinner menu. Let’s take a look at the typical offering:

Breakfast:

  • Eggs
  • Sausage
  • Potatoes
  • Croissants
  • Other pastries
  • Noodles
  • Soups
  • Fruit salad
  • Assorted finger sandwiches
  • Fresh Juice
  • Coffee / Espresso machine

Lunch / Dinner

  • Multiple hot food options including at least 1 meat and 1 veggie choice
  • Rice, usually both white and fried
  • Assorted appetizers including dumplings, mini spring rolls etc.
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Sushi
  • Ice Cream

Overall, I have found that the quality and flavor of the food in the Singapore Air lounge beats the other two lounges.

Unique Features:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Singapore Straits Times Newspapers

Pros:

  • The best location
  • Top notch food and drink selection
  • Friendly staff

Cons:

  • No windows
  • No bathroom in the lounge (you need to exit to use the nearby general use bathroom)
  • Marginal 1st class offering

Both of the other lounges are located at the Y junction of the main terminal and can be reached via either the train below the terminal or by heading down the main access of the terminal via moving walkways. They both take about 10-15 minutes to reach via customs.

United Club Hong Kong:

The United Club is located in the club area at the Y junction of the terminal and can be accessed by going up the escalator near gates 60-61. Often United flights leave from nearby gates so it’s not that inconvenient.

United Club Layout and Features:

United Club Hong Kong views

Great views of Latau from the United Club Hong Kong

Once you find the United Club, which occasionally requires referring to a map, you will check in at the main desk. The staff is more typical for United, less friendly than the Singapore Air staff and fairly unhelpful. At one point I had a question about my upgrade and they referred me to the agents at the gate, not convenient when the gate is located in the satellite terminal. After being admitted to the club you will either be directed to the main part of the club or the special United 1st class lounge which is separated by a door and is more exclusive that the other 1st class lounges. I have never had access to that section of the lounge so I can’t provide much detail, but because there are so few people who have access to it, it is the most private part of the lounge.

Dining area United Club Hong Kong

United Club Hong Kong dining area with a view

Heading into the main lounge just behind the reception counter leads to the main food offering station, which offers a variety of food choices as well as drinks. There is also a table to the right which has a hot case with appetizers or pastries and a Sushi bar in the room to the right. Beyond the food, there is a seating area which is divided into several sections where you can find various levels of seclusion. Seating areas include sit down tables, bar type seating and comfortable chairs. The siting area in the United Club tends to be the most full. There are plenty of periodicals which include the largest selection of both English and German (thanks to United’s partner Lufthansa) offerings.

Private seating area and periodicals United Club

Private seating area and periodicals United Club Hong Kong

United Club Hong Kong seating and Sushi

Seating and Sushi United Club Hong Kong

Just to the right of the entry desk is an area where you can leave luggage when you are in the lounge though the room is usually empty. Beyond that is the bathroom area. The bathrooms are some of the most private ones in the airport and kept nice and clean. Also, the United Club has about 6 showers in the lounge which come in handy if you are continuing onto Singapore or Vietnam from the US and need to freshen up. The United Club is the only Star lounge with showers.

United Club Food:

The United Club offers a fair selection of food but fewer offerings than the two other lounges. If you are used to United Club’s in the US you will still be impressed. The bar, like in the Singapore Lounge is self-service thought the selection at the United Club is a bit less extensive. Here are some of the typical offerings

United Club Hong Kong food and drinks

The main bar and food at United Club Hong Kong

Breakfast:

  • Eggs
  • Breakfast meat
  • Fruits
  • Croissants
  • Fresh Juice
  • Coffee / Espresso machine

Lunch / Dinner:

  • 1-2 hot food options
  • Rice or noodles
  • Assorted appetizers including dumplings, mini spring rolls etc.
  • Salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Sushi

Unique Features:

  • German and American Newspapers
  • American Beers

Pros:

  • Great Views of the runways and Lantau Island
  • Shower facilities and the best bathrooms
  • Good seating options

Cons:

  • Limited food choices
  • Weak Staff
  • Often busy at peak time

Thai Royal Orchid Lounge in Hong Kong:

The Thai Royal Orchid Lounge is located in the club area at the Y junction of the terminal and can be accessed by going up the escalator near gates 40-41.

Thai Royal Orchid Lounge Layout and Features:

Like the United Club you might need to refer to the map to find the lounge but once you get there you will be greeted by one of the typically friendly Thai Air staff members. Upon entry you will either be directed to the left side for normal members or to the right for 1st class. The 1st class lounge features a separate food selection as well as more plush seating but is not particularly better than the regular lounge other than it’s not as busy.

1st class section Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge 1st class section with upgraded seating

Behind the desk is an area with a few computers, which are sometimes in use.

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge, desks and computers

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge, desks and computers

Next is the food area which features a wide selection of food on the left and beverages on the right. After the food options is the main seating area.

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge food and drink

Bar and buffet at the Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge

To the right there are two massage chairs which actually are normally not too crowded.

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge massage chairs

Choose a nice massage chair at the Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge

On the left there is sort of a screening room with large TV and seating setup to view the screen. One secret about this lounge if you go all the way to the left there are several tables along the outside wall of the lounge which have a nice terminal view and are quite private.

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge seating

Thai Air Royal Orchid Lounge large main seating area

The lounge has its own bathroom which is well maintained but there are no showers here.

Thai Royal Orchid Lounge Food:

The Royal Orchid Lounge offers a good selection of primarily Thai and Chinese style food. If you are looking for a Thai offering this is your best choice and the food is usually quite tasty. The drink selection is similar to the United Club. Here are some of the typical offerings:

Breakfast:

  • Eggs
  • Thai breakfast offering
  • Fruits
  • Pastries
  • Assorted finger sandwiches
  • Fresh Juice
  • Coffee / Espresso machine

Lunch / Dinner:

  • 2-4 hot food options
  • Multiple rice or noodle offerings
  • Assorted appetizers including dumplings, mini spring rolls etc.
  • Salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Ice Cream

Unique Features:

  • Thai and other Asian Newspapers
  • Massage Chairs

Pros:

  • Massage Chairs
  • Friendly Staff
  • Good Thai Food

Cons:

  • Least comfortable seats and tight seating pattern
  • Small size

Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of the Star Alliance Lounges in Hong Kong. My favorite option is the Singapore Air lounge because it’s the most convenient and has the best selection of food. I often visit multiple lounges if I get to HKIA early. Having three different Star Alliance lounges is a luxury that you rarely find in another city. Share your favorite Hong Kong Star Alliance lounge below.

 

Update: Thanks to comments we now know that there are showers in the Thai lounge as well!

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17 Comments so far ↓

  • kiwibrew

    Thai lounge has one shower in each bathroom. It’s a locked glass door at the back. Trade your boarding pass for the key (or a spot on the waiting list) at the front desk.

    I was super happy with the service – they even lent me a plug adapter so I could charge my laptop.

  • Nader

    Great review. Thank you.

  • Bill D.

    Informative, thanks. Copied the map. Will be connecting ANA to Thai on 2 May, and have a seven hour layover in HKG, so have plenty of time to hit all three lounges, including the FC section in the two that have one.

  • Ed

    Sorry, didn’t read the last paragraph – I have my answer, thanks.

  • Ed

    Thanks the info, Brian. Flying with SAA in a couple of weeks, Business Class, and wonder which to use out of the 3 – which do you personally prefer? I’ve been using The Wing up till now (Cathay) and am looking forward to the change.

  • James

    There is a shower (just one) in the TG lounge, you just need to ask for the key at the front desk. Better to go across the way for a shower at UA and return to TG. But this blog helps me confirm where I’ll be spending a good ten hours on Wednesday. :)

  • Mitch

    Hey Brian,
    great review, thanks a lot.
    Do you know if I could use one of these Lounges as a Welcome Lounge as well if I’m star alliance gold member?
    THX
    Mi.

  • Welche Lounge in HKG für SEN hat Duschen?

    [...] Zitat von pierce War immer der Meinung dass in der Singapore Lounge in HKG nicht mal Toiletten drin sind. Bin da aber auch nur einmal drin gewesen, ist ja schon eine Ecke weg vom LH Gate. Stimmt ist immer noch so, anbei noch eine genauere und aktuelle Info über die *A Lounge in HKG Best Star Alliance Lounge in Hong Kong | Brian's Travels [...]

  • E

    Does an Eva Air business ticket have access to all 3?

  • theo

    Wonderful blog post. It’s useful information.

  • Daniel

    Thanks, very helpful! Flying though HKG three times in the next two months so this is great info.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this article is fastidious, my
    younger sister is analyzing such things, so I am
    going to convey her.

  • D White

    Great review…thanks for the information. I’m headed to HKIA shortly and this really helps.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I check your blog like every week. Your story-telling
    style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

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