Although Cathay Pacific doesn't offer first class on flights to Australia, the airline's The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong remains the home of Platinum-grade frequent flyers and those jetting off in style to destinations like London, Paris and New York.
There's everything we'd expect to see in a flagship home hub lounge from top-quality restaurant dining through to bartender service, massage facilities, private shower rooms and even new Day Suites for a snooze in between flights.
Combined, we'd rate this as the world's best first class lounge.
Location & Impressions
Once through security and Hong Kong passport control (or just transit security when connecting between flights), head towards gates 63 and 65 where you'll find the lounge entrance, as a Cathay Pacific check-in agent helpfully highlighted for us:
Given its location you won't find sky-high ceilings here as you would in The Wing First Class Lounge at the other end of the terminal, but the absence of which didn't detract from the experience.
- Cathay Pacific and Dragonair first class passengers
- First class flyers of other Oneworld airlines including American Airlines and British Airways
- Marco Polo Club Diamond, Diamond Plus and Diamond Invitation frequent flyers
- Other Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers such as Qantas Platinum (and above) prior to flights with Cathay Pacific, Qantas and other Oneworld airlines
Additionally, Cathay Pacific passengers who arrive in Hong Kong in first class but have an onward flight in Cathay Pacific business class are also invited to visit the first class lounge.
That's most useful when travelling between Australia and Europe as Cathay Pacific tops out at business class on its Australian flights, but offers first class to other destinations.
On that list: Baron de Rothschild Brut, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (our preferred drop) and a Moët & Chandon Rosé Brut which goes perfectly with dessert.
That's a good Champagne selection for a first class lounge, although we'd like to see more variety across the broader wine list which currently offers two whites and two reds.
Whatever your choice, there's full table service available here with printed menus featuring six starters, eight mains, two signature noodles, a chef's special and seven desserts, with the food here very much more 'first class' than 'airport lounge'.
Just note that the waiters here respond faster to a raised hand or a quick wave, rather than eye contact as is common back in Australia.
... and aside from the lack of a traditional coffee bean garnish, tasted just as expected.
Wireless Internet speeds came in at 2.46Mbps for downloads and 2.12Mbps for uploads – not lightning-fast for video streaming or large file transfers, but still more than usable for web browsing and email tasks.
But the highlights here are certainly the eight Day Suites which you can use to nap or simply relax and watch the world fly by...
... complimentary foot or neck and shoulder massages given on a first-come, first-served basis...
... and 14 well-appointed shower suites with brass fittings, supplied amenities and also private bathroom facilities:
All things considered, this now rates as one of our favourite first class lounges anywhere in the world – it's cosy but not crowded, (colour) warm but not dark and dreary and with food you'd expect of a high quality restaurant rather than an airport terminal.
Mix in the Day Suites and complimentary massage services and you've got yourself a real winner, but during peak times, just remember to reserve that Day Suite or a spa appointment time as soon as you arrive to avoid any disappointment.
For a further look through Cathay Pacific's The Pier First Class Lounge, sit back and watch this one-minute video:
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
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