Singapore Airlines' new SilverKris business class lounge at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, which opened in May 2017, offers most of what we've come to expect from a modern high-end lounge, including lightning-fast Internet, extensive food and beverage options and various zones tailored to dining, working and relaxing.
You don't even need to be flying with Singapore Airlines to access this lounge – a business class or first class boarding pass on any Star Alliance airline will get you through the door, as will a Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer card if you're travelling with the same in any class of service, including economy.
That means if you're flying with Thai Airways from Bangkok to Australia (or elsewhere) at the pointy end or with a shiny frequent flyer card in your wallet, you could choose to visit this lounge instead of Thai Airways' own facilities: as we did to bring you this review.
Location & Impressions
... or if you're more familiar with Bangkok Airport, make a beeline for gate D7, and the Singapore Airlines lounge is easily spotted opposite, with a signature screen on the outside mirroring that also seen in the airline's new Brisbane Airport lounge:
We appreciate that unlike many of the lounges at Bangkok Airport, the glass between SQ's lounge and the terminal concourse is opaque, so you don't feel 'on display' as passers-by peer inside.
Just allow plenty of time to reach your flight, particularly when jetting to Australia where extra liquid checks are performed at the boarding gate. We were departing from gate C9 at the opposite end of the terminal, which we measured as a 20-minute walk from the lounge.
- Business class and first class passengers of Star Alliance carriers Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Air China, Air India, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Shenzhen Airlines, SWISS and Turkish Airlines
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members prior to Star Alliance flights
- Other Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers departing on Star Alliance flights
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders prior to Singapore Airlines flights only
- Paid lounge members of Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (Worldwide plan only) and United Club, also before Star Alliance flights
As Virgin Australia isn't a member of Star Alliance, Velocity Gold and Platinum members have no access to this lounge when departing on an airline other than Singapore Airlines – so there's no access for Velocity Gold members booked to fly in Thai Airways economy, for example.
However, we were flying in Thai Airways business class and had no issues accessing the lounge on presentation of our boarding pass: particularly as the lounge stays open for two hours after the last Singapore Airlines flight departs.
The staff here can handle most requests, including both classic and on-the-menu cocktails, but note that the bottles on display above the bar aren't necessary the same as those being poured behind the counter.
For instance, we noticed several bottles of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne on the shelves above, yet the bar doesn't actually serve Champagne at all, let alone sparkling wine.
It's a relatively small but noticeable detractor from the overall lounge experience, given that most international business class lounges worth their salt offer at least some form of sparkling wine – so it's odd, and rather teasing, to place Champagne bottles on prominent display if there are none to crack open.
... and with a custom cocktail menu designed especially for the airline's Bangkok lounge, that progressed to a 'Cappuccino Martini': similar to a traditional Espresso Martini but with Baileys and frothed milk in place of Kahlua, which was delicious and just the caffeine hit we needed in the lead-up to our midnight flight:
Adventurous diners should also try the 'Thai Kitchen' – an elaborate concoction designed by the lounge's lead bartender Zero (below), which we can only describe as a drinkable, alcoholic curry. It's a heavy mix and certainly not a pre-dinner drink...
... as do the bench seats along the bar, and most other chairs throughout the space.
Our tests of the lounge's WiFi showed it to be the fastest of any Star Alliance lounge we've visited at Bangkok Airport in terms of downloads, with speeds measuring between 28.81Mbps and a staggering 147.45Mbps throughout our two-hour stay, and uploads a reasonable 8.79-10.05Mbps.
At the top end of the spectrum, those download speeds proved faster than is possible in Australia on the highest-speed household NBN fibre plans, while uploads were still 8-10 times faster than you'd experience on a typical ADSL2+ connection at home.
... although showers are absent, given that Singapore is less than 2.5 hours away by air and that the lounge primarily caters for Singapore-bound travellers, even though it's open to passengers on all Star Alliance airlines.
All things considered, this is a solid business class lounge whether you're jetting all the way to Australia or just across Asia, and could only be improved by the addition of Champagne to the bar menu – or at least, sparkling wine – plus showers for savvy Star Alliance flyers using this lounge instead of the usual Thai Airways facilities.