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
After clearing security (and passport control if your journey begins in Bangkok), wander along level 3 on Concourse D and follow the SilverKris Lounge signs... ... 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: The lounge opens daily from 6:30am until 11pm, and once inside, there are a variety of different seats catering for solo travellers, duos and groups, whether relaxing or dining... ... with frames used in between each zone, making each feel a touch smaller and more intimate. Closer to the entrance are two secluded spaces which resemble mini VIP rooms, but are open to all travellers rather than being closed off from the main lounge itself. In fact, they're more like home living rooms, given the lounge's overall 'home away from home' design philosophy. 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
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold travellers 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.
Central to Bangkok's SilverKris lounge is a tended bar, located smack bang in the middle of the space. 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.
In its place, the staff quickly offered an alternative: a white rum, Martini and apple-based cocktail, which proved refreshing... ... 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... ... but went well with our Pad Thai, which came fresh from the buffet and was incredibly tasty: Other hot dishes on offer during our visit included fried cabbage in sesame sauce; fish à la meunière (dusted in flour and then sautéed in clarified butter) and sauerkraut soup... ... plus braised duck; yam rice; duo rice (white and brown); chicken soup with potato, carrot, tomato and onion; and massaman chicken which was also scrumptious. Less photogenic but fresh nonetheless, vegetable spring rolls, mushroom quiches, assorted pastries and chicken teriyaki skewers... ... plus a corner devoted to sandwiches, fruits, salads and sweets: Non-alcoholic drinks are self-served from the fridges nearby, although if you're craving a 'real' coffee, the bar staff will happily hand-make your barista blend: With a meal in-hand, you can pull up a perch at the long communal table to socialise with other flyers... ... or can dine at the tables (or benches) near by the bar... ... or over in the far corner which can be a little quieter: If your phone, tablet or laptop need a quick recharge while you're eating, that far corner offers handy AC and USB power outlets underneath the booth seats... ... as do the bench seats along the bar, and most other chairs throughout the space.
When your pre-flight time calls for productivity, swap that bar bench seat for one by the windows instead... ... where power points are again ubiquitous – including multi-country AC outlets which will accept your standard Australian plugs without using an international adaptor... ... or venture over to the line-up of working suites instead, offering a touch more privacy, along with an adjustable reading light overhead, a work surface, and – you guessed it – more power points: Their design gives a nod to Singapore Airlines' on-board business class seat, but also allows you turn and face the lounge itself, using the side table as a cocktail bench. 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.
There are plenty of places to relax here, whether you're travelling in a group... ... as a pair... ... or on your lonesome, with many of the seats offering easy access to power – and those few with power points under repair clearly signed as such, so that you can choose your place accordingly. Newspapers and magazines are also available to help pass the time, including a number of English-language titles... ... 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.