Review: Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge – Hong Kong

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I arrived in to Hong Kong at around 7am and, as I had no checked baggage to worry about and as I was one of the very first to disembark, it wasn’t long before I was through immigration and customs and in the arrivals hall of Hong Kong airport.

I really wanted to have a shower after my overnight flight and, as I was pretty sure that the Hyatt Regency wouldn’t have my room ready for me a that time of the morning, I decided to head to the Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge (“The Arrival”) to see what was on offer.

The arrivals hall didn’t appear to offer a lot of clear signage to the Cathay Pacific Arrivals lounge but, eventually, I spotted this sign pointing towards Terminal 2:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-02Hong Kong Airport

The problem with that sign is that it just says “lounge”……but which lounge?!

I walked in the direction the sign was pointing and arrived at a second sign that pointed down some escalators to a walkway between Terminal’s 1 and 2.

At the bottom of the escalators was a Plaza Premium Lounge (past of the Priority pass network of lounges)….and that confused me. The airport sign clearly said “lounge” not “lounges” so I assumed that the lounge that the sign was referring to was the Plaza Premium lounge…..and I walked back in the direction I’d just come from.

To cut a long story short I ended up asking someone where the Arrivals Lounge was and it turned out that it was a short walk past the Plaza Premium lounge and on the right hand side of the walkway. I should have checked the oneworld website!


The Cathay Pacific Arrivals lounge looks perfectly nice from the outside…..

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-20Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

…but is actually pretty small and dark on the inside – you can see almost all of the lounge in the picture below.

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-17Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

As I walked in to the lounge it stretched out into a rectangle ahead of me and was divided into two sections by a magazine rack in the middle of the room.

On the left was a small seating area with 7 armchairs and, on this occasion, a nonfunctioning flatscreen TV:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-13Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

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On the right was a high bench with stools…..

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-11Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

…and 3 iMacs:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-15Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

Opposite the iMacs was the magazine rack that divided the room…..

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-14Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

….and next to that were three cubicles with PCs:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-12Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

Apart from the power points where the PCs and iMacs were plugged in I couldn’t see any other power points in the lounge – not great if you’ve just got of a plane with your phone/laptop out of juice.

On the other side of the magazine rack was a small dining area and a small buffet laid out on a work surface against the far wall:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-18Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

The food on offer included cereals, muffins and bread….

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-09Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

img_2566Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

…and a few yoghurts and some fruit:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-08Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

There was some hot food on offer too including:

  • Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai
  • Scrambled eggs with onion and bell peppers
  • Glutinous rice wrapped with a lotus leaf

Drinks-wise there were some juices, sodas, bottles of water and a coffee machine:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-01Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

I wasn’t particularly hungry after all the food I’d had on the flight and, if I’m being honest, the dark and confined feeling the lounge had would probably have put me off having anything to eat there anyway.

The main reason I was visiting the lounge was to have a shower so I went over to a small podium near the entrance where staff were dealing with travelers wanting showers.

By pure luck there was a free shower cubicle (surprising considering how busy the lounge was) so I didn’t have to wait to freshen up.

The showers are the nicest part of the lounge and were clean and well maintained….

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-03Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

…..although they are the annoying kind of shower that’s half-open to the rest of the room:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-06Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

The toiletries in the shower were in containers attached to the walls but I assume they are the same as the toiletries found next to the sink:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-04Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-07Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

As well as the toiletries the lounge also supplied a few useful amenities for those who don’t want to have to rummage through their luggage to find their own washbags:

cathay-pacific-arrivals-lounge-hong-kong-05Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong

The shower was good and very welcome after what was, by this stage, nearly 20 hours since I’d left home.

After the shower I did an hour-or-so of work before I decided that I’d rather make may way to the Hyatt Regency in Kowloon, drop my bags off, and make the most of what little time I had in Hong Kong.

Bottom Line

Being able to have a shower after you get off a long flight is very nice indeed but that’s about the only good thing I can think of to say about the Cathay pacific Arrivals lounge in Hong Kong.

The lounge is small and dark and, with no natural light, it’s not the sort of place to spend any time after having just spent 10+ hours in a plane (albeit a very comfortable plane in this instance).

There were a few times during my relatively short stay in the lounge where there wasn’t a spare seat available and, apart from the one moment when I took the photo of the outside of the lounge, there was a lot of luggage building up in the entrance way – the lounge clearly can’t handle the volume of traffic it gets.

This really is a lounge to use just for freshening up and then getting on with your trip as “relaxing” isn’t a word I’d associate with it. Add to that the fact that power ports seem to be few and far between and there’s little reason to hang around…perhaps that’s been done deliberately.

Next up: A look at the Hong Kong Airport Express – how good is it for getting to/from the airport?


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