Review: Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur


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Malaysia Airlines has three lounges in Kuala Lumpur International Airport – one in the regional terminal (main terminal) and two in the satellite terminal from where the major international flights depart.

The two lounges in the satellite terminal (the Business Class lounge and First Class lounge) are currently closed for renovations with a scheduled re-opening date of 22 January 2018.

With that in mind, and because Kuala Lumpur is such a major transit point for travelers, I’m taking a look at 3 options oneworld flyers have when passing through:

Location

I arrived into Kuala Lumpur from Sydney on this occasion so I disembarked at the satellite terminal where you’ll find the temporary C.I.P lounge and where the renovated Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounges will be once they reopen.

The Regional Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge is in the main terminal of Kuala Lumpur airport so, if you’re in transit, you’ll have to take a 2 minute train ride from the satellite terminal to the main terminal.

Cathay Pacific Lounge Kuala Lumpur

You can catch the train from Level 1 of the “West Zone”….just follow the signs for the train or, if you can’t see those, head towards Gates 1 – 9.

The Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Regional) is up a set of escalators right next to the train stop in the main terminal building.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Regional) Kuala LumpurMalaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The entrance to the lounge is at the top of the escalators and to the right with the reception desk visible from the outside.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

With the word “Regional” in the name of the lounge I was expecting something akin to a small American Airlines Admirals lounge at an outstation….but that’s really not what this lounge is like.

For a “regional lounge” it’s pretty big.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

As soon as you walk in there’s a good sense of space and there’s quite a bit of seating too.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The lounge offers a bar (which opens between 10:00 and 23:00) with its own seating area….

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

…and there are tables and chairs between the bar area and the buffet (more on that later).

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala LumpurMalaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Also between the bar and the buffet is a high-table with stools.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines has done a good job of providing a reasonable number of seats without making the lounge feel crowded, and the occasional open space and the floor-to-ceiling windows that line one side of the lounge add to the open feel.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Most of the remaining lounge seating is to be found by the windows overlooking the airport apron and, as this was where I spent the majority of my visit, I can report that it’s pretty comfortable.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Most of the armchairs have power ports either side….

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

…with one side offering a USB port….

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

…and the other offering a traditional universal power outlet that should accept devices from most countries:

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The lounge also has a small area which is cordoned off for First Class & Enrich Platinum card holders.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

On my visit this area included a section of armchairs by the windows (no different to what is on offer elsewhere in the lounge) and a small room with high-backed chairs….

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

…and a small TV screen.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

If you can’t get in to this area then know that you’re not missing much!

The Golden lounge also offers something it calls a “nap area”:

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

This area houses six bed-style loungers (3 for men and 3 for women) but with non-existent privacy from others sharing the area with you.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Lastly, before I move on to the food and drink options, I should mention the shower facilities.

The lounge offers two showers in the men’s washrooms (for rather obvious reasons I have no idea how many there are in the ladies’ washrooms) and, on my visit, there was no wait to get in.

A smiling attendant handed me a small basket containing a towel and toiletries…..

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

…and directed me to the washrooms.

The shower cubicles are spacious and clean and I like that you’re given individual toiletries rather than having to use the giant dispensers you so often find in lounges.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The power in the shower was fine as was the temperature and, on top of cleanliness and a bit of space, that’s all I really look for in a lounge shower – I was happy.

The Lounge Food

I was visiting the Golden Lounge in the early morning so breakfast was being served.

There’s a buffet area which is primarily made up of two long counters. The first counter is where the hot food is set out….

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

….while the second is where the cold items are set out alongside a noodle station, drinks and a toaster.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

On the cold food front the lounge was offering the following:

  • Cereal
    • Muesli
    • Cornflakes
  • Yoghurt
    • Strawberry
    • Blueberry
    • Natural
  • Milk
    • Fresh milk
    • Low fat milk
  • Juice
    • Orange juice
    • Apple juice
  • Fresh fruit
    • Pineapple
    • Watermelon

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

There was a salad bar with….

  • Smoked salmon
  • Tomato, cucumber & red onion salad
  • Potato salad with chives
  • Mesclun mix
  • Caesar dressing
  • Ginger flower vinaigrette
  • Thousand island dressing
  • Emmenthal cheese
  • Brie

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Alongside the toaster there was a bakery selection offering…

  • Croissants
  • Chocolate rolls (pain au chocolat)
  • Kaya whirl
  • A selection of bread:
    • Spiced roll
    • Wholemeal roll
    • Sliced white bread
    • Sliced wholemeal bread
  • Preserves and butter:
    • Marmalade
    • Strawberry
    • Honey

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

The noodle area was offering a selection of 3 dishes as well as the extras for Nasi Lemak

  • Johor Laksa – “a dish of spaghetti a thick fish broth garnished with vegetable and spicy sambal”
  • “Wonton noodles with vegetables”
  • “Won ton noodle with chicken dumpling”

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

On the opposite counter (where most of the hot items were to be found) the lounge was offering the following:

  • Chicken dim sum with hoi sin and chilli sauce
  • Mini red bean pau

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

  • Baked beans
  • Hash browns
  • Scrambled eggs

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

  • Onion Sambal
  • Chicken Rendang – braised chicken in coconut milk and traditional spices
  • Nasi Lemak – rice steamed in coconut milk

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

On top of all this the lounge also has a waffle and flavored water station adjacent to the buffet area.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Lastly, and this was something I made the most of at the early hour I was visiting, the lounge has a fully manned coffee/tea station where you can get a pretty good coffee (and cookies).

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

That’s about it for the contents of the lounge….but I should mention that you get a nice view of the sunrise through the lounge windows.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Main Terminal) Kuala Lumpur

Note: If you look very closely you’ll see a third of the Malaysia Airlines A380 fleet in the background (that’s 2 aircraft).

Thoughts

I was truly pleasantly surprised by this lounge. I wasn’t expecting very much when I saw the lounge was called a “regional” lounge but it was every bit as good as a lot of international Business Class lounges I’ve visited (and better than quite a few too).

The staff were all incredibly polite and helpful, the seating was comfortable, the views were good, the food selection, while nothing to write home about, was better than in a lot of lounges I could name and the showers were good too.

On top of all that the lounge offers a proper espresso bar so, if you’re a fan of coffee as I am, you can actually get a pretty good flat white.

I realise that the Malaysia Airlines First Class lounge in the satellite terminal is now being renovated but, having tried out that lounge a couple of times, I would choose this lounge over that one every time (if things weren’t changing)…so it’s a good thing the First Class lounge is getting a makeover.

Bottom Line

This is easily the best of the three Kuala Lumpur oneworld lounges I tried on this trip and, assuming I had enough time, I would definitely choose to visit this lounge rather than the Cathay Pacific lounge or the CIP lounge the next time I’m passing through.