Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro Terminal 2 [International Departures]

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

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There are three Plaza Premium Lounges in Rio de Janeiro’s international airport Terminal 2 but only one is dedicated to international departures and that’s the lounge that’s being reviewed here. The other two Plaza Premium lounges cater for domestic departures and for arrivals respectively and all three of the Plaza Premium lounges are part of the Priority Pass network.

Lounge Location

The Plaza Premium Lounge for international departures is on the 3rd level of Rio International Airport’s Terminal 2 and is located past security and immigration.

Once you’ve cleared outgoing passport control you’ll first have to navigate your way through a duty free area and, when you’re clear of all the drinks and fragrances, turn left and follow the signs for the VIP Lounges.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

When you reach the end of the terminal building you can either take an elevator….

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

….or two sets of escalators to get to Level 3:.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Once on the terminal’s upper most level you’ll see that the Plaza Premium Lounge isn’t the only lounge up there – there’s a Star Alliance Lounge, an American Airlines Admirals Club and the GOL Premium Lounge too.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Click to enlarge

Lounge Access & Opening Hours

Opening hours are 07:00 to 23:00 daily.

The Plaza Premium Lounge in Rio accepts Priority Pass memberships so, if that’s the method by which you’re accessing the lounge, the cost (if any) and number of guests you can bring into the lounge will depend on what sort of membership you have.

I accessed the lounge for free using the Priority Pass Select membership which comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and, had I needed to, I could have brought in two guests free of charge as well.

The Plaza Premium lounge is also a member of the American Express Global Lounge Collection which means that holders of American Express Platinum Cards from around the world can enter the lounge for free as one of the benefits that comes with their card.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

If you’re accessing the lounge using your Platinum Card from American Express the number of guests you’re allowed to bring in to the lounge (free of charge) is dependant the country in which your card was issued – US Platinum Card holders can bring two guests into the lounge.

The lounge also accepts paying guests at a cost of $45 per adult for a 2-hour stay.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio De Janeiro

At the entrance to the lounge is a welcome desk where guests are required to sign in to access the facility and just past that is a curved wood and glass wall leading the way in.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Immediately inside the lounge is a seating area offering a variety of sofas, armchairs and coffee tables.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Straight ahead you’ll find a small enclosed area with sofas and chairs….

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

…past which is a hallway leading to the showers (more on those later).

To the left of the entrance (as you walk in to the lounge) there’s a staffed bar….

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

….behind which is the lounge’s dining area with an abundance of seating options.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

The food the lounge serves is set up as a two buffet counters on either side of the dining area and, on this particular visit, there was a mixture of hot and cold dishes on offer:

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Alongside the food options there were coffee/tea making facilities as well as water, juice and a limited selection of wines.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

Past the dining area are the remaining seating areas which the lounge offers…and there’s quite a variety of options.

There are more armchairs similar to the ones closer to the lounge entrance:

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

There are a number of individual pods which looked like a good place to get some work done:

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

And there is a row of armchairs (together with small side-tables) looking out on the airport’s apron through floor-to-ceiling windows:

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
View from the Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

In the far left corner of the lounge is the final seating area which looks very much like a number of other seating areas I’ve already pointed out.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

The Rio Plaza Premium Lounge offers 6 shower cubicles and to access these you’ll have to request a key from one of the attendants on duty.

The cubicles are spacious, clean and well maintained….and the water pressure from the showers is pretty good.

Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)
Plaza Premium Lounge Rio de Janeiro (International Departures)

On this trip I saw the showers in three of the four lounges in this part of the terminal (I also saw the showers in the Admirals Club and the GOL Premium Lounge) and I think I’d choose the showers in the Plaza Premium Lounge as my favorite – they’re definitely nicer than the showers in the GOL lounge and marginally nicer than the showers in the Admirals Club.

Thoughts

This is a large lounge that looks nice, has friendly staff and has some very comfortable seats….but you need to be careful where you sit if you want to charge your devices.

There are plenty of power outlets in the lounge (most will accept US 2-pin plugs) but in some areas they appear to be completely absent (like by the floor-to-ceiling windows and in the large seating area by the lounge entrance).

The food on offer was ok if nothing special and the self-serve drinks were very limited so guests are beholden to the staff serving a the bar.

Bottom Line

I like the Rio Plaza Premium lounge. There’s plenty of space (so it’s unlikely the lounge will ever get too crowded for comfort), the shower facilities are great and it’s nice to have the variety of seating options that the lounge offers

The one mediocre aspect of the lounge is the food selection…but it’s important to note that “mediocre” is the right word to describe it – the food wasn’t bad.

Overall this is a very nice lounge in which to spend some time before a flight and it’s definitely one of the nicer Priority Pass lounges I’ve visited.

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