Reopened after a major overhaul in February 2013, ‘The Wing’ is one of two flagship First Class lounges operated by Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok International.
We’ve visited this lounge a number of times over the years and it has become one of our ‘world favourites’. Even after 5 years of constant use it still looks just as sharp as the day it opened.
Opening Times: 5.30am to 00.30am
Multi-standard Power Sockets: No (UK / Singapore three-pin)
USB Charging Sockets: No
If you’re departing from Hong Kong, this lounge is superbly located. Once you’ve passed through security adjacent to Cathay’s First Class check in area at Zone A, it is immediately to the left at the end of a short open corridor with direct access at the same level.
A little difficult to find especially when caught in the post-security hubbub of people attempting to repack their possessions, be sure to break off to the left straight away and the lounge is right there.
This is the upper tier (level 7) of Hong Kong’s concourses. Closest gates are 1 to 4, which you overlook from the mezzanine.
If you are in transit from a connecting flight on the main concourse (level 6), proceed to The Wing entrance near gates 1 to 4 to access the lounge. You will be directed upstairs to the First Class section. This is usually a short walk from the transit security points, which you will be required to clear after your flight before being able to access the departures area.
Bear in mind that while this lounge is ideal if your flight is departing from gates 1 to 28 (see map above), you may wish to consider the First Class section of The Pier lounge for higher gate numbers (see our review here). Regulars flying Cathay from Hong Kong will know that gate numbers are usually available around 2.5 hours prior to departure, however it can be as late as 90 minutes before in some cases.
This lounge is available to passengers departing on a Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight, or on a oneworld member operated flight:
- in First Class (+1 guest permitted); or
- in Business, Premium Economy or Economy Class and holding Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond status (+2 guests permitted), or oneworld Emerald status (+1 guest permitted).
- in any class of travel provided they are connecting between oneworld marketed and operated flights on the same day of travel having arrived in First Class with a scheduled flight time longer than 5 hours (e.g. British Airways First Class LHR-HKG followed by Cathay Pacific Economy Class HKG-SIN, admittance is permitted).
Any accompanying guests must be travelling on a flight operated and marketed by a oneworld airline. Admittance based on arrival in oneworld First Class from your previous flight requires you to retain your previous boarding pass.
Foster and Partners, a British architectural design company, were responsible for the design of this First Class lounge, its Business Class section and ‘The Cabin’, though the latter has now closed with Cathay’s latest Business Class lounge ‘The Deck’ replacing it, albeit in a different location.
British design influences are clear from the deep luxurious Chesterfield sofas in the Champagne lounge but that is tempered with a modern high-end twist, as shown with the eye-catching circular Solus workstations.
Contrasting black and white colours are the main theme with stark highlights of red thrown in. Luxury materials are used throughout – think marble, glass and leather.
There are a couple of staffed podiums where your boarding card or Marco Polo / oneworld status is checked before you are led through to the lounge.
We arrived around 11.20am and the lounge was fairly quiet. We have previously found it busier in the evening hours, with a large bank of Cathay’s long-haul departures to Europe and the USA leaving between midnight and 1am.
The Champagne lounge
This is the first area you come to. You are welcomed with deep burgundy Chesterfield sofas that are arranged in a ‘living room’ format. The large dividers are glossy black glass with modern black leather benches flanking the sides of this area. Standing resplendently in the centre is an island equipped with three ice cold varieties of Champagne and large elegant Champagne flutes.
This bar is typically self-service although help is never usually far away. If you are looking for something other than Champagne then you must venture further into the lounge.
The Champagnes served during this visit were Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut (NV), Louis Roederer (2012) and Henroit Rose (NV), however, these the varieties are rotated over time.
As you walk further from the level 7 entrance you’ll continue through into the main seating area of the lounge. It’s large, open and offers a variety of seating options. Mostly leather, the low slung chairs are perfect for slouching.
The Solus work pods are perfect for those wishing to sit up with a laptop and offer some sound deadening. This is useful given that the lounge is effectively on an open mezzanine above the other concourse levels, so noise from below can be a minor disturbance.
The advantage of the mezzanine is the excellent panoramic views of the aircraft below. Light streams through the many windows thanks to the canopy-style design of Hong Kong’s terminal buildings. At any time of the day, it is certainly a bright space.
A number of flight status displays are distributed around the lounge, so you’re never far from being able to check your departure gate or flight status.
The library is located along the back wall of the lounge in a quiet section screened from most other sections, opposite the entrance to the cabanas and shower suites.
There’s a wide variety of reading materials here, however there are smaller sections with newspapers and magazines dotted around the other sections of the lounge too.
There are two sections in the lounge dedicated to getting some more serious work done. Each has four workstations, two equipped with an iMac and printing facilities and two with an open desk for you to use your own laptop and spread your work out if necessary.
All workstations are equipped with a telephone and are relatively close to the food and beverage area.
The Haven bar
At one end of the main lounge area is the starkly contrasting, bright white marble Haven Bar. This is a manned bar offering a full selection of Champagne, wines, beer, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks. There is a menu but if you’d rather go off-piste, we found they were more than willing to mix anything you desire.
Most of the wines and Champagnes served here can also be found either at the Champagne lounge near reception or the buffet section should you prefer self-service.
The Haven restaurant
Located alongside the bar is an à la carte dining room. The restaurant serves breakfast in the morning, followed by an all-day dining menu.
Dishes are made to order and vary from western to more local Asian cuisines. The menu has a wide enough selection to keep everyone pleased and the service is excellent.
We’ve tried quite a number of items over the years and have never been disappointed. These were the menus on offer during our visit (click to enlarge):
|Breakfast Menu||All Day Menu||Drinks Menu|
On this occasion however we opted to save our dining experience for the restaurant in The Pier First Class lounge. Click here for our review of that facility.
As mentioned above there is a self-service buffet called The Atrium, which is stocked with fruit, cheese, cold meats, salad and some other quick bite or even grab-and-go items like sandwiches.
A self-serve drinks selection includes tea and coffee. There are also a number of wines available here. As with the Champagne selection, these rotate over time.
During our visit these were the wines on offer, with Vivino ratings out of 5:
- Berry Bros & Rudd Own Selection Burgundy (2016). 4.5 stars on Vivino
- Grüner Veltliner Bankett Bründlmayer (2015). 3.5 stars on Vivino
Brown Brothers Muscat – Flora Orange (2016). 3.7 stars on Vivino
- Hayes Ranch Merlot (2014). 2.9 stars on Vivino
- Dourthe – La Grande Cuvée Bordeaux (2015). 3.5 stars on Vivino
- Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port (2013). 3.5 stars on Vivino
A more extensive wine list is available in ‘The Haven’ restaurant, see the menu above.
A Cathay Pacific favourite appears to be lacking in this lounge – the noodle bar. Never fear however as you are welcome to walk through to the Business Class section and use the noodle bar there if you wish.
This is The Wing’s ‘party piece’. If you’d been thinking the lounge seemed rather pedestrian up until now, you are probably right. Sure it’s a very sleek elegant First Class lounge but what really sets it apart?
Through a small corridor located near the Champagne lounge is the cabanas reception. Usually, you will have to wait as there are only five cabanas in total and amongst those who know, they in high demand. Not to worry, they will give you a remote buzzer so you can enjoy the rest of the lounge while you wait. And boy is it worth the wait.
On this occasion we were lucky to secure a cabana straight away.
Each cabana is equipped with a large wardrobe containing two fluffy white dressing gowns. A separate compartment alongside the wardrobe allows you to leave your clothes and call for them to be pressed (turn around time is around 15-20 minutes). Then there is a separate enclosed toilet cubicle. Further through is a large mirror and sink, with a range of Jurlique toiletries and amenities such as a razor and toothbrush.
To the side you’ll find a chair at a dressing table with a vanity mirror, which can also double as a desk if you have some work to catch up on. You can bring your own drinks from the bar into the cabana, we brought some water and our Champagne through with us.
The main wet room style area hosts a large, marble clad bath and a separate shower with rain head or waterfall style option. A large leather chaise lounge is perfect for relaxing in this huge private suite.
Is it all starting to sound a bit over the top? Well, yes. A pre-flight bath can hardly be described as a ‘necessity’ but trust us, once you’ve tried it you’ll never look back. Lying back in a hot bath with a glass of vintage Champagne in the middle of an international airport is surreal… and superb.
You are asked to limit your time in each cabana to 90 minutes to allow other passengers to enjoy the experience. Frankly, that was enough for us but we doubt they would kick you out if you chose to stay longer.
If forced to critically nit-pick we’d say that the air conditioning is too cold for a bathroom, however in international airports it is usually centralised, potentially leaving the airline little to no control over it.
Other than that, this is true perfection.
If you don’t wish to wait for a cabana during your visit, there are 12 serviced shower suites available in this lounge.
These also feature the two-way wardrobes with on-demand ironing service so your clothes can be pressed while you shower.
Wi-Fi and power outlets
The Wi-Fi in this lounge was extremely fast when we tested it shortly after arriving. As mentioned above the lounge was relatively quiet during our visit, so you may expect some speed loss when there is a higher number of users.
Floor-level power sockets are the UK 3-pin variety, also used in Hong Kong and Singapore. There are no multi-standard sockets or USB ports from what we could see, so you may need to carry an adapter plug if you have incompatible devices.
If you are spending some time in one of the cabanas there are also the same 3-pin plug sockets available at the desk for device charging, in addition to 110v and 240v shaver sockets.
Cathay Pacific has been investing heavily in their lounge products for years and it really shows. Many of our favourite lounges around the world are operated by them. This is a classic example.
The Wing boasts a simple layout, with well defined spaces and good quality seating. Thoughtfully appointed with power sockets and reading materials, a manned bar, à la carte restaurant and buffet options to cover all the bases. Then just to make it really stand out in addition to your average lounge shower – the cabanas. It sounds like a gimmick but trust us – it’s not.
Simple, thoughtful and luxurious design, with a few ‘First Class’ perks. Cathay have nailed it and we can’t think of many places we’d rather while away the pre-flight hours.
Other airlines take note: This is how to do a ‘First Class’ lounge… and Cathay has been pulling it off here at The Wing for 5 years!
One feature lacking in this lounge is a Spa (we certainly appreciated the one at the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney earlier this year). That said, including an hour or so in a private cabana makes the whole experience feel like a spa visit, and there is a spa available at The Pier (review here).
|Review:||Cathay Pacific ‘The Wing’ First Class Lounge Hong Kong|
|Summary:||Cathay’s lounges in Hong Kong put other airlines to shame. ‘The Wing’, while 5 years old, is still a very strong performer.|
|Among airline-operated First Class lounges:|
4.5 out of 5
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)