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Review: United Club Hong Kong

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United Club Hong Kong
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After a disappointing visit to the Plaza Premium lounge, I made my way on the APM towards gates 40-80. I was over in a matter of minutes, and made my way to the United Club. It’s worth noting that the primary reason I visited was to finish off the Star Alliance lounges at Hong Kong Airport, as I’d already reviewed the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge and the Thai Airways Royal Orchid lounge.

I had low expectations of the lounge, but Jason told me that the lounge went under a little renovation, so that put my hopes up a bit.

IMG_0002United Club Hong Kong Lounge Signage

The United Club is located to the very right, at the edge of the lounge complex near the area. From the outside it really doesn’t look any nicer.

IMG_0003United Club Hong Kong Lounge Entrance

The entrance to the lounge was rather colourful, and the floors seemed pretty modern and shiny. As long as the floors aren’t carpet, I’m happy.

IMG_0004United Club Hong Kong Entrance

I was promptly admitted. I asked the attendant if I could take pictures. She asked if I was taking pictures of myself, and I realised if I kept going, I could get into more complications, and I wanted to review this lounge properly, if nothing else. So I said yes, and she was like “sure!”. She also reminded me that there would be no boarding calls for my flight.

Stepping inside the lounge I was really surprised. The furniture looked modern, unlike the pictures I’d seen.

IMG_0006United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

The lounge is separated into a few parts. I don’t know how to describe its structure, but there were about 5-6 separate parts that each featured its own seating. It was rather freeform, which I liked – it makes a small space seem really spacious.

IMG_0007United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

Near the entrance was some flavoured water, but I was most interested in the plain water, as my mouth was really, really dry.

IMG_0005United Club Hong Kong Lounge Water

If I kept walking forward I’d get to a balcony facing the tarmac. While during the day I love planespotting, at night all I really can see is a reflection of the terminal lights.

IMG_0008United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

IMG_0009United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

IMG_0030United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

IMG_0012United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

While there were no tarmac views at this time of day (at least from the lounge), I did love the views of the terminal, which are amazing no matter what time of day it is. Unfortunately, it also reminded me how big the terminal was, as my gate was at gate 22.

IMG_0031Hong Kong Airport Terminal

Near the balcony was also some bar seating, which I liked, though I didn’t spend much time there at that time of day. I’d have a lot of fun looking there in the morning, though.

IMG_0023United Club Hong Kong Lounge Bar Seating

There were a few varieties of seats near the balcony, including some chairs that were pretty comfortable.

IMG_0024United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

Adjacent to both these areas was the area that I worked in, which featured a few chairs similar to the ones near the entrance. They were comfortable (and I took the time there to rush one of the trip reports I felt were long overdue).

IMG_0013United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

From there you could see a few chairs for lounging, which were perfect for meals but not exactly for working, as the table’s small and far away from you. The seats did look much nicer, were comfortable and were refreshed.

IMG_0010United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

IMG_0011United Club Hong Kong Lounge Seating

There were even more varieties of seating, including tables for three or four people…

IMG_0027United Club Hong Kong Lounge Communal Seating

…and a little more “work ergonomic” chairs, though I would stick to the chairs with a hole in them if I wanted to work.

IMG_0028United Club Hong Kong Lounge Bar Work Seating

I’m talking about these ones, and if you don’t want to be distracted by planes, by all means grab a seat near the bar, as it’s basically deserted if you’re not there around the time a United flight departs.

IMG_0020United Club Hong Kong Lounge Barside Seating

To summarise, the seating options are rather unlimited at the lounge. Service is comparatively friendly, especially compared to the Plaza Premium lounge, but as I would expect in a business class lounge, it’s rather inexistent. I’m fine with that, as long as it’s a good place to work.

If you really need to work (yes, I did, but I kind of wanted to eat as well), there’s a business cneter which presumably you can’t bring food or drinks inside because of the carpeted floor. The tables looked like a great place to work and if I wasn’t hungry I’d definitely be working there.

IMG_0022United Club Hong Kong Lounge Business Center

There were also showers, but I wasn’t going to take a 10:30 PM shower for a 10:55 PM boarding time, so I passed.

IMG_0033United Club Hong Kong Lounge Hallway to Showers

In terms of the food and drinks selection, there was water and soft drinks available at many fridges scattered along the lounge.

IMG_0026United Club Hong Kong Lounge Drinks Selection

IMG_0021United Club Hong Kong Lounge Drinks Selection

In terms of the actual food selection, the quantity was better than I expected, but not very extensive. In terms of what they had, though, I found everything I ate delicious.

IMG_0014United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food Spread

IMG_0015United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food Spread

IMG_0016United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food Spread

IMG_0017United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food Spread

IMG_0018United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food Spread

I had a mushroom cream pasta and Thai curry rice, which were both delicious. The curry has a nice kick to it, and the pasta was well seasoned.

IMG_0034United Club Hong Kong Lounge Food

There’s also WiFi in the lounge, which isn’t only workable but also high speed. In fact, the fact that I couldn’t connect to Singapore Airlines’ WiFi was the reason I spent so much time at this lounge.

IMG_0025United Club Hong Kong Lounge WiFi

If you’re worried about power ports, you needn’t – there are loads of power ports scattered around the lounge. Beware that they’re not universal, though, so bring an adapter – if you don’t have one, you’re best off at the SilverKris lounge, which has universal power ports.

IMG_0035United Club Hong Kong Lounge Power Ports

Shortly I revisited the Thai Airways lounge (no different), then went to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge to work as my parents were there and it was closer to the gate, though I somehow just couldn’t connect to the WiFi (possibly because the lounge was overloaded with people on the San Francisco flight). So I went back to the lounge to finish the trip report I was working on, then rushed to the gate just in time to be the first in line for boarding.

IMG_0047Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

Boarding started at about 11 PM, starting with first class, then with business class.

Bottom Line

The United Club, post-renovation, was much more impressive than I was expecting. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to return when flying Star Alliance, and it would be the best option for a night flight before 11:30 PM (see below for why!).

The United Club ranks up there with the Singapore SilverKris lounge as my favourite Star Alliance lounges at Hong Kong Airport. They’re both nicely renovated, feature a good food spread, and have more than workable WiFi. None of them are to the level of Cathay Pacific’s The Pier or The Qantas Lounge from oneworld, but they’re good, especially for outstation lounges.

What lounge would I choose? That depends on when the next Singapore Airlines flight is leaving. When I was at the SilverKris lounge, everyone going to San Francisco on SQ 2 was at the lounge, so the United Club was much better. However, if you’re around the lounge at 10 AM or 4 PM, I do believe that the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge is considerably better, as it’s quieter and features better seats for working. It’s all a matter of personal preference, so if a Singapore Airlines flight leaves within one hour, the United Club may be the best for you. The United Club has much more seating, so is technically better off if you want an empty lounge.

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