Review: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction: To Bangkok For The Weekend
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Park Hyatt Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse D
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse E
EVA Air Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse C East
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse C West
Thai Airways 747 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong


While I’ve had rather mixed opinions of Singapore Airlines’ lounge at Hong Kong Airport and always rather enjoyed the United Club, I’ve always thought of Thai Airways’ lounge as the most dated lounge at Hong Kong Airport. I’ve visited the lounge a few times since my last review in 2015, and was eager to see if my last visit would be any different.

Thai Airways’ check-in counters are situated at Terminal 2 of Hong Kong Airport, which was bad news for us, since it was raining on the day of our departure. While Terminal 2 has an adjacent carpark, it’s outdoors, so we weren’t too comfortable with taking our luggages across the heavy rain into the terminal.

Go figure that the rain seeped away into a beautiful sunrise backdrop by the time we parked, which rendered our walk to Terminal 2 obsolete.

Hong Kong Airport

Terminal 2 was built after Terminal 1, so naturally it’s a lot more modern. Unfortunately no flights depart from Terminal 2, which means that a check-in process at Terminal 2 comes with the need to get back to Terminal 1 to catch your flight.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 2 Check-In

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 2 Check-In

The Thai Airways check-in counters were located on the far end of the hall, at aisle Q. We walked straight up to the Royal Silk check-in counter, where there was no queue.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 2 Thai Airways Check-In

The friendly check-in agent checked us in and promptly informed us that the immigration counters wouldn’t open until 6:30 AM, but he suggested that we should wait instead of hauling all the way back to Terminal 1. It was 6:15 AM, so I decided to explore a bit of what the airport had to offer.

I made my way up to the floor above the departures level. There was signage to an Entertainment Zone, though unfortunately that led to a dead end.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 2 Entertainment Area

While the cinema was closed as well (as was the SkyPier, but I knew that already), at least there were great views of the check-in hall from the floor above, which I appreciated.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 2 Check-In Hall

At around 6:27 AM the gates towards immigration were opened, though unfortunately a line quickly piled up. While there was a separate lane for passengers with special needs while clearing security, the “normal” security line forked into that lane as well. A mother with a baby stroller kept bitching about the fact that the security line was only supposed to be open to them. It was even more amusing that the line was technically labeled to be for “pilots and crew screening priority”, so it’s not like they were entitled to have priority access to that lane anyway.

Regardless, the security process was largely painless (fuelled by the fact that I had access to Hong Kong Airport’s e-Channel), and I made my way onto the “Automated People Mover” train straight towards gates 40-80, as our flight was scheduled to depart from gate 44.

From there I made a right turn towards Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Lounge. The entrance of the Thai Airways lounge is rather dated, as it’s the only lounge at Hong Kong Airport that hasn’t undergone a renovation in the past few years.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

While I remembered seeing a model Thai Airways A330 in the old livery situated at the lounge reception area, in the meantime that had been replaced by an equally gorgeous model Thai Airways A380.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Model A380

The Royal Silk lounge was located on the left, while the Royal Orchid First Class lounge was located on the right. As business class passengers, we were pointed towards the left by a rather indifferent lounge attendant.

Right past the entrance was a handful of work cubicles, which looked like some of the better work cubicles I’ve seen at an airline lounge, minus the lack of privacy.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Business Center

Most of these stations featured desktop computers, though the desks were big enough for those who bring their own laptop to work comfortably.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Business Center Computers

Otherwise, the majority of the lounge was a vast, unpartitioned seating area, with a handful of dated green, orange, blue, red and yellow chairs. I’m sure these chairs provided a great splash of colour to an otherwise bland lounge when the lounge first opened, though they were starting to show their age, with lots of wear and tear.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There were three rows of chairs facing alternate directions, with the sides of the lounge lined up with chairs facing each other on tiny tables.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There was also a separate, partitioned “quiet” area, which featured a few more chairs in less worn upholstery, as well as two massage chairs.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

It’s worth noting that while the lounge also featured massage chairs in the past, they were featured in another area, which had been converted into the below seating area. Personally I like that the massage chairs are in a more secluded area now, though don’t love the new seating area – I feel like the space could’ve been utilised better (a Thai-style coconut stand, a Thai omelet station, a palm juice dispenser, etc.).

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There was also bar seating, which didn’t seem to be used at the time, though could be great for planespotting at later hours.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Bar Seating

I was most excited about the fact that the lounge invested in universal power port extension cords with separate USB ports. I didn’t have a need for them, though I know there are people who do.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Power Ports

Located between the business center and the rest of the lounge was the food spread, which took up half of the walkway into the lounge (you can also walk to the “main” lounging area by walking behind the food spread). On one hand it’s weird to have a food “exhibition” of sorts, though on the plus side the food was very good.

It wasn’t very high end food at all, though from the pastries to the (great) noodles to the hot options, the quality of the food was impressive for an outstation lounge.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

I was most excited that they had San Pellegrino water. I nicked a bottle with me before boarding the flight.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

The lounge features some good tarmac views. In our case we were facing an Air New Zealand 777, which I’ve taken back in 2014.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac Views

Furthermore, the lounge’s bar seating also afforded good views of the terminal, including of the gate that our A330 was departing from. Unfortunately our plane was parked quite aways from us, so we couldn’t see our plane from the lounge.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Terminal Views

From the business center, you could even see into the first class side of the lounge, which didn’t seem to be particularly impressive.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid First Class Lounge Hong Kong

Prior to departure I wanted to check out the shower rooms at Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid lounge, so I asked the lounge reception if I could take some pictures. I was handed a key, and told that the shower room would be in the men’s bathroom. It appears that the lounge features one shower room in each bathroom, so I was eager to check out how they were like.

On the surface, the room didn’t seem like much – most of the decor seemed bland, boring and reminiscent of the shower rooms at the airport terminal.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Shower

The shower room didn’t feature a separate toilet or a sink, which would’ve been appreciated – though that wasn’t so much of a big deal since the bathroom was right outside the shower room anyway. However, I did spot a mirror with a few toiletries located on a table underneath.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Shower

What impressed me the most was the actual shower unit, though, which featured six massage showerheads, as well as a large overhead shower (along with the option of a handheld showerhead). That’s not something I’ve seen at other lounges, so if I wanted a shower and was flying in business class on a Star Alliance airline, I’d definitely head over to the Thai Airways lounge.

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Shower

The shampoo/conditioner and shower gel were located in separate bottles, which I doubt would be truly high quality. However, I didn’t end up testing the shower out (since I was short on time and had already had a shower), so can’t report back on the water pressure, etc..

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong Shower Toiletries

It was time to leave the lounge for boarding, so I made my way down the escalators and quickly made my way down to Gate 44. Boarding hadn’t started yet, so I promptly stayed close to the gate area, since I wanted to be first onboard.

I spotted the Air India 787 from Delhi pulling into the gate next to us, which would be operating its thrice-weekly fifth-freedom flight to Osaka.

Air India Boeing 787 Hong Kong Airport

I was glad to see an empty priority lane, though was rather surprised that the lane included Royal First customers (in my experience, most airlines choose to board their first class customers separately). Obviously this was a moot point in this case, as we were flying an A330 where business class serves as the top cabin.

Thai Airways Boarding Signs Hong Kong Airport

I love Thai’s livery – it’s simple, yet colourful and gorgeous at the same time.

Thai Airways Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport

While boarding was scheduled for 7:05 AM, it wasn’t until 7:25 AM when they actually started boarding the aircraft. Thai Airways isn’t great at boarding planes on time, but nevertheless I was excited to check out what was waiting for us onboard.

Bottom Line: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Thai Airways offers a pretty drab lounge at Hong Kong Airport. Back when the lounge first opened it was a hit for Star Alliance business class flyers, though the United Club and the Singapore Airlines lounge have been updated in the meantime, while the Thai Airways lounge remains drab and dated. While the Singapore Airlines lounge is gorgeous, it tends to be almost consistently crowded, so I’d continue using the United Club as my go-to Star Alliance lounge at Hong Kong Airport.

That said, the next time I head towards the Thai Airways lounge at Hong Kong Airport, I’ll be asking for a shower. 😉

Have you been to the Thai Airways lounge at Hong Kong Airport?

Advertisements

One thought on “Review: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.