Review: Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction: Feaster Easter in Japan
Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka
Hilton Osaka Executive Suite
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Wa-Yo Room
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Dining
Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong


Hong Kong Airlines has two hub lounges in Hong Kong. Prior to September 2017 the only option was Club Bauhinia, which was Hong Kong Airlines’ only lounge. It was renovated a few years ago, though the lounge has a relatively small footprint, which the airline couldn’t do too much about (the lounge is sandwiched between Cathay Pacific’s The Cabin and The Bridge – The Cabin is closing soon, so I’m wondering if Hong Kong Airlines is looking to use that space to expand their lounge). Prior to September this was their flagship lounge, so all of Hong Kong Airlines’ flights were using this lounge for premium passengers and Fortune Wings (Hong Kong Airlines’ frequent flyer programme) elites.

In the meantime they’ve opened Club Autus, their new flagship lounge at the Midfield Terminal, which I’ll be reviewing in the next installment.

My parents wanted to spend the early afternoon in Hong Kong Airport shopping, due to the late afternoon departure time of our flight. So for our 5 PM flight, we arrived Hong Kong Airport at 1:30 PM. That was good news for me, since I’d have plenty of time to check out Hong Kong Airlines’ lounge offerings, given I’ve reviewed Cathay Pacific’s lounge offerings extensively.

We got to the Airport Express station at 12:30 PM, though unfortunately Hong Kong Airlines uses a single check-in counter at Hong Kong Station’s in-town check-in for all passengers (in contrast, Cathay Pacific uses eight check-in counters, with separate check-in counters for first class, business class and premium economy). The line was five parties deep and took 30 minutes, but we made it through, and the process of getting airside was smooth after that.

Club Bauhinia is located in the main terminal near gate 25, around a 5-10 minute walk from immigration.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Exterior

After walking down a staircase, there was an entrance left into a relaxation area, and right into the Hong Kong Airlines lounge. I was immediately struck by all the airplane models outside the lounge – too bad they weren’t for sale!

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Entrance

Two friendly lounge attendants scanned my boarding pass and took my lounge invitation. Upon asking how I should get into Club Autus, the lounge attendants told me that my boarding pass alone would get me in fine.

I came into the lounge knowing that it wouldn’t be world-class, but I’d heard allegations that it was “seriously nice”, and was a pretty good option even prior to the opening of Club Autus. I was expecting a lounge that carried a few great qualities – I knew it was beginning to show its age, but I had hopes that the lounge would be somewhat interesting. It wasn’t.

It consisted of a single long room, with lots of drab, grey chairs facing each other with round tables in between.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

The lounge was basically split into two areas – a wider area with more natural light near the entrance, and a darker area further into the lounge, where the sleeping pods were located.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge

A few of these seating areas encompassed the lounge, and they reminded me of the colour tones at Lounge Fukuoka pre-renovation (a rather drab contract lounge at Fukuoka Airport that was renovated as of a couple of years ago, which should speak for how I felt about the decor of this lounge).

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

To be fair, at least the warm colour tones were consistent throughout, and I somewhat liked the wooden hints by the sides of the lounge.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

While most of the seating consisted of the armchairs pictured above, there were a few higher-backed chairs facing the tarmac.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Tarmac Seating

These chairs faced gate 25 directly, so had a gorgeous view – coincidentally of an ANA 767 also headed for Osaka. So much for competition…

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

I have to give the lounge credit for its primo position for planespotting on the tarmac, though there aren’t any runway views.

ANA Boeing 767 Hong Kong Airport

Near the windows there were also a few chairs laid out for dining, with what I believe were soy sauce and salt and pepper shakers laid out on the table. Since I don’t like round tables, these tables seemed more desirable for working.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Table Seating

As aforementioned, the inner part of the lounge was slightly darker, and was better suited for people who would’ve preferred to rest or relax.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

This area also featured many of the armchairs that the rest of the lounge featured.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Seating

The deep end of the lounge was a little more interesting. Firstly there were work cubicles, with computers provided (though the cubicles were wide enough that you could place your own laptop or tablet by the side of the desk, and I believe one of the cubicles didn’t feature a desktop computer, for those bringing their own device onboard).

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Workspaces

There was also a choice of Windows or Mac operating machines, though the iMacs were positioned in a less private area, and the workspaces were marginally smaller.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Workspaces

For those that need to finish up some last-minute paperwork, there was also a printer.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Printer

By a nook at the very end of the lounge were four daybeds, which looked quite comfortable, though I don’t assume any bedding would be provided. One of these daybeds was used during my visit, though the other three stayed empty.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Relax Area

I have to give the lounge merit for offering separate workspaces and daybeds – they’re two of the top 10 things I look for in an airline lounge, and both seem to be overlooked more often than not. However, I can’t imagine the daybeds would be relaxing when the lounge is full, and I doubt people would be able to work in peace when the lounge is busy. Then again, space is a commodity at airports, and Hong Kong Airlines just didn’t happen to have the luxury of space when renovating Club Bauhinia.

This would’ve been more than I’d ask for in a contract lounge or even an outstation lounge, though given that this was Hong Kong Airlines’ flagship lounge until last year, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for people that had long layovers here prior to the opening of Club Autus.

I quickly checked out Hong Kong Airlines’ food spread, which consisted of a salad spread, and a few hot options. The hot options featured a variety of Asian and Western options, though they didn’t look too appealing.

 

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

By the side was a drinks area, featuring orange juice, apple juice, liquor on tap, and a bunch of canned beverages.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

There was also a coffee machine, as well as some tea.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Food Spread

However, when eating at this lounge I’d stick to the made-to-order menu. I was at the lounge by 2 PM so there weren’t any breakfast options, though there were a variety of snacks, noodle soups, as well as egg waffles (called egg puffs) in two different flavours.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Made-to-order Food Menu

I ordered an egg puff, and had the chef’s choice flavour, which was coconut. I didn’t taste the coconut at all and the texture was spongy like a mattress, though having egg waffles at an airport is a novelty in itself.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Egg Puffs

I asked a lounge attendant if I could take a picture of one of the shower rooms. I was granted the request, and I was also asked if I wanted to take pictures of the two meeting rooms that the lounge offered. Sure, why not? Unfortunately she had to check with one of the lounge attendants by the entrance, who said that I should email them next time if I wanted to check out the meeting rooms, though I was allowed to check out the shower rooms. It’s worth noting that while service was quite hands-off until then, I was treated like royalty from that point on until I left – the lounge attendants brought my food order to my seat (which I didn’t see them do for anyone else), they ran me through the made-to-order menu, etc..

Also, a lounge attendant proactively offered me the WiFi code when I was walking to the front desk to ask for one, and the WiFi was fast.

Back to the shower rooms. First the (female) lounge attendant had to walk me through the bathroom, which was quite drab.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Bathroom

The shower room itself was drab as well, and quite small. On the plus side, it featured a rainforest shower, but the toiletries were mounted to a wall, with one of those cheesy ads plastered on it that make you wonder how many years that stuff has been sitting there for.

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Shower Room

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Shower Room

Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Shower Room Toiletries

While the people at the lounge were really nice (and I felt sorry for them, since Club Bauhinia is more or less abandoned now), I was looking forward to visiting Club Autus, so I left the lounge at around 2:20 PM. I bid farewell to the friendly lounge attendants, and made my way over to the Midfield Concourse.

Bottom Line: Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong

Club Bauhinia resonated with me as a good outstation lounge for Hong Kong Airlines. It was small, though I appreciated that there were workstations, daybeds, and a made-to-order food menu. In terms of the lounge’s amenities, this reminded me of one of Cathay Pacific’s outstation lounges, such as their lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle. Unfortunately, prior to the opening of Club Autus, this was their hub lounge, which I would’ve found depressingly underwhelming.

Now that Club Bauhinia’s Hong Kong Airlines’ secondary lounge, it does its job, and isn’t too bad of a place to spend a bit of time – I’d actually recommend it over Club Autus in a couple of situations:

  • If you have a very long layover and want to nap, Club Bauhinia’s daybeds look more comfortable than Club Autus’ daybeds
  • If you only want to work and don’t see yourself eating much or taking advantage of the lounge, Club Bauhinia offers a more serene working space, given the bulk of premium passengers spend their time at Club Autus, making it more crowded
  • Club Bauhinia’s showers are better than Club Autus’ – stay tuned

However, I didn’t care for the decor, and more than anything I can’t imagine how crowded it must’ve been as Hong Kong Airlines’ flagship lounge. Overall, this lounge is entirely missable, and under most circumstances (bar the ones listed above) I wouldn’t elect to spend time here over the new Club Autus lounge which I’ll be reviewing next, which was (understandably) superior in almost every way.

Have you been to Hong Kong Airlines’ Club Bauhinia lounge? How did you find it?

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