a room with a long table and chairs

Review: Star Alliance Lounge, Rome (FCO)

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Review Overview

This is a fabulous lounge offering, with a-la-carte dining, fully stocked bar, great coffee, and a generally quiet atmosphere with good natural light


To get home from Italy, both the rest of my family and I flew out from Rome Fiumicino’s Terminal 1 on the same day, albeit on different flights. My family flew from Rome to Frankfurt to Hong Kong on Lufthansa, whereas I flew from Rome to Helsinki to London on Finnair (there’s a reason why, and it’ll make sense soon). Curiously both Lufthansa and Finnair use the Star Alliance lounge in Rome, so I got to give them a proper send off while making the most of lounge access.

In this review I’ll cover the excellent Star Alliance lounge in Rome, located in the airport’s Schengen area (if you’re departing on a non-Schengen flight you’ll be able to use the lounge too, though you’ll have to clear immigration thereafter).

Star Alliance Lounge Rome Access and Opening Hours

The Star Alliance Lounge Rome is open from 5:15 AM to 9:15 PM, and is accessible to all Star Alliance airline passengers flying first or business class, or have Star Gold status. Alternatively, you can access the lounge from €45 (with a 5% discount for all Star Alliance frequent flyer members), where you’ll get access to the lounge three hours before boarding. I don’t think you have to be a Star Alliance passenger to take advantage of this.

For some reason, Finnair premium passengers were being directed to the Star Alliance Lounge Rome as well. The sign we saw on the way to the lounge suggested that Finnair was using the nearby Prima Vista lounge (which isn’t half as good), though both Finnair’s website and the lounge attendant suggested that Finnair was using the Star Alliance Lounge at the time of my visit.

a sign next to a fire extinguisher
Signage to Star Alliance Lounge Rome

The lounge isn’t part of Priority Pass or a similar contract lounge arrangement – instead, those passengers are directed to the nearby Prima Vista lounge.

Star Alliance Lounge Rome Location

The Star Alliance Lounge Rome is located in Rome Fiumicino’s Terminal 1. For those unfamiliar with Rome Airport, Terminal 1 and 3 are side-by-side, with Schengen flights departing out of Terminal 1 and non-Schengen flights departing out of Terminal 3. You can easily go between the two, though I reckon you’d probably have to pass immigration control.

As the sign above suggests, the Star Alliance Lounge Rome is located by gate A1. The lounge is located about a 10-minute walk from the end of the duty free maze, where you have to turn left, walk for a few minutes, and go up a couple of levels in order to access the lounge (one to gates A1 to A10, and another one to the lounge, which is a level above the terminal). The signage pointing to the lounges at the airport terminal isn’t great, especially since the airport’s few lounges are scattered throughout the terminal. However, as pictured above, the lounges themselves have put up a few signs directing you to the area by gates A1 to A10.

Once you get to the little lounge complex, the Star Alliance lounge is located at the very end, somewhere above gates A8-10.

a black building with glass doors
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Entrance

Our boarding passes were quickly scanned, and we were let into the lounge.

Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating and Atmosphere

The Star Alliance Lounge Rome is one long room, though it never felt particularly crowded. There’s a fair choice of seating here, ranging from long tables to armchairs to sofas.

a room with a large white counter and a large window a large room with a long table and chairs
Star Alliance Lounge Rome

Near the entrance of the lounge were some armchairs, as well as a long table.

a room with a table and chairs and a large screen
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating

In the center of the lounge was some more restaurant style seating.

a room with tables and chairs
a room with tables and chairs
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating

On the far end of the lounge was some more partitioned seating, as well as a couple of sofas (despite settling with my parents on one of the sofas, I never took a picture of it, so I’ve nicked one from Loungebuddy).

a group of people sitting at a table in a room with a glass ceiling
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating

a room with a couch and a table
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating (photo credits: Loungebuddy)

On the other end of the lounge was some bar seating. I love the lounge’s decor, between the homey light fixtures and the quote on the wall.

a room with a window and chairs
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Seating

The lounge also features a separate rest area, featuring a further few lounging chairs with ottomans. The lounge doesn’t feature any daybeds, which is fair enough, given most people using this lounge are most likely departing on shorthaul flights. This was bad news for me as I was dead tired in the lounge (my parents’ flight left at 2:55 PM, whereas mine left at 7:45 PM, though I understand this isn’t true for the typical passenger accessing the lounge).

a room with chairs and a window a room with chairs and art on the wall
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Rest Area

As you can probably tell from the pictures above, all areas of the lounge except the rest area feature plenty of natural light. The tarmac views are obstructed, unfortunately. I almost feel like the lounge missed an opportunity to make an outdoor terrace area out of the hallway that currently is used for emergencies only.

a red and white pole on a concrete wall
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Views

The lounge is well-appointed, especially as a non-hub lounge, and I appreciated the range of seating options. Power ports were numerous, though there weren’t universal power ports.

The lounge features bathrooms, though not showers.

Star Alliance Lounge Rome Food and Beverages

One unique thing about the Star Alliance Lounge Rome is that all food is served a-la-carte. There’s a small food spread, though items are only on display – you ask a staff member and tell them your table number, and your food is brought to you.

There’s a decent variety of items available, perhaps slightly less so than at your typical airline lounge buffet, though it’s certainly impressive that everything is made “fresh”.

a trays of food on a counter a group of plates of food on a counter
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Food Spread

While not to the level that you’d get within Rome, the quality of the food was excellent. We had two pizzas (and erroneously ordered a third, which we also finished), which were great; the pasta we ordered was alright as well, but nothing special.

a pizza on a plate a plate of pasta and pizza
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Food (Pizza, Mezze Maniche with Basil and Tomato)

Later in the evening I ordered myself a chickpea soup, which was also great.

a bowl of soup on a plate
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Food (Chickpea Soup)

The Star Alliance Lounge Rome also invests a lot in their drinks selection, with a fully stocked bar (complete with champagne – I forgot the brand) and barista coffee. While there wasn’t a formal drinks menu, the bar attendant was happy to make a wide range of cocktails, from aperol spritzes to bloody marys. Even iced latte macchiato was available on request, which my sister had.

a counter with a bar and bottles of liquid
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Bar

While I forgot to take a picture of my mother’s excellent cappuccino or my sister’s iced latte macchiato, I myself indulged in an iced espresso and a glass of champagne.

a glass of wine and a cup of coffee on a table
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Champagne and Iced Espresso

I’m never really a bloody mary fan, though for some reason was craving one, so channeled my inner Jason and ordered one. It was excellent (the below photo is one I sent Jason after having a sip – it was presented better).

a glass of orange liquid with ice
Star Alliance Lounge Rome Bloody Mary

I don’t remember the last time I’ve been to a non-airline operated lounge that does food and drinks as well as this lounge.

Star Alliance Lounge Rome WiFi

While I didn’t do a speed test at the lounge, WiFi was fast, free, and easy to connect to. I just had to enter a passcode once connected to the WiFi.

Star Alliance Lounge Rome Service

The attendants at the Star Alliance Lounge Rome have a tall order because of the a-la-carte service structure throughout the lounge. There were three attendants in charge of the food and bar, and I did feel that at times I had to wait a few minutes in order to get a drink or order food. This was a small price to pay for the quality of fresh food and handmade drinks that we were receiving, and once ordering food would arrive in minutes without failure.

I also did feel that the staff were fairly overworked, and passengers weren’t particularly friendly to them (upon people watching, the crowd at this lounge seemed particularly devoid of “please” and “thank you”s, which I tried to give a double helping of).

The attendants manning the lounge’s front desk also had a harder-than-usual job, mainly due to the sheer number of people that had mistaken the Star Alliance lounge with the Prima Vista or the ITA Airways lounge. The lounge attendants were friendly to each of these guests and patiently explained where their correct lounge was. The lounge attendants were also more than happy to keep my bag in the storage room for me when I wanted to nap or leave the lounge, such as when I sent my parents onboard their Frankfurt-bound flight at around 2:15 PM.

a plane parked at an airport
Sending my parents off to Frankfurt

Conclusion: Star Alliance Lounge Rome

Given that I was sending my parents off on their flight before catching my own, I spent almost seven hours in this lounge, and enjoyed it. The Star Alliance Lounge Rome is one of the best non-airline operated lounges I’ve been to, and particularly stands out because of their outstanding food and beverages selection. I don’t think I’d shell out €45 to come early and visit the lounge as I don’t think you’re getting an exclusive experience (e.g. the pizza isn’t the best I’ve ever had, and you can find similarly excellent coffee/cocktails in Rome), especially since there aren’t any showers or daybeds – though I may consider it if I have a long layover.

I think the lounge could revisit or invest in staffing, since I felt like the lounge attendants serving a la carte food and manning the bar were particularly overworked. However, a three-minute wait for a coffee or cocktail is a small price to pay for the excellent experience you’re getting here.

Read more from this trip:

Have you been to the Star Alliance Lounge Rome? What was your experience like?

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