a room with a staircase and chairs

Review: KLM Crown Lounge, Non-Schengen (AMS)

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Review Overview
YTHK'S VERDICT

This lounge is gorgeous, and features all of the basics I'd hope for; I wish the paid "Blue Bar" on the top floor was part of the lounge's standard offering, though, since the food and beverage situation is a little awkward

4.5

In February 2024 I had the chance to visit KLM’s flagship business class lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. While this lounge opened in 2019, more features were gradually added to this lounge over time, to serve premium passengers departing KLM’s hub. Upon finding out that I had the opportunity to purchase access to the KLM Crown Lounge as a premium economy passenger, I figured I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Here’s my full review of the lounge, where I’ll detail the seating and atmosphere, dining, and other facilities, including the Blue Bar located on the lounge’s top floor.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Access and Opening Hours

I’m reviewing the KLM Crown Lounge in the non-Schengen region of Schiphol Airport. This lounge is open from 4:45 AM to 10 PM, and is accessible to:

  • KLM and SkyTeam business class passengers (except those on a Lite fare)
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers + 1 guest
  • those who purchase a lounge access pass online, which costs €55 (it costs €65 at the door)  – Flying Blue Silver members get a 25% discount

I was flying KLM premium economy from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, so decided to purchase lounge access in advance so I could review this lounge. Bear in mind that you’ll be able to access this lounge as a passenger flying within the Schengen region, though you’ll have to bring a passport so you can clear immigration. Unlike with Swiss lounge passes in Zurich, lounge passes aren’t interchangeable – you can’t enter this lounge if you’ve purchased a pass for the KLM Crown Lounge 25.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Location and Exterior

Schiphol numbers all of their lounges, and lounges 43-52 are located in the non-Schengen region. The airport has very clear signage for lounges, so I just followed through with , passing through immigration control on the way (where there was no queue).

a large airport terminal with people walking and luggage
Schiphol Airport Signage

It was quite a trek to the lounge, which was located between Concourses E and F. The entrance is well-denoted by a large sign, as well as a well-lit set of escalators championing some of the airline’s signature Dutch houses.

a group of people walking in a building
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Entrance

I was promptly admitted into the lounge by scanning my boarding pass, which automatically had my lounge booking attached to the reservation.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Seating and Atmosphere

The KLM Crown Lounge is massive. The airline boasts that the lounge covers 6,800 square meters, and it sure felt as such. In fact, it’s so large that the airline’s website has a map.

Upon turning right in the lounge there’s a massive seating area, full of comfortable armchairs and sofa seats. I loved the variety of seating in this area, as well as the colours that the airline used. I believe this area was called the “Polder” area.

a large room with green and red chairs and tables a large room with couches and tablesa large room with a large couch and a large tablea room with people sitting in chairs and tablesa room with a large screen and a large television
KLM Crown Lounge 52 “Polder” Area

I was a fan of the abundance of chest-height tables in this area, which opened up a lot of space that was suitable for working. All of these tables came with power ports, though unfortunately they were just EU-style (not universal).

a long table with chairs and a plant on it  a long hallway with tables and chairs
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Polder Area Tables

Near this area was also a general helpdesk area, which had some more chairs (these would be my last choice for places to sit within the lounge).

a large poster of a man and woman sitting in an airplane
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Booths and Help Desk

a kitchen with a large counter and a large counter

By the back of the Polder area were some more work booths, which were more private but devoid of natural light.

a room with black leather seats and a table a desk with a computer and a bar stool
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Polder Area Work Booths

In contrast, there were also more relaxing armchairs that faced out towards the tarmac.

a group of chairs in a room
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Polder Seating

There was also a cute cross-sectioned model of a KLM DC 7.

a glass wall with a table and a model airplane
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Model of DC 7

The other side of the lounge, accessible by turning left from the entrance, was the “City” area. This featured a more traditional assortment of deli-style seating as well as more table seating, more well-suited for eating. The food spreads were also featured in this area.

a large room with tables and chairsa large building with tables and chairs a large table with lamps in a room with a large wall a room with chairs and a lamp
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Restaurant Area

Then there was arguably the centerpiece of the lounge, which was a raised stair area that led up to the lounge’s Blue Bar (which I’ll detail in a separate section below). This area was furnished with wooden finishings and featured attractive pops of colour with high ceilings.

a room with a staircase and chairs a room with glass walls and tables and chairs
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Stairs Area

There was a range of seating in this area as well, including sofas and booths, and cinema-style seating facing a TV screen playing a sports channel (once again EU-style power ports were abundant here).

a room with a blue couch and a glass door a room with a table and chairsa room with a television and a television on the wall
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Stairs Seating

If you were to get lost in the various areas of the lounge, there was plenty of clear signage, particularly by the center of the lounge.

a sign on a wall
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Signage

There was a separate area of the lounge called the Blue Bar with a paid selection of food and beverages, which was on its separate floor. I’ll detail this in a separate section of this post.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam WiFi

While I didn’t do a speed test, WiFi at this lounge was free and fast, and easy to connect to.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Dining and Beverages

The main dining area of the lounge was downstairs located by the lounge’s “City” area. There were a food spread that featured various hot and cold items. These aren’t made-to-order, so they do sit around in the open for a while – however, I did see food items replenished a few times throughout my four-hour stay at the lounge.

I felt that for a hub lounge in Amsterdam, there was a fair, but not impressive variety and quality of food items.

a trays of sandwiches on a counter a group of pots of food on a stove a buffet table with bowls of food a food on a table a buffet table with different types of food a pan of food on a counter a kitchen counter with potted plants and pots of spices
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Food Spread

By the back of the food spread was a tended bar, which poured Heineken, as well as a few standard spirits and mixers.

people standing around a bar
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Bar

I mentioned that I was on a short layover, and asked them if there was anything Dutch on offer. I was offered a Dutch gin and tonic.

a glass of water with a slice of lime on a table
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Gin and Tonic

The “regular” food spread at this lounge isn’t worth coming early or paying for, though it is fairly good, and you won’t go hungry.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Blue Bar

KLM operates a hybrid lounge-restaurant concept where the top floor of the lounge serves paid food and beverages. Now, you can sit at this restaurant without paying, and it’s open from 7 AM to 5 PM (so you likely won’t be able to take advantage if you’re on one of the airline’s many night flights to Asia). The restaurant itself is very elegant, and features significantly more comfortable and spacious seating than the downstairs areas.

a glass wall with a bar and chairs a room with tables and chairs a room with a bar and chairs a room with a bar and chairsa room with a large window a room with couches and tables
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Bar

I particularly liked these curtain-laden booths to the side of the restaurant, which featured wide padded chairs.

a room with tables and chairs
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Bar Seating

There was also more restaurant seating on the other side of the lounge, though this wasn’t open during my stay.

a room with a large window
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Restaurant Seating

The prices at the Blue Bar run around the same price that you’d typically pay for upmarket bar snacks in Europe. Unlike the food selection downstairs these are made to order, and parketed as “premium” drinks and bites.

a menu on a clipboard
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Bar Menu

I decided to try something out, and had the Asian crispy shrimps. These were perfectly cooked and delicious – however, this dish set me back 8.50 EUR (£7.19/HK$71.88), which isn’t cheap, and the portion size wasn’t massive.

a plate of fried shrimp with sauce
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Bar Snack – Asian Crispy Shrimps

There was some free booze on offer up here though, so I had a glass of house champagne, followed by a pint of Heineken beer. It’s a little confusing that there are complimentary booze options both downstairs and at the Blue Bar, and that the Blue Bar has a mixed range of free and paid beverage selections.

a glass of champagne on a table a glass of beer on a table
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Blue Bar Complimentary Alcohol

If KLM considered this made-to-order food to be a passenger experience investment for business class passengers (and/or other lounge guests), I’d say this would catapult the lounge to one of the top hub lounges in the world for its food offering alone. This would remind me a bit of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow, a lounge I consider to be one of the world’s best. So I find it a shame that the airline has decided to make this premium selection a paid experience, as there wasn’t much patronage.

I also tended to find that the Blue Bar had a mouse problem, an observation that other bloggers have agreed with.

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Terrace

By the Blue Bar is a terrace, which is open approximately for the same duration that the Blue Bar is, and free for anyone in the lounge to visit (i.e. you don’t need to be a paying Blue Bar customer). The terrace had very nice views of the tarmac and the runway in the distance, and was largely deserted during my February stay (I suppose it’d be nice to spend a summer afternoon here with a pint of Heineken from the bar).

a building with a glass wall and a window a glass wall with a table and chairs in front of a building an airplane on a runway
KLM Crown Lounge 52 View of Tarmac

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Quiet Room

Further past the City area of the lounge by the showers was a large quiet room, which had some daybeds and sofas for relaxing, as well as some quiet benches with tables, presumably for some focus work. I found the seating in this area to be multi-purpose and varied as well.

a room with a large window and a large couch and chairs  a large couch in a room with a table and lamps a room with couches and tablesa row of black chairs in a room
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Quiet Room

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Showers

The KLM Crown Lounge features twenty free shower suites, which can be pre-reserved at the kiosk. It was generally possible to reserve a shower suite within a 15 minute time window of booking, however expect them to be a little more in-demand in the evenings.

a screen shot of a tablet
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Shower Kiosk

I booked a shower room for 6:30 PM, though it wasn’t until 6:40 PM that I got a text message from KLM saying that my shower suite was ready.

a hallway with doors and signs
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Shower Suites

Once I entered my shower room, I found it to be well-appointed with good water pressure, though there was no toilet.

a bathroom with a round mirror and sink a shower head in a white bathroom
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Shower Room

Toiletries were from Rituals, though there was only one shampoo-bath soap combo – I would’ve appreciated them separate, as it seems like a cheap investment.

a bottle of liquid on a white surface
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Shower Room

KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Facilities

By the shower rooms the lounge features a stretch area, which also features two pods where you can watch VR videos. I didn’t check out the VR pods, though they’re made from Sensiks – it’s potentially a cool way to some to pass some time in the lounge.

a room with a blue and white rug and round blue pillows a room with a wall of posters
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Stretch and VR Room

There are also some sleep pods. These aren’t free – they’re charged as follows:

  • €49.50 (£41.85/HK$419) or 12,400 Flying Blue miles for 3 hours
  • €75 (£63.41/HK$634) or 18,800 Flying Blue miles for 5 hours

It would be cool if these were free to use as well, though I imagine it’d be impossible to make a reservation if so. I believe the cabins feature proper beds and a sink, though they aren’t ensuite.

a hallway with doors and a cylinder
KLM Crown Lounge 52 Sleep Pods

Conclusion: KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam

The KLM Crown Lounge 52 in Amsterdam has many of the makings of a great hub lounge, and reminds me a lot of the Swiss business class lounge in Zurich. The lounge itself is large enough to accommodate a significant volume of passengers, and its X-factor is a large variety of seating, suitable for a variety of purposes. It’s a very comfortable space to spend time. I also felt like all the basics were there, such as WiFi and good showers, and appreciate the sleep cabins as well (albeit the fact that they’re a tad pricey).

I think the main area to improve lies in the lounge’s slightly awkward food and beverage situation. The main part is the Blue Bar, where the prices take away the advantage compared to eating elsewhere in the terminal, and the fact that they offer a mixture of free and premium beverages is a little confusing. Meanwhile, the “regular” food and beverage selection wasn’t particularly exciting, and I feel like the airline could’ve invested a little bit more in this spread as opposed to operating a separate paid concept.

I don’t think I would pay to enter this lounge on a future transcontinental trip with KLM if I was flying in economy or premium economy class. However, it’s certainly a pleasant place to spend time.

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