During my last trip to Taipei, I stayed at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Taipei (which is rumoured to be Taipei's most haunted hotel) and the amazingly opulent Mandarin Oriental, Taipei. On my way back to Singapore, I checked out the China Airlines Dynasty Business Class Lounge Taipei and was immediately blown away by how beautiful it is. As part of the benefits for holding an ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card, I have unlimited access to Veloce Lounges around the world and this lounge used to be part of that list - it is sadly now being removed.
Firstly the China Airlines Dynasty Business Class Lounge Taipei is not like the usual airport lounges where it serves just a basic purpose. The lounge is dark and earthly - it uses a lot of muted tones but at the same time, I really love the ingenious use of wood and light.
As you walk in, you would be greeted with this long passageway with a rather healthy selection of newspapers and magazines on the side. I personally thought that the design was ingenious; it felt as though I was walking through a secret passageway to find my little slice of paradise and yet at the same time, it allows me to pick up some reading materials on the way in.
There were quite a number of international magazines as well as newspapers in different languages - primarily in Mandarin and English though.
As you make your way into the main area of the Business Lounge, you will realise what a huge place this is. I really liked that it didn't look like the usual cookie-cutter airport lounges where it is predominantly two-seaters. There are different seat configurations here (mostly 4-seaters by the side) and there's even a long communal table at the back with a little bit of a surprise.
The food selection in this lounge is also excellent - one of the best I have seen. When I visited in April 2015, there were piping-hot Xiao Long Baos and at least 6-8 different hot dishes on top of the usual cold selection. This is by far the most impressive airport lounge I have ever been to in the Asia-Pacific region.
My favourite part of the China Airlines Dynasty Business Class Lounge in Taipei however is this small area where there are long communal tables and even a bit of natural sunlight with a green wall. I really like what China Airlines have done with their business class lounge and I can't wait to revisit this place again!
The Qantas Singapore Lounge was one of the first airport lounges that I have ever stepped foot into - I used to have access to it on all my Australian flights as I was once a Gold Frequent Flyer on the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. While I did a small review of this beautiful space back in 2014 when it first opened, I felt the need to revisit this lounge since I actually do prefer it over the famous SilverKris Lounge which more Singaporeans have seen and grown to love.
After a few impressive first experiences with the Plaza Premium Group (in terms of the beautiful Aerotel Singapore in Changi Airport as well as the Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore), I was very curious to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport - it is worth noting that at the time of writing, there are four different lounges that travellers may gain access to. Since I had an OCBC VOYAGE Card with me, I could bring a guest to enjoy unlimited access to all participating Plaza Premium Lounges around the world.
The SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport is reserved for Star Alliance passengers travelling on Business and First Class (there are separate lounges within the lounge itself) as well as esteemed Solitaire PPS Club members. If you are a KrisFlyer Gold Elite (or Star Alliance Gold) member traveling in Economy or Premium Economy class, you will have to make your way down to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge (which does not stock Champagne) instead. Check out my review of the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 of the Singapore Changi Airport.
When I traveled from Auckland to Singapore via Singapore Airlines on Suites back in November 2016, I had access to the relatively new Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge. This Air New Zealand flagship lounge which opened in late 2015 features a clean and modern design with various seating zones and configurations that will cater to different travellers. Eligible passengers who also hold a Star Alliance Gold status may access this lounge as well.
On my latest flight from Haneda to Hong Kong on ANA's Business Class, I had access to the ANA Lounge. As you approach the ANA Lounge (which has been refreshed in 2014) in the International Terminal of Haneda Airport, you will notice that there are actually two separate lounges - the ANA Lounge (which I will review here) and the ANA SUITE LOUNGE which is reserved for First Class and ANA Diamond Service members on eligible ANA or Star Alliance flights.
The Private Room is arguably the most exclusive airport lounge in the whole of Changi Airport. While the airport is home to many brilliant airport lounges (even paid ones like the Plaza Premium Lounge!), The Private Room is by far the most privileged one that I have visited. Having Star Alliance Gold will not even get you close to this lounge if you are not traveling on First Class. The Private Room is tucked away quietly inside the First Class Lounge of the SilverKris Lounge so yes, it is indeed a lounge within a lounge. Check out my first experience here!
I recently traveled down to Cebu in Philippines over the weekend and since there are no Star Alliance flights that operate between Singapore and Cebu, I did not have any lounge access for the trip. Therefore, I decided to make use of the opportunity to check out the relatively new Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport which I heard was beautiful.
Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, Penang International Airport is located approximately 30 minutes away from Georgetown. I stayed at the beautiful Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (review soon to come!) when I visited last month and if you are coming from there, the ride should take you about an hour. Since I was flying on SilkAir and my Star Alliance Gold status was not with Singapore Airlines, I did not have lounge access on my flight back from PEN to SIN as such, I looked at my options and found the Plaza Premium Lounge at the Penang International Airport instead.
I checked out the previous Emirates Lounge at the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport back in 2014 when I visited the city for a friend's wedding. While the lounge had a great selection of food and drinks, the overall decor was tired and in need of a refresh. When I visited Melbourne city again this April (2016), I have had the pleasure of visiting the Emirates Lounge once again (without knowing it was refurbished) and I was pleasantly surprised by the changes.
Like most Singaporeans, I travel to Bangkok quite a fair number of times a year (mainly the weekends) and since I have Star Alliance Gold, I tend to spend most of my time in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in either the Thai Airways Lounge or the SilverKris Lounge. Since I had some time to kill during my latest trip from Bangkok to Singapore, I decided to check out the newest Star Alliance Lounge in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport - the EVA Air Lounge - which is the best airport lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport has seen so far!