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.
There are no Star Alliance lounges in Penang International Airport and elite members will end up at the Plaza Premium Lounge anyway. As mentioned earlier, since SilkAir is not part of Star Alliance, I did not have lounge access with my TK Star Alliance Gold status. Fortunately, the Plaza Premium Lounge in Penang International Airport is accessible to anyone holding a Priority Pass membership (you will be able to get a free one with a couple free entries each year for simply holding a Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card or DBS Altitude Card!). The following rates apply if you are a walk-in guest with no membership:
- 2 hours - MYR 168 (Approx. S$57)
- 5 hours - MYR 238 (Approx. S$81)
- 10 hours - MYR 258 (Approx. S$88)
The Plaza Premium Lounge at the Penang International Airport is not particularly big but it is probably the best one there is at the airport right now. I do like that the lounge is catered towards more travelers (based on the seat configuration) on their own or with their plus one.
If you are feeling a little peckish, the Plaza Premium Lounge at the Penang International Airport has a selection of hot food selection. There is also a salad station with cold cuts and sandwiches if you are looking for a light bite. I like my meals hearty and heavy so I did not even walk over to the healthier side.
It is definitely worth noting that complimentary alcoholic beverages are not served here. I am not too sure if you can purchase them (since I can't seem to find them or any sign which states so) but it is certainly not too difficult to head out for a drink instead.
As I was traveling on Singapore Airlines' Business Class cabin from Denpasar to Singapore, I was given access to the Premier Lounge at the Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). If you are traveling in coach or if you do not have lounge access, there are restaurants that you can choose from at the airport but the prices are actually quite high. There are three main airport lounges here at the airport - TG Lounge, Premier Lounge and the Garuda Indonesia Lounge (which is supposedly the best one here).
When I visited Beijing back in July this year, I flew back from Beijing to Singapore on Air China's Business Class - it was my very first experience with Air China and even though it was quite a good flight (albeit being delayed for 3 hours), it was very different from what you would expect on a Singapore Airlines flight. Since I visited the Air China Business Class Lounge previously and have experienced firsthand at how busy it can actually get, I made plans to check out the arguably more exclusive Air China First Class Lounge instead this time.
When I flew back from Phuket to Singapore on SilkAir, I noticed that the terminal building was different from the one that I was in back in 2015 when I visited the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort. Apparently, this relatively new terminal building at the Phuket International Airport was only completed back in 2016 - capacity is estimated to be at five million passengers per year. While looking for access to The Coral First Class Lounge, I realised that the The Coral Executive Lounge also provided a First Class VIP Departure Fast Track Service that I took the opportunity to check out during my visit.
Previously known as The Green Market, TGM is Plaza Premium Lounge's only airport lounge in Terminal 2 of the Singapore Changi Airport. TGM is probably one of the best-kept secrets in Changi Airport where airport lounges are concerned - it serves a mixture of Japanese and Korean Cuisine (as well as healthy options) here and it really resembles more of a restaurant than a typical airport lounge. TGM is located on Level 3, next to DFS's Whiskey House in Terminal 2 and it is accessible (and free!) to anyone with a valid Priority Pass Card or Plaza Premium Lounge access - TGM is also open to public and there is a rather extensive a la carte menu (chargeable) to select from.
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!