After departing from the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, I arrived at the Noi Bai International Airport ahead of time and had access to the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge as a Business Class passenger of Singapore Airlines. Unfortunately, that lounge was not exactly ideal to spend time in since the food options were unattractive and the drinks could seriously do with some finesse (or ice for a start). As such, I made my way to the Song Hong Business Lounge next door (access via Priority Pass membership - there are various credit cards in Singapore that will give you free airport lounge access) and was pleasantly impressed by the space here.
Do not get me wrong though, the Song Hong Business Lounge does not sit on the same level as The Private Room or even the beautiful Blossom – SATS & Plaza Premium Lounge but it certainly is a welcome sight having just been to the fairly unimpressive Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge next door. The lounge was pretty quiet when I visited and I have a feeling that it does not exactly fill up very quickly - there are plenty of tables and chairs located throughout this space so you can easily pick one if you value a little more privacy.
Apart from the brighter decor and what seemed like cleaner furniture, the Song Hong Business Lounge beats the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge hands-down in the quality of food. Not only does it look a lot more appetising, the food actually tastes alright too. If you prefer to be closer to the buffet counters, there are various seating areas located near it but my personal recommendation? Pick a table near the window for an unobstructed view of the runway.
There is a fairly decent spread here if you are feeling hungry but honestly, why waste your calories in airport lounges when the city of Hanoi has so much to offer? If you are here on a layover or you are simply the kind who like to pick off food (hey, we have all been there), you should be satisfied with the selection here - I also like how proper lids are placed over sauces and condiments here in the lounge for hygiene and food safety reasons.
Seriously, the food here could easily pass off as street food in Hanoi and it was really quite good - I would have eaten it if I did not already have lunch outside.
The drink selection is probably more important to most international travellers because we do not pass up the opportunity to drink at any point. There is a variety of sugary drinks here and you can find them in the fridge (in bottles and cans) or in the dispenser on the right. Complimentary beer is also provided here in the lounge so if you are up for a cold one, you can find them in the fridge on the left.
For the rest of us, you will find a small selection of wines and spirits located in the mid-section of the drinks station. There is even a massive bottle of Russian spirit (I’m assuming vodka) there which I was too intimidated to try. Champagne is (obviously) not offered but let’s be honest, the selection is already fairly impressive for a Priority Pass lounge - remember you are getting these drinks for free and you do not have to pay anything extra.
The lounge had some desserts and fresh fruits on the buffet line while I was there but I did not really feel like having anything sweet. I typically try to avoid having cut fruits when I am traveling because of a fairly weak stomach.
Honestly, there is no reason to head down to the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge even if you are traveling on Business Class with Singapore Airlines. There are just so many credit cards in Singapore that offer you access to Priority Pass lounges (many cards actually give you unlimited visits) so just hop on over to the Song Hong Business Lounge instead. They say the grass is always greener on the other side and it certainly is so if you are visiting the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge (even though the reverse cannot be said).