Dan Ahwa enters Cathay Pacific's The Deck Lounge in Hong Kong International Airport.
Cathay has three premium lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. Depending on how long your layover is and what gate you're departing from, you can choose between The Wing, The Bridge or The Deck. I check out the newest addition, The Deck.
Arrival: Going up a level on an escalator, you're greeted by a sign that simply reads "Cathay Pacific the Deck" and all of a sudden you are transported to a place of peace. Your posture changes as you are greeted by an oasis of marble floors and dim lighting. What a sucker.
The dim calm lighting is an immediate tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the airport. The terrace is a great spot if you need more light — facing the airport's open and expansive windows, you can enjoy a meal at a table and watch the hive of activity in the airport terminal below.
What's there: The main lounge is super-cosy with plenty of seats to sink into, reclining chairs and power sockets for charging electronics. There is a noodle bar serving delicious Asian specialties. Shower rooms are on hand with plush towels and efficient, friendly staff. My favourite room was the relaxing room — a great spot to have a lie-down and catch up on a TV show or some quiet reading time; or maybe just have a gin and tonic and stare into space, which is what I did for about half an hour.
Eating and drinking: The noodle bar is my first port of call as soon as I get my bearings. Here you can try a range of Asian specialties like Sichuanese dan dan noodles, Singapore laksa and Taiwanese beef noodles. There is also the option of ordering your own fresh bowl of char siu buns, and two of Hong Kong's favourites: wonton noodle soup and fish ball noodle soup. After a long flight, I recommend the heart-warming noodle soup. You can also help yourself to the buffet with a range of vegetarian options, salads, sandwiches, and sweet treats. There were plenty of non-alcoholic beverages including juices and soft drinks, but I cracked into a bottle of Otago red instead — there's a terrific range of New Zealand wines.
Posh. A selection of Aesop products on hand from hand washes to lotions. The sinks are marble with brass taps. Lah-di-dah.
Lounge Check: United, Cathay and Thai lounges in Hong Kong
Tech stuff: Free unlimited unsecured Wi-Fi, and there are plenty of plugs and sockets in the lounge area. Ask at reception for an adaptor if you need.
What's in the neighbourhood: The Deck is fairly secluded, so you have take the escalators back downstairs if you need to stretch your legs and look around, which is what I did, given how long I was there. After a quick shower, I headed down to check out the stores. Unfortunately, there are some renovations being carried out in the main food court, so my Hong Kong ritual of ordering Popeye's fried chicken was not going to happen. The new food court reopen later in the year — and hopefully Popeye's will return.
Reading material: International newspapers including The Daily Telegraph , The New York Times and Le Monde . There's a selection of great local magazines too. I pick out The New York Times and a Hong Kong magazine called Prestige .
The bottom line: If like me, you find yourself with several hours to spare, you could (if you were bothered to) lounge hop and start with the other two lounges before settling into The Deck. It's a beautiful, tranquil lounge and the best place to freshen up before your connecting flight.