August 16, 2015

Review: Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa

Planning & Booking
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
Cathay Pacific 777-300 ER First Class Los Angeles to Hong Kong
The Pier Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
Le Meridien Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Thai Airways 747-400 First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong
Air India 787-8 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana A380 First Class Seoul to Los Angeles

We arrived at BKK three hours prior to our scheduled departure to Hong Kong after a quick and inexpensive ($12 USD) cab ride .  It was a weekday afternoon and the airport was relatively quiet.  We made our way into the terminal and turned left - all the way to the end of the main hall where Thai Airways First Class check in is located.  There was no one in line and we were very politely asked to have a seat and presented with cold towels and iced tea while check-in formalities were processed.  

Thai Airways First Class Check-In

A few minutes later, boarding passes and lounge invitations were handed over and the agents were kind enough to snap a few pictures of us before escorting us through immigration.  

Brothers in Asia - the agents moved the umbrellas for the pic

Once again, no line and we were through immigration and security (escort in tow) in less than five minutes.  We headed down the escalator to our waiting "buggy" which is a golf cart type vehicle with a driver and two seats that face each other.  The whole point of the buggy is to whisk you through the business class lounge to the first class lounge.  It's maybe 300 feet so we would obviously be perfectly fine walking.  But they won't let you do that.  This is first class.  

Pre flight Champs

The whole thing is a bit ridiculous but we both enjoyed the ride and were in the first class lounge in no time.

Our "living room"

Not sure why anyone needs a TV in here

The staff to passenger ratio in the lounge was probably 6:1.  We were asked if we would like massages and we both said yes.  We opted to relax in our "room" (which really is a living room without a door - complete with a TV, couch, and a couple of chairs) for half an hour before our massages.  When it was time, we were escorted over to the spa and shown to our treatment rooms.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of the treatment room but it was gorgeous.  Massage table, bathtub, shower, closet, full changing area, etc...My massage was outstanding.  

So many orchids

Pre massage tea

First Class lounge entrance

While you can certainly get an excellent massage for next to nothing almost anywhere in Thailand, it's a unique experience to have an hour lounge massage in an airport lounge prior to a 3 hour flight.  The massages are complimentary but tipping seems to be widely accepted though not expected.

After changing back into my clothes and thanking the massage therapist, I headed back to the lounge to relax for a bit.

Lounge seating

More lounge seating

Physically, the lounge itself is nothing special.  There's a buffet, a bar, tons of seating, and an iPad menu where you can order additional food items.  But the real highlight is the service and the spa.

Cappuccino time

T-40, we made our way out of the lounge, did a bit of shopping, and headed down to the (bus) gate.  Up the first set of stairs and we were immediately shown to our window seats in the nose of the 747.

Bound for HKG

All in all, Thai Airways (ex-Bangkok) provides one of the best ground experiences in the world.  While I loved Cathay Pacific's The Pier in Hong Kong and we've had a great time in Singapore's Private Room, nothing beats the Royal Orchid Spa and overall service from check-in to boarding.

No comments:

Post a Comment