Cathay Pacific’s (CX) Business Class lounge is a notch beneath First Class in name but certainly not nature.
It’s been almost a year since CX opened the doors to the second offering in its signature lounges but given it shares the same DNA as designer Ilse Crawford’s flawless work with flagship First Class haven, there’s little doubt that this will scoop just as many awards.
Cathay Pacific actually operates 6 lounges in the Hong Kong International Airport, with many business travellers probably already well acquainted with the Travertine stone and bamboo wood aesthetic in The Wing between gates 1- 4 (designed by Cathay’s previous designer partners Foster + Partners in 1998).
But however nice The Wing is, with its champagne bar and coffee loft, wizened travellers would do well to scoot over to the sweet spot between gates 63 and 65.
This is where you’ll find the essence of Cathay Pacific’s current state of mind. A low-lit cave of wellbeing and reflection, where the luxury isn’t so much about gilded opulence and more about the comforts of home (if your pad happens to be a spread out of Vogue Living).
FOOD & DRINKS
Cathay Pacific prides itself on food and while the in-air offerings are exceptional (we’ve discussed them here), on-ground is where the airline gets the time and flexibility to show off.
The Noodle Bar serves up dim sum and steaming bowls of wonton soup (all hand made on site) or you can choose from a range of tapas-style platters from the Food Hall, made to order.
It’s about convenience but not at the cost of quality.
In an interesting move Cathay has given The Pier Business Class Lounge a little something over its other lounge comrades, the addition of The Teahouse, currently unique to this space only.
Modelled after the traditional tea houses of 1920s Hong Kong, this is a favourite place to not only refresh with a ginger and lemongrass brew but also to sit and do some work, with the wood-panelled ceiling and calming darker hues offering a perfect place to focus the mind.
Whether it’s enough to lure First Class passengers away from their own lounge? We don’t know. However, you can’t help but get a little warm and fuzzy over the idea that an airline aims to let their Business travellers know that they’re not second class, they’re their own thing entirely.
Or at least that’s how we read it.
The concept of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ travel is seeded throughout the designer of the whole area. Upon entry visitors have a choice between on-the-go dining and stool seating on your left and those looking to unwind are guided over to the the soft seats and peerless views out onto the the action of the tarmac on the right.
It’s a subtle way to manage traffic flow but also works as a gentle introduction the Cathay Pacific ethos (getting there fast or taking it easy, you’re catered for).
We should also mention here that rather than opt for stock-standard uniform chairs, Ilse Crawford has made the bold decision to incorporate real furniture pieces that you wouldn’t mind having in your own home.
We don’t think we’re stretching the truth to say that the last 10 years have been an interesting time for the luxury industry. The crash of 2008 took care of any lingering glitz from the early noughties, layering OTT ostentation with guilt rather than gild, with core Business and First Class customers changed from the inside out.
Swiftly every dollar needed to be justified and accounted for. If not, then it darn right better look like it was for fear of alienating would-be clients.
It therefore makes sense that this new offering from Cathay Pacific reflects the customer of now; thoughtful, savvy and appreciative for the small details.
Now you’ve seen inside Cathay Pacific’s Business Class lounge view inside ‘The Pier’ First Class lounge.
Also, be sure to read our Cathay Pacific Hong Kong to Vancouver Business Class Review.