***This is part 3 of my “Plane-cation” trip report detailing a recent trip from San Francisco to New York, via Hong Kong***
2. Singapore Airlines First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
3. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges: The Pier and The Wing
4. Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to New York
5. Eating NYC – Bouley, Donuts, and Pizza
6. JetBlue Mint Class New York to San Francisco
7. First Class Showdown: Singapore Airlines vs. Cathay Pacific
After landing, the other passengers either continued onward to their final destinations or headed toward immigration to enter Hong Kong. I was doing neither, since I was basically going to spend the next nine hours hanging out in the airport lounge, only to return to where I had just come from. While that may seem incredibly boring to some people, I couldn’t have been more excited.
I had already checked-in online for the return flight, and walked over to the transfer desk at section E2 to get my boarding pass. I breezed through security and shortly after was on my way to The Pier First Class lounge located near gate 63.
This lounge was recently remodeled and it showed – everything still looked brand new and the decor was stunning. Being at the airport at 7AM had its perks, since I basically had the whole place to myself at this hour. I took advantage of the emptiness and snapped pictures throughout the lounge.
In terms of square footage, the lounge actually wasn’t that big and there were only two large seating areas. The first room let you pick between plush velvety chairs that you could sink into, or leather seats where you could throw your feet up.
And another section in that seating area had a sofa for larger groups.
The coffee tables were made of a beautiful slab of wood, and were so nice that I actually felt bad putting my drink on it without a coaster.
The second room featured more lounge-style seating.
And the focal point of the room was the bar. There was no shortage of booze in the lounge, with this fully-stocked bar, a selection of beer and wines in the pantry, and even a snack cart with port.
My first order of business was to secure a spot in The Retreat, which was a row of eight day rooms located in a secluded and quiet area behind the showers. Each room featured a large day bed along with a luggage rack, and best of all, had plenty of natural light with direct views of the tarmac. While many people may have felt claustrophobic or lonely, I really enjoyed the privacy in being a hermit in here.
My room had a great view of this Cathay Pacific bird, and it was fun to get an up-close view of all the action as the plane was refueled, and then loaded with baggage and catering.
I did duck out of my little enclave every now and then to stretch my legs by walking around the lounge. Most of those walks included visits to the pantry, which was well-stocked throughout the day with pastries, drinks, and other cold appetizers.
There was a dedicated refrigerator where you could choose from any one of eight different types of salads.
Including one I had never seen before, a beef shank salad.
I also frequented the dining room a couple times during my stay at the lounge. They had a nice selection of hot food here, offered on an all-you-can-eat a la carte basis.
The disappointment I experienced with the dim sum platter on my flight was quickly forgotten as I stuffed my face with this tray of food below. The food in the dining room was really, really good and I was more than pleased with every dish that I ordered.
The turnip cake in particular was truly excellent, especially when it was smothered in XO sauce with dried anchovies.
Upon arrival in the lounge I had also registered for a massage, and my appointment was set for about an hour later. They provided a buzzer which rang when it was time for your appointment. The spa menu featured two variations on the foot massage, and I opted for the neck, shoulder, and scalp massage to work out some of the knots that had developed from sitting on the plane for so long.
The shower facilities were really nice, and along with standard things like towels, there was an additional list to pick from that had any amenity you could ever need.
After my massage, I headed back to my day room to finish up a bit of work as the day ended on the West Coast, and wrapped up Catastrophe season 2.
After six hours at The Pier and I finally started to feel a bit restless and decided to migrate over to Cathay Pacific’s other First Class lounge, The Wing. This lounge is typically much busier since it is located next to departure gates 1 to 4 which are often used for US-bound flights.
But not before one last visit to the dining room for a bowl of wonton noodles.
And I finally succumbed to the fruit tart and pear cake that have been tempting me all day.
While it would have been faster to take the train, I decided to get some mild exercise in and walked over to The Wing, and even extended the walk by doing some window shopping along the way.
By mid-afternoon I finally started to feel a twinge of sleepiness. Nothing that a strong cup of iron buddha tea can’t fix.
After getting to The Wing I made a beeline for the dining room which featured a buffet along with an a la carte menu. I grabbed a plate with some sushi and of course my favorite, roast pork. I remember feeling proud that I had managed to eat all of my favorite Chinese dishes on this trip without leaving the airport, and all for free.
I also ordered the duck confit from the a la carte menu which was superb.
My nine hour layover was quickly coming to an end, so I made sure to make a stop at the champagne bar for one last drink.
My final stop was to The Cabanas where I freshened up with a hot shower before my flight. I didn’t have enough time for a soak in the tub, and besides, the germohpobe in me would probably never allow me to take a bath in an airport bathroom anyways. The shower felt amazing and I slipped into a clean set of clothes.
Given that I had traveled halfway across the world and spent the past nine hours mulling around the airport, I was feeling pretty darn good and excited to jump on my 16-hour flight to New York.