***This is part 7 of my “Spain-giving 2014” trip report detailing a recent trip to Barcelona over Thanksgiving weekend***
1. American Express Centurion Lounge at SFO
2. Korean Air Lounge at LAX
3. KLM Business Class Los Angeles to Barcelona, via Amsterdam
4. Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona
5. Exploring Barcelona in a Motorcycle Sidecar
6. Day trip to Girona for Lunch at El Celler De Can Roca
7. Sala VIP Lounge at BCN, KLM Crown Lounge at AMS
8. KLM Business Class Barcelona to San Francisco, via Amsterdam
It doesn’t matter if you’re jet-lagged or not, 6AM flights suck. We were up at the butt-crack of dawn and jumped in a taxi to the airport. As you can imagine, the airport was empty at this hour and we blazed through security.
We headed straight for the lounge where I knew there was a hot cup of coffee with my name on it waiting for me. But as it would turn out, we were too early and the Sala VIP Lounge at BCN had yet to open. We loitered outside for 10 minutes where a small crowd began to form, and a couple minutes after 5AM the lounge opened its doors.
I sprinted over to the coffee machine for a cappuccino, and I could feel my brain finally starting to work. There was a small spread of pastries, crackers, and fruit for breakfast, but my stomach had yet to wake up and nothing looked that appealing.
The lounge is actually quite large and had chic decor – there were at least 4-5 different types of seating areas around the lounge, and since it wasn’t crowded at all, we had our pick of the litter.
Since we had to wait for the lounge to open, by the time we settled down and made ourselves comfortable, we only had about 10 minutes left to relax before heading to the gate. From what I recall the wifi wasn’t working which was fine for this short visit, but would have been annoying for a longer stay. For some reason, we had difficulty with wifi in general during the trip, with the library in Girona being the only place that worked well.
After our short flight to AMS, we had a 2-hour layover which would give us enough time to check out the KLM Crown flagship lounge. First order of business was finding the damn thing, which was a tall order in itself. We were like the kids in Maze Runner, weaving our way through random hallways and doors. Finally, we found it.
This lounge is absolutely massive, probably one of the largest I’ve ever been to from a square footage standpoint. But at the same time, it was one of the most crowded that I’ve been to, with barely a seat to be found in the entire place. There must have been at least 200-300 people in the lounge during this time.
After walking around for a while, we finally found a place to settle down in the dining room.
It’s dangerous for me to sit this close to the buffet table, and I was constantly grazing for the next hour. There was an interesting yet delicious selection of breakfast items here, including a LOT of sweets. In particular, I took a liking to the small pancake bites.
The decor in the lounge is quite cool, and kept with the KLM-theme of the Dutch houses. There was a display case with the entire set, but with just 2 houses in our possession at the time, it was depressing to see how far we had to go to finish the collection.
Neither of these lounges we visited on our journey home produced any “wow” factor, but they were both more than comfortable places to relax before our flights. I would say that I was a bit disappointed with the KLM Crown Lounge at AMS given that it is KLM’s flagship lounge. While the food selection was decent, it was simply way too crowded and the wifi speeds were extremely slow.