Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Reviews: The Pier and The Wing

a bathroom with a bathtub and shower

***This is part 3 of my “Plane-cation” trip report detailing a recent trip from San Francisco to New York, via Hong Kong***

1. Introduction
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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge entrance

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge lobby

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge seating 1

And another section in that seating area had a sofa for larger groups.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge seating 2

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge seating 3

The second room featured more lounge-style seating.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge seating 4

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge bar

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge snack cart

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the retreat

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the retreat view

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the pantry pastries

There was a dedicated refrigerator where you could choose from any one of eight different types of salads.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the pantry salads

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the pantry salads 2

Including one I had never seen before, a beef shank salad.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge the pantry salads 3

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge dining room menu

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge dim sum platter

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge dim sum

The turnip cake in particular was truly excellent, especially when it was smothered in XO sauce with dried anchovies.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge dim sum 2

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge turnip cake

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge foot massage

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge shower menu

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.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge wonton noodles

And I finally succumbed to the fruit tart and pear cake that have been tempting me all day.

cathay pacific the pier first class lounge cake fruit tart

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.

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge tea selection

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.

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge buffet plate

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge roast pork

I also ordered the duck confit from the a la carte menu which was superb.

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge duck confit

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.

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge champagne bar

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.

cathay pacific the wing first class lounge cabana shower

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.


  1. I understand that you had 9 hours, but for those with less time, is the schlep to gate 63 worth the visit to the Pier. As you say most US bound CX flights are closer to the Wing

    1. It’s hard to say, but in general probably not. If you’ve never been and have at least 2 hours to kill, then it could be worth the trip at some point. Mornings are also better since I’ve been reading reports that the lounge gets extremely crowded in the afternoon. Really the only thing that The Pier has over The Wing, aside from minor differences with food and seating, is the massage.

  2. I’m sorry for being kind of ignorant on this topic, but how can you do this without entering the country. Don’t you have to show when you fly international that you enter the country and left it again. I’m going to Singapore in September and could have as little as a six hour layover and then I have a Cathay Pacific return. And I was going to stay a couple of nights just to enter the country. Another thing I thought of doing is going to Mexico City just to eat at a restaurant at the airport which happens to be on the Gate concourse maybe stay two hours and return back to the states, but don’t you have to go out through immigration and then turn around and go back to passport control because you have to show that you went somewhere when you get back to the US. Thank you very kindly, carlos

    1. Hi Carlos, I’m no expert on the topic, and to be honest that same thought crossed my mind as well. Based on this experience, nobody questioned me and I was not flagged in any way when entering the US after my international flights. It probably helped that I had Global Entry and therefore did not have to speak to the customs agent.

      My guess is that from the US’s perspective, as long as your are legally authorized to enter, it doesn’t really matter where you had come from.

      If anyone else has knowledge on the topic, I’d be interested in hearing more.

  3. First visit to your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. I pulled the trigger on four premium class (two F and two J) CX flights to HKG months before AA’s devaluation for this December and am looking forward to the flight and visiting the new Pier. Like you, I prefer CX’s F hard product over SQ and like you, having booked the cook on SQ, I was unimpressed by the lobster thermador (I’m a big fan of Asiana’s bi bim bop). One question though, doesn’t CX impose a time limit on use of its Retreat and/or Cabanas? Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Now that we have moved on to the post-devaluation world, it really puts in perspective how amazing the pre-deval AA redemptions for CX Biz/First were and I’m totally jealous of your upcoming flights!

      I didn’t notice any signs about a time limit for the Retreat, and didn’t receive any indication from the staff that there was one. Worth noting though that throughout my time there, there were always at least 2-4 rooms available. Perhaps if they reached full capacity, they would start to bump out the folks who had been there longest.

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