Cathay Pacific opened its doors today to the first official visitors of their latest, and largest, lounge in Hong Kong; The New Business Class Lounge at The Pier.


The Pier, which plays home to Cathay Pacific’s most recently refurbished First and Business Class lounges at Hong Kong International Airport, has been offering unparalleled levels of comfort and convenience to passengers since it opened in 2001. As part of the new wave of lounge designs that are being rolled out across the network over the past 16 months, Ilse Crawford and Studioilse have brought the older business class lounge in line with its First Class counterpart.



It’s not the closest lounge in Hong Kong airport from the check-in area, in fact, its the furthest away, however, it’s well worth the trek through the terminal. Located at Gate 65 in the North West concourse of the Hong Kong International Airport, The Pier’s new Business Class Lounge covers an area of 3,306 square metres – 1,000 square metres larger than the previous lounge – with seating for up to a whopping 550 people.


We previously reported on how Cathay is trying to create a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere in its lounges, and the residential touches (such as planters, low seating, rich textiles and artworks) are in abundance in the new space, “that makes passengers feel good, engaging the senses and focusing on wellbeing as a core principle.”


The lounge is based on the concept of Hong Kong street life, albeit a romanticised, luxurious version, giving the lounge a distinctly homegrown atmosphere. There are two experiences built into the street concept. A fast street and a slower paced street, mimicking the two distinct lounge experiences of passengers. The fast lane is punctuated by food and beverage offerings, interspersed with terrariums of tropical greenery and culminating in the wellbeing area – a place to wash, refresh and relax. The slow lane runs between lounge seating at the glass windows and glazed timber screens, it is anchored by solo chair lounges where people can find a quiet space to sit or work.


Naturally, the lounge brings to life the four pillars of the Cathay Pacific brand: contemporary Asian, heartfelt warmth, considered simplicity and the joy of discovery. We love the attention to detail, and considered simplicity seems to be the most impactful of the four pillars. With such a clean and considered design, the materials used have to be exceptionally finished, and the Cherry wood, limestone, bronze and leather finishes all are of the highest standard. The custom pieces of furniture may look familiar, as most have already appeared in other new lounges around the network.


Cathay state “This material palette is warm, tactile, timeless and will improve with repeated use. Plants add a natural element and invoke a healthy environment. The overall feel is authentic and similar to what passengers might find in a contemporary Asian home.” although this is far more impressive than any Asian homes we have have visited. (Perhaps TheDesignAir needs fancier friends.)


The lounge features a substantial Food Hall (part deli – part food market)with a range of tapas, bakery, salads and hot and cold dishes as well as a coffee cart for a quick espresso. There is also an expansive and well stocked bar and signature green tiled Noodle Bar. A first to the lounge environment is a Tea House staffed by specialists, which reflects Cathay Dragon‘s emphasis on teas.


There are also Cathay Pacific’s signature elements such as the new Solo Chairs, Bureau with 10 iMacs and printers, running both Windows and iOS, and a new relaxation room, filled with low upholstered loungers and footstools.


We will be bringing you an exclusive report from the lounge at the end of the month, with full details on what to expect from your visit. Watch out next month as well for our exclusive first of four in depth instalments on the shaping of the Cathay Dragon brand.

The Big Picture




Posted by:Jonny Clark

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