Date of Visit: February 22 2013 (and subsquently on March 6 2013)
Cathay Pacific Airlines’ new First Class lounge just reopened a week or so before my visit after a very extensive renovation. It is on the left after the immigration check on the Departures Level. It indeed had the ‘Wow Factor’ – super sleek in black, red and whites. The designers are from the same firm that designed the airport – Foster + Partners.
The interior and finishes are all uber high-style, with luxurious designer furnitures (from Poltrona Frau) and smooth glossy finishes. From personal experience (owning a set at home), the sofas look good but not comfortable to sit (and get up). With the heavy commercial traffic (and jean wearers) it is good that they come with lifetime guarantees and shabby-chic is pretty much in vogue too!
The Haven is the restaurant and overseen by staff from Hong Kong’s iconic Peninsula Hotel. The maitre-d, head waiter and waiters seem professional, however, I wasn’t informed nor made aware of the ‘“reinvented” à la carte menu complemented by recommended wine pairings’ (which I read later in the Discovery inflight mags), so I made-do with the buffet selection instead. They have the basic staple of cold cuts, salads, sushi and selections of breads and cakes with muesli and cereals available for breakfast and a beef carving corner for lunch and dinner.
Now, this is The Haven is the place that really ‘wows’ me! Not the food, mind you but the workmanship. Notice how all the marble patterns line up? This is very rare nowadays even if the designers have trek all the way to the quary in Italy to select the marbles. My inquisitive eyes also noted perfect stone-cutting with no chips or repairs in sight!
The Champagne Bar: (I had 2 glasses of Moet Imperial Bruts on my return leg back to Sydney on March 6 since it wasn’t open for my early morning flight on my previous journey). I can’t help but comment on the strong glare from the sun. It would be ideal to put in sun-control blinds, but then it will spoil the whole aesthetics and originating idea of the airport – of airiness and lights steaming through (a major short-sightedness since the principal designers from UK forgot how strong the sun can be in Asia!)
Office area – complete Apple Macs with printer-scanner and telephone.
The Solus chairs – trademark of Cathay Pacific
There are also 12 shower suites where I headed for freshening up before boarding the plane.