Review: United Polaris Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The United Polaris Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opens on April 30, 2018. We were lucky enough to snag a few United MileagePlus Exclusive tickets to experience the lounge before it officially opens.
Where to find the United Polaris Lounge
The United Polaris Lounge is located in the SFO International Terminal, right past security near Gate G92.
Who can access the lounge
Access to the United Polaris lounge is restricted to passengers traveling in the following cabins:
United Polaris first class
United Polaris business class
Star Alliance long-haul first class
Star Alliance long-haul business class
You must have a same-day boarding pass to access the lounge.
United Polaris Lounge highlights
The United Polaris Lounge at SFO spans two levels across more than 28,000 square feet
There are more than 440 seats, and 19 different types of seating
492 power outlets and 492 USB ports
8 shower suites
5 private day beds
Private dining room experience
The first level of the lounge includes an impressive library area with (real!) books, seating, and a hydration station.
There are plenty of seats, and the chairs are comfortable. Each seat is accompanied by charging outlets. I'm impressed by the overall design aesthetic of the lounge.
If you walk to the back, you'll find quiet rooms for napping, shower suites, and restrooms.
There are five quiet rooms available on a first come, first serve basis. Each quiet room includes a Saks Fifth Avenue pillow, a speaker for tranquil noise, water, slippers, chocolate, ear plugs, eye mask, and essential oil. If the room is too bright, you can adjust the curtains and lighting.
There are eight shower suites available on a first come, first serve basis. Each suite comes with amenities like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and towels.
The towels are from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Take the escalators up to level 2 to experience the bar, dining area, the buffet spread, customer service, phone booths, and the studio.
The customer service area is available to assist with your flight.
There are 3 quiet work rooms available.
Various types of lounge seating is available.
The area leading up to The Studio is one of my favorite places in the lounge for the views of the runway.
The Studio can be transformed into an event space and host an additional buffet spread.
Check out the view behind me. If you like watching planes, this is the perfect spot.
The bar features cocktails inspired by the Bay Area, including the Mai Tai and Pisco Punch. All drinks are complimentary.
There's a diverse list of spirit and wine offerings.
Below is the Mai Tai (L) and the Paper Plane (R).
The bistro-like buffet features a DIY ramen bar, hot food, salads, and desserts.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room is a full service restaurant with complimentary food. If you plan on enjoying a full 3-course menu, be sure to reserve at least one hour to eat.
For starters, we had the crab bisque and the shrimp cakes. Both were delicious, highly recommend! The crab bisque had real crab lumps, and the shrimp cakes were nice and crispy.
For the entree, get the hand-cut pappardelle pasta with mushroom ragout. The quality of the pasta was superb, and you could taste the freshness of the noodles. It's something you would expect if you dined at a high-end Italian restaurant. Serioulsy, you won't regret it.
The cioppino is San Francisco-style with fish, mussels, and shrimp.
The United Polaris burger comes with an egg, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and a side of chips.
The katsu bento box comes with rice, egg rolls, and a salad.
For dessert, we had the tiramisu and profiterole.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Amex Centurion Lounge
The PHL Amex Centurion Lounge opened it’s doors in late 2017 and features a sophisticated menu by Michael Solomonov, a four-time James Beard Award Winning Israeli Cuisine Pioneer..
Where to find the Amex Centurion Lounge
The PHL Amex Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal A West, near Gate A14.
Who can access the lounge
Complimentary lounge access, along with two guests, is available to American Express Platinumand American Express Centurion cardholders.
Guest with any other American Express credit or charge card may purchase a one-day pass for $50.
The lounge covers 6,300 square feet with a dining area, bar, and a second room with individual workstations.
A phone room to take calls is available on a first come, first serve basis.
Secondary room with work stations, a conference table, and sofa.
Food and Drink
Food and beverages are complimentary in the lounge. I’m a fan of Israeli fusion cuisine, and the food was the highlight of the lounge visit.
The lunch/dinner menu featured a soup, baked chicken, and roasted vegetables.
One of the featured desserts was passionfruit malabi.
An assortment of snacks and cookies is also available.
Each Centurion Lounge features a unique cocktail menu inspired by the respective city. Drinks are complimentary.
The shower in the lounge is available on a first come, first serve basis. Signup for your spot in line at the front desk to receive a pager.
You’re limited to up to 15 minutes in the shower room.
The shower amenities feature products from L’Occitane En Provence.
Hong Kong International Airport Plaza Premium Lounges (T1)
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG) has two lounges in Terminal 1 and one in Terminal 2 in Arrivals. This post will cover the two Plaza Premium Lounges in Terminal 1.
Where to find the Plaza Premium Lounges
There are two Plaza Premium Lounges that are located airside past security:
Plaza Premium Lounge 1 - Ride the airport tram to Gate 40, take the escalator up to Level 7, and you’ll see the lounge signs
Plaza Premium Lounge 2- East Hall, Level 6, near Gate 1
Who can access the lounge
The Plaza Premium lounges are in the Priority Pass network.
Most premium travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express come with Priority Pass Select. Depending on your credit card benefits, you may be allowed to take yourself and two guests into the lounge for free.
Other cards like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card give you access to 10 Priority Pass tickets per year (when you enroll in the benefit).
Always check your card benefits guide if you are unsure.
Watch the video below for a tour of both lounges.
New York - LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Centurion Lounge Review
The American Express Centurion Lounge at LGA features a view of the runway, fresh seasonal fare, and a premium bar.
Where to find the Amex Centurion Lounge at LGA
The lounge is located pre-security, on the 3rd floor between Terminal B and C. The elevator to the lounge is located directly across from the escalators to the basement food court.
Take a left when you exit the elevator on the 3rd floor and follow the signs to the lounge.
Who can access the lounge
Complimentary lounge access, along with two guests, is available to Amex Platinum and Amex Centurion cardholders.
Guests with any other Amex credit card or charge card may purChase a one-day pass for $50.
Fresh Seasonal Fare
The food at LGA was the best compared to the SFO and LAS Centurion Lounges. The menu is designed by one of Zagat's top 30 under 30 chefs, Cedric Vogericheten.
The staff was attentive and refilled the food often. Below are the seasonal strawberry and watermelon smoothie, and brownies.
We visited the lounge in the afternoon. The hot food consisted of tomato bisque, fried chicken, green pea puree, carrots, and ginger rice. Fried chicken was boneless and topped off with a lemon zest — easily one of the best fried chicken entrees I've ever tasted.
Enjoy a cocktail at the premium bar. The cocktail menu was designed by one of the nation's top mixologists, Jim Meehan. Wines were handpicked by renowned wine authority Anthony Giglio.
Member services desk, workspaces, and computer bar
The member services desk is located right when you walk into the lounge. The staff is super friendly and is ready to assist with anything. Be aware that this lounge does not have showers.
Complimentary high-speed wifi is available to all guests. Be sure to ask for the wi-fi code at check-in.
Semi-private workspaces can be found throughout the lounge. There's a corridor with nooks and large flat-screen TVs.
A computer bar is available to surf the web or print documents.
Communal workspaces are available throughout the lounge.
The Centurion Lounge at LGA is a great experience for anyone looking to enjoy a meal with a view before/after a flight. Although it is smaller than some of the other Centurion Lounges, the food and service makes up for it.
Chased on our other lounge experiences at SFO and LAS, the LGA lounge has the best variety and quality of food.
Delta Sky Club Lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) Concourse A Review
Seattle- Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has two Delta Sky Clubs where you can enjoy local cuisine, select complimentary drinks, a spa, and shower. The Delta Sky Club in Concourse A is larger and has longer hours than the one near Gates S.
Where to find the Delta Sky Club Lounges
The larger Delta Sky Club in Concourse A is located near Gate 1.
The smaller Delta Sky Club in the Gate S area is located on the second floor near Gates S-9 and S-10.
Who Can Access the Delta Sky Club
If you have a same-day Delta flight and one of the following cards, you get complimentary access to the Delta Sky Clubs:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® Business from American Express
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Business Reserve American Express Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express Cardholders
Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club is available for Amex Platinum cardholders that are traveling on a same-day Delta flight. Platinum cardholders may enter the club with up to two guests for an additional fee.
SkyTeam Elite Plus
SkyTeam Elite Plus (Delta Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion members) traveling in any cabin with a same-day international flight may access the lounge.
The Delta Sky Club in Concourse A has two stories and an amazing view.
The lounge area is thoughtfully designed with power outlets available near almost every seat.
Food and Drink
Complimentary food and drinks are available in the self-serve buffet area. Food features local fare like clam chowder, pasta bolognese, and coconut curry lentil soup.
Cold food selection includes salad creations and crudites.
Coffee, tea, soda, and select alcoholic drinks are complimentary.
Overall, the Delta Sky Club in Concourse A is spacious and a great place to grab a bite and relax before your flight.
Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Review
Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong Airport is one of my favorite lounges. The posh design reminds me of a five star hotel than an airport lounge.
Where to find The Pier, First and Who Can Access the Lounge
The Pier, First is located in Hong Kong International Airport on Level 6, Terminal 1, near Gate 63.
Take the escalators down to find the lounge entrance.
Who can access the lounge:
Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon (F fare)
OneWorld airline (F fare)
OneWorld Emerald (any class) - also available if you have AA Executive Platinum or Concierge Key
Once you enter the lounge, there’s a long tranquil hallway that leads to The Retreat, the Dining Room, and all the other areas.
Find daily periodicals here along with various lounge seating options.
There’s also a full service bar and plenty of seats.
If you’re looking to unwind and relax before your flight, head straight to The Retreat. Here you’ll find showers, day suites, and massages. All of the services are complimentary and on a first come, first serve basis. The wait list for the massage was 2.5 hours long when we visited.
Watch the video below to learn more about The Retreat.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room is a full service restaurant to enjoy a drink or a meal before your flight.
Below are pictures of the food and drink menus. Items worth trying on the food menu:
Spicy chicken wings
Double boiled pork and corn soup
Wagyu beef cheese burger
Beyond meat vegetarian burger
Dan dan mien
Chilled sago with mango and pomelo
Overall, I prefer The Pier is my favorite Cathay Pacific First Class lounge in HKG since it was less crowded, the food menu and quality was better, and the customer service was amazing. Can’t wait to visit again!
Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) via Priority Pass
One of my favorite airport lounges is the “secret” arrival lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. I say secret because even though it’s listed in the Priority Pass app, most people are unaware of where the arrival lounge is.
Where to find the Premium Plaza Arrival Lounge
The arrival lounge is located in the basement of T2.
Go through immigration, pick up your luggage, and exit to the arrival hall. Head towards Terminal 2 (landside) and follow the signs to public transportation and the lounge. Take the escalators down, and the Plaza Premium Lounge will be on your left.
Who can access the lounge
Anyone with a Priority Pass card can access the lounge. Priority Pass Select is a complimentary benefit that comes with most premium travel credit cards. You must have the physical Priority Pass card with you; the credit card will not grant you access.
Be sure to check your credit card benefit guide to see if the card you hold charges an entrance fee and if you have a guest allowance.
The lounge features a wide range of food including salads, hot entrees, desserts, and a noodle bar.
Most Plaza Premium lounges in Asia feature a noodle bar, and the ones in Hong Kong have fish ball noodle soup.
Various salad and hot food items are also available.
Complimentary sandwiches, desserts, soft drinks, tea, and water can be found the fridge.
The lounge itself is small compared to the air side Plaza Premium lounges. Seating is limited, and it can get packed.
Computers are available to use on a first come, first serve basis.
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