Review: Plaza Premium at Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong

Plaza Premium is the largest independent operator of airport lounges in the world. The company was founded in 1998 in Hong Kong. It operates more than 120 lounges in approximately 40 airports worldwide.

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I didn’t plan the flight from Hong Kong to Taipei very well. It happens to all of us. After a pleasant experience in the Cathay Pacific lounge(link) at London Heathrow and an enjoyable trip in the Cathay Pacific business class 777(link), I had another flight to Taipei. This time, it was with China Airlines. I had to wait 6 hours at the airport just for a 1.5-hour flight to Taipei.

There is only so much I could do at the airport. Having walked around the second time, I realised I could use DragonPass to try out the Plaza Premium airport lounge.

Location and Accessibility

Plaza Premium has four lounges at Hong Kong Airport. Two are near Gate 1, one is near Gate 35, and one is near Gate 60. As I was near Gate 1, I decided to try the one near me.

At first, I made a mistake and wanted to enter the Plaza Premium First Lounge because it was the only one I saw. Security personnel stopped me at the door and asked where I was going. When I showed them the DragonPass application with the QR code, they explained that this was a different lounge. They patiently explained the directions on how to get to the Plaza Premium Lounge. It was just a few meters further down, hidden behind the corner.

Hong Kong airport map
Airport map

The lounge is open daily from 06:00 until 01:00 am.

Entry Requirements

Who can access Plaza Premium Lounge? Members of the following credit cards and lounge programs are allowed to enter the Mastercard Lounge:

  • Members of DragonPass programs
  • Holders of American Express Premium cards issued in HK
  • Holders of HSBC, Bank of China and Citibank Premium cards issued in HK
  • In addition, any traveller willing to pay HK$640 (Hong Kong dollars, about €75) for two hours or HK$860 (about €100) for five hours can use this lounge. If interested, you can book it on the official website here.

Atmosphere of the Plaza Premium Lounge

After waiting for a few minutes, an airport employee welcomed me and scanned the QR code from my DragonPass app. In previous reviews, I wrote that all the lounge employees always smiled at me. However, it was different this time. It may be because of a different culture or the employee was tired after a long day. Instead, he emphasised several times that the entrance was only for two hours. If I stayed longer, my card would be automatically charged for the additional two hours.

Plaza Premium Hong Kong
Photo from Plaza Premium web

The Plaza Premium Lounge at Departure Gate 1 was divided into two parts. Immediately after entering the lounge was an open kitchen on the left and seating on the right. To my surprise, all the seats were taken.

The second part contained two coffee machines, water and well-known carbonated drinks. Well, not much for that crazy high price.

Plaza Premium Hong Kong
Photo from Plaza Premium web

There were too many people, and both parts were always full, so I couldn’t take photos. The photos are from the official website of Plaza Premium, and the lounge looks clean and spacious. Unfortunately, that was not the case at all.

Food and beverages

I like checking the food at the lounges. However, I was disappointed this time. All kinds of strange smells were coming from the kitchen. In addition, the choice of food could have been more varied. I saw a selection of one soup and three hot dishes (green curry with chicken, vegetables in Portuguese sauce and some dry pasta).

Plaza Premium Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Hong Kong

After waiting in a long queue, I spotted spring rolls and dim sum (small starters popular in Asia).

Plaza Premium Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Hong Kong

From drinks, I found coffee, water, carbonated drinks and beer. For such a crazy high fee, I would have expected a better selection.


I am always interested in the cleanliness of the toilets. I didn’t have a chance to visit them this time because they were out of service the whole time I was there. The staff was not able to fix them for almost two hours.

According to the official website of Plaza Premium, the lounge offers the following:

  • Baby changing station
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Wi-Fi
  • Flight information display
  • Printing & photocopying (first two pages are complimentary)*
  • Fax service*

Who still uses fax in this time and age?

Visit or not

Definitely avoid it! It is not worth visiting for the price. The lounge was a smaller size and too crowded. Passengers left a mess on the tables, and the staff didn’t clean the tables fast enough. They were understaffed for rush hours like this. On top of it, they could not fix the women’s toilets, an essential part of the lounge that many travellers want to use. I will definitely not come back here.

What are your experiences with airport lounges?

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