The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from the entrance to Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Lounge in Hong Kong. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Class Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Class Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The deli-style Food Hall is located near the entry of The Pier Business Lounge, offering dining and quick bites. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Class Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Class Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The deli-style Food Hall resembles a market, with a variety of quick bites on offer — tapas, cheese board, salads, fish platter etc. Options are plentiful, with hot food, sandwiches, desserts, and fruit, all available to order. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Class Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Bar area at The Pier Business Lounge. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Over the years of travelling both for business and pleasure, I’ve come to realise that all great trips start well before boarding the plane. Yes, flying in a premium cabin definitely helps (like – a lot), but in many ways the hidden gem of any amazing travel experience begins with visiting a great airline lounge. And I do have to stress here that not all airline lounges are created equal. No sir! As one of the world’s great premium airlines, Cathay Pacific know how to deliver superlative First Class and Business Class lounges – the types of spaces that make them destinations in their own right.

You may recall our visit to The Pier First Class Lounge a couple of years ago which blew our head off. Designed by Ilse Crawford and her London-based team at StudioIlse, The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong is arguably the world’s finest first class lounge. Needless to say, I was incredible curious to experience The Pier’s Business Class counterpart during our stopover to Milan earlier this year. And given this lounge, just like it’s First Class older brother, has also received the magic treatment by Crawford, expectations were running at an all time high… which is never really fair, as high expectations often lead to disappointment. However, in this case, not only were my expectations met, they were most definitely exceeded.

We arrived to the lounge late in the night, with just over 2 hours available to explore it’s splendour. I was instantly struck by the visual cohesion between the First Class and Business Class lounge aesthetics. Just like it’s First Class older brother, this new business lounge expresses the heartfelt warmth, considered simplicity and contemporary Asian values at the heart of the Cathay Pacific brand design ethos unveiled a couple of years ago. The concept of a contemporary apartment is used as a framework for all elements of the design of the lounge. This is reflected in the choice of materials, furniture, and lighting; the same considered approach has been taken with the selection of food, music and art, all of which have been curated to feel coherent and support the idea of the lounge being an apartment that visitors are guests in.

 

Related Post: Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong by Ilse Crawford of Studioilse.

 

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Details from Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Lounge in Hong Kong. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Noodle Bar at Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Noodle Bar is an iconic feature in Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges— serving fresh and made-to-order dishes, such as dan dan and wonton noodles. So good! There is a range of other Chinese comfort foods on offer, such as dim sum, char siu buns, dumplings, and other regional specials. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Unique to the Pier Business lounge is the first Teahouse — where a superior tea experience awaits. You’ll find seasonal and artisanal tea varieties, served by fine tea specialists, with a spectacular atmosphere to boot. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Teahouse at The Pier business lounge. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Part of the unique Teahouse experience includes the service of an interactive tea menu, allowing an aromatic previews of the infusions on offer. Each fine tea selection comes with individual instructions, allowing for optimum brews and maximum taste. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Teahouse focuses on authentic and high-end Chinese teas. Many favourites including exquisite green, black, and white tea flavours, as well as a special menu with herbal, honey, and spice infusions. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Located in Cathay Pacific‘s home hub of Hong Kong, The Pier Business Class Lounge occupies just over 3,300 square metres with seating capacity for 550 travellers. The lounge is the company’s flagship offer, and also the largest in Cathay Pacific’s worldwide network. In this high-traffic public space, StudioIlse’s concept was to remove any institutional feeling and instead to make places that are comfortable, friction-free, a joy to spend time in and easy to operate. The series of experiences evolve across many dedicated spaces, such as the signature Noodle bar offering healthy and fresh fast food, a beautiful bar, a tea house, fantastic showers, natural materials and beautiful, practical furniture.

Perhaps nobody explains the intention and the sentiment behind the design of this lounge better than Ilse Crawford, who shares:

“The Lounge is that in between point between stress of an airport and getting on the plane, so it’s really the last moment when you feel grounded. It can slow you down. It can allow you to breathe, and just to take that moment.

I think the whole notion of feeling well is an interesting one. It’s both really big and simple as an idea, and it is about looking at how the experience effects you, and how to be human throughout that experience. So travelling well is thinking about all of those small details along the journey, and how they come together as a total experience.

I think it’s a hugely interesting challenge because so much of the world we live in today is locked into silos. Something might be efficient, but then then the unmeasurable things are not addressed. As a design practice I think what’s so interesting is really studying that journey and working out how to bring the well back into the travel.

Airports can be alienating places, so to feel more like a living room than an airport lounge, people on the move need to feel sharper when they arrive then when they left, and the experience as a whole should address this and make their lives better.”

 

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Relaxation Room features resting pods with low upholstered loungers and footstools, dimmed lighting and a tranquil ambiance. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Bureau space focuses on productivity. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Bureau features individual seat pods and workstations equipped with a suite of useful tools and facilities, including iMacs, printers, and high-speed web access. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The Pier Business Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

We visited the lounge on our way back home, this time in the morning (hence the daylight). Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

I think when all is said and done, the true sign of any great lounge is the one you don’t want to leave, even if your stopover happens to be in the middle of the night when you would usually want nothing more than just go to sleep. Instead, Nick and I were excited to explore the many corners of this beautiful space and enjoy all the thought, love and care that’s gone into it’s creation. And then there was all the amazing food to sample. Yum!

I can safely say that, The Pier Business Class Lounge will raise your expectations of airport lounges in general, and probably have you wishing your flight could leave just that little bit later.

 

The Pier Business Class Lounge welcomes First and Business Class passengers, along with selected Marco Polo Club members and oneworld frequent flyers.

Team Yellowtrace travelled to Hong Kong as guests of Cathay Pacific. All related thoughts, ideas and text in this post reflect our genuine opinion.

 

Related posts: Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong by Ilse Crawford of Studioilse.

 

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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