KLM’s New Flagship Crown Lounge Now Fully Open

Filed Under: KLM

Earlier this year I reviewed KLM’s new Crowne Lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which is the Dutch carrier’s new flagship lounge.


KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam

The catch is that the airline has been opening the lounge in stages, and while it has been open in some form or another for over a year, up until now the lounge hasn’t been fully operational. Well, that has finally changed.

Today KLM has formally opened the completely renovated non-Schengen Crown Lounge in Amsterdam. So at last we have the finished product.

Now that the lounge is finished, it features a total of 6,800 square meters (~73,000 square feet), with about a thousand “full service” seats, as they’re calling it. The lounge is about double the size of the original lounge that was in the non-Schengen area.

When I visited the lounge it was really crowded, so I hope now that it’s fully operational that’s less of an issue (I’d love some data points on that if anyone visits soon).

In addition to features available to everyone, the lounge has a couple of paid offerings.

For one, the KLM Lounge has Blue Restaurant, which is a paid restaurant within the lounge. A Michelin-starred chef is behind the concept. On the one hand I like the option to have access to some sort of premium dining, though at the same time I don’t love the precedent of charging to eat in a business class lounge.

Blue Restaurant KLM Crown Lounge

The KLM Lounge also has paid sleep cabins. You can book in the following increments at the following costs:

  • Three hours for 49.50EUR (or 12,400 miles)
  • Five hours for 75EUR (or 18,800 miles)

Please don’t redeem miles for this, as it’s a horrible value. The sleep cabins are only open when the lounge is otherwise (so you can’t overnight here), and you need to have lounge access to book a cabin here. The cabins have queen size beds and 33″ TVs, so they could be a nice place to relax for a long layover.

Originally I believe the lounge was supposed to have a spa, though it doesn’t look like that ended up happening — I’m guessing they chose the sleep cabins instead.

Here’s how KLM describes the five “Dutch landscapes” available in the lounge, which are supposed to help customers work relax, refresh, eat, drink, find entertainment, and engage in fine dining:

In the Polder landscape, customers can work ideally and relax at the same time. The carpet, decorated in varying shades of green, is reminiscent of the Netherlands’ vast pastureland. And a 110-metre LED light wall simulates the Dutch sky. The lighting adapts to the time of day and includes a beautiful sunset.

In the lively City landscape, customers can enjoy “live” cooking, a Heineken Bar, specially designed by Heineken, and a coffee bar with a barista. The new food and beverage concept – characterised by stylish, high-quality, and fresh seasonal products – comes from KLM’s partner Vermaat. Reducing waste is an important pillar for both companies to lounge catering.

The Sea offers everything customers need to recharge their batteries during their journey. The area has twenty free showers, which customers can reserve in advance at the lounge’s self-service kiosks. The luxury sleeping cabins offer privacy, tranquillity, and comfort – for a fee – using Flying Blue miles, or three hours for EUR 49,50. It’s the perfect place to close your eyes and rest during a transfer or a long journey. In the future the showers and sleeping cabins will be equipped with digital allocation systems using QR codes.

The striking Dutch Mountain zone offers visitors a variety of options for working and having fun, from a TV room to a DJ stand for special events. It devotes attention to Dutch design and offers historical attributes from KLM’s heritage.

Sky is an exclusive and original area on the second floor. At the explicit request of KLM customers, Sky’s high-end setting offers a terrace with a beautiful view of Schiphol Airport. You can enjoy excellent meals and a wide range of drinks in Blue by KLM, a restaurant and adjacent bar for an extra fee. Blue’s menu is compiled by Joris Bijdendijk of RIJKS®, the Rijksmuseum’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Blue offers a fantastic gastronomic experience, carefully considering individual timing and personal needs.

Bottom Line

The new KLM Crown Lounge sounds like a significant improvement over the old one. When I visited the lounge earlier this year I loved the decor and quirky vibe of the lounge, though it was also really busy.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam

I’m curious if the fully opened lounge will make the space feel less crowded.

Has anyone visited the Crowne Lounge recently? If so, what was your experience like?

Comments
  1. I was last in there in October and it was really crowded as usual. I’ll be back through there in a few weeks so hoping for an improvement. I’ve been in the new lounge at least 10 times, at various times of the day, since it opened and it’s always been crowded.

  2. If you need more data points, I can tell you that the lounge has become even *more* intolerably crowded. Almost the entire upper area is now basically off-limits because of the paid restaurant and bar. The manned bar was previously a fine area as it served free booze and was generally less crowded than the floor below. This bar has now changed to become a paid service only, just like the restaurant. Basically, if you do not want to pay you are limited to the lower floor only, with the result that the upstairs restaurant and bar area are fairly empty while the floor below is sheer madness. It is quite telling that AMS regulars absolutely detest the new changes. Sure, the occasional lounge guest might like the lounge design which IMHO is certainly an improvement on the eye. And if you visit mid-afternoon the crowds are not that great so a visitor at that time might actually enjoy the lounge (it’s madness the entire morning and from 4-5pm or so onwards).

    I however do not understand why some blogs (TPG for example) are only writing positively about the lounge while frequent AMS flyers actually complain that the lounge designers and KLM management solely looked at aesthetics and fancy stuff (paid restaurant, paid cabins at rates highers than you find in the airport itself!). All features which not single frequent flyer actually ever once asked for, as all they want is a seat, some quietness and the possibility to have a quality drink or bite. I’m far from the only person to think so, as 95 percent on the KLM board over at Flyertalk will tell you the exact same. Some people now even hop over to the Schengen area to use the lounge there, even if that means clearing passport control twice!

  3. Visited in August when half the bottom floor hadn’t opened yet and it was crazy busy. Re-visited in late October when the rest of the first floor had opened and it was much better. Both visits were in the early afternoon so not peak time but it was a noticeable better with the larger lounge. Pity about the bar upstairs also being paid only.

  4. I visit the lounge frequently. It is such an amazing upgrade from the previous Lounge 52. But, visiting at various times during the day, I’ve found it crowded to an unpleasant level 9 out of 10 times.

    Still really impressed with the design. I also thought it’s much much larger than the previous lounge, all the levels and rooms give such an impression. But still.., it’s (too) crowded

  5. Visited it on November 15. All was open except for that “mezzanine” seating area in the second photo. It terms of appearance, it was great. Very stylish. For comfort, there are come comfy chairs you can potentially fall asleep in in one of the far rooms from the entrance. Otherwise the seats in many different varieties were comfortable enough to sit in and do some work, talk with people and just sitting having a drink.

    The views were surprisingly lousy as there is an elevated jetway blocking the view of the apron out most of the window.

    The free food was rather meager. The food is in a cafeteria type arrangement with people preparing it in front of you. The selection is almost comparable to the Schengen lounge, although the latter had pasta and this one didn’t at least when I was there at about 1pm. There is a bartendered bar area and in another quieter part of the lounge there is some self-service booze.

    While I stopped in the restaurant, I didn’t use it. Looked nice though.

    I’d be happy to use this lounge again if I was on a non-Schengen flight, although it’s still somewhat of a disappointment regarding the comped food.

  6. Who cares about design of it’s extremely uncomfortable to use it? Overcrowded to the limit. Bad lounge just because of this.

  7. Been there today – wasn’t too busy around 3pm – has been horrendous on the 5pm+ times.

    Didn’t go upstairs today – they were setting up for the official launch and we only had a short stay in the lounge before meeting connection – took in a guest, no problem today – although the new zones (city) seem to have resulted in less being offered in mountain, unless a meal time.

    Its a massive space though

  8. Yeah, what’s up with those sleep pod prices? Nobody checks the Mercure’s daytime rates? You know, the place that provided the showers during the lounge’s downtime. I’m rather disappointed to hear that the upstairs bathroom is going cash only. Downstairs was a miserable show of fake chefs serving pre-prepared slop. At least there was a place to sit up high. I mean, nobody ever liked Heineken, but at least the stuff brewed in Amsterdam is relatively inoffensive.
    Quiet and a place to work. If you can’t beat the fake rainforest, give up.

    I’m also impressed that restaurant is still going. I mean, did they even do the math on how many elites and business would have an extra-Schengen layover long enough to eat there?

  9. I sure hope they have replaced the stained and frayed lounge chairs near the eating area I experienced back in mid June. I was kinda shocked by that in a “New” lounge. I also found the food underwhelming at the time.

  10. A measurable part of the crowd is coming from Delta flights. It would help immensely if Delta would get its own facilities in place since they use Schiphol as a hub.

  11. I visited in August and as always I was not impressed. Of course it is better than before but that doesn’t say much since the lounge was horrible. Food is a bit better but place is overcrowded and cannot be compared to the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow.

  12. Came in on the 22nd at 8:00, before the real rush hour hit. Still packed to the brim – nothing has changed in the last year.

    The only positive is an automated shower kiosk, but I’m not even sure that would be good if one came in later, since only one slot was made available to us.

    The priority pass lounge was significantly less crowded, if that provides any idea of how bad the problem is.

  13. @Icarus

    For non-hub airports I would agree. For hubs it is just not enough.
    In this case KLM should have gone for double to triple the size or Delta should go for its own.
    Most airports I travel through have multiple lounges per alliance.
    In this case where Schiphol is home airport for KLM and Delta using Schiphol as a hub it is insane to expect all people will fit in.

  14. Everything looks nice including the food. However it doesn’t taste good. The salad bar is just too cold, and that makes the veggies lose its flavor. Nothing like the Turkish airlines lounge in Istanbul…

  15. @ron agreed assuming there is the space. I don’t think that’s possible schiphol

    Triple would be too big though.

    Unlike Air France where I believe they have 8 lounges including la premiere and arrivals at CDG

  16. There are free sleeping chairs in AMS and free showers without going to the lounge. For those sleeping prices, it ought to come with a complimentary prostitute along with the sleep pod.

  17. Very crowded at peak times, and intolerable whenever there is the slightest disruption at AMS (which is common). The concept of a paid (and very expensive) restaurant and bar in the lounge that takes up valuable space is ludicrous. The ‘free’ food and drink offering (which is paid for with a J ticket or by loyalty) is embarrassingly poor and I hesitate to take guests in the lounge now.

    Although I like KLM as an airline, the very poor experience at AMS makes me prefer CDG whenever this is possible.

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