Review: Quito Airport Lounge

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Introduction: Staying In A Cloud (Forest)
Review: American 737 MAX Business Class Miami To Quito
Review: JW Marriott Quito
Review: Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Review: Dining & Activities At Mashpi Lodge
Review: Quito Airport Lounge
Review: American 737 MAX Business Class Quito To Miami


Lounge Reviews Art

After spending the evening in Quito we arrived at the airport at around 9PM. The check-in hall was bustling, which isn’t too surprising given the number of late night flights.


Quito Airport check-in hall

We had mobile boarding passes for our flight, so we headed straight for security and immigration. There wasn’t a wait at either, so we were airside within about five minutes.


Quito Airport departures hall

They had quite a selection of American (or authentic Australian, if you prefer) cuisine in the terminal — I’m a sucker for Outback Steakhouse, though we had eaten something a bit more local earlier.


Quito Airport restaurants


Quito Airport restaurants

The gate areas were all modern and spacious, though they did fill up when several flights were leaving.


Quito Airport gate area

We headed straight for the Quito Airport international lounge. Once past the duty free shops the lounge was immediately to the left.


Quito Airport Lounge exterior

The lounge was one level up from the concourse, and there was an elevator.


Quito Airport Lounge elevator

Interestingly American Airlines doesn’t have any sort of a lounge contract at the airport (I guess they’re too cheap to pay), though the lounge is part of Priority Pass, so our memberships got us in.

As a reminder, the following are some of the most popular US credit cards that come with Priority Pass memberships (I’ve also listed the respective guesting privileges):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express2Yes$300 Per Person
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card2Yes$75 Per Person


Quito Airport Lounge entrance

I wasn’t expecting much at all from a Priority Pass lounge at Quito Airport, but this lounge is spectacular. This is easily one of the nicest Priority Pass and/or contract lounges I’ve seen, and parts of the design elements reminded me of Cathay Pacific’s first class lounge in Hong Kong.

Immediately inside the entrance were a bunch of dining tables, including circular and square tables.


Quito Airport Lounge seating


Quito Airport Lounge seating

Deeper into the lounge and to the left were more comfortable seating options. This is where the design reminded me a bit of a Cathay Pacific lounge.


Quito Airport Lounge seating


Quito Airport Lounge seating


Quito Airport Lounge seating

There was a bar with some high-top seating.


Quito Airport Lounge bar

Then there were cute benches in nooks.


Quito Airport Lounge seating

Meanwhile on the far right of the lounge was more seating, which was equally comfortable.


Quito Airport Business Lounge seating

The lounge had a communal workstation.


Quito Airport Lounge workstations

I appreciated how many plugs there were throughout the lounge. The dining tables even had plugs underneath them, which you rarely see.


Quito Airport Lounge outlets

Then there were some chairs with ottomans by the windows.


Quito Airport Lounge relaxation area

There was even a room for napping.


Quito Airport Lounge relaxation area

Then the lounge had an outdoor terrace.


Quito Airport Business Lounge outdoor area


Quito Airport Business Lounge outdoor area

There were a couple of different areas to get food and drinks. The main buffet was near the entrance.


Quito Airport Business Lounge buffet

On the far right was water, juice, coffee, tea, and soft drinks.


Quito Airport Business Lounge food & drink selection

Quito Airport Business Lounge food & drink selection

Then next to that was the food. I wasn’t hungry, but I thought the buffet looked appetizing.


Quito Airport Lounge buffet


Quito Airport Lounge buffet


Quito Airport Lounge buffet


Quito Airport Lounge buffet

While not pictured, there was a sandwich station where there was a chef on duty who would prepare you a custom made sandwich.

Then there was another food station at the far end of the lounge, with cereal, fruit, and some sweets.


Quito Airport Lounge food


Quito Airport Lounge food


Quito Airport Lounge food

All alcoholic drinks are served by the bartender at the bar, and each passenger is limited to two drinks. They scan your boarding pass when you get a drink. I only know this because I overheard two people complaining loudly about the limit.


Quito Airport Lounge drink selection


Quito Airport Lounge liquor selection

The bartender can also prepare any espresso-based drinks, so I ordered a cappuccino, which was beautifully presented.


Quito Airport Lounge cappuccino 

As far as the lounge’s other amenities go, there was a newspaper and magazine selection.


Quito Airport Business Lounge newspapers & magazines

Then there were bathrooms and showers. The bathrooms were constantly maintained, while the shower looked pretty basic.


Quito Airport Lounge bathroom


Quito Airport Lounge shower

While the lounge was fairly empty when we first arrived, it really filled up later on, at around 10:30PM, given the number of late night flights.

Our flight was scheduled to board at 11:10PM from gate A10, so we left the lounge at around 11PM.


Quito Airport departure gate

The gate area was really full at this point.


Quito Airport departure gate

Sure enough, boarding started at 11:15PM, with business class passengers.

Quito Airport Business Lounge bottom line

I wasn’t expecting the Quito Airport Lounge to be remarkable, though boy was I wrong. This is easily one of the nicest contract lounges I’ve ever visited. It’s my understanding that it was recently renovated, and whoever was in charge of that deserves some credit.

Rarely do I find a contract lounge where I say “wow, that furniture is beautiful,” but this was an exception. What a pleasant surprise.

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Comments

  1. The lounge was surprisingly nice which did surprise me. I really enjoyed the outdoor terrace and the wide selection of food.

  2. I’m surprised to hear AA doesn’t have a contract. AM has it, but I had to ask for an invitation, because the check in staff didn’t give it to me proactively.

    Two drinks limit, maybe it’s not because they’re being cheap. While it’s located lower than Quito proper, it’s still high in elevation, a few drinks can knock uninitiated down easily.

    While I find it quite a stretch to say comparable to CX lounges at HKG, it’s solid especially for a priority pass lounge. Especially when all fast-food in the airport are overpriced (even for international standard), and boring choices, it may even worth paying to get in.

  3. At Quito’s elevation, I’d be falling-down drunk after 2 drinks. This is probably why they have a limit. The elevation hits you really hard.

  4. Many PP lounges have a two (or sometimes three) drink limit. Many of which are not mentioned on the PP website. It would be a lot nicer to know this before entering.

  5. Certainly a positive review…much more than I experienced in June. While the lounge was comfortable, and noting that I was there about 9 PM, the food selection was limited and much of what was out looked as if it had been out for awhile. I did have a beer, and I do not recall whether or not my boarding pass was scanned. But another passenger at the bar, whom I spoke with, had several (more than 2 drinks) in the 3 hours she was there. Not sure if her boarding pass was scanned.

  6. It definetely is one of the nicer PP lounges out there, and by far the best in all of Ecuador (just got back and visited Quito, Cuenca, Galapagos and Guayaquil). Worth noting and remembering that this lounge is on the International side of the long/main terminal. The domestic PP lounge (on the other side if the wing) is a real dump…poorly maintained furniture and food offerings. Didn’t try the one outside security land-side.

    Also, as has been pointed out re. AA, I had a similar issues flying Business Class on a United award on Copa. They have no relationship with Copa their so Business Class and Mileage Plus Star Alliance Gold flying Copa can’t get in. So had to use my PP membership instead.

  7. The two drinks limit kicked in when the lounge was refurbished, about a year ago. Yes, it’s much nicer now and also food selection has improved – but alcohlic drinks got limited. I don’t think it has anything to do with altitude – alcohol is generally available in Quito (which is at the altitude of an average mountain resort’s skiing slopes in the US or EU).

  8. They have changed it in a positive way since our travels in 2015. I like the look!

    On a different note, why is it that US airports still struggle to provide a decent lounge, such as this? My experiences with lounges in the US have included worn furniture, dirty surfaces, poor food and rude staff.

  9. Great review. The desginer is Adriana Hoyos, a famous Ecuadorean interior designer with boutiques in Miami Design District where you can find her furniture.

    The 2 drink limit seems reasonable since you can´t board a plane drunk and while some might do just fine after 2 drinks some others won´t.

    The domestic lounge will undergo the same process of renovation with the same designer and she will also redesign and redistribute the check in hall, which will be expanded as well as gate areas next year.

    I agree. It´s one of the best lounges out there though if falls short of space …

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