Review: KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

Review: KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

NAME: KLM Crown Lounge 52
Airport: AMS
DATE: February 2024
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam impresses, with a fun design, lots of seating options, barista coffee, and even sleep cabins that you can rent. Hub lounges in Europe don't get much better than this.
62

For the next portion my trip to Zimbabwe, it was time to fly from Amsterdam to Johannesburg in KLM’s Boeing 777 business class. Prior to my flight, I had the chance to check out the KLM Crown Lounge 52, which is KLM’s flagship, non-Schengen lounge at its Amsterdam Schiphol hub.

In my opinion, this is one of the best business class lounges in Europe at a carrier’s hub. It has a fun and quirky design, a huge variety of seating options, barista coffee, a beautiful bar and restaurant area, shower suites, an outdoor terrace, and even sleep cabins (available for a fee).

However, the lounge also isn’t perfect, and has some quirks. The complimentary food selection won’t knock your socks off, the lounge can get slammed during peak periods, and the current execution of the paid food and drink options makes little sense. Still, those are minor points in the scheme of things. Let’s get into the review.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam location

There are two KLM Crown Lounges in Amsterdam, with one being in the Schengen area, and one being in the non-Schengen area, and in this post I’ll be reviewing the former. To get to the non-Schengen lounge, you’ll first have to clear security and then passport control.

Lounges in the terminal have numbers, and the KLM Crown Lounge is airline lounge 52 (which is why it’s often referred to as the KLM Crown Lounge 52). So just follow the signage in that direction.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport terminal
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport terminal

From the center part of the terminal, it’s maybe a five minute walk to the KLM Crown Lounge, and the entrance is on the right. The lounge is one level above the terminal, so you can either take an elevator or escalator.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam exterior

It’s hard to miss the entrance, thanks to the hundreds of KLM Delft Blue Dutch Houses that are arranged along the escalator.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam entrance

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam hours

The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam is currently open daily from 4:45AM until 10PM, covering all SkyTeam departures from the terminal.

I was impressed by how early the lounge opened, since the first non-Schengen SkyTeam departure on the day of my visit was at 7AM. I arrived at the lounge right as it opened, and had it to myself for around 30 minutes.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam entry requirements

The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam is a standard SkyTeam business class lounge. It can be accessed by all departing SkyTeam business class passengers without a guest, and it can be accessed by SkyTeam Elite Plus members departing on a SkyTeam flight with one guest.

The lounge has automated gates as you enter, so you can basically scan yourself in. There are still KLM staff there, should you need any help.

All KLM passengers who don’t receive lounge privileges with their ticket can purchase access. This can either be done through the booking management tool ahead of your flight, or at the door. I believe the standard fee is €65 per person, though a discount is available if you purchase access in advance. Note that this lounge doesn’t belong to Priority Pass.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating & layout

The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam is gargantuan. It’s 6,800 square meters (around 73,000 square feet), and is spread across two levels, with seating for well over 1,000 guests. Aside from some lounges in the Gulf region (like the Emirates Business Lounge or Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge), I can’t think of many other lounges that are bigger than this, so the scale of this place sure impresses.

The lounge is broken up into five zones, each of which is named, though I imagine most people don’t even realize that. The lounge has:

  • The Polder area, designed for eating, drinking, and working
  • The Dutch Mountain area, designed for entertainment
  • The City area, also designed for eating and drinking
  • The Sea area, designed for recharging, resting, and sleeping
  • The Sky area, which is the upper level, and it’s where you’ll find the Blue Bar, Blue Restaurant, and terrace
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam zones

Let’s start by taking a look at the first level, and then in the next section I’ll take a look at the second level. The first level is essentially a massive rectangular room that’s broken up into many different zones. You’ve gotta appreciate the sheer number of options you have in terms of where to sit. I think the below picture should put into perspective just how long this lounge is.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam main walkway

Let’s just start around the center of the lounge, where you’ll find a variety of couches, chairs, high-top communal seating, chairs facing the windows, etc.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating

As you approach one end of the lounge, you’ll find yourself in one of the main dining areas, which has endless seating. This end of the lounge curves, and essentially turns into a circular area, with everything from dining tables, to communal tables, to booths, and more.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam dining area
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam dining area
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam dining area
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam dining area
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam dining area

There’s even a themed Heineken bar area, should you want to grab a drink, which is a concept that I’m sure many beer drinkers will appreciate.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Heineken bar
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Heineken bar

Near this end of the lounge, there’s a set of stairs that go up a level, leading to the the showers and the sleeping cabins. This area has additional seating, and often this part of the lounge remains a bit quieter than the rest of the lounge, since many people don’t otherwise walk this far.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating

At the other end of the lounge you’ll find the Dutch Mountain area. This offers a tiered seating arrangement, which doesn’t at all feel like your typical lounge design. Aesthetically I love this concept, though it’s not particularly practical for an airport lounge, since you have to walk up and down stairs with your luggage.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Dutch Mountain seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Dutch Mountain seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Dutch Mountain seating

On the ground floor near the Dutch Mountain, you’ll find some more communal tables, as well as some individual semi-private offices. If you’re looking to be productive, I’d recommend snagging one of those, as it’s one of the best seating options if you’d like a desk.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam workstations

The first floor also has a pretty cool display with all 100+ KLM Delft Blue Dutch Houses, which is fun, for those of us who are enthusiastic about these.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Delft Blue Dutch Houses display

The main level also has a customer service desk, should you need help with any of your travels.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam customer service desk

There are also some lockers in the lounge, should you want to store your belongings while visiting.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam lockers

All-in-all, I love this lounge’s layout. One thing I should mention is that the lounge seems to have a bit of a mouse problem. I was the first guest in the lounge, and I’m pretty sure I was waking up all the mice as I walked through the lounge, as I saw no fewer than five running around, and that was without even trying to look.

In fairness, it’s not the lounge’s fault, as I saw the same thing in the terminal. And don’t even get me started on Frankfurt Airport…

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar & Restaurant

Okay, so here’s where the lounge gets a bit odd. The entire second level of the lounge (referred to as “Sky”) is the Blue Bar and Blue Restaurant. Going back several years, the Blue Bar was open to all, while the idea was that the Blue Restaurant would offer premium meals at a cost. It’s of course unconventional to see an airport lounge have a paid restaurant in it, but that’s exactly what KLM was going for.

Well, that’s not how the execution works, at least for now. The entire upper level is open to everyone, so you can sit wherever you’d like. You can help yourself to all the complimentary food and drinks that are available (primarily on the first floor), or there’s a menu you can order off of, with food and drinks for purchase.

The nice thing about the upper level is that it stays way quieter than the lower level, since most people don’t venture up there.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam escalator & elevator
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam upper level

Let’s start with Blue Bar. While you can sit here whenever you’d like, the bar area is staffed from 7AM until 5PM, so that’s when it’s most popular. Outside of those hours, there are no food or drink options on this level.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar signage

At Blue Bar, you can either sit at the bar, in small seating areas separated by curtains near the bar, or on one of the comfortable couches. This is a great part of the lounge, though be aware that outlets can be tough to come by up here.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar design

Then there’s Blue Restaurant, where technically you’re only supposed to sit between 7AM and 4PM, though there’s not really anyone enforcing that. While this was a restaurant at some point, that’s no longer the case, and it’s not like there’s table service. Rather it’s just something that looks like a restaurant, where you can sit.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant signage

Nonetheless, what a gorgeous space this is, and it’s absolutely where I’d recommend spending your time. Since this concept seems to confuse people, most people don’t bother sitting here.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant seating
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant seating

The upper level of the lounge also has an outdoor terrace, though unfortunately it was closed during my visit, due to weather. The upper level of the lounge has much better views of the apron than the lower level, as there’s a jet bridge blocking much of the view on the lower level.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam terrace
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam terrace view

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food & drinks

What should you expect in terms of food and drinks at the KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam? As a coffee lover, let me start with my single favorite feature, which is barista coffee.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam barista coffee

There’s a menu with all kinds of drinks you can order, and there are also some sweets you can help yourself to.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam barista coffee menu
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam coffee bar snacks

I ordered a cappuccino, which was excellent.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam cappuccino

The lower level of the lounge has a couple of self-serve buffets, which have largely similar things.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet

I visited during breakfast, and cold options included fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal, cold cuts, pastries, croissants, and hardboiled eggs, among other things.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet

Hot options included scrambled eggs, baked beans, chicken bacon, veal sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, pancakes, and a couple of types of soup.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam food buffet

Throughout the lounge, you’ll find self-serve drink stations, with machine coffee, tea, soda, and water.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam drink station
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam drink station

There’s a bar on the first floor of the lounge, though personally I’d recommend going to the second floor to the Blue Bar, where you’ll find a much larger selection.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar wine

Below you can find the food menu that’s available at Blue Bar and Blue Restaurant, all of which is available for purchase. You can be served this anywhere on the second floor, regardless of where you choose to sit (and “served” may be a strong word — you have to go to the bar to place an order, and then they’ll bring the dishes to your seat).

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar food menu

Then below you can find the drink list, which has both complimentary drinks and drinks for purchase.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar drink list
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar drink list
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar drink list
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar drink list
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Bar drink list

I can’t help but think that this concept comes across as pretty cheap. Sure, sell premium alcohol, but charging for cranberry juice and San Pellegrino?

I figured I should try some of the paid food options in the lounge, just to see what they’re like. So I went up to the bar to place my order. I first had the Asian crispy shrimp served with sweet chili sauce.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant food

I then also had the homemade dips with crostini, including spicy mango hummus, tomato chutney, pesto, tapenade tricolore, and grilled mixed vegetables.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant food

While I didn’t have it, I couldn’t help but snap a picture of the KLM House dessert that was available for purchase.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Blue Restaurant food

Honestly, I thought the food was… fine? I really think KLM needs to figure out what to do with Blue Bar & Restaurant. Either make it something free and awesome that will have a halo effect for the airline, or make it something paid that’s actually special.

But currently the second level just leads to confusion, in my opinion, especially the restaurant area. Furthermore, charging for cranberry juice and crispy shrimp that I’d expect to find at a Sheraton club lounge buffet is just puzzling to me.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam bathrooms & showers

The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam has plenty of bathroom capacity. The biggest bathrooms are near the entrance, and the men’s room has sinks, stalls, and urinals.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam bathrooms
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam bathrooms
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam bathrooms
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam bathrooms

The lounge also has several shower suites, with an unconventional reservations system. Rather than there being a person who takes shower suite reservations, you instead go up to a machine and scan your boarding pass.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam shower reservations sytem

You can then select when you’d like to shower, and then when it’s time for your shower, you’ll be emailed a QR code that will unlock the door to the shower suite. I’ve gotta say, it’s a pretty efficient system!

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam shower reservations sytem
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam shower suites

Now, the shower rooms as such are basic, and most of them don’t even have private toilets. So the shower suite just has a sink and a walk-in shower with unbranded toiletries. This will absolutely do the trick, but don’t expect anything too luxurious.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam shower suite
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam shower suite

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam sleep cabins

Here’s a paid lounge concept that I adore. The KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam has sleep cabins that you can reserve at a cost. You can reserve them either day of, or even in advance at this link. Each sleep cabin is for one person, and has the following cost:

  • Two hours costs €39
  • Three hours costs €49.50
  • Four hours costs €65
  • Five hours costs €75

The sleep cabins are located in the back of the lounge past the shower suites.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam sleep cabins

Each sleep cabin has a comfortable bed with proper bedding, a TV, and a sink.

KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam sleep cabin
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam sleep cabin

I love this concept, and wish we’d see more airlines offer this. Let’s be honest — if this were free, it would be impossible to get a reservation. But if you have a long travel day, a couple of hours in a real bed can make a world of difference, and this is such a convenient way to do that.

So while it’s of course nice when lounges offer proper bedrooms at no extra cost, I think this is perfect for a business class lounge, given that anyone with lounge access can buy access to these.

Bottom line

The KLM Crown Lounge is an impressive business class lounge, and if you ask me, it beats just about every other hub lounge in Europe, perhaps with the exception of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

This lounge is massive, with a fun design that offers varied seating, a pretty good selection of food, barista coffee, sleep cabins at a cost, shower suites, and more.

Now, this lounge isn’t perfect — the food isn’t that exciting, I wish the shower suites had toilets as well, and the Blue Bar & Restaurant concept needs reworking. The lounge can also get busy during peak periods, but which hub business class lounge doesn’t?

All things considered, I’d say this is a great lounge, and I’d take this any day over a British Airways Galleries Lounge, Lufthansa Business Lounge, SWISS Business Lounge, etc.

What’s your take on the KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam?

Conversations (62)
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  1. Eric Guest

    AWFUL - had 4 hours before AMS departure. Had to join a queue and 33 people in front of me. Only business class people could go first. What's the use of Priority Pass if both AMS Priority Pass lounges are not allowing visitors. Simply awful

  2. henare Diamond

    Honestly? Mice in what is, basically, a restaurant and food served with utensils where the handles are in the food (see the cold cut plate) is wild.

    Just give me one of those cool KLM gin-filled houses and I'll eat somewhere else.

  3. Anton Guest

    I like the Schengen area lounge better, to be honest. Almost the same service in any respect, but feels a lot more cozy and more accessible.

  4. Ralph4878 Guest

    I love the coffees they make for you in 52 and the second floor space is often much, much quieter and less busy. Therein lies the big issue with this lounge if one *isn't* there at 4h45 in the morning: 52 is usually packed with no place to sit; the food is being produced for 1,000 people; and there are usually long waits for showers. If I were flying economy as a Sky Elite Plus,...

    I love the coffees they make for you in 52 and the second floor space is often much, much quieter and less busy. Therein lies the big issue with this lounge if one *isn't* there at 4h45 in the morning: 52 is usually packed with no place to sit; the food is being produced for 1,000 people; and there are usually long waits for showers. If I were flying economy as a Sky Elite Plus, I'd be fine dealing with this, but as I fly J almost exclusively if I am flying KLM, the lounge doesn't feel at all like a "business class" lounge but more so like a massive Priority Pass lounge with a chic interior design. I think this is why they charge for the "specialty" foods upstairs: someone has to make something to order which, in a place that is serving at such large scale, needs to come with a cost. If they could halve capacity at 52, it would be so much nicer, but that's never going to happen...Meanwhile, AF's lounges at CDG feel nicer because there are so many of them spread out across many different terminals - but if CDG was set up like Schiphol, I'm not sure their business lounges would feel any different than 52.

  5. Jnorre Guest

    Was through AMS two years ago at the back of Corona and had the same mice experience but at the non-Schengen KLM lounge: The upper floor was not open but we sat so we could see over the floor of the upper level and it was alive with mice ... Took pictures and videos and told the personal but apparently to no avail!

  6. Dan Guest

    It's a shame they closed the restaurant/stopped serving food. It was expensive but by far the best meal available in Schiphol, really really good food. I enjoyed it several times.

  7. Fil Guest

    Glad to see majority of people disagrees (often strongly) with Ben. Everybody can have its own priorities, They also depend how you travel e.g. showers are important at transition airport or if your flight is in the evening and you spent a day in the city. If I live close to departure airport or flight is in the morning I couldn’t careless.
    Definitely highest priority is comfortable seating than food and drink. KLM lounge...

    Glad to see majority of people disagrees (often strongly) with Ben. Everybody can have its own priorities, They also depend how you travel e.g. showers are important at transition airport or if your flight is in the evening and you spent a day in the city. If I live close to departure airport or flight is in the morning I couldn’t careless.
    Definitely highest priority is comfortable seating than food and drink. KLM lounge offers poor food and drink. And asks for payment for something that is reasonable, but not great.
    From my perspective CDG lounges are better, many Spanish lounges are great,

  8. Jimmy K Member

    @Ben Schlappig Thanks for the detailed review as always. Can I please highlight a minor glitch with the site though that I've never seen anyone mention before; when sorting comments 'Oldest First' on any of your posts, it then only displays the 1st reply to each post and there's no way to see any of the following comments. So on this thread, for example, when listed 'Most Recent' I see there is a post from...

    @Ben Schlappig Thanks for the detailed review as always. Can I please highlight a minor glitch with the site though that I've never seen anyone mention before; when sorting comments 'Oldest First' on any of your posts, it then only displays the 1st reply to each post and there's no way to see any of the following comments. So on this thread, for example, when listed 'Most Recent' I see there is a post from 747400 with 12 replies, but then when I switch to 'Oldest First' there's only 1 displayed and no way to access the other 11. No button appears to see any more replies. It's always been that way since your last site refresh and, while a minor issue in the grand scheme of things (I just have to scroll down to the bottom and read upwards), would be nice to not have to do that with every post when catching up on a few days' worth of your excellent content!
    Thanks very much and, as always, love your work!

  9. Steve Sorko New Member

    As a Flying Blue Platinum member I feel I can comment on the KLM and AF lounges as i have spent a lot of time in many of them. When this newer KLM Int'l Lounge first opened I had high expectations. It is certainly large and well designed, and I loved the escalator with the display of the mini KLM Dutch House Collection. However, within a year of opening I have since never seen both...

    As a Flying Blue Platinum member I feel I can comment on the KLM and AF lounges as i have spent a lot of time in many of them. When this newer KLM Int'l Lounge first opened I had high expectations. It is certainly large and well designed, and I loved the escalator with the display of the mini KLM Dutch House Collection. However, within a year of opening I have since never seen both the two food service areas operating at the same time, there is always enough furniture stained, torn and worn to be very noticable and the food options in the off peak are few and limited. You also used to be able to pour your own "Heinie" but no more. Maybe it was cleaned up recently plus Lucky was there first thing in the AM before the masses arrived. The staff I talked with agree the standards have dropped. You compare this with the CDG Air France lounges and it is night and day. The architecture of the newly renovated AF Lounges and the food and amenities even in the couple of non updated lounges is far better but then again it's French. Mais Oui! They at least feed you very well and provide great quality drinks even if the lounge is crowded. KLM is not in the same league even though they are jointly owned.

    1. Bubba Guest

      I remember the old lounge 52, and British passengers hitting the shot dispenser three times. I'm a beer fan, so I try not to drink Heineken. The best part of it used to be pulling a biertje: performing the precise ritual needed not to end up with a cup of foam. You can't do that anymore.
      Mice? Schiphol has a ton of them. I used to work on the eighteenth floor in a Dutch...

      I remember the old lounge 52, and British passengers hitting the shot dispenser three times. I'm a beer fan, so I try not to drink Heineken. The best part of it used to be pulling a biertje: performing the precise ritual needed not to end up with a cup of foam. You can't do that anymore.
      Mice? Schiphol has a ton of them. I used to work on the eighteenth floor in a Dutch building, and mice were running down the halls.
      In lounge 52, the weirdest part is that theater in the back of the mountain. I was there on a deserted afternoon, trying to figure out who would watch a silent video feed of airport tv.

  10. tassojunior Guest

    Nice to see pics at 4:45 am . I've never seen what much of it looks like since like 99% of us who would use it at normal pre-flight times, i've never been able to turn around much less see the furniture or floor. That is the most-crowded lounge I've seen in EU. As for luxury and space, the new AF Termnal 2F lounge at CDG blows this away. So I choose flights to EU...

    Nice to see pics at 4:45 am . I've never seen what much of it looks like since like 99% of us who would use it at normal pre-flight times, i've never been able to turn around much less see the furniture or floor. That is the most-crowded lounge I've seen in EU. As for luxury and space, the new AF Termnal 2F lounge at CDG blows this away. So I choose flights to EU on AF Biz through CDG to use 2F's lounge and I use AMS for coach flights returning to US and use the great PP Aspire Lounge 45 not far from the KLM lounge.

  11. tom Guest

    KLM lounge is stylish, but I rate BA, AF and IB ahead of it in terms. If I had to sum up KLM in one word it would be efficient. Always deliver enough so as you do not complain, but never a delight

  12. mjk Guest

    As a frequent user of this lounge it is tired and sad. The overcrowding is insane. At this point Delta need to open their own lounge in AMS to alleviate the issue. The only time you will find this lounge reasonably quiet is after 7pm.

    The furniture is not functional at all. It's all custom built crap that is difficult to repair and keep clean. Whomever designed the lounge veered heavily into fashion over function....

    As a frequent user of this lounge it is tired and sad. The overcrowding is insane. At this point Delta need to open their own lounge in AMS to alleviate the issue. The only time you will find this lounge reasonably quiet is after 7pm.

    The furniture is not functional at all. It's all custom built crap that is difficult to repair and keep clean. Whomever designed the lounge veered heavily into fashion over function. Honestly, since day one I have found this lounge quite chintzy, but that seems to the style in Europe these days at these mid-level type airlines, and I say this as a European living in North Amercia. Give me a good quality Asian Plaza Premium lounge over this nonsense any day of the week.

    I recently had the opportunity to experience the new AF Schengen lounge at CDG. Considering this is technically an EU "domestic" type lounge it is in a different class to the KL lounge altogether. Better food, rest areas and full service shower facilities without overcrowding.

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      Delta will never open their own lounge in AMS. That's literally the whole point of their JV partnership, is so that they don't need to and KLM takes care of everything in AMS.

    2. mjk Guest

      Both AF & KL have their own lounges in North America.

  13. Ed Guest

    Ben, are you missing a page of the menu?

    There’s no gin on the menu which seems like a bit of a miss given ever one of those houses is full of it.

  14. tda1986 Diamond

    “There are two KLM Crown Lounges in Amsterdam, with one being in the Schengen area, and one being in the non-Schengen area, and in this post I’ll be reviewing the former.”

    No, you won’t. You’ll be reviewing the latter.

  15. Andrew Diamond

    I admit that I frequent AA and AS lounges in the US so my 'average' bar is low. I've had some good experiences at international business/first lounges in LAX, HKG, NRT, TPE, HND, etc.

    I have not typically had good lounge experiences in Europe (mostly LHR with massive overcrowding) and so my initial reaction to this lounge was much like Ben's: I thought it was massive, had lots of room for enjoyment, above-average food, etc....

    I admit that I frequent AA and AS lounges in the US so my 'average' bar is low. I've had some good experiences at international business/first lounges in LAX, HKG, NRT, TPE, HND, etc.

    I have not typically had good lounge experiences in Europe (mostly LHR with massive overcrowding) and so my initial reaction to this lounge was much like Ben's: I thought it was massive, had lots of room for enjoyment, above-average food, etc. I personally rated it well and would like to return...

    ...but I wasn't aware of a rodent problem. That definitely changes the scoring in my mind.

  16. Chris W Guest

    I don't understand the 4.5 star review. The food and drinks here are very average. Handing over half the lounge to those willing to pay for the privilege tells you everything you need to know about this lounge.

    One of the best hub lounges in Europe?!? Iberias T4S lounge is much better than this.

  17. S Gold

    Even disregarding the mice issue, which I agree warrants deduction, I don't think this lounge is that amazing, personally. A lot of the seating does not look particularly comfortable, the food concept is odd, and the bathrooms/shower rooms don't look particuarly nice to me either. It looks fine enough, but nothing amazing.

  18. NK3 Gold

    Like others, I really think the rodent problem needs to warrant a bigger deduction. What is crazy is how long this has gone on. I remember them from early 2020. And if you asked me which lounges have I seen mice in, this would be it (and multiple times over several years!).

  19. Manny Guest

    Great lounge ? That is the conclusion. They must have changed the definition of great while I was not paying attention.

    A lounge that has rats cannot be great.
    A lounge that nickel and dimes its highest paying passengers cannot be great. The having to pay for a decent meal and drinks part is a big turn off. The buffett food is super mediocre.

    1. tassojunior Guest

      $30 for a cheese plate and $100 for a sleep cabin is not "nickel and dimeing" lol.

  20. Ricky Guest

    Mice?!?! Oh no, that alone would get rid of one star. There is pest control and I have never seen mice at any lounge around the world in almost two decades of flying.

    1. Willmo Guest

      Have you never been to any of the lounges in LHR T5, there are mice everywhere.

    2. Ricky Guest

      I have. Never seen mice in LHR T5. However, I just googled it and found this article from last year: "Passenger horrified after spotting mice in British Airways business lounge at Heathrow". Still not good.

  21. Ryan Guest

    Agree that this is a great space, but I can’t rate it amongst my favorite lounges in Europe. The food has been the same boring and cheap stuff for the last 15 years at least. Bad wine and it’s annoying that you have to go to the bartender for drinks (which isn’t required in the Schengen lounge thankfully).

    Overall I’d rate the CDG lounges much better due to the food and wines available there. I...

    Agree that this is a great space, but I can’t rate it amongst my favorite lounges in Europe. The food has been the same boring and cheap stuff for the last 15 years at least. Bad wine and it’s annoying that you have to go to the bartender for drinks (which isn’t required in the Schengen lounge thankfully).

    Overall I’d rate the CDG lounges much better due to the food and wines available there. I also prefer the LH lounges for the same reason.

    AMS has pretty poor and basic lounges overall… reflecting the Dutch mentality of thriftiness and rejection of indulgence.

  22. Jack Guest

    “Dutch Mountain.” LOL.

    Rodents = serious health code violation. No way I would eat there.

  23. JJ Guest

    I’ve been to this lounge at least a dozen times. The ladies that work upstairs are great.

    If they would only revert back to freepour open bars like they have in Schengen it would be perfect. Their standard pour is like 20 or 30 ml and they won’t do doubles.

  24. Splinter Guest

    Lol. How are people still confusing mice with rats in 2024?

  25. Never In Doubt Guest

    4.5 stars, with rodents.

    Ben’s mysterious star ratings system strikes again!

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      It's ok though his reviews are self-funded and unbiased. We can trust this rating even though there are constant factual errors and typos too!

  26. yoloswag420 Guest

    We need to get over this "barista coffee" obsession. Barista coffee isn't better than machine coffee because a dedicated human operates the machine. In fact, barista coffee is also machine made. The only thing that matters is the quality of ingredients and machine used to make the coffee, which can be done independently w/o a barista.

  27. Weymar Osborne Diamond

    Excuse me, TF? Rats? I can't believe you just glossed over that. That is a serious health issue, especially in a place where food is stored out in the open in buffets, and I cannot imagine any airline ANYWHERE, let alone in Europe having an infestation problem in their flagship lounge. If it is really a problem in northern European airports, the airline cannot just shrug their shoulders at it, they need to work with...

    Excuse me, TF? Rats? I can't believe you just glossed over that. That is a serious health issue, especially in a place where food is stored out in the open in buffets, and I cannot imagine any airline ANYWHERE, let alone in Europe having an infestation problem in their flagship lounge. If it is really a problem in northern European airports, the airline cannot just shrug their shoulders at it, they need to work with the airport authority to fix the problem. I flew through AMS last Saturday and used the PP Aspire lounge (which was small but actually quite nice) since I was not on a biz ticket but wondered what it would be like in KLM's flagship lounge. After reading that review, I think I can forgo the bells & whistles like barista coffee, (paid) nap rooms and premium drinks and just stick with the Aspire lounge. I didn't see any rats there, let alone 5.

  28. Andrew Guest

    Charging for Mocktails in an airline lounge is lame. What a turn off.

    1. Samo Guest

      Luckily KLM never turns you on in the first place! It's not as bad as Lufthansa and that's about it.

  29. petervonpije Guest

    Air France 2E-Gate L is much nicer than KLM Lounge
    I mean food and drinks are much nicer and you can even get in the sauna

  30. Julia Guest

    "All KLM passengers who don’t receive lounge privileges with their ticket can purchase access"

    You mean some business class passengers? Kind of like with Qatar Airways where certain business class fares don't receive lounge access in Doha? Or do all KLM business class passengers have access regardless of the fare?

    1. Icarus Guest

      KLM and Air France have light business class fares which don’t include lounge access. Although that’s not a problem if you’re a flying blue elite plus member

  31. TravelManager Guest

    It surprises me that KLM hasn't found a way to differentiate the "paid" Restaurant based on traveler type. Delta Diamond on a paid business fare = paid restaurant. Delta Gold on a cheap economy fare = same treatment. I compare this to the Finnair Platinum Wing in Helsinki, where the sit down table service is offered to OW Emeralds. I don't see why this concept couldn't be implemented by KLM.

  32. 747400 Guest

    So an airline hub lounge infested with mice and in which proper food and drinks are charged for (and not exactly cheap) gets 4.5 stars?

    I am sorry but had this happened anywhere outside northern europe I am convinced your assessment would have been radically different. Had this been Iberia, for example, it would have been roasted.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ 747400 -- Mice are an issue throughout the airport, and for that matter, are an issue at many airports in the region. As far as the rating goes, I'm comparing this lounge to other lounges in the region. I'm curious, which hub business class lounge in Europe do you think is better than this, other than the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse?

    2. JT Guest

      Iberia's non-Schengen lounge at Barajas is great for light, space, decor, showers, and dining. The only thing that's missing is a Barista, but that's outweighed by food and drink being free. That is a single business class lounge covering elites etc, and where there is no first class product.

      The challenge here is that Ben is comparing hubs, where other big airlines differentiate between elites and regular business class, and have first class. The charging...

      Iberia's non-Schengen lounge at Barajas is great for light, space, decor, showers, and dining. The only thing that's missing is a Barista, but that's outweighed by food and drink being free. That is a single business class lounge covering elites etc, and where there is no first class product.

      The challenge here is that Ben is comparing hubs, where other big airlines differentiate between elites and regular business class, and have first class. The charging for food and drink makes this really hard to compare, but you can directly compare with BA because they spread their premium customers over 3 lounges (but would offer decent drinks for free in all of them).

      The sleep pods should be out of the review rating because they are charged.

    3. Niji248 Guest

      I agree that the Iberia non-Schengen lounge is better, the food offering is more diverse and actually changes through the day. KLM has been serving the exact same things over the past 3 years (since I've been visiting it, so I can't exactly concur with another post that says a decade + of the same mediocre offering). The BA lounges, while not as stylish as the KLM or the new AF lounge, are also superior...

      I agree that the Iberia non-Schengen lounge is better, the food offering is more diverse and actually changes through the day. KLM has been serving the exact same things over the past 3 years (since I've been visiting it, so I can't exactly concur with another post that says a decade + of the same mediocre offering). The BA lounges, while not as stylish as the KLM or the new AF lounge, are also superior with their buffet and drinks. I think BA actually serve better croissants than AF, both in the lounge and onboard. AF lounges are also carb heavy, lots of pasta salad and rice, not much of vegetable or fruits. I think these are subtle ways they cut cost while presenting a "premium" experience by the interior design.

    4. 747400 Guest

      It might be an issue with airports in the region, but a business class lounge infested with mice is not an excuse. Coakroaches are everywhere in Southeast Asia but surely a coakroach infestation in, for example, SIA’s business lounge would not go unnoticed.

      Iberia’s Madrid non-schengen lounge is manifestly superior to this one. So is AF’s and Swiss’s for example. I simply feel a bit of a bias when it comes to airlines/airports/lounges from...

      It might be an issue with airports in the region, but a business class lounge infested with mice is not an excuse. Coakroaches are everywhere in Southeast Asia but surely a coakroach infestation in, for example, SIA’s business lounge would not go unnoticed.

      Iberia’s Madrid non-schengen lounge is manifestly superior to this one. So is AF’s and Swiss’s for example. I simply feel a bit of a bias when it comes to airlines/airports/lounges from certain parts of the world. And I’m a fan, have read you for many many years.

    5. 747400 Guest

      It might be an issue with airports in the region, but a business class lounge infested with mice is not an excuse. Coakroaches are everywhere in Southeast Asia but surely a coakroach infestation in, for example, SIA’s business lounge would not go unnoticed.

      Iberia’s Madrid non-schengen lounge is manifestly superior to this one. So is AF’s and Swiss’s for example. I simply feel a bit of a bias when it comes to airlines/airports/lounges from...

      It might be an issue with airports in the region, but a business class lounge infested with mice is not an excuse. Coakroaches are everywhere in Southeast Asia but surely a coakroach infestation in, for example, SIA’s business lounge would not go unnoticed.

      Iberia’s Madrid non-schengen lounge is manifestly superior to this one. So is AF’s and Swiss’s for example. I simply feel a bit of a bias when it comes to airlines/airports/lounges from certain parts of the world. And I’m a fan, have read you for many many years.

    6. yoloswag420 Guest

      The Turkish Airlines lounge? Or do you not consider Turkey part of Europe? TK has massive and high quality food selection, beautiful decor, nap rooms, and more.

    7. Throwawayname Guest

      If they have mice and they can't get rid of them, they should be extra careful to not leave food exposed - a la carte, containers with lids and packaged stuff can all work. The fact that they don't do that says everything that one needs to know about how much they care about the health of their best customers.

    8. Bubba Guest

      Better hub business class lounges? Air France in CDG has better showers, bathrooms, seating, food and drinks. ITA Airways not only has baristi, but actually decent coffee, drinkable wine, and craft cocktails. The food isn't spectacular, but it's better than KLM. Tarom in OTP: okay, I'm not going to pretend Tarom's lounge is better, or whatever that thing in Prague is that's not even CSA.
      And that's just SkyTeam.

      Mice? Yes. My favorite recent...

      Better hub business class lounges? Air France in CDG has better showers, bathrooms, seating, food and drinks. ITA Airways not only has baristi, but actually decent coffee, drinkable wine, and craft cocktails. The food isn't spectacular, but it's better than KLM. Tarom in OTP: okay, I'm not going to pretend Tarom's lounge is better, or whatever that thing in Prague is that's not even CSA.
      And that's just SkyTeam.

      Mice? Yes. My favorite recent addition to lounge 52 is the robot that harasses the same table every five minutes to take dirty dishes. I saw it once get into an argument with a chair ("I'm sorry, you're in my way"), until it finally said "help me" and shut down.

    9. Samo Guest

      I also find the rating shocking given how poor the lounge is. But since when is Netherlands in northern Europe? :)

    10. 747400 Guest

      Well, it isn’t exactly southern Europe.

    11. 747400 Guest

      Well, it isn’t exactly southern Europe.

    12. Icarus Guest

      Do you realise there are mice at all airports. They are like cities. I’ve seen them at almost every airport including Singapore . It’s almost impossible to eradicate them entirely. This is in addition to birds flying around terminals.

    13. 747400 Guest

      Never seen a mouse at an airport, let alone a premium space in which food is stored in the open. And I’ve flown quite a bit.

  33. Jacob Guest

    The last time I visited this lounge, the barista pointed me to the self service coffee machine. This was around 11am.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jacob -- Maybe barista coffee is only available over certain hours? If so, that's a bit disappointing, though puzzlingly common.

  34. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    When is the lounge the busiest in the afternoons @Ben?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ RetiredATLATC -- The lounge is generally busiest in the mid-morning, when most transatlantic flights arrive and then depart. The lounge shouldn't be nearly as busy in the afternoons or evenings, when there are fewer banks of long haul flights.

    2. RetiredATLATC Diamond

      Thanks Ben, we're on a 5pm back to ATL.

      Is there no longer a smoking room in the lounge?

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ RetiredATLATC -- I could be mistaken, but I don't think there's a smoking lounge anymore. At least I couldn't find it, if so.

    4. Julia Guest

      Schiphol went smoke free for the entire terminal a few years ago.

      https://www.schiphol.nl/en/blog/where-can-you-smoke-at-schiphol/

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Ricky Guest

Mice?!?! Oh no, that alone would get rid of one star. There is pest control and I have never seen mice at any lounge around the world in almost two decades of flying.

3
Weymar Osborne Diamond

Excuse me, TF? Rats? I can't believe you just glossed over that. That is a serious health issue, especially in a place where food is stored out in the open in buffets, and I cannot imagine any airline ANYWHERE, let alone in Europe having an infestation problem in their flagship lounge. If it is really a problem in northern European airports, the airline cannot just shrug their shoulders at it, they need to work with the airport authority to fix the problem. I flew through AMS last Saturday and used the PP Aspire lounge (which was small but actually quite nice) since I was not on a biz ticket but wondered what it would be like in KLM's flagship lounge. After reading that review, I think I can forgo the bells & whistles like barista coffee, (paid) nap rooms and premium drinks and just stick with the Aspire lounge. I didn't see any rats there, let alone 5.

3
Jack Guest

“Dutch Mountain.” LOL. Rodents = serious health code violation. No way I would eat there.

2
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