- Introduction: A Whirlwind Aeroplan Adventure
- How To Redeem Aeroplan Points Like A Pro
- Review: SAS Lounge Chicago Airport (ORD)
- Review: Austrian Business Class 777 (ORD-VIE)
- Review: Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere
- Review: SKY Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)
- Review: Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)
- Review: Austrian Business Class A320 (VIE-FCO)
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: Gulf Air Business Class A321LR (FCO-BAH)
- Review: Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain Airport (BAH)
- Review: Bahrain Airport Hotel (Priority Pass)
- New Bahrain Airport Terminal: What A Nifty Hub!
- Review: Gulf Air Business Class 787-9 (BAH-SIN)
- Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Lounge T3 (SIN)
- Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 787 (SIN-SGN)
- Review: Le Saigonnais Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN)
During my recent whirlwind Aeroplan adventure, I had a 1hr40min layover at Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO). This was after I landed from Vienna in Austrian’s A320 business class, and prior to departing to Bahrain in Gulf Air’s A321LR business class.
During my layover, I had the chance to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge Rome, which I had heard great things about. This is indeed a pretty awesome contract and credit card lounge, with a good selection of a la carte dining, great coffee, and nice design. The only downside to this lounge is that there’s a cost for all alcohol except beer, which seems particularly cheap to me, especially given how cheap wine can be in Italy.
Let’s get into the review…
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome location
My Austrian Airlines flight arrived at Terminal 1, while my Gulf Air flight was departing from Terminal 3 (which is exclusively used for non-Schengen flights). I didn’t find the signage at the airport to be very good. Based on my research, I ended up just exiting Terminal 1 and making the short walk to Terminal 3. I’m not sure if there was an easier way to do that, but the whole process was pretty efficient.
Fortunately once in Terminal 3, the entire departures process was pretty quick, and I made it through security pretty quickly. Once through the maze of duty free shops, there was signage toward the lounges. Both the British Airways Lounge and Plaza Premium Lounge are located in the central part of the terminal, one level up from the main concourse. This is near gates E1-E4.
At the top of the escalator I had to make a 180 degree turn. Then at the end of this area there was the British Airways Lounge to the left and the Plaza Premium Lounge to the right.
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome hours
The Plaza Premium Lounge Rome is currently open daily from 5:30AM until 9:30PM, covering most departures from the terminal.
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome entry requirements
Plaza Premium Lounges no longer belong to Priority Pass, as the two companies cut ties in 2021. That’s bad news in terms of the number of people who have access to these lounges, but good news in terms of lounge crowding, for those who do have access.
Plaza Premium has a partnership with American Express and Capital One, offering premium cardmembers access to these lounges. For example, those with The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) can use these lounges, regardless of which airline they’re traveling with. There’s no need to get some third party card, but rather presenting your card is enough to gain entry.
On top of that, Plaza Premium sells lounge access directly. Pricing varies, but you can generally expect that it starts around 40 EUR for a two hour visit.
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome seating & layout
The Plaza Premium Lounge Rome is roughly 1,100 square meters (~12,000 square feet), with the capacity for 300 guests. Plaza Premium is incredibly consistent with its lounge design, down to using the same specific types of furniture pieces in its lounges around the globe. Personally I find Plaza Premium to have above average contract and credit card lounges, so I’ve always quite liked these.
I have to say, the Rome Airport location is particularly nice, given the very high ceilings and windows throughout the lounge. The main part of the lounge is a circular dining area, with the bar being the focal point of this.
This area has plenty of cafe-style seating, ranging from booths, to individual seats, to communal tables.
Deeper into the lounge are more communal tables, with ample outlets.
Then there are a few of the seating types you’ll consistently find at Plaza Premium locations, ranging from those semi-private seats arranged in rows, to the honeycomb-shaped seats, which also offer quite a bit of privacy.
Then the very back of the lounge has seats arranged in rows facing one another, with great views outside.
There are a few other seating options, including chairs with ottomans by the windows, as well as some more traditional seats along the central walkways of the lounge.
As far as the lounge’s views go, one direction faces the apron, with good views of the gates. Meanwhile the other direction faces the exterior of the terminal, which is no doubt a less exciting view.
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome food & drinks
The Plaza Premium Lounge has a very impressive selection of food & drinks, with one major catch. The bar area in the center of the lounge is one of the main places you can get something to eat or drink.
There’s a select of cold options here, including cold cuts, salads in jars, desserts, fruit, yogurt, and more. This is behind a shield, so the bartenders can plate this for you.
The bar also has self-serve juice available.
The bartenders can make any espresso-based drink, so I had a latte, which was divine. This is some of the best lounge coffee I’ve ever had, and was in line with the drinks I enjoyed at the Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi.
Now, here’s the disappointing part of the lounge. While there’s complimentary self-serve beer available, all other alcoholic drinks have to be purchased. This even includes basic wine and spirits.
While I’m not a big drinker in lounges (I’ll take the amazing coffee instead!), I find this to be bizarrely cheap. Other Plaza Premium Lounge locations offer free alcohol. It’s one thing to charge for premium cocktails and wine, but just for a basic house wine? I mean, you can get a decent enough bottle of wine at a supermarket in Italy for 3 EUR, so it’s not like this is a huge expense.
Anyway, you can find the drink price list below…
In addition to the bar area, there’s a further selection of food & drinks at the buffet along the outer edge of the lounge. This includes a beer machine, a soda fountain, and a coffee machine (though I’d highly recommend having the bartenders make you an excellent coffee instead).
Rather than having a traditional buffet, this section of the lounge has a display of the food you can order. There are QR codes all around the lounge you can order from, and you can find the menu here. It’s quite an impressive selection, and during the day includes everything from pizza, to gnocchi, to rigatoni, to beef stew, to chicken breast, to flan.
Honestly, what an exceptional selection. I wish I could have tried something, but I only had 20 minutes in the lounge, and I can also only eat so much on these trips, so I’ve gotta save some room.
Plaza Premium Lounge Rome bathrooms & showers
The Plaza Premium Lounge has bathrooms inside the entrance and to the left. The mens bathroom has a few stalls and urinals, and is pretty well maintained.
The lounge also has shower suites, though they were occupied during my brief visit.
The Plaza Premium Lounge Rome has great decor, lots of natural light, exceptional coffee, and an impressive selection of a la carte dining. I’d give this lounge five stars for a contract and credit card lounge, except for the odd fact that you have to pay for all alcohol except beer.
For me that’s not an issue at all, but I know many people go to lounges looking for a drink, in which case this isn’t the place for you. I can’t really wrap my head around that policy, given that alcohol is pretty cheap in Italy, not to mention Plaza Premium offers alcohol at no cost at a vast majority of its lounges.
I do consistently enjoy my Plaza Premium experiences, and find them to be much better than competing lounge providers.
What do you make of the Plaza Premium Lounge Rome?