Review: SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Review: SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)

NAME: SWISS Senator Lounge
Airport: ZRH
DATE: February 2024
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich has cool amenities like a Whisky Bar and outdoor terrace. However, the food and drink selection isn't otherwise much to get excited about.
10

During my trip to Zimbabwe, I intentionally planned a roughly 10-hour layover at Zurich Airport, to be able to do some lounge hopping, after getting off my SWISS 777 first class flight from Miami.

I spent most of my time in the two SWISS First Lounges in Zurich, including the SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E and SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A.

However, I also wanted to check out the SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Terminal E, which I’ll be reviewing in this installment. During a previous trip, I reviewed the adjacent SWISS Business Lounge Zurich Terminal E, so I figured it was time to check out the other lounge, which is intended to be a bit more premium.

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich has a lot of nice features, including a lot of natural light, a terrace, a Whisky Club, and shower suites. While there’s a lot that impresses about the lounge, I’d say the food selection isn’t much to get excited about. Still, this is a nice place to pass some time.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich location

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich in Terminal E is quite easy to find (Terminal E is the non-Schengen terminal, so it’s primarily for long haul flights).

Once you’re in Terminal E (which requires going through security, taking a train, and then going through passport control), follow the signage in the direction of gate E36. Near the gate, you’ll see both a staircase and a couple of elevators that can take you to the lounge, which is located on level three (one level above the concourse).

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich location

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich hours

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich is currently open daily from 6AM until 10PM, covering all departures from the terminal on both SWISS and Star Alliance partners.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich entry requirements

SWISS follows standard Star Alliance lounge access policies, though takes a unique approach to how it separates out its lounges:

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating & layout

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich is 1,100 square meters (~11,800 square feet), and has seating for 170 people. This lounge is just slightly smaller than the adjacent SWISS Business Lounge, so you can expect that it’ll generally be a bit quieter.

As you enter the lounge, there’s a map of the layout, to give you a sense of the different zones.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich map

Inside the entrance to the lounge, you’ll first find a long and narrow area with a limited amount of seating, plus some reading material. The wall in this area has information about some of the tallest mountains and biggest lakes in Switzerland, which is a cute touch. You’ll also find a machine in this area where you can generate a Wi-Fi code.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating

At the end of that area, you’ll find four phone booths, which I guess are intended to offer just a little bit of privacy if you want to make a phone call, though they don’t have seats or doors.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich phone booths
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich phone booth

At this point you’ll be in the area of the lounge where most of the seating starts. There’s an area with clusters of black leather chairs.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating

Given the limited lounge capacity so many airports have, I’m also puzzled by how SWISS chooses to dedicate some of its lounge space to sponsored displays, since that space could be used for quite a bit more seating instead.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating

The back corner of the lounge has the largest seating area for lounging, with chairs arranged in rows, facing one another.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich seating

Across from that space you’ll find the dining area, which has cafe-style tables, communal tables, high-top seating, and more.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich dining area
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich dining area
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich dining area

There’s also an area with six semi-private work spaces, ideal if you want to be productive. It’s amazing how many lounges don’t have any sort of facilities intended to maximize productivity, so I appreciate this.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich work spaces
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich work space

Also in the back of the lounge you’ll find a large relaxation area, with around 10 individual pods.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich relaxation area

Now, I can’t say I find these pods to be even remotely comfortable, especially with their oddly vertical pre-reclined position. But I guess it’s better than nothing…

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich relaxation area

Last but most certainly not least, the lounge has a terrace with views of the apron, which is one of the coolest aspects of many of SWISS’ lounges at the airport. Unfortunately it was closed during my visit due to weather.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich terrace

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10

One unique feature of the SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich is Whisky Club 28/10, with the “28/10” named after the runways at Zurich Airport.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10

As the name suggests, this bar is primarily dedicated to whisky, and guests can sample whisky options from around the globe. The selection is massive, so if you’re a whisky drinker, you’ll no doubt love this.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10 bar
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10 bar
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10 bar

In addition to the bar as such, this area also has couches and other seating, so it’s one of the more comfortable areas in the lounge to sit.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10 seating
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich Whisky Club 28/10 seating

I always appreciate when airlines invest in unique experiences, and this certainly qualifies.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food & drinks

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich has a self-serve food and drink selection, which frankly I found to be quite underwhelming, and almost identical to what you’ll find at the SWISS Business Lounge.

In terms of drinks, there’s a station with several espresso machines, plus a tea selection.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich buffet
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich coffee machine

Then there’s an area with beer, soda, and some liquor.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich drinks

There’s also a display with wine, juice, beer, and water.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich drinks
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich drinks

The food selection is quite mediocre, and not much better than you’d find in the average lounge in the United States. One station has a salad buffet, so you can prepare your salad as you’d like, along with some chips and salsa.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food

Then there’s the live cooking station, with two kinds of soups (beef broth with egg cubes and vegetables, and root vegetable soup), two types of pinsa (one with chicken, and one with feta cheese), a lentil dish, and a selection of bread.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food

In terms of dessert, there are some jars with a selection of sweets, plus a station with some fresh desserts.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich snacks
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich food

I’d say the selection was okay, but for a flagship, long haul, better-than-business-class lounge, I didn’t think this was terribly exciting.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich bathrooms & showers

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich has bathrooms roughly in the middle of the lounge.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich bathrooms

The men’s room has four sinks, four toilets, and four urinals, and seemed to be quite clean during my visit. Unlike in the SWISS Business Lounge, there are no views of the apron here, sadly.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich bathroom
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich bathroom
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich bathroom

The lounge also has shower suites, which are shared with the SWISS Business Lounge. If you want a shower, just proceed to the front desk, and they can arrange that for you (though during peak hours, there may be a wait). The showers are located outside the main part of the lounge, just past the elevators.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich shower room area

The shower suites are nicely appointed, each with a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich shower suite
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich shower suite
SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich shower suite

Toiletries are in reusable containers from Soeder, as seems to be the standard product line for the carrier nowadays.

SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich shower suite

Bottom line

The SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich is quite a large lounge, with lots of natural light, a beautiful terrace, a Whisky Bar, a relaxation area, and showers. While I appreciate those features, I think the lounge’s food and drink selection is rather lackluster. I appreciate the “live cooking” concept, but then the number of dishes actually available is very limited.

What’s your take on the SWISS Senator Lounge Zurich?

Conversations (10)
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  1. Jakob Wuethrich Guest

    perfect write up; food way below average just like in Swiss biz class; in their lounges often only pork (considering that more than a billion people in the world cannot eat pork, rather insensitive); but lounge location fantastic - so eat with you eyes onto the tarmac

  2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The wine selection both in the Senator lounge and the Business lounge is awful. Just outright awful. Worse than KLM, which is generally considered to have the worst and cheapest wine of any major European flag-carrier. Unlike the Netherlands, which has almost no domestic wine industry, Switzerland actually has a very good domestic wine industry. You would think Switzerland's flag-carrier would at least serve Swiss wine in the more premium of the two mass lounges,...

    The wine selection both in the Senator lounge and the Business lounge is awful. Just outright awful. Worse than KLM, which is generally considered to have the worst and cheapest wine of any major European flag-carrier. Unlike the Netherlands, which has almost no domestic wine industry, Switzerland actually has a very good domestic wine industry. You would think Switzerland's flag-carrier would at least serve Swiss wine in the more premium of the two mass lounges, the Senator lounge.

    1. DZ Guest

      Swiss wine sucks, and switzerland doesn't have any good wine industry lol... are you crazy?!

  3. Jones Guest

    @Lucky

    FYI the term "workstation" refers to a particular type of computer (if you don't believe me, Google it) and it is confusing when you use it to mean a work space/area/room/whatever.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jones -- You're right, thank you! Didn't have enough coffee when I wrote that, I guess. Fixed now.

  4. D3kingg Guest

    The train of moo and cow bells. April fools.

  5. TimHob Guest

    Space is nice but on later flights (there’s a couple departing around or after 10pm) I find the (as you say quite mediocre) food is almost non-existent with staff packing up and cleaning in the run up to closing, which is quite annoying. Ironically these are the flights you’d want the best lounge dining experience for so that you can maximise sleep on the plane.

  6. Andrew M Guest

    Whiskey bar is a nice space...too bad all the whiskeys they have on hand seem like duty free clearance sale specials (very likely how they were acquired). Would rather have a few premium or at least interesting whiskeys than whatever happened to be unsold at the DFS store downstairs.

  7. Richynjoye Guest

    Love this lounge, clean, spacious, quiet, and the whisky bar is great. Like for all Swiss lounges, lacks some food and beverage options... there is Prosecco and no champagne, super basic wines, no many Swiss dishes... but the space itself is great.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The Morra sparkling wine being served is ranked 2.9 stars. That's about as bad as you can get.

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

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DZ Guest

Swiss wine sucks, and switzerland doesn't have any good wine industry lol... are you crazy?!

0
Jakob Wuethrich Guest

perfect write up; food way below average just like in Swiss biz class; in their lounges often only pork (considering that more than a billion people in the world cannot eat pork, rather insensitive); but lounge location fantastic - so eat with you eyes onto the tarmac

0
FNT Delta Diamond Guest

The Morra sparkling wine being served is ranked 2.9 stars. That's about as bad as you can get.

0
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