Review: United Club Hong Kong Airport

Filed Under: United

My flight from Hong Kong arrived shortly before 7PM, while my connecting flight back to San Francisco on Singapore Airlines was at 11:30PM. Upon arrival I tried to find the Singapore Airlines transit desk, since I didn’t yet have a boarding pass for my return flight.

It was quite a trek to the transit desk, though once there, a funny conversation ensued. The Singapore Airlines representative requested my inbound boarding pass, which I handed over without saying anything.

“Sir… you are coming from… San Francisco?”

Rather than try to justify myself, I just smiled and said “yes.” The agent and her colleagues exchanged a few words quietly, and issued my boarding pass, though they did look at me like I was from another planet.

With my boarding pass in hand I cleared transit security, which was a quick process — I didn’t even have to clear immigration in Hong Kong.

There are three Star Alliance lounges in Hong Kong that I could choose from — the United Club, the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge, and the Singapore SilverKris Lounge. Since I had checked out two other United Clubs in the past 24 hours, I figured I might as well visit a third, especially given that the United Club Hong Kong was (allegedly) recently renovated. I had access to all of these thanks to flying business class, but a credit card with lounge access can get you in to many other options in Hong Kong.

The United Club is located near gate 61, so I took the train to the far end of the concourse, and then turned left, following the signage to gates 60-80.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

Just a couple of hundred feet past that was a set of escalators in the center of the concourse, which took me up one level.

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Escalator to United Club Hong Kong

There was signage there for four lounges, including the Emirates Lounge, Thai Lounge, United Club, and Plaza Premium Lounge.

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Lounge signage at Hong Kong Airport

At the top of the escalator I made a sharp right turn, where the entrance to the United Club was located.

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United Club Hong Kong exterior

The lounge had a fairly large entryway, with a reception desk inside the entrance and to the left. Upon presenting my Singapore Airlines boarding pass I was promptly admitted.

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United Club Hong Kong entrance

The lounge overlooks the rest of the terminal, which is both good and bad, in my opinion. It’s good since the lounge feels open and spacious, and has lots of natural light during daytime hours. However, it also means that the lounge is a bit noisier, since you hear everything going on in the terminal.

The lounge had a large room just inside the entrance, with a bunch of leather seating.

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United Club Hong Kong seating

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United Club Hong Kong seating

The types of seats were nicely varied, and there were a good number of partitions in the lounge, which made it feel a bit more private.

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United Club Hong Kong seating

Then towards the back part of the lounge was another seating area, with plenty of seats along the exterior of the lounge, and also some dining tables towards the interior of the lounge.

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United Club Hong Kong seating

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United Club Hong Kong seating

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United Club Hong Kong seating

There was even some high-top seating.

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United Club Hong Kong seating

This area of the lounge looked out over the rest of the terminal.

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United Club Hong Kong view

Then towards the far corner and interior of the lounge was a seating area that was sort of a TV lounge, as there was a TV with the news on.

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United Club Hong Kong seating

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United Club Hong Kong seating

Next to that was a business center with comfortable office chairs, though not an especially private setup.

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United Club Hong Kong business center

There were also a variety of magazines and newspapers.

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United Club Hong Kong newspapers

In terms of food and drinks, there was some infused water near the entrance of the lounge.

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United Club Hong Kong fruit infused water

Then towards the back of the lounge was a self serve drink area, with liquor, coffee, tea, soda, and water.

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United Club Hong Kong self serve drinks

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United Club Hong Kong coffee & tea

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United Club Hong Kong self serve liquor

The main buffet area was back towards the entrance.

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United Club Hong Kong self serve buffet

I’ll let the pictures of the food speak mostly for themselves, other than to say that there was a mix of hot and cold options. It was a fairly decent spread in terms of quantity, though a few of the things didn’t look especially appetizing, in my opinion.

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong food selection

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United Club Hong Kong self serve buffet

In addition to food, this area also had soft drinks, wine, liquor, and water.

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United Club Hong Kong drink selection

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United Club Hong Kong self serve wine

There was even a suggested self serve signature cocktail, using Bacardi rum.

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United Club Hong Kong cocktail

I spent a couple of hours getting caught up on work, and at around 9:30PM requested a shower. A room wasn’t immediately available, but within about 20 minutes the attendant fetched me and told me a room was ready for me.

The shower room was… fine. It was definitely on the basic side, and lacked any sort of ventilation, so the shower room got really hot while showering.

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United Club Hong Kong shower room

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United Club Hong Kong shower room

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United Club Hong Kong shower room

On the plus side, the shower room did have Cowshed toiletries, which I like.

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United Club Hong Kong shower room

A shower between two long flights is such a nice luxury to have, and I felt much better (and fresher) afterwards.

At around 10PM I figured I’d head to the Singapore SilverKris Lounge. My flight to San Francisco was departing from Gate 18, and that’s also the area where the lounge is located.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

Hong Kong Airport has a train system, though it only goes in one direction. My only option for getting from higher numbered gates to lower numbered gates was to walk and take the moving sidewalks. I was happy to get some walking in during my layover, and it was maybe a brisk 15 minute walk from one end of the terminal to the other.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

I followed the signage towards gates 15-19, and then saw the SilverKris Lounge on the right.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

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SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong Airport exterior

Singapore Airlines renovated the SilverKris Lounge in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, and they did a great job with it. The finishes are gorgeous. I reviewed the lounge before the renovation, so while they’re using the same space, the furniture is much nicer.

Unfortunately the lounge was extremely crowded (mostly with Germans flying Lufthansa), so I didn’t feel comfortable taking many pictures, and decided not to do a full review. The picture below doesn’t do justice to how crowded the lounge was for most of the time I was there.

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SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong Airport

My one complaint about the SilverKris Lounge is that it’s like a dungeon, with fairly low ceilings and no natural light.

Anyway, boarding for my flight was scheduled to start at 11PM, so I headed to the gate at around 10:45PM.

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Singapore Airlines departure gate Hong Kong

At the gate I saw the 777-300ER being catered, having just arrived from Singapore.

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Singapore 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

Sure enough, at 10:55PM boarding began, and I was among the first onboard. I was looking forward to hopefully getting a good night of sleep.

United Club Hong Kong bottom line

The United Club Hong Kong is a perfectly fine lounge, though I’m not especially impressed by their renovations, if there were in fact any. I appreciate that the lounge is open air, though it doesn’t feel especially high end, and the food selection isn’t great, at least compared to what’s offered by some other lounges in Hong Kong.

I think the Singapore Airlines Lounge has a better food selection and nicer finishes, though at the same time it’s also pretty dark, which I don’t love.

Admittedly I’m typically especially spoiled by my layovers in Hong Kong, which I usually spend at The Wing and The Pier, which are Cathay Pacific’s two flagship lounges.

  1. It doesn’t look like much has changed in the UA lounge, other than the furniture looks newer than my last visit there. The angular hightop desk at the edge is the same table that was there in 2008.

  2. The first class section of United Club in Hong Kong is pretty on point. There is full service and made by order meals. As I always fly on upgraded ticket to Singapore Fromm Hong Kong, the experience is great.

  3. I visited the United Club HKG about a year ago and I don’t remember it looking any different, though it does look like maybe most of the chairs are new?

    Since many parts of the lounge don’t really have walls or a ceiling, I’m not sure what you could really renovate anyway.

  4. Can’t wait for that Amex Centurion Lounge to open in HKG! I’m assuming it will be much better than the Star Alliance Carriers lounges, yet slightly below The Pier of Cathay Pacific. Anyone know when it is going to open?

  5. I echo the sentiments about SQ’s offerings there. Great food and beverage, but even their First Class lounge seems dungeon-esque. Had breakfast there and caught up on some work late last year and it was kind of depressing. Just seemed small and stuffy and not particularly inviting. Thank goodness for high-end mimosas.

  6. It hasn’t changed in 4-5 years, so in other words not yet remodeled. Despite that I still think it’s one of the better “old” United lounges, although the food stations are sparse and not very appetizing as you noted. They’re also pretty slow in refilling them when it gets busy. Regardless it’s better than sitting in the terminal on a long layover.

  7. I’m surprised your transit desk agents were so nonplussed. Doesn’t anyone fly as a courier anymore?

  8. I was in the SQ lounge last month and it was likewise crowded. People were hovering around the food, waiting for things to be brought out and stuff disappeared in seconds. And people wer circling around, ready to pounce on open seats. Not relaxing at all.

  9. You need to take another look at The Pier. Last time I was there I found it to be dirty and grimey and the food wasn’t rotated during the 4 hours I was there. Yuck. Lounges change quality over time so maybe the United wasn’t so bad.

  10. A little disappointed that the HK United Lounge isn’t a little nicer.

    I was in the United LHR lounge last year, and loved it. I think the space was beautiful, and especially the main bar. I’m a sucker for a nice bar setup. I really enjoy the Pier, and again the bar in there is another nice one. 🙂 I never had a chance to visit the VS Clubhouse when it was open in HKG, and that is one I really wanted to see. Loving the short but interesting United trip report(s).

  11. The United lounge was renovated in 2015-2016 where there was a chair overhaul, so you’ll be able to see that the chairs are much fresher than they were the last time you visited in 2010. You’re right about the rest of the lounge, though, it hasn’t changed a ton.

    @ ss – The Pier is still great (at least the business class side), I think they just had a bad day of cleaning when you visited…

  12. Thanks for the review, Lucky. I was in the same lounge end of 2016 (before renovation) and it seems little has changed. The food quality was OK (SilverKris probably had better food), and being open to the outside, you can hear sounds see people from below, which is good if your’e people-watching but no good if you’re trying to get some quiet time. The showers were appreciated as I was connecting between 12+hr and and 6+ hr flights.

  13. I was actually in the Kris Flyer lounge around the same time as you and flew back to SFO on the same SQ2 flight. I made a video here and you can watch in the video that some old German guy started yelling at me to stop recording.

    I found it interesting that you mentioned the lounge was filled with Germans and found it uncomfortable to take pictures and do a full review. This is something that I am not aware of and was wondering if you could shed more light on.

  14. Lucky, I love your reviews and your pictures are always brilliant. I couldn’t help but notice the wine selection. Rex-Goliath? That’s what you’ll serve to Economy inflight. United First Class lounge serves Veuve Cliquot the last time I was there. Will be in HKG in a few months, will definitely skip United and go straight to Kris Flyer lounge.

  15. Cathay’s lounges serve Moet & Chandon champagne and United serves Rex-Goliath wine? That’s embarrassing. United’s liquor selection looks poor as well, middle of the shelf. I have nothing good to say about United.

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