Review: Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge Vancouver

I had the opportunity to have a few hours on a layover in Vancouver this December while traveling and flying to JFK (on my way to Michigan), and what better way to kill those hours than at the Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge? Here’s my review.

Cathay Pacific opened their lounge at Vancouver International Airport back in 2016 and it shows; it’s still brand spanking new. Everything was shiny and new, including furniture which is the first to show signs of wear and tear. It’s located in the International Departures area, next to Gate D67, which is where my flight was departing from (also, next to the life size chess board).

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Opening Hours

The lounge opens from 10:30 am to 3 pm for the morning flights and from 8 pm to 2 am for the night flight. It’s worth noting they operate three flights during the early shift, but only one flight on the later one (mine). This meant the peak occupancy while I was there was about seven passengers at the same time. This is awesome since there’s plenty of seats to choose from on the 5,300 sqft lounge.

Seating Area

The lounge is somewhat divided into two main areas. Mostly the largest area, with tons of couches and chairs aplenty. There are power outlets throughout and lights sprinkled around too. I’ll also give them kudos on having actual live plants [I know, what a concept…] every few feet throughout this area.

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

In the second area, to the left of the main area, you’ll find a restaurant-ey area with both booths and tables. This is where I spent most of my time there as my plan really centered around gorging myself full before my flight.

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge

The Food

Mind you, I had just spent a full day at the office, rushed straight to the airport and barely had a few minutes to use the restroom at the Alaska Airlines lounge in SeaTac Concourse C. As soon as I went into the lounge, I headed straight for the first edible thing I could see. 

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Unfortunately, that was part of the super standard Western offerings -The Pantry- they have on display for you to serve yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a few salads, some snacks, breads, cold cuts and cheese. There’s also a mini bar with soft drinks, a water station I confused with draft beer and a coffee machine.

I had already served myself a sandwich and some salami WHEN I SAW IT.

The Signature Noodle Bar

Cathay Pacific offers their signature Noodle Bar where you can get a few hot dishes whenever you feel like it. I am not an expert on Asian food by any means, but I did think they were delicious. They had two Quick Bites consisting of Green Curry Chicken with Rice (I do not eat chicken) and a Zucchini with Parmesan Cheese (I’m allergic to zucchini) so I didn’t taste any of those. 

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The Noodle Bar also offers an all day menu with: Wonton Noodle in Soup, Dan Dan Noodles, Shrimp  Dumplings, Steamed Pork Dumplings and BBQ Pork Bun. For those not feeling adventurous, they had a Beef Burger with Condiments and Pasta with Marinara Sauce. I ended up getting an order of everything except the Dan Dan Noodles mostly because I wasn’t sure what they were and I assumed I would be so full I wouldn’t want to try it anyway.

They were delicious, and the presentation did not disappoint. Both the lady cooking the dumplings [does one *cook* dumplings?] as well as the guy taking my order and serving my plates were super friendly and engaged in conversation. Presumably, because I kept taking pictures and videos of the whole place.

Bathrooms and Showers

The bathroom was pristine, although it is hard to say if it is always the case or it was simply because there were only a few people in the lounge and it had just opened. However, I always enjoy seeing when a beautiful lounge has a restroom to match (aka it wasn’t an after thought and they didn’t just do melamine stalls and gave up).

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If there’s one negative thing I will say about this lounge restroom is that there was only one toilet stall, when the overall lounge capacity is listed as over 100 people.

Ok, I lied. The second thing I just can’t get past in general from airport restrooms is when the trash bin is not next to the door. I REFUSE to touch a bathroom door handle without a paper towel, and I’m no Lebron James, so it’s always hard to open the door, prop it open with my foot, and play trash bin hoops.

There were (I believe) two showers, which I’m always glad to see in lounges. Nothing like refreshing yourself after a long -or short- flight. I did not get a chance to take pics of the showers as they were locked. I couldn’t figure out if they were being used or you had to request them unlocked, but since I didn’t need one I didn’t feel like asking.

Impressions

I very much liked the design of the lounge, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It was quiet so I could do some work without being disturbed, had lots of space to move around when I got tired of looking at the same plant. Plenty of power outlets for me to juice up before my flight made staying charged a breeze.

The attendants were really nice and they exercised my favorite style of service; they would circle around every twenty to thirty minutes to see how you were doing, but wouldn’t pester you unless you made eye contact with them. If you’re planning on taking this Cathay Pacific flight from Vancouver to JFK, you should definitely make sure to carve some time out of your trip to spend it there.

If you’re a millennial and prefer a more visual experience, you can check our Instagram story for Cathay Pacific here. Feel free to follow us for other similar stories coming up.

Have you been to any other Cathay lounges? What’s your experience been?

Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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4 Comments

  1. Maybe throw the paper towel in a trash bin *outside* after you leave the bathroom…

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    • Normally the waste bins are next to food serving areas, and as a best practice I rather not cross contaminate. This is basic information an airport should put into practice, let alone an establishment serving food.

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  2. Looking forward to the flight review! Please note in it how long the plane is actually in the air. The CX lounge in London blew me away, this looks very similar. I too am not a dim sum expert, but the noodle bar is killer. Just visiting that lounge in transit made me want to fly the airline (and experience their main lounges in HKG). Yes you had to request a shower from an attendant. I am with you on the bathroom door issue!

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    • I have not been to any of the other ones, but I’m certainly looking forward to checking them out soon! I don’t remember exactly but the actual duration was along the lines of 4 hours and 20 minutes or so. I’ll make sure to request a shower next time as I’m planning on flying them to HKG eventually.

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