I had the opportunity to visit this lounge on a three-hour layover between my Vietnam Airlines flight from Tokyo to Hanoi and my connection to Frankfurt before I would finally connect on Singapore’s fifth freedom route to New York.
I arrived off my flight at the airport’s lower level and proceeded through the transit entry, upstairs, and through security. That brings you to the main concourse area.
Here, I noticed that there was a lounge zone to the left and the right. First, I tried the one to the left, which brought me to the NIA, ANA, and Qatar Airlines lounges.
The other side brings you to the Nasco, Song Hong, and SkyTeam lounges. Ultimately, I ended up at the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge. This lounge was mainly sufficient for my multi-hour transit layover, offering showers, food, and a decent range of services. I also noticed the lounge was regularly cleaned, although, in general, it felt a bit “thrown together” architecturally.
The lounge was ideal for my next flight, which departed from Gate 29, located directly across from the lounge’s entrance.
One thing to note is I was disappointed with the lack of stable WiFi in the lounge. This made working and having two virtual meetings with clients in New York difficult.
Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge Location & Entry
Located across from Gate 29, the lounge is relatively easy to find. Several arrows and signs guide you upstairs to this area, including Agent cutouts with flowers.
This area seems to be the airport’s second lounge area since two more lounges are located next to the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge.
Outside the lounge, there is a board with all the eligible passenger categories who have access, and it is enormous. This lounge also doubles as the Korean Air Lounge, the NASCO Lounge, and the Korean Airlines Lounge.
On the cheesier side of things, there are also cut-out cardboard agents for greetings. The entrance to the lounge also features a Vietnam Airlines B787 model on display – in rather poor lighting. I got some pictures taken here, although the agent was unfamiliar with how to use the camera well.
Entry and check-in were super-fast; all I needed to do was show my boarding pass, and that was it I was in.
Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge Layout and Space
The lounge is one large, high-ceiling space with a set of wooden architectural elements to give it a “Vietnamese” flavor.
It overlooks the runway and main aircraft gate areas, so plenty of plane-spotting opportunities are here. In fact, I even found the aircraft for my next flight to Frankfurt.
That said, the lounge has a strange amalgamation of features and architectural styles. It feels like it was haphazardly thrown together, using spare parts they had lying around. There were two different seating styles: tan-brown single leather sofa chairs.
I chose to sit in single tan leather chairs with circular tables.
On the wall above the drinks service area, clocks are set to various time zones worldwide.
Also, there’s one central food service area, and the lounge’s seating area wraps around this zone.
You can also find some special massage chairs, magazines, and napping areas along the far side of the lounge.
For a small lounge, it had tons of features. In fact, Vietnam Airlines seemed so proud of them that they listed them on the front. These include some of the more amusing things like the “First Aid Kit” feature. The advertised features of the lounge are as follows:
- Food & Beverage
- Free WiFi
- Flight Information Display
- Massage Chairs
- Relaxing Area
- Business Center
- Smoking Room
- Cable TV
- Local and International Newspapers and Magazines <img 050>
- Luggage Storage
- First Aid Kit
- Shoe Polishing
- Shower Rooms
- Pet Area
This was a small nook located behind the reception desk. The business center included two PC workstations, a printer station, a laptop, and a fax machine station.
VIP & Million Miler Area
The Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge has a special area for VIPs and Million Milers with Vietnam Airlines. As far as I could tell, it was identical to the rest of the lounge, with the only difference being its rope cordon and select access.
One thing that did stand out was that the folks using this part of the lounge were extremely loud, almost like they owned the place.
The Wi-Fi network and password is posted at the Lounge front desk.
There is no way to sugarcoat this: the Wi-Fi was horrible during my visit. Whether I was unlucky or it is always like this remains to be seen. The lounge’s Wi-Fi was very unstable, making it difficult to be productive. Unfortunately, I had two Zoom calls connected to New York, and the calls kept dropping on my computer. I did find that the Mobile data was a little more stable.
Lack of stable Wi-Fi seems a perplexing problem with Vietnam Airlines.
The Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge has separate male and female restrooms. The men’s restroom seemed quite clean, quiet, and well-maintained.
Once inside the bathrooms, you find another door to a single large shower room in each, which has several private shower stalls with a dedicated sink.
Vietnam Airline Lounge Shower
You don’t get an individual shower room; instead, a large room has a single sink and multiple shower stalls.
These reminded me a little of fancy dorm showers since the entire room was a single space; the lack of separation felt a bit odd, even though I was the only one there. However, if you played a lot of college sports, you will feel right at home.
That said, I was still happy to be able to shower, as this was after two different flights and a total of 12 hours in transit! The Shower stalls came with preassembled and pre-wrapped shower kits.
The kits included bath towels, hand towels, a floor towel, and some toiletries and amenities. Also, a new floor towel was placed on a second shelf, and a set of rubber slippers was placed at each stall.
On the positive side, each shower seemed to be somewhat diligently cleaned after each use, but there was still some water left over in some cases.
During the shower, the water pressure was solid, and the temperature could go all the way to piping hot.
Vietnam Airline Lotus Lounge Food & Beverage
The food spread was pretty good, and there was an extensive list of options. The service, like most lounges, is buffet style. I noticed that it was very well stocked and cleaned regularly. Items on the buffet include:
- Bell peppers
- Russian Salad
- Chicken with spicy sauce
- Stir-fried noodles with beef.
- Stir-fried cabbage with mushroom.
- Boiled eggs.
- Boiled sweet corn.
- Fruit selection, including plums and watermelon.
- Cheese and cold cuts.
- A selection of breads and Croissants.
For me, the best part was the custom Pho noodle bar, a staffed station serving Vietnam’s signature Pho cuisine for all passengers.
The bar includes Noodles, Pho, which is poured by staff, meats, and tons of garnishing, including spicy sauce, lemons, peppers, ginger, and garlic, among other foods.
This was delicious and spicy; I love a good Pho and have for years, so this was wonderful. I mostly finished the Pho but had to rush to my flight. However, that did not stop me from enjoying many slices of watermelon.
To the side of the main buffet area, there’s also a drinks and packaged food area with cereals, Granola snacks, and teas on display for self-service.
There is also a separate drinks station with sodas and some wines on display.
Overall, the lounge seemed to be very well organized and maintained.
My biggest issue with Vietnam Airlines right now is the Wi-Fi, whether on their aircraft or in the lounge. The lack of a stable Wi-Fi connection is a huge problem, and basically forgoes using the carrier for Business trips. I would much rather fly ANA, Japan Airlines, or even a carrier with a connection like Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines.
That said, not everything is doom and gloom. The lounge had several clean and well-stocked showers available for use, plenty of food, and was also quite routinely cleaned. The staff were professional, although they did not really engage with me that much.
While I liked the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge, I don’t think I’d want to spend an extended stay in the lounge, but it was sufficient for my two-hour stay between two very long flights. This time, I left the lounge near 10 p.m. and headed to catch my flight to Frankfurt.
- The food was pretty good.
- I enjoyed the service; it was all smiles!
- Smooth Check-in experience.
- The Bathroom and Shower were cleaned routinely and thoroughly.
- The food and amenities are stocked routinely and often.
- There are power and USB ports for charging located throughout the lounge.
- The lounge felt congested.
- It was a strange amalgamation of styles and features.
- Wi-Fi was very unstable. I tried having two Zoom calls using Lounge Wi-Fi, and both dropped during the calls. Lack of stable Wi-Fi seems a perplexing problem with Vietnam Airlines.