Style Inspiration: The Pier Business + First Class Lounges in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific's The Pier Review + Photos

[trip style = luxury]

I'm not a fan of layovers. When possible, I minimize them in favor of direct routes and fast connections, unless I'm routing through Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. In this case, long layovers are *highly* recommended because The Pier Business Class and First Class lounges are SO gorgeous, being intransit is a {trip styled} treat.

Over my trip styling tenure, I've had the opportunity to step into some of the world's most luxurious lounges in worldwide hubs from Tokyo to London to Dubai {to name a few}. While many of these flagship retreats were notable with their on-demand candy, relaxation rooms, mini manicures, and fresh-pressed juices, last week I found my muse in The Pier. Basically, it's my real-life Pinterest design inspiration board. {Seriously, I'm storing all of its decorating cues for the new home I'm moving into this summer.} 

With a complete refresh in mid-2015 by design star Ilse Crawford and her team at the London-based Studioilse, both Cathay's The Pier Business and First Class lounges were re-imagined with wellness, comfort and considered simplicity in mind. Here, Asian minimalism melds with midcentry in a space that brings the Jet Age back to travel {but without the updos, three-piece suits and formality}.

Take a peek into the peak of airline lounge style: 

DETAILS: The Pier, Business
Open to: First and Business Class passengers, Marco Polo Club Silver and above members, and oneworld Emerald members and Sapphire members.
Find it: Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 65 in the Hong Kong International Airport.
Features: 14 Shower Suites, The Relaxation Room, The Food Hall, The Coffee Cart, The Bar, The Tea House, The Noodle Bar, The Bureau workspace. 
Trip Styler Tip: Once you put in your order for Dan Dan noodles at The Noodle Bar, head to The Tea House to breathe in and select a brew that befits your journey.

The 35,500-square-foot lounge is a bright, cherry wood-ensconced space with distinct areas for eating, relaxing and working. Imagine a modern rancher home cantilevered over the edge of a hill and you've got The Pier, Business.

The 35,500-square-foot lounge is a bright, cherry wood-ensconced space with distinct areas for eating, relaxing and working. Imagine a modern rancher home cantilevered over the edge of a hill and you've got The Pier, Business.

One huge difference between The Pier, Business and other lounges I've visited around the world is its focus on bringing the outdoors in. Terrariums and tropical greenery make you feel as though you're in the hills of Hong Kong versus in an airport waiting for a flight. 

One huge difference between The Pier, Business and other lounges I've visited around the world is its focus on bringing the outdoors in. Terrariums and tropical greenery make you feel as though you're in the hills of Hong Kong versus in an airport waiting for a flight. 

Part food market, part bakery, part deli, part coffee shop, the Food Hall is the kind of place you *wish* was down the street from your home.  

Part food market, part bakery, part deli, part coffee shop, the Food Hall is the kind of place you *wish* was down the street from your home.  

Oh, hello barista-run Coffee Cart.

Oh, hello barista-run Coffee Cart.

The Noodle Bar is a much-loved Cathay lounge 'darling' for its made-to-order noodles. Frequent flyers know their order before they even arrive, and place it as soon as they get there. 

The Noodle Bar is a much-loved Cathay lounge 'darling' for its made-to-order noodles. Frequent flyers know their order before they even arrive, and place it as soon as they get there. 

The moment I stepped into The Tea House, my brain activity went from racing to resting. The lightly fragrant smell of loose-leaf tea and the ultra-calm environs lulled me into a state of calm. If I spent all day at the lounge, this is where I'd hang my hat {once I'd selected a tea to match my mood}. 

The moment I stepped into The Tea House, my brain activity went from racing to resting. The lightly fragrant smell of loose-leaf tea and the ultra-calm environs lulled me into a state of calm. If I spent all day at the lounge, this is where I'd hang my hat {once I'd selected a tea to match my mood}. 

Relaxation Room: Soft light and plush lounges allow travelers to rest before embarking on their next leg. Zzzzzz.

Relaxation Room: Soft light and plush lounges allow travelers to rest before embarking on their next leg. Zzzzzz.

DETAILS: The Pier, First
Open to: First Class passengers, Diamond Marco Polo Club members, and Emerald oneworld members who are departing or transiting in Hong Kong. 
Find it: Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 63 in the Hong Kong International Airport.
Features: 14 Showers, 8 Day Suites, The Retreat {a complimentary spa}, The Dining Room, The Pantry, The Bar, The Bureau work space.
Trip Styler Tip: Arrive early. As soon as you settle, make an appointment for a foot massage, or a neck, back and scalp massage, complimentary for all First Class guests.

With a focus on wellbeing, the 22,000-square-foot The Pier, First Class lounge engages the five senses with its soothing surroundings draped in earth tones, natural textures and local plant life.

With a focus on wellbeing, the 22,000-square-foot The Pier, First Class lounge engages the five senses with its soothing surroundings draped in earth tones, natural textures and local plant life.

Just putting this out there: I would like every piece and finish in this scene to be in my living room. 

Just putting this out there: I would like every piece and finish in this scene to be in my living room. 

Sipping Moët & Chandon Rose Brut at the 10-seat Bar. 

Sipping Moët & Chandon Rose Brut at the 10-seat Bar. 

The Beverage and Wine List at the Bar.

The Beverage and Wine List at the Bar.

One of my favorite features about The Pier, First is The Dining Room, a chic-come-comfortable eatery with made-to-order dishes. Dressed in walnut, green leather and brass, I half expected to spot Don Draper dining with his ad exec friends, but sadly, I missed him. 

One of my favorite features about The Pier, First is The Dining Room, a chic-come-comfortable eatery with made-to-order dishes. Dressed in walnut, green leather and brass, I half expected to spot Don Draper dining with his ad exec friends, but sadly, I missed him. 

The Chef-made meals in the Dining Room are beautifully prepared and well-liked by my frequent flying friends who visit this lounge regularly. Dishes such as seared salmon with herbed potatoes, green peas and asparagus, or greens with pomelo and watermelon fly MILES above typical airport fare.

The Chef-made meals in the Dining Room are beautifully prepared and well-liked by my frequent flying friends who visit this lounge regularly. Dishes such as seared salmon with herbed potatoes, green peas and asparagus, or greens with pomelo and watermelon fly MILES above typical airport fare.

With a view over the runway, 8 fully private and walnut-wrapped Day Suites mean that counting sheep is as easy as 1-2-3... 

With a view over the runway, 8 fully private and walnut-wrapped Day Suites mean that counting sheep is as easy as 1-2-3... 

Enter The Retreat, a Cathay first-of-its-kind guest spa offering complimentary foot or neck and shoulder massages. As soon as you arrive, book an appointment to seek on-the-go soothing. 

Enter The Retreat, a Cathay first-of-its-kind guest spa offering complimentary foot or neck and shoulder massages. As soon as you arrive, book an appointment to seek on-the-go soothing. 

If you feel like a snack, head to the Pantry for healthy and upscale bites that change throughout the day. Don't miss the fresh-pressed juices. My favorite was watermelon, a low-sugar and high-antioxidant drink that's perfect for a pre-flight pick-me-up. 

If you feel like a snack, head to the Pantry for healthy and upscale bites that change throughout the day. Don't miss the fresh-pressed juices. My favorite was watermelon, a low-sugar and high-antioxidant drink that's perfect for a pre-flight pick-me-up. 

Flying Well :: Cathay Pacific's Revolutionary A350

cathay pacific A350 Vancouver to Hong Kong

[trip style = luxury + steal + urban]

Landing in Canada for its first scheduled flight last month, Cathay Pacific's newest jetliner, the state-of-the-art Airbus A350, brings flying to new heights. Last week I boarded the ace airliner in Vancouver enroute to Hong Kong to get acclimated with the latest in wellness and luxury at 40,000 feet.

After jet-setting in this revolutionary aircraft—which felt more like a chauffeured Rolls Royce than a 280-seat aircraft—I felt refreshed, which is not something I can say after most aviation experiences.  

Wellness
Wellness and flying aren't topics that typically go together. Time spent in a capsule above the clouds often results in dry skin, red-rimmed eyes, and swelled hands and feet—unless you fly aboard the industry's leader in inflight innovation.

On Cathay Pacific's specially designed A350-900, which adds three flights per week to the carrier's Vancouver to Hong Kong route, my skin didn't crinkle like scrunched tissue paper due to greater air humidification. My wedding ring, which is always hard to remove after flying, slid off with ease thanks to smarter cabin pressurization that reduces inflammation and fatigue. And my eyes were bright instead of bloodshot thanks to panoramic windows and a lighting system capable of emitting more than 16 million hues to pamper my peepers and reduce jet lag.

The A350 Experience
As someone who has logged thousands of miles around the world on almost every conceivable aircraft currently used in commercial aviation, I prefer this type of jet by an {air}mile!

A series of subtle and staggering differences enhance the overall Cathay Pacific A350 experience, starting with the engines. I wasn't kidding when I mentioned the inflight ambiance is akin to rolling in a Rolls. A set of Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines power the airplane, reduce rattle and contribute to this couture capsule's 25 percent greater fuel efficiency over its peers.

And then there's the jetliner's sky-high handling. From the moment you roll down the runway, the wheels seem to float, and that's before the plane even lifts off. At cloud-level the cabin is so quiet you could meditate. Landing is surprisingly effortless, like a figure skater who gently glides from airborne to arrival.

I scored a window seat at the edge of the wing, a position I was tickled pink about knowing the wing surface is the largest single piece of carbon fibre structure ever produced for civil aviation, with flaps capable of morphing their shape midair to improve fuel efficiency.

From my perch in pod 21k, I wined, dined and signed-off so I could sleep in the sky. Wrapped in a blanket made from recycled materials, I didn't even try to take advantage of the onboard WiFi to work or connect with the outside world. I was happy in my cocoon basking in the experience of feeling better inflight, and about flying in a Rolls chauffeured by Jeeves—I mean, Captain Graham.

Walking to my flight from the Cathay Pacific lounge in Vancouver

Walking to my flight from the Cathay Pacific lounge in Vancouver

My business class pod with a lie-flat bed that stretches to 75"

My business class pod with a lie-flat bed that stretches to 75"

My personal TV: big and high-def touch-screens are found in all cabin classes

My personal TV: big and high-def touch-screens are found in all cabin classes

From where I lounge aboard the A350

From where I lounge aboard the A350

Counting sheep with ease due to the A350 being one of the quietest aircrafts in its class 

Counting sheep with ease due to the A350 being one of the quietest aircrafts in its class 

One of my breakfast courses, complete with an illy cappuccino

One of my breakfast courses, complete with an illy cappuccino

Dinner part one: Smoked salmon and crabmeat with bread and greens

Dinner part one: Smoked salmon and crabmeat with bread and greens

Dinner part two: Rigatoni pasta topped with olives and parmesan

Dinner part two: Rigatoni pasta topped with olives and parmesan

Dessert: International cheese selection with grapes and quince jam paired with Port

Dessert: International cheese selection with grapes and quince jam paired with Port

Cathay Pacific A350 Details
- The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 carries a total of 280 passengers: 38 Business, 28 Premium Economy, 214 Economy Class.
- Cathay Pacific currently has 13 of this aircraft type in operation, with dozens more on order.
- The A350 adds three flights weekly {Tues, Thurs, Sat} to Cathay Pacific's Vancouver to Hong Kong daily, nonstop offerings. 
- All cabin classes: The aircraft's extra-wide body offers more space and greater comfort, panoramic windows, LED mood lighting and hand lotion in every lavatory!
- Business Class: In addition to the fully flat bed and greater stowage space, travelers can personalize their pod with “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake-up Call” functions.
- Premium Economy Class: Ergonomically designed seats with integrated leg rests have dedicated tablet holders, power outlets and USB ports. 
Economy Class: In addition to Cathay's proprietary six-way headrest, each seat comes equipped with tablet holders and power plug-ins.

Related
First Look :: Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
Cathay Pacific Vancouver to Hong Kong
Hong Kong :: Instagram Diary

[Photos by @tripstyler, except lead, taken as a guest of Cathay Pacific, one of my favorite airlines] 

Hong Kong :: Instagram Diary

Hong Kong Diaries

[trip style = luxury + food]

Hanging on the edge of Asia, Hong Kong is both a world hub and a destination that transcends "top 10" or "world's best" lists. At the cusp of culinary, cultural and cool-factor, the trendsetting city is in a class of its own.

I *just* returned from the city of skyscrapers last night, and before I highlight trip styling throughout the neon-lit streets, as well as my flight aboard Cathay Pacific's A350-900—a latest-gen aircraft adding three flights per week to Cathay's Vancouver to Hong Kong nonstop route—I could't wait to share some initial details:

Bird's eye view of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled #A350

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Hiking in the jungle-tropical hues of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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Stacked city. #LifeWellTravelled

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Rooftop bar bliss on the edge of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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Design inspiration, c/o the Tea Room in The Pier Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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[photos by @tripstyler, taken while traveling as a guest of Cathay Pacific—one of my favorite airlines]

The 10-Minute, No-Equipment Hotel Workout

9-plank-knee-tuck copy.jpg

[trip style = any]

Ever since I started Trip Styler in 2009, I've dabbled in quick hotel room workouts to keep up my cardio and strength while I'm traveling. Whether I'm jetsetting solo, with Mr. Trip Styler, or with the TS fam, my time is tight, which is why I'm pumped up about my friend Catherine's 10-minute, no-equipment, high-intensity workout. Designed to give the body a boost, this mini sweat-session is ideal for your bedroom or your hotel room.

Why am I featuring this workout? If you're going to take anyone's advice on travel fitness, it should be Catherine's. With a degree in neuroscience, an enviable career as a travel and food writer, and 15 years as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness speaker, and park ranger, this renaissance woman lives wellness both at home and when she's away. To find out more about her approach to the science of health, happiness and productivity, check out The Life Delicious.

Tips
*Do the following 11 exercises for 30 seconds each.
*Take a 15-second rest in between each exercise.
*Warm up for two minutes by marching on the spot while alternating between forward- and backward-circling arms.
*Remember: For each exercise keep your abs engaged {aka: suck in your belly button}; spine elongated; chest lifted; shoulders back; and traps, neck and jaw relaxed.

10-Minute Hotel Workout

1. Jumping jacks *Land as softly as possible, absorbing the shock to protect your joints.

1. Jumping jacks

*Land as softly as possible, absorbing the shock to protect your joints.

2. Push-ups *Whether you're pushing up from your knees or toes, focus on distributing the weight evenly through your palms and fingers.

2. Push-ups

*Whether you're pushing up from your knees or toes, focus on distributing the weight evenly through your palms and fingers.

3. Lateral hops *Pay attention to your foot and ankle position throughout this exercise. Land with a strong ankle and engaged foot; weight evenly distributed between the heel, base of the big toe and outside edge of your foot. Powerfully swing your arms in the direction of movement to help propel you from side to side.

3. Lateral hops

*Pay attention to your foot and ankle position throughout this exercise. Land with a strong ankle and engaged foot; weight evenly distributed between the heel, base of the big toe and outside edge of your foot. Powerfully swing your arms in the direction of movement to help propel you from side to side.

4. Tricep dips *Do this exercise on the floor, or make it more challenging by placing your hands on a secure ledge or chair to increase the range of motion. Don't let your shoulders creep up toward your ears.

4. Tricep dips

*Do this exercise on the floor, or make it more challenging by placing your hands on a secure ledge or chair to increase the range of motion. Don't let your shoulders creep up toward your ears.

5. Squat jumps *Get nice and low {like you're compressing a spring}, and use both arms and legs to shoot yourself straight up as high as you can go. Pay close attention to your alignment on the descent, landing softly with equal pressure around the periphery of each foot.

5. Squat jumps

*Get nice and low {like you're compressing a spring}, and use both arms and legs to shoot yourself straight up as high as you can go. Pay close attention to your alignment on the descent, landing softly with equal pressure around the periphery of each foot.

6. Dynamic lunges *Begin in a lunge position with both knees at 90 degrees. Spring straight up into the air, switching legs at your highest point, and landing softly with both feet at the same time.

6. Dynamic lunges

*Begin in a lunge position with both knees at 90 degrees. Spring straight up into the air, switching legs at your highest point, and landing softly with both feet at the same time.

7. Superman *Start laying flat on your front. Push your pelvis into the ground as you slowly lift your upper and lower body up in unison.

7. Superman

*Start laying flat on your front. Push your pelvis into the ground as you slowly lift your upper and lower body up in unison.

8. Run with high knees *Powerfully drive your opposite hand and knee up into the air as you run on the spot.

8. Run with high knees

*Powerfully drive your opposite hand and knee up into the air as you run on the spot.

9. Plank with knee tucks *Engage every muscle from head to toe as though you were a rigid board. Alternate bringing your right knee to your right elbow and your left knee to your left elbow.

9. Plank with knee tucks

*Engage every muscle from head to toe as though you were a rigid board. Alternate bringing your right knee to your right elbow and your left knee to your left elbow.

10. Burpees *Begin with knees slightly bent and arms recoiled behind you. In one continued motion, jump straight up into the air landing in a deep squat, and immediately place your hands on the ground right in front of your feet shooting your legs straight back into a plank position. Do a push-up and at the top of the movement, jump your feet back behind your hands, and then pounce straight up into the air as high as you can.

10. Burpees

*Begin with knees slightly bent and arms recoiled behind you. In one continued motion, jump straight up into the air landing in a deep squat, and immediately place your hands on the ground right in front of your feet shooting your legs straight back into a plank position. Do a push-up and at the top of the movement, jump your feet back behind your hands, and then pounce straight up into the air as high as you can.

11. Russian twists *Sit on the ground, lean back slightly, suck your belly button in, contract your rectus abdominis, and lift your feet off the ground. Hold this engaged core position as you twist to look over your left shoulder and then over your right shoulder.

11. Russian twists

*Sit on the ground, lean back slightly, suck your belly button in, contract your rectus abdominis, and lift your feet off the ground. Hold this engaged core position as you twist to look over your left shoulder and then over your right shoulder.

[photos via @LifeDelish]

On Break-Ups + the Magic of Micro-Journaling

travel micro-journaling

[trip style = any]

For most of my teenage years and early-twenties, I had an on-again, off-again relationship with my diary. Blank pages would get marked up with everything from what I wore to the Sr. Formal {a floor-length teal-green dress, BTW}, who I had a crush on at summer camp, or the eye-popping sunset I experienced atop the Eiffel Tower when I traveled to Paris solo.  

Then, one day, enough was enough. Overwhelmed by the time investment of journaling every detail of my day, I broke up with my diary. For 15 years we ignored each other. But, I missed her blank pages, providing a place where I could look at my life from an airplane {aka "bird's eye view"} perspective.  

So, we got back together, but in a win-win kinda way. "Dear diary" version 2017 is less long-form and more short-story, less time-intensive and more efficient.

Enter the micro-journal, something I'm attempting to do at home AND on the road. Otherwise, life passes me by faster than a supersonic jet. Without its simple day-by-day bullet points I would forget make-me-smile details like watching baby turtles hatch on the beach in the Great Barrier Reef with Mr. Trip Styler, or seeing Blue Styler take his first steps on a Disney Cruise.

Memories fade, but something my 96-year-old grandpa has taught me is: The joys of yesterday or yesteryear retain their clarity with a few {micro-journal} prompts. Try it. Just three bullet points a day.   

PS - If this post were micro-journal-style, I wouldn't have burnt the quinoa I was cooking while writing this :)  

[photo by @tripstyler]