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.