The Lotus Lounge in Hanoi's domestic terminal is a large, comfortable space with a great view, Marc Terrano discovers.
Sitting like an oasis on the third floor of Noi Bai Hanoi domestic terminal is the Vietnam Airlines' Lotus Lounge. The spacious lounge was recently renovated in late-2016 and has plenty of seating, a great view of the tarmac and lots of extra features like a massage room, smoking room and workstation area.
I checked into this lounge at 3pm on a Wednesday, before our flight from Hanoi to Da Nang, and found it to be busy but pleasant.
What I liked:
- Lots of seating. The lounge was busy when I visited, but because of the large amount of seating, it never felt overcrowded. The seats themselves looked brand new and were quite comfortable.
- Storage lockers. There was a storage cupboard section where you could leave your belongings.
- Airy and pleasant. This lounge has high ceilings and a full tarmac view, unlike the SkyTeam lounge in Sydney or the Vietnam Airlines lounge in Da Nang, which are both quite cozy.
- New furniture and seating. The lounge looks fresh, with everything from tables to television screens looking only a few months old.
- Massage room with massage chairs. The lounge has four massage chairs in a room next to the smoking room. This is a nice extra touch for weary travellers.
- Smoking room. If you're a smoker, you don't have to leave the lounge at all, with the smoking room being located right next to the main food area in the lounge.
- Excellent tarmac view. If you're an aviation geek, you'll enjoy plane spotting, with part of the lounge overlooking the runway. I saw AirAsia and VietJet flights taking off, a Turkish airlines aircraft landing and more.
- Lots of beverage options. The lounge had a large drinks section, including bottled water, beer, soft drinks, ice tea, milk and three coffee machines. The addition of a barista would've made this even better.
- Make-your-own-pho station. This is a great feature of the Vietnam Airlines lounges that I visited on this trip. This particular lounge had a station where you could take a bowl of noodles and add a soup base, select your meat and fill your bowl with vegetables to make a fresh pho.
- Large workstation. There were a number of private desks and computers for last-minute work before take off.
- Large shower room. There were three showers with cleaning attendants on-hand when I dropped in. There was no booking required to use the showers and they were clean and well maintained. The bathroom was also stocked with toothbrushes for those wanting to freshen up.
What I didn't like:
- Hot food options were a bit light. Apart from the pho station, there were four metal serving bays for hot dishes, but only one of these was in operation and it only had sausages in it.
- Very noisy. The SkyTeam lounge in Sydney was the perfect place to be cooped up in for eight hours straight because it was nice and quiet. This lounge was constantly barraged with announcements, which detracted from my enjoyment.
- Slowish Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi here was good enough to make WhatsApp calls, but I found it to be a little slow.
Check out the massage room next to the smoking room for a relaxing start to your flight.
Points Finder Lounge Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE POINTS FINDER TAKE
This is a modern lounge with pretty much every facility you could ever want and some that you may not have even considered, for example, a shoe polishing machine and a massage room. It's let down by the constant announcements and the light food options, although the make-your-own pho station is pretty neat.
THE FINDER LOUNGE REVIEW PROMISE: Our lounge reviews are based on a visit to the actual lounge during normal operation. We offer an honest and open critique from one of our frequent flyer experts, and update with any relevant news as it comes to hand. Being in a lounge should always be more pleasant than just being stuck with waiting at the gate, but we won't shy away from highlighting issues. Learn more about how our scoring works.
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi Lotus Lounge Review
Location: Airside, Level 3, Wing D in T1
Opening hours: 24 hours
Who can get in? Vietnam Airlines, Aeroflot, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern or China Southern business or first class passengers, Gold or Platinum Lotusmiles members, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members.
Disclosure: Marc Terrano travelled to Hanoi as a guest of Vietnam Airlines.