With the closure of the main Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge in KLIA for a month I thought I would do a short review of one of the options, the Regional Golden Lounge.
The Regional Golden lounge is right next to the main links to the domestic area of the terminal, as well as the train link over to the longhaul departures, otherwise know as the satellite terminal. You’ll most likely end up here doing a transfer into Asia rather than out (I would go to the main lounge once it reopens) if you aren’t traveling intra-Asia.
You’re greeted by this rather large sign, and all you have to do is nip up the escalator where and be greeted by the friendly staff.
The lounge has quite a nice water feature on entry as well as some decorative “wood” and others things I can’t describe that well. The main feeling is that there is a good amount of light and space, especially the ample ceiling height (a nice change from Changi – Singapore).
Once I’d walked a bit further in I noticed immediately that there were literally loads of staff! I can only presume that they were there because of the closure of the other lounge. They were all very polite and welcoming.
There was plenty of seating and although there were passengers around it didn’t feel busy – this was the middle of the day, so it will probably fill up in the evening when the European flights arrive.
If you sat at the stools you got a decent view of the tarmac, but just the Malaysia Airlines 737s. The closest one is the one I ended up taking via gate H2.
The Food and Drink
Caveat – You’ll have to excuse some of these photos, with all the staff around it was a little harder than usual to be inconspicuous taking photos!
Breakfast was still be served as it had only just hit mid-day and there was a decent selection including the usual cereals, breads, pastries, as well as Asian options including noodles.
I was more interested in lunch so I went to look at what they had hot food wise.
They had vegetable curry, pork chop cooked in an oriental sauce, potatoes and seared chicken cooked in an onion sauce, as well as several soups. I opted for well most of it, but I was quite disappointed. The pork was quite tough, but did taste nice, the chicken was very bland and felt a little cold. There was also a noodle bar which in retrospect I probably should have tried instead, there’s always a next time.
On the positive side I did see the cooks attending to the food on a regular basis, which is always reassuring. If you don’t want to eat over at the main seating area there are separate dining tables around, here you can see a couple in front of the noodle bar being attended by one of the chefs.
Alternatively you can always stick to a snack, as sandwiches were available as well as some fruits.
Once I’d had my main I decided to have a look around for the deserts. There were literally loads to choose from so keep the kids away if you going as a family! Several different varieties of cake, chocolate brownie and muffins (presumably just moved from the breakfast spread?!). There was also a freezer full of ice cream, with flavors including cookie crumble and vanilla.
For the more adventurous of you I would recommend trying the durian eclairs. Quite a unique taste and if you haven’t had durian before then you are in for a treat.
In terms of drinks they are kept behind the bar and you have to ask for what you want. They have all of the lounge drinks that you’d expect (I had a sneak peek from the side when the thousands of staff weren’t looking :)). You can of course get your own soft drinks from the fridge as well as fresh orange,mango and apple juice. A nice addition I spotted was strawberry lassi as well.
The lounge comes with quite a respectably sized business centre, which has attached a luggage room. It has all the usual features such as desktop pc’s a printer, as well as some proper workspaces (there were quite a few people working in those areas I didn’t want to disturb).
If you are travelling with the family then Malaysia Airlines has thought of you as well. There is a separate area for kids to play in which is just off the dining area. More than enough space, and a TV showing kids programming. If you look closely you can just see my ghost – I let that one get through…
Prayer rooms for men and women are also provided.
The lounge does have a spa, but as you can see from the prominent Mastercard sign you have to pay – someone is welcome to correct me if treatments are available for free for Emerald…?
The lounge does have quite a nice shower and washroom area, including a “rainforest” shower, which in my books is a big positive. Malaysia Airlines also provides amenity kits there as well.
My big bug bear is that I think the cleaners had just been in and they had decided to give the whole room a shower, resulting in not only the floor being totally soaked and therefore very slippery, but also the whole toilet. I had to spend a little while and lots of toilet paper to dry it up enough to erm..sit (I’ll say nothing more).
I noticed whilst going around the lounge that there were a few very large mirrors. When I went to try and find out whether my flight was boarding I couldn’t find a TV screen only to realise the very large mirrors were in fact the boards, but the sun has completely made the text invisible! Style over function there, and I think this is why they insisted on calling out each flight very loudly. Note they only seemed to be giving out calls for regional international flights, i.e no domestic or satellite terminal flights.
Although there were loads of staff around, and they did ask to clear the plates and glasses etc they never asked (i could have of course) if I wanted a refill or anything else, it would’ve been a nice touch.
For those that are Emerald or Platinum a small area was exclusively available for the highest elite members. I wasn’t that impressed with it to be honest.
The ambiance in the lounge was nice, and I liked the design features (except aforementioned boards). The hot food was OK at best but I liked the selected of deserts, and I don’t always see ice cream which is a bonus. I’m not a big fan of having to ask at the bar for each drink but it’s not that big of an inconvenience, and the staff were welcoming throughout the visit.