When we booked tickets from New York City to Manila, The Philippines, the prices were so low we didn’t really even look at the connections until after we booked. Then I realized we had over 8 hours to kill in Abu Dhabi, and unfortunately they were overnight. So, Plaza Premium Lounge invited us to check out their incredible lounges at the Abu Dhabi airport.
First things first for me: the food. I was surprised at the amount of food available and how great it was. A far cry from triangle sandwiches and apples at many of the other lounges we’ve been to – there was hummus, biryani, Arabic sweets, basmati rice, pasta salad and fresh fruit, among many other things. The large spread is served buffet style. My personal favorite was by far the hummus: so flavorful and creamy. Second favorite was the little Arabic style baklavas.
For this trip, we would be traveling for over 40 hours total, so having access to showers was a major plus. I can go a while without a shower, but there is just something about that hot water that hits the refresh button for me. It made a huge difference in our comfort. Everything is included – soap, shampoo, lotion, disposable razors and a hair dryer. I really appreciated not having to put my wet travel towel back into my bag or try to scrounge up my toiletries.
There are two lounges offered from Plaza Premium Network in Abu Dhabi: Al Reem and Al Dhabi. Both offer great food and fresh coffee. Al Reem is a newly renovated airport lounge at the Abu Dhabi Airport, and was beautifully remodeled. We found this lounge to be slightly more crowded, so spent most of our 8 hours at Al Dhabi, which also had a slightly larger food selection (ok, that last part might have been the real reason I stayed closer). While it’s a little older, it’s still really nice with a decent amount of comfy chairs.
The great thing about the Plaza Premium Lounges is that anyone can access them. No need for a pricey business class seat or a certain airline ticket. Access to the lounges can vary, depending on which lounge and how long you require access, starting at $48 for 2 hours. This includes fresh food, alcoholic beverages, showers, recharging stations, fresh coffee and espresso and comfortable chairs. Packages for more than 2 hours are available for an additional cost. This is only the second time we’ve accessed airport lounges, and I find the food alone to be worth the cost, especially since it was so delicious. By the way – airport food is expensive, right?! Add in the comfort of the chairs, free wifi and, in this case, SHOWERS and I think I’m now hooked on lounges for life. Especially for the dreaded overnight layovers.
Plaza Premium Lounge has locations in 31 countries (so far), so I will definitely be visiting again one day!
Have you ever used airport lounges on a long layover? Do you find them worth it?
Disclaimer: We were guests of the Plaza Premium lounge, but all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.