A (Totally Honest) Comparison of Plaza Premium Lounges at klia2 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

April 19, 2017

Plaza Premium Lounge operates three separate pay-in lounges in Kuala Lumpur (one at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and two at klia2).

I visited the two lounges at klia2:

Plaza Premium Lounge (gateway@klia2)

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departure, klia2)

 

Here's my brutally honest comparison of my lounge experiences at the two Plaza Premium Lounges:

 

Plaza Premium Lounge (gateway@klia2)

This lounge is actually quite unique as unlike most other airport lounges, it is located outside of the airside area, at level 2 of gateway@klia2 shopping mall, which is connected to klia2. Note that a boarding pass (either from the arrival flight or departure flight) is required for entry. Operating 24 hours a day, the lounge also offers private resting suites and shower facilities.

Magazines and local newspapers are available for guests to peruse. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available and was reasonably fast when I was there. Private washrooms are available in the lounge.

 

The dining area is quite compact, with many two seater tables close to each other (some guests just shift the tables together to accommodate a bigger group). There is also a high table with accompanying high chairs, and a few more comfortable lounging chairs.

There is a separate lounging area with four low tables and lounging chairs - which are popular with the guests. The limited charging points can be found in this area.

What I like about this lounge is the nice buffet spread that is quite comparable to the one at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Satellite Terminal, sans the noodle station.

There are three hot dishes (When I was there, Chinese stir-fried noodles, roasted Cajun chicken, and roasted potatoes with herbs were on the menu), as well as steamed white rice, and corn chowder.

There was also a salad bar, which seemed quite popular with the guests. In addition, samosas were available (they were later replaced with delicious spring rolls) and an assortment of sweet cakes and even a fruit-jelly dessert presented in cute dessert glasses! I relished the well-spiced Cajun chicken pieces and the crisp spring rolls.

Beverage selection don't disappoint either. There is a coffee machine, as well as an assortment of canned drinks in the fridge, including Carlsberg beer. Unfortunately, the drinks were not too chilled. Chilled glasses for beer were available in limited supply, though I was happy to just enjoy beer straight from the can.

The staff are attentive and frequently check the buffet selection, and items are quickly replenished. They also frequently clear the tables without being intrusive.

 

I observed the lounge can get quite crowded but crowds do thin out as quickly as they come. Most guests probably just want to grab a bite before heading for their flights. In addition, the tightly packed and less cosy dining chairs and tables, and limited areas to work on laptops and charging points encourage patrons to leave after they have dined.

 

Pros

  • Strategic location, accessible to all guests, including those from arrival flights

  • Wide buffet spread, including a selection of hot food items and canned beer

  • Private washrooms

  • Buffet items are replenished quickly

Cons

  • Less comfortable seating

  • Limited lounging chairs

  • Few charging points

  • Drinks not chilled

 

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departure, klia2)

This lounge is located at Pier L (which handles international departures). This may be a hassle to access for passengers whose flights are not departing from the L gates as there is a full security check before entry into Pier L.

The lounge is located next to Gate L8 (you can't miss the large "Plaza Premium Lounge" sign). Without entering, you will see that the lounge is tiny! You actually have a bird's eye view of the entire seating area from outside the lounge. As such, privacy is limited as passengers on the way to their gates can easily peek into the lounge. Also, flight announcements from the terminal are loud and audible within the lounge (no excuses for missing your flight!).

Though the lounge is very compact and the seats are clustered tightly together, the seats themselves are cosy and comfortable (they even come with a small cushion!), with plenty of charging points located below the seats. Like most other lounges, reading materials (newspapers and magazines) are available. Wi-Fi is available as well though one can easily opt to use the free airport Wi-Fi instead.

Note that there are no toilets located within the lounge, so guests have to head outside to use the public toilets in the terminal.

 

Unlike the other lounges which offer a buffet spread, this lounge allows guests to order from an à la carte menu, choosing from 5 items for lunch/dinner hours (curry laksa, pasta bolognaise, noodles soup, hot dog with choice of topping, and Chinese dumpling soup). The chef would prepare your chosen dish and call out for you to pick up from the counter once it is ready. I tried the Chinese dumpling soup and it wasn't too bad - 4 tasty dumplings in a small bowl of hot broth, topped with deep-fried scallions and chopped spring onions. Interestingly, plastic utensils are used in this lounge.

One nice thing is chilled draught beer is available on tap, served in chilled tall glasses. Coke and sprite can also be ordered from the bar. On a side table, guests can help themselves to orange juice, lemon-infused water, and a coffee machine. Here, you will find bread and some croissants, with a toaster available to warm up the bread. There was a small bowl of salad in the fridge but it didn't look so appealing.

The lounge staff here are somewhat more friendly than the ones at gateway@klia2, with smiles and providing good eye contact with the guests.

 

What I like about this lounge is it allows a cosy retreat to chill with an ice-cold beer, and the availability of charging points makes it friendly for working on laptops and other devices. The lack of toilet facilities within the lounge, however, creates quite an inconvenience for guests.

 

Pros

  • Cosy and comfortable seating

  • Plenty of charging points

  • Ice-cold draught beer served in chilled glasses

  • À la carte menu

  • Friendly staff

Cons

  • Inconvenient to access for passengers departing from non-L gates

  • Compact lounge size with a tight seating arrangement

  • Limited food items

  • Toilet facilities not available in the lounge

  • Limited privacy due to openness of lounge

  • Loud public announcements from the terminal disrupt the lounge ambience

Having laid out the pros and cons of each lounge, I hope this will aid your decision on which lounge you wish to patronize. For me, I guess my decision would depend on my purpose of visiting the lounge: if I just want to indulge in a quick meal before my flight, or after my flight before heading to the city, I would opt for Plaza Premium Lounge (gateway@klia2) for its nice buffet spread. If I wish to find a quiet corner to chill out with an ice-cold beer, and work on my laptop, I would head to Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departure, klia2) for its charging points and cozier seats.

 

Prices for lounge access at Plaza Premium Lounges in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:

2 hours package: RM168 per person

5 hours package: RM238 per person

10 hours package: RM258 per person

Children 2-11 years old: 30% of adult rate

Children 2 years and below: Free

 

For the video review of my lounge experience, please see below:

 

Plaza Premium Lounge (gateway@klia2)

 

Plaza Premium Lounge (International Departure, klia2)

 

 

 

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