Years ago I reviewed the Bidvest Lounge in the international terminal at Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and on my last trip I had the chance to review the Bidvest domestic lounge. Bottom line: it’s a very decent Priority Pass lounge.
Bidvest Premier Lounge Cape Town Domestic Terminal (CPT) Review
I visited this lounge during my July 2022 trip to South Africa.
Access + Hours + Location
I was flying on Safair and had no lounge access, but thanks to my Priority Pass membership, was able to access this lounge. The lounge is open from 4:30 am t0 7:30 pm Monday thru Friday and closes an hour earlier at 6:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Certain local bank card holders and premium cabin flyers on Airlink also are granted access.
The lounge is located airside (after security). Turn right after security and proceed to the end of the corridor then turn right again. Take the elevator up to the 4th Floor. Head down the hall and before you hit the South African Airways lounges, turn right and you will find the lounge.
This lounge is spread over two levels, with seating on both levels. Even at 5:00 am in the morning, the lower level was fairly crowded, but the upper level was empty.
Food + Drink
The lounge offered a very respectable spread of food and drinks for breakfast, including hot egg frittatas, rösti, beef chipolatas, yogurt, cereal, croissants, smoothies, fresh fruit, muffins, and cheese.
There were even some potato chips (a weakness of mine…), but I resisted…
All drinks are self-serve. Coffee, tea, orange juice, soft drinks, and water were located in the food area. In a separate refrigerator, alcoholic beverages including beer and wine were available, though I did not notice any hard liquor (perhaps due to the early hour?).
Restrooms + Showers
Restrooms and shower facilities are available. Towels are available from reception.
Newspapers + Magazines
In a blast from the past (since these are all but eliminated from U.S. lounges), newspapers and magazines were available. It’s kind of fun to actually hold a newspaper in your hand…
Additionally, electronic periodicals and newspapers are available on your electronic devices.
Overall, a solid lounge. It beat my expectations and offered a respectable range of food and beverage choices and plenty of room to spread out.
If you are choosing between this lounge the South African Airways lounge next door, the only reason I choose the SAA lounge is that there is barista-made coffee available versus simply the automatic machine.
It’s not surprising the lounge was crowded since CPT-JNB is one of the busiest routes in the world (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_passenger_air_routes). That being said, I’ve also found the lounge to be really accomodating of larger numbers, which is why I enjoy it.
The finish is in better shape than the SAA lounge, but the SAA lounge wins in terms of spaciousness.
Generally, the SAA food is less appetising, except sometimes you hit the jackpot with a delicious cooked meal – the Bidvest lounge food in my experience is boringly reliable (but you get the same level of quality all the time), whereas SAA can be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. As you say, though, you can always drown your sorrows with a decent cuppa coffee!
Oh, hey! Here I am at the upgraded SAA Lounge in Cape Town.