China Airlines has an impressive lounge in Terminal 1 of Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE). This lounge took me by my surprise — it really is worth a visit.
China Airlines describes its Terminal lounge glowingly–
Following China Airlines’ NexGen design theme of “oriental literati aesthetics”, the China Airlines Lounge in Taoyuan airport T1 applies the fun of strolling in a Jiangnan (south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River) garden to its interior design. Once stepping into the China Airlines Lounge, customers could immerse themselves in a natural and thick cultural atmosphere of the old days, completely serene and relaxing. A feeling of oriental calm both in physiology and psychology can be sensed. Books, together with the light radiating from tungsten lamps, background the makings of literates. Amber glasses, brass implements and artworks that reveal a sense of time as well as other materials whose appeal intensifies over time are applied in modern and sophisticated styles, bringing out the oriental literati bearing in China Airlines. China Airlines embraces the world with its foothold set on the oriental history.
Upon arrival I was welcomed in by a team of no less than five agents (reminded me of the welcome committee at the Cathay Pacific first class lounges in Hong Kong) and directed down the hall to the business class lounge. On the left was a selection of newspapers and magazines. On the right was an “Exclusive” section that appeared reserve for SkyTeam elite members. It was about half the size of the business lounge.
The interior of the lounge was indeed as impressive as the description. It did feel like I had stepped out into a garden on a dark evening. The lighting, colors, and sounds of the lounge all worked to give it a unique feel.
China Airlines Lounge Food
In the center of the lounge a four-sided buffet offered hot and cold beverages, desserts, and Chinese and Western main options. A noodle bar offered customized dinning with a cook happy to prepare the dish of your choice.
China Airlines Lounge Seating
For the most part, seating in the lounge was clustered into four chairs facing each other (2 x 2). This maximizes privacy when the lounge is now crowded and gives a semi-private feel to families or groups traveling together.
China Airlines Lounge Restrooms and Shower
Shower facilities (not pictured) are available. Down the hall from the business lounge, near the entrance, are the showers. Request a shower at the front desk: they are not self-serve. The men’s restroom was clean, modern and spacious.
China Airlines Lounge Lockers and Business Center
Across from the bathrooms is a small business center with individual lockers.
China Airlines Lounge Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi worked remarkably well in the lounge — I was easily able to make multiple phone calls on Skype during my layover.
Although I only had a cappuccino during my visit, I can certainly attest that the food selection was comprehensive, the lounge was clean, and the staff was great. Hours of operation are from 05:30 – 23:30 daily.