I have visited the United Airlines’ Newark Polaris Lounge this year a number of times and wish to update my review. Rather than delete my old review, I am publishing my new review above my old one. I will do this for “major” lounge reviews going forward, which will provide insight into how lounges change over time.
United Polaris Lounge Newark Review (EWR)
This lounge gets crowded but remains an indispensable premium lounge at United’s Newark hub.
In the morning, the lounge tends to be quiet, with plenty of space to spread out and your choice of seating.
A couple of the chairs are showing their age, but the lounge has held up well over the last four years:
The lounge will become much more crowded in the aftenroon:
Restrooms are individual rather than communal and shower suites are available upon request (I had no wait in the morning and a 20-minute wait in the afternoon during another visit).
The rain shower heads were overdue for a cleaning and the large dispensers of soap and shampoo are just annoying.
The highlight of the lounge is the a la carte dining, which offers sit-down, restaurant-style service all day long. I had several meals here during my visits and found every single thing I ordered to be worth eating. That’s rare for any restaurant, let alone in an airport lounge.
Menus rotate quarterly. These are the two most recent menus:
Of all the dishes I ate, the lamb kofta was best, but both fish entrees were also much better than I expected.
A full buffet is also available, which rotates from breakfast to lunch at about 10:00 am.
Non-alcoholic beverages are self-serve while a full-service bar offers cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits (all complimentary).
Don’t forget that barista-made coffee drinks from illy are available at the bar and restaurant.
In conclusion, my review of the United Polaris Lounge in Newark remains positive four years later. This is still a great lounge.
Below is my original United Polaris Lounge Newark review, published on June 12, 2018.
What a difference a remodel makes! A former United Club that seemed to be crowded no matter what time of day is now home to a beautiful new lounge with seriously great food.
I had the chance to visit the new United Polaris Lounge in Newark last week. This 27,099 square foot lounge can accommodate up to 455 passengers but never surpassed 70 guests during my morning visit.
United Polaris Lounge EWR Access Rules
Access is reserved for longhaul business class passengers on United or a Star Alliance partner. Access is not permitted to Global Services or Star Alliance Gold members traveling in economy class. Premium Service transcontinental passengers do not have access.
If you’re traveling on a same-day United longhaul flight in Polaris, even if not from Newark, you also have access. For example, if you flew London to Newark in United Polaris Business Class, and are connecting to, say, Buffalo, you have access to the lounge upon arrival. One more example. If you are flying, say, from Newark to Chicago to Tokyo, you would have access in in both Newark and Chicago as long as your longhaul flight is in Polaris business class. If your flight from Chicago to Tokyo is on ANA, you only have access to the lounge in Chicago.
Only guests traveling in first class bring in a guest.
The lounge is located just past the security checkpoints in Terminal C, next to Starbucks. A large lobby greets you and an agent will scan your boarding pass to verify access. The lounge is open daily from 4:30am to 10:30pm.
United Polaris Lounge EWR Seating
As you enter the lounge, the bar and dining room are straight ahead while seating is off to the right. The seating is much like that in SFO, with many seating types, 570 power receptacles and 450 USB ports.
Around the corner is the buffet and beyond that is more seating, including oversized chairs that include personal lamps, USB ports, and power.
Around the buffet and bar areas, there are plenty of seats intended for dining:
United Polaris Lounge EWR “Phone Booths”
While phone calls are not technically forbidden throughout the lounge, a trio of phone booths provide a perfect place for your phone conversation. Hint, hint, hint…
United Polaris Lounge Newark Shower Suites
12 shower suites are available. I took a shower after arriving and had no wait.
A sign indicates amenities are available, but when I asked for shaving cream was told there was not any. I’d say that is a more important amenity than a curling iron. Complimentary shirt pressing is also available.
The shower suite includes a sink with plenty of counter space, toilet, and a rainhead shower. Floors are heated and Cowshed amenities plus Saks Fifth Avenue towels are available.
United Polaris Lounge Newark Restrooms
Gender-Neutral restrooms are located near the buffet.
These restrooms have green and red lights beside the door, making it very clear when the bathroom is in use.
United Polaris Lounge EWR Quiet Suites (Sleeping Rooms)
Inside the shower suite area, nine quiet suites offer a place to relax between flights. The suites include a pillow, ear plugs, water bottle, “calming” spray from Cowshed, and a radio-like device that plays soothing sounds like gentle rain, ocean waves, and other white noise.
United Polaris Lounge EWR Buffet
The breakfast buffet was fairly limited, but had several items that looked tasty. Had I not dined in the lounge restaurant, I would have sampled a bagel and breakfast burrito. Impressive that there were three salsa choices with the burritos. Other items included scrambled eggs, yogurt parfaits, sausage, hash browns, and two types of oatmeal.
A drink station included coffee machines, soft drinks, water, and light snacks. If you like coffee, don’t bother with these machines. Instead, ask a barista at the bar to whip up some fresh coffee.
United Polaris Lounge Newark A La Carte Dining
Without a doubt, the highlight of the visit was the excellent dining room. Service was superb and the food truly sensational. And what a beautiful place to eat:
Here’s the full menu:
I began breakfast with a cappuccino and a strawberry mint açaí bowl (which was served like a frozen yogurt topped in fresh fruit).
Next, I enjoyed Eggs Benedict, served on rye bread with a chipotle hollandaise sauce. That sauce was wonderful, making this dish the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had. Even the sliced heirloom tomatoes were brimming with flavor. This dish is a winner.
Finally, I enjoyed an order of French Toast, which was delicious but not more than a few bites. I augmented the last course with a bowl of berries and one more cappuccino.
Seriously, this was an excellent breakfast. I love the a la carte dining concept and this lounge delivers on it.
Next time, I want to visit for lunch or dinner, because the rest of the menu also looks fabulous.
And I must give a shoutout to the excellent staff in the restaurant. One told me she was so proud of the new lounge and now loved coming to work. I appreciate that so much, because I remember clearly what this lounge space used to be like: overcrowded, limited food options, and many broken power ports. What a metamorphosis…
United Polaris Lounge Newark Bar
I did not have any alcoholic drinks during my visit, but a full range of beer, wine, and cocktails are available. And even Bloody Mary’s in the morning if you like those (I don’t…).
Here’s the full bar menu:
United Polaris Lounge EWR Coffee + Barista Bar
Finally, I must again underscore that the lounge coffee situation has improved tremendously with a new coffee machine and trained baristas.
In addition to the cappuccino with breakfast, I also enjoyed a macchiato, which was excellent.
Like in San Francisco and Chicago, United has another winner here. I love this lounge and see it as a new reason to connect through Newark. The a la carte menu is better than SFO and the lounge is quite spacious. I’m sure it fills up more prior to the evening bank of European departures, but I do not suspect it will ever be standing room only. If you have access to this lounge before or after your next flight, it is definitely worth a visit!
> Read More: United Polaris Lounge San Francisco (SFO) Review