This lounge visit was part of my trip to Turkey and China. My index including trip reports for Air Canada, Asiana, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines, and lounge and hotel reviews can be found here.
Thai Airways has some of the best ground services available for their first class passengers and the Royal Orchid Spa and Royal First Lounge are fantastic places to rest, relax, work and dine before or after your international flight. I haven’t been lucky enough to visit the famed Lufthansa First Class Terminal but from what I hear, the Thai Airways first class experience gives Lufthansa a run for its money. The Royal Orchid Spa and Royal First Lounge have been visited by many others including fellow UPGRD blogger, Brad. You can read his review here.
Because I was connecting to a first class flight, I had an attendant waiting for me as I walked off the airplane which was parked at a remote stand. She greeted me by name and directed me to my private 1980’s family van shuttle ride to the terminal. I know. I know. It’s not as glamorous as a Lufthansa Porsche or Mercedes Benz but it was definitely better than waiting for the bus with the other passengers.
Once we arrived at the terminal entrance, I was escorted inside and driven by buggy through security and to the famous Royal First Lounge located on level three of concourse D. The attendant stayed with me the entire way. She rode in the buggy and waited patiently for me to get through security.
At the lounge, the attendant introduced me to the desk agents where they checked my credentials and granted me access to the beautiful lounge. As I was checking in, I asked the desk agent regarding a massage. He checked their schedule and informed me that there were no appointments for a full body massage available until 11:00 PM. Because my connecting flight to Paris departed at 12:10 AM, I wasn’t able to do it. Boo.
Seeing the disappointment in my face, he continued checking the schedule and found available times for a 30 mins foot and leg massage and a 30 mins neck and shoulder massage for me. YAY! It wasn’t a touch of silk full body massage but I was happy to take what I could get!
The desk agent then escorted me to The Royal Orchid Spa which was located across the hallway from the lounge. He introduced me to the spa attendant, said some magic words and I was whisked away to a treatment room where I had a relaxing foot and leg cleansing and massage followed by a traditional Thai neck and shoulder massage. It was heavenly.
For you stats geeks. . . the Royal Orchid Spa is a 7000 square feet facility offering a 32-seat lounge area with healthy snacks and herbal drinks, 3 Touch of Silk massage suites, 6 neck/shoulder and foot/leg massage treatment rooms, 2 steam rooms, 2 sauna rooms and 4 shower suites.
The Royal Orchid Spa treatments include:
- Touch of Silk full body massage – 60 mins for first class passengers only.
- Royal Thai massage (Thai acupuncture) – 60 mins for first class passengers only.
- Neck and Shoulder massage – 30 mins for first and business class passengers.
- Foot and Leg massage – 30 mins for first and business class passengers.
Wanting to check out the Royal First Lounge, I went without the sauna/steam room session and went back to the lounge to shower up and get some food.
The Royal First Lounge is huge and offers:
- 2 VIP rooms.
- 6 private “living” rooms.
- 22-seat dining room with waiter service.
- Individual sleep rooms.
- Shower suites.
- Business center with computers and WiFi throughout the lounge.
I walked back to the shower suites and asked one of the attendants for a shower room. After a few minutes, one became available and I took one of the longest showers of my life. I felt so relaxed and the entire experience was just so surreal. I wanted to take in every moment of it and wished that time could stand still. And for what it’s worth, the showers suites were equipped with travel size bottles of L’Occitane bath and body products.
After my shower, I gathered my belongings and walked back out to the main lounge area. There were a couple of private living rooms available but I felt bad taking up a whole room to myself so I just sat in the main seating area.
I sat down in one of the chairs and was immediately greeted by a waiter. He provided me with an iPad with an interactive menu and took my drink order. I guess I could have just got food from the buffet or sat down at one of the dining room tables but the waiter was so attentive that I didn’t need to do anything else. I didn’t have ask for anything or hunt anyone down. The staff was very proactive and wanted to make sure we were all taken care of.
And you know what else I didn’t need to do? Pay attention to the time. When the time came for us to leave, the attendants came by individually to all the first class passengers, called us by name and escorted us to the front of the lounge where there was another buggy waiting to take us to our plane. Brilliant!
Private Sleep Rooms
Sitting down to write up this review, I was struggling to use just one word to describe the Royal First Lounge. The best description that I could come up with was that it just felt like “home.” It felt like I was coming home to a very comfortable and warm place and my family just wanted to take care of me. The furniture was nice but comfortable. It wasn’t too nice where you didn’t want to sit in it or use it. And the ambiance was very warm and welcoming. The attendants were all amazingly helpful and pleasant and it really showed that they took pride in this place.
I really can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed my visit to the Royal Orchid Spa and Royal First Lounge. The entire experience was so memorable and it still puts a smile on my face to this day. If you ever get a chance to fly Thai Airways first class, I highly recommend it. If not for anything else, the ground services at Bangkok will blow you away.
Note: for the purposes of “same day” travel, flights departing at 12:10 AM still counted as the same day as if they departed at 11:59 PM. For example, my flight from Shanghai arrived on Wednesday at 9:28 PM but my connecting flight to Paris did not leave until Thursday at 12:10 AM. It still counted as “same day” travel for the purposes of lounge entry and spa use.
And here’s another tip. If you are departing on a late flight, I highly recommend you eat dinner in the lounge. I found the food in the lounge to be exponentially better and more plentiful than the in-flight meal.
Other trip reports in this series:
- The new Star Alliance Lounge at LAX
- The new Korean Airlines Skyteam Lounge at LAX
- Turkish Airlines business class from Los Angeles to Istanbul
- Hilton Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge at Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines business class from Istanbul to Frankfurt
- Lufthansa Senator Lounges at Frankfurt
- Asiana Airlines first class from Frankfurt to Seoul
- Asiana Airlines first class lounge at Seoul
- Asiana Airlines business class from Seoul to Shanghai
- Westin Bund Center Shanghai
- VIP lounges at Shanghai Pudung International Airport
- Thai Airways business class from Shanghai to Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal First Spa and Lounge
- Thai Airways first class from Bangkok to Paris
- Star Alliance Lounge at CDG
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at CDG
- Air Canada business class (Executive First) from Paris to Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Montreal
- Air Canada business class (Executive First) from Montreal to Los Angeles.