Review: THAI Airways Royal First Class Lounge Bangkok

Champagne, a la carte dining and a signature Thai massage – all before your flight.

Introduction: The Retro-Nostalgic Peregrination
THAI Airways Royal First Class Lounge Bangkok
THAI Airways Boeing 747-400 First Class BKK-SYD
Pier One Sydney Harbour
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 2007 Suites SYD-SIN

THAI Airways’ non-stop flight from Bangkok to Sydney departs once a day at 7.20pm. I could have easily taken a same-day flight from Singapore and proceeded immediately to check in for my evening flight.

Instead, I flew out a day earlier to take the opportunity to tour Bangkok for a bit.

I got to check out a couple of speakeasies and dine at Raan Jay Fai. It has a Michelin star and has been featured on Netflix’s Street Food series, so if you haven’t heard of it, you need to get out from under that rock.

I’ve received questions like, “How long did you queue for?” and “Was it worth it?”. Yes, it was worth it and no, I didn’t have to queue. Pro-tip: make reservation, turn up, show reservation, skip queues.

For our single night in the Thai capital, we stayed at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, where we were upgraded to a suite.

A suite was for a night was lovely, but we knew the real treat lay in wait the following day.

That famous buggy

Part of the package of flying first class in THAI is that famous buggy. The check-in process was smooth and we were soon on the escalator leading down to the Royal Silk Lounge, where a buggy was waiting for us.

Suvarnabhumi Airport spans several concourses, each of which takes a long time to traverse. So of course they weren’t going to let passengers in first class walk that far. The horror.

In reality though, the first class lounge wasn’t that far away from the business one, so was a buggy really necessary? No. But was I going to turn down a cheap thrill? Heck no.

After half a minute and several awkward stares from other passengers from within the business class lounge, we arrived at the Royal First Lounge, where the lounge receptionist greeted each of us by name.

THAI Airways Royal First Lounge

We were given a choice of relaxing in the general seating area, or in one of several private rooms. We opted for the latter.

The private rooms have comfier arm chairs and large couches to stretch out on. If you’d like to watch a bit of telly, there is also a large-screen TV, though its placement was rather awkward, as if placed there as an afterthought.

We dumped our bags and it wasn’t long after we got comfortable that a printed food menu was brought to us.

The staff taking care of us was patient as we pored through the options, and even gave recommendations of what he liked on the menu more. After he left with our food orders, his colleague came by and presented us with the drink menu, where we all requested for champagne unhesitatingly. THAI only serves Moet & Chandon in the lounge , though it’s a different story in the sky.

While waiting for our food, we explored the rest of the lounge.

The general seating area, while pleasant, resembled something closer to a regular business class lounge. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when you consider what other airlines have in first class, then this clearly doesn’t stand up to the competition. Think Air France’s La Premiere lounge in CDG, Cathay Pacific’s The Pier in HKG, or Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in FRA.

There was a separate dining area simply called The Dining Room, for those who prefer a proper sit-down experience. There was also a small buffet area with desserts, light bites and a selection of Thai candy. I imagine these are intended for those on the go.

Our food arrived and we began digging in. I had ordered a bowl of wonton soup, while my friends went for a sirloin steak and green chicken curry. The steak was just meh, but the curry was really good. I didn’t get to try everything on the menu, but Asian dishes – especially the Thai ones – are a better bet here.

Sorry, I was already halfway through the curry before I remembered to snap a pic.

THAI Airways Royal Orchid Spa

While we sipped on our second glass of champagne, lounge staff came over and asked if we’d like to book a massage in the Royal Orchid Spa.

You can access the spa if you are flying on THAI metal internationally in business class or first class, or if you hold platinum status with Royal Orchid Plus, THAI Airways’ frequent flyer program.

Business class passengers and platinum ROP members can choose between:

  • 30-minute neck and shoulder massage
  • 30-minute foot massage

First class passengers, on the other hand, have a wider range of options:

  • 60-minute full body oil massage
  • 60-minute traditional Thai massage
  • 30-minute neck and shoulder massage
  • 30-minute foot massage

I fell asleep halfway through my massage, and only woke when my masseuse requested I sit straight up for her to perform the signature Thai finishing move – that part where your back is contorted in ways that are painful, yet satisfying.

The massage suites come with a tub to soak in. But as you can see from the pictures, it felt a bit too open for my liking.

What if someone walked in while I was getting in/out? What if someone fainted at the sight of my body? I didn’t want to cause such panic, so I opted for the more conventional (and much more private) shower.

I returned to the lounge, where a staff member recognised and greeted me by name, while notifying me the flight was boarding soon. She also asked if I’d like another glass of champagne while I waited, and I took her up on her offer.

Within a few short minutes (where I had admittedly already downed my champagne), another lounge staff approached us to introduce himself and to escort us to our gate.

Concluding thoughts

The THAI Airways first class ground experience has been constantly ranked among the top 10 in the world.

While it isn’t their lounge that excels, other factors make up what is such a winning combination.

The staff are attentive, friendly and gracious, and one can easily see they were trying their best to truly make the experience enjoyable for every passenger there. Throw in a complimentary hour-long massage and it’s a guarantee that every passenger feels fully relaxed as they walk towards their plane – in our case, a Boeing 747-400.

Ryan Chan
Ryan Chan
When Ryan isn’t in a plane, he’s in an airport awaiting his next flight. Aside from being a victim of the travel bug, he’s also a sucker for every major city’s speakeasies, not resting until he has hunted each of them down. He’s sworn to keep their whereabouts safe, but buy him a whisk(e)y and he’ll shamefully spill all secrets.

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Some fool

Pro Challenge: Use miles for a 747SP flight


bro, do we give a tips for massage? if so, how much? tx



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