Review: Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge Bangkok

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The gorgeous-looking Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is every bit an improvement from THAI's old lounges, with upgraded F&B options too.

Even though the THAI Airways Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is technically two years old, it might as well be brand new. The new flagship lounge was opened in November 2019, running head on into COVID. Consequently, it hasn’t seen all that much use, shuttering in March 2020 and only reopening in December 2021.

While Singapore Airlines is operating five flights a day from Bangkok, it hasn’t seen fit to reopen its SilverKris Lounge yet. With EVA Air also keeping its lounge closed, THAI and Turkish Airlines operate the only Star Alliance facilities at the moment. 

My advice? Forget the Turkish lounge- the Royal Orchid Prestige is where you want to be.

🍸 tl;dr: Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge
The Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is gorgeously designed, with a good selection of F&B (albeit temporarily scaled back) and plenty of seating. A worthy alternative to the SilverKris Lounge in the interim.
👍 The Good👎 The Bad
  • Eye-catching contemporary design
  • Bar service and surprisingly decent wines
  • Decent selection of hot food items (though scaled back from pre-COVID days)
  • Slow Wi-Fi
  • Showers not available at the moment
🏖️ Sandbox Game

Access and Operating Hours

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge

The Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge at Bangkok Airport is open from 5 a.m to 1.30 a.m daily, and located in the concourse D area opposite gate D4. 

Depending on where your boarding gate is, it can be up to a 15-minute walk from lounge to plane, so plan accordingly. 

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge map

Access to the Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is available to:

  • THAI Royal First Class & Royal Silk Class passengers
  • Star Alliance First & Business Class passengers
  • Royal Orchid Plus Platinum and Gold members and Star Alliance Gold passengers travelling on a same-day THAI or Star Alliance flight (+1 guest, travelling on same flight)

Seating

Lounge reception

The Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge spans 2,089 sqm and is split into two zones: the west zone for Royal First Class passengers and Royal Orchid Plus Platinum members, and the east zone for Royal Silk Class passengers, Royal Orchid Plus Gold members and Star Gold members. 

Only the east zone was open when I visited; THAI is not operating any aircraft with First Class at the moment anyway. 

While the old Royal Orchid lounges were nothing to get excited about, the new Prestige Lounge is a breath of fresh air- quite literally, as it boasts abundant green walls with real, live plants. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light from the glass-enclosed terminal to stream in, adding to the sense of spaciousness. 

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating
Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating
Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating

The lounge has seating for 463 passengers, with armchairs adopting the airline’s signature purple and beige colours. I didn’t spot any sleeping rooms, but the chairs looked comfortable enough for a brief snooze. There are also no boarding announcements made in the lounge, which does wonders for ambiance. 

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating
Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating
Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge seating

Its garden-theme is eminently Instagramable, and the lounge knows it- even setting up a striking red bench against a section of the green wall for that perfect photo opportunity

Instaspot

Separate areas have been created for sitting, working and dining. There was a communal working table (with built-in power plugs and USB charging), as well as a dining area with a mix of two and four-tops. 

Communal work table
Dining area
Dining area

A mysterious private room was locked up and sealed off for the rest of the lounge. Before COVID, this area was used for First Class passengers and had clear glass, so it came off as a bit of a fish tank! They’ve added frosting since. 

VIP room

Also sealed off was the west zone, which as mentioned is not in use at the moment. The chairs here are made of leather instead of fabric, in dark brown and beige tones. 

West zone seating

Power and Productivity

While everything else in the lounge may be spanking new, the complimentary Wi-Fi network leaves a lot to be desired. Speeds clocked in at less than 5 Mbps up and down, which means you may encounter stuttering issues when attempting high-bandwidth activities like HD streaming or video calls.

You won’t be short of power options, as THAI has made sure to build in universal power sockets and twin USB type-A outlets all over the lounge. These can be found on the side and legs of tables. 

Charging outlets and USB ports
Charging outlets and USB ports
Charging outlets and USB ports

Food & Beverages

Scattered around the lounge were several snack stations, laid out in a self-serve format along with drinks chillers.

Snack station
Snack station

Items on offer included pre-packaged cakes, pies, and sweet and savoury pastries. Nuts, chips and ice cream (with local flavours like coconut milk, butterfly pea and Thai tea) were also offered.

Banana muffins and Apple pies
Ham rolls and garlic chicken pies
Lemon and chocolate cake
Mixed nuts
Ice cream
Fruit

The drinks chillers stocked soft drinks, bottled water, juice, and both domestic (Singha, Chang) and imported (Heineken) beer. 

Drinks chiller

For those who wanted coffee, a Carimali espresso machine dispensed various options at the touch of a button.

Espresso machine

While a distinctive TWG box bore the promise of fancy tea, upon closer inspection it turned out to be just Lipton tea bags (what’s the difference, some wags will no doubt say).

Tea

For those craving something a bit more substantial, the real action takes place at the dining area in the middle of the lounge, complete with open kitchen and buffet lines. Prior to COVID, guests could look forward to a few made-to-order items from the kitchen, but for the moment it’s all buffet. 

Dining area
Open kitchen
Buffet line

Guests were instructed to don plastic gloves and serve themselves. There was a salad bar, with both Thousand Island and Thai spicy dressing, as well as various cooked food options like stir fried fish and vegetables, grilled chicken, dim sum and pasta. 

Salad bar
Stir-fried sea bass
Thai-style chicken
Stir-fried vegetables
Chicken soup
Pasta (served separately from sauce- sacrilege!)
Dim sum

For those who wanted comfort food, instant noodles were offered too.

Instant noodles

While the catering is more homely than luxe, I had few complaints. I would still say the SilverKris Lounge has better food, but to do an apples-to-apples comparison we need to see the catering situation when it reopens.

Lunch

As for drinks, the Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge boasts a full service bar, attractively-designed with high-top chairs. 

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge bar
Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge bar

There’s no champagne on offer, but those wanting some bubbles can enjoy a 7 Cascine Prosecco Treviso.

Prosecco

Wine options consisted of a 2019 Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile and a 30° South Chardonnay from Australia. Neither of them is Robert Parker stuff, but both were perfectly drinkable. THAI used to have a penchant for mediocre French wines in its lounges, so it’s nice to see them mixing it up a bit.  

Wines

The bartender can of course whip up a cocktail for you, with mojitos and mai-tais on offer the day I visited. Both were on the sweet side, but since they’re made to order you can just ask them to cut the syrup.

Cocktail options
Mojito
Mai-tai

It looks like pre-COVID the drinks selection was even bigger, so let’s hope that comes back soon!

Pre COVID drinks menu (Photo: Pantip)

Showers

The shower areas were closed when I visited, so I can’t tell how many there are. 

Showers

However, a reader sent along the following photo, which suggests they’re decently furnished at the very least, with manual bidets and modern touches like concealed floor traps and all glass cubicles. 

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge shower

Based on what I’m reading on Flyertalk, the lounge offer Thann bath amenities back in 2019, which is quite a nice brand, all things considered!

Conclusion

Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge

The Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is a big step forward from the previous drab and tired THAI lounges, which I believe are undergoing a refurbishment at the moment anyway. There’s a lot to like in terms of aesthetics, so let’s hope this serves as the design template going forward. 

In terms of catering, some of the pre-COVID frills like cooked-to-order items and a wider cocktail selection have been canned for the moment, though I imagine they’ll be brought back once things get a bit busier. 

Slow Wi-Fi was a disappointment, especially since there were hardly any passengers around. They’d better work on that, or I don’t see how the place can cope with a full house. 

Did you manage to visit the Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge prior to COVID? How did your experience compare to mine?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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T Warren

We passed through at breakfast time and the made to order cooking station was open serving 2/3 dishes from memory, catering to all pallets.

Last edited 7 months ago by T Warren
Zhong

Must say it looks miles ahead of the royal orchid lounge that I visited early 2019. That one was a sad, sorry lounge with dated furniture and poor food options.

Silverkris was my favourite with it’s beer machines whenever departing BKK but guess I will be checking out the this one now for my trips.

Last edited 7 months ago by Zhong
JW19

I’d only wished the new Changi T3 SKL had all day long bartenders like what many outstation SKLs and this Royal Pretige lounge had, it would make it perfect.

Jani P

One tidbit worth noting: while THAI enforces the “1 guest per Star Gold” policy quite strictly, the lounge can let in additional guests at 1300 baht/person. Quite handy if travelling as a family.

Mike

Hi Aaron. Very nice summary. The new lounge is a nice surprise and it became my favourite lounge in Asia. Here is a video review done just 2 weeks ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5A6ID_P-SQ

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