I was looking forward to visiting the STARLUX Galactic Lounge on my flight back to Singapore, but unfortunately it was still closed at the time of my flight (it reopened on 7 November 2022).
All of STARLUX’s lounge-eligible passengers were sent to the Plaza Premium Lounge instead, which, in the tease of all teases, is located just next to the Galactic Lounge.
There’s a total of four Plaza Premium Lounges at TPE, spread across Terminals 1 and 2. Currently, there is only one lounge open per terminal. This review is for the lounge at Terminal 1, Zone D.
|🍸 tl;dr: Plaza Premium Lounge TPE|
|The Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE is certainly not worth rushing to the airport for, but it’s serviceable enough for short waits.|
|👍 The Good||👎 The Bad|
|🇹🇼 When You Wish Upon a STARLUX|
Access and Operating Hours
The Plaza Premium Lounge is located after security, and is open from 6 a.m to 10 p.m daily. Look out for the stairs leading to the upper floor (there’s also an elevator, should you have luggage).
Access is normally available to various credit card and lounge membership partners. The Singapore-relevant ones would be:
- AMEX Platinum Charge cardholders (+1 guest)
- AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders
- Dragon Pass members
- OCBC VOYAGE cardholders
- OCBC Premier Visa Infinite cardholders
Do note that Plaza Premium Lounges no longer admit Priority Pass and LoungeKey members, ever since their July 2021 break up.
Plaza Premium Lounge Overview
Plaza Premium opened lounges in Taoyuan International Airport Terminals 1 and 2 in 2016, with a combined floor space of 2,500 sqm and seating for about 600 guests.
The interior design follows a “trees and timber” theme, intended to blend natural elements with a city landscape. A wood-carving of Taiwan island can be found in the lounge in Terminal 1, while the Taipei 101 skyscraper and Xinyi skyline can be found in a bas-relief at the reception of the lounge in Terminal 2.
Just beyond the lounge’s entrance are a cluster of productivity pods. These provide a private spot to catch up on work or have a bite. Each pod has its own reading light, universal power outlet and USB port.
On both ends of the lounge are seating bays with armchairs and dim lighting. There is no dedicated nap area, so this is as close as you’ll get.
The lounge then opens up into the main dining hall, with booth and table seating.
Additional armchair seating can be found in an annex at the rear of the lounge, in pods of two and four seats.
Power & Productivity
Universal power outlets are scattered around the lounge, each with 2x USB Type-A outlets. There are no wireless charging pads or USB Type-C outlets.
The Plaza Premium Lounge’s Wi-Fi network clocked in at a relatively sluggish 16.5 Mbps down and 2.6 Mbps up.
You’re better off connecting to the airport’s public Wi-Fi network, which was so much faster. Seriously, why bother running your own network if the public amenity is superior?
Food & Beverage
Food in the Plaza Premium Lounge is served buffet style, with scrambled eggs, green curry chicken, steamed vegetables, carbonara with (Italians look away now) cream sauce, and some rather addictive French fries.
There was also a small chef-assembled menu featuring four items: rice noodles with squid, vegetarian braised mushroom noodle soup, Taiwanese braised pork rice, and vegetarian sweet potato porridge.
I tried the non-vegetarian options, i.e. (1) and (3). Neither was memorable, but I must say the Taiwanese grow some exceptional rice. The rice was more the highlight of the dish than the pork!
In terms of drinks, the mini-fridge had beer, juices, and tiny cans of Coke and Sprite.
One red and one white wine were on offer: Feliza (3/5 on Vivino, and retailing for the princely sum of $7) and Plaza Alta Blanco Seco (2.7/5). Neither is going to make it to the Robert Parker list anytime soon.
The Plaza Premium website says that this lounge has shower rooms, but try as I might I could only find the male and female toilets. If you need a shower, there are public shower facilities elsewhere in Terminal 2. These are complimentary, though there’s a small charge for a fresh towel.
The Plaza Premium Lounge was passable enough, but I don’t think it falls into the “come early for this” category. If all you need is a quick bite and to catch up on some work, then this lounge should meet those needs nicely. If you’re hoping for additional frills like a nap corner, children’s play facilities or showers, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Fortunately, by the time you’re reading this the STARLUX Galactic Lounge will have reopened- can’t wait to try that in the future!