The Plaza Premium Network has expanded quite substantially in Asia over the years with a number of lounges within the region’s major airports. During my last trip to Taipei, I checked out the Plaza Premium Lounge in Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1. Within the airport, there are actually 4 Plaza Premium lounges. Two in Terminal 1 and another two in Terminal 2. During this particular visit to Terminal 1, I checked out the Plaza Premium Lounge marked as Zone D. Passengers with DragonPass, Priority Pass as well as some regional Citibank credit cards are able to access the lounge.
This was not the first Plaza Premium Lounge I have visited. Among my favorites are the stunning lounge in Siem Reap as well as the one in Hong Kong which offers a nice variety of food. Cebu also has a pretty good Plaza Premium Lounge with San Mig Light on tap but I digress.
Entering the lounge, I was handed with the WiFi password which remains the same in all Plaza Premium lounges around the world. It always goes by “PLAZAXXXX” with XXXX being the year. Conveniently, the WiFi networks all go by the same name so if you have connected to the WiFi network of their lounge in another connection, your mobile phone will automatically have you connected in other locations as well.
The first thing passengers will encounter inside is the honeycomb seating area. This offers a bit of privacy if you need to get some work done or if you simply want a semi-private space to relax before your flight. If you need to eat – and there’s no reason not to when you’re in this lounge – you’re better off sitting near the buffet station replete with proper dining tables. If you prefer to sit by the dining tables, you will find power outlets at the bottom of the seat.
Compared to other Plaza Premium lounges I’ve been to, there seems to be more food here. At the time of my visit, there were the likes of Taiwan Beef Noodles, Ginger Duck Stew, Vegetarian Noodle Soup and Steam Corn Bread with XO Sauce being made to order.
Passengers essentially take their pick from the menu followed by the food staff handing over a buzzer. My choice (beef noodles) was prepared in a relatively short period of time. The staff member barely smiled which I thought was a huge contrast from my usual experience with Taiwan’s service culture.
Aside from the made-to-order menu, there were also a couple of hot dishes available in the buffet. There was pasta, chicken and sauteed vegetables among others. I’ve been to this lounge twice. The food is not exactly that tasty but the variety is decent.
Another aspect where this lounge differs from the other Plaza Premium lounges is the availability of alcohol. There is local beer on tap as well as red wine. In their lounge in Singapore’s Changi Airport for example, alcohol is chargeable.
If you don’t prefer to sit in the dining area, a third option where seating is concerned are the lounge chairs located at opposite ends of the lounge. This lounge has thankfully done away with the grimy suede upholstery that permeate their lounges in Malaysia and instead the chairs in TPE are upholstered in fabric. A divider with a table lamp and power outlet separates each pair of lounge chairs while at the far end there are full-sized couches to relax in.
Of note is the absence of shower rooms here although one of the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2 comes with this facility. There is generally no publicly available shower facility in Terminal 1’s Departure area but the Arrivals area has a couple which are free to use.
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Location: Level 4 Departure Hall (after clearing immigration, you’ll have to climb a flight of stairs or take the lift one level up)