New lounge led by Song Dynasty aesthetics with the conceptual use of southern china style garden. It re-interprets Eastern aesthetics by merging modern design with literary art.
The new China Airlines Taiwan Taipei lounge has had another revamp, with one of the most unusual interiors we've seen at Lux-traveller in years.
The new lounge at the China Airlines hub is a master piece in wood-and-tent style construction, which mimics the atmosphere of a rural china half a millennium back, but at the same time offers all the classic facilities of a first and business class lounge.
According to the airline, "The VIP lounge offers a relaxed setting that re-interprets Eastern aesthetics by merging modern design with literary art." It is located on the same ground plan as the older rather dated lounge.
The lounge revamps is part of China Airlines' 'NextGen' program to revamp what had been one of the quieter Asian airlines. It comes as the airline is also putting the same NexGen style into its new 777-300ER aircraft.
The five-star hotel, Novotel, is providing the catering. Delicacies include Taiwan favourites such as bubble tea and French-style vegetable stew, a southern French recipe that brings together fresh taste of assorted vegetables. There is also the Shanghai dry noodle, which gives passengers a taste of an authentic Shanghai snack.
The new lounge is seats 220, with zoned areas. The most interesting is the dining room, which has a large tent like cloth roof, and vast hanging lanterns.
The same lanterns also feature in the main lounge area, which is divided in two by a vast long table, on which there are coffee-table books, and few snacks. Around the edges the lounge is divided into small sub-spaces with half height room dividers. It looks a little dingy, thanks to the lack of windows, and indeed that is the other feature of this lounge: the sheer lack of a view.
There are various sculptures around the room, including one of a greyhound, and another of a stork on the main reception desk, which also features a giant bonsai tree (if that isn't a contradiction).
There is also a living wall of plants, similar to those found in the main terminal concourse.
Led by NexGen designer, Ray Chen, the design and construction of the Terminal 1 VIP lounge took around 6 months to complete. The design was inspired by Song Dynasty aesthetics with the conceptual use of southern China style garden.
Referencing images of the Suzhou Surging Waves Pavilion, the feeling of nature continues through the lounge with the use of a beautiful carved wood door by a master carpenter from Sanyi.
According to the airline "further earthy elements such as Hualien granite stone, leather surfaces and velvet sofa fabrics, help create a relaxing environment of 'literary taste'."
There is a reading room too, plus all the facilities you would normally expect in a lounge, including showers and a baby feeding room. The vast tea bar is worthy of note.
The new China Airlines Taipei lounge was initially opened to journalists for a few days in November, but is now fully open to first and business class passengers, Dynasty Flyer Paragon members, Emerald and Gold members, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members. Eligable Passengers on the Qantas codeshare to Sydney (operated by China Airlines) are also permitted.
The lounge is in Terminal 1, on the fourth floor, at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (Airport code TPE), China Airlines' hub, serving the capital of Taiwan,Taipei, and is by far the largest airport in Taiwan.
There are two other China Airlines lounges at Taipei. The 65 seater Supreme lounge is for First Class customers, and also on the fourth floor. The VIP lounge in Terminal 2 is for both Business and First class, and seats 242, and is next in line for a revamp.
All are open 0530 to 2330 daily.