My business class flight on EVA from Los Angeles arrived just after 5:30am, and after a short wait at the transfer security counter and walk through the airport, I was at the EVA business class lounge entrance. All of the lounges are in the same area, and very easy to find with good signage throughout the terminal. I was really hoping for a great lounge experience as I had just over 7 hours to wait until my onwards connection!
Upon entering the lounge, I was greeted by the pleasant staff who scanned my boarding pass and asked if I wanted to register for a shower. After an entire day of travel (and a warmer than usual plane ride), I jumped at the opportunity! The lounge was quite busy already and was told there would be a 90 minute wait. No Problem, as I was starving and wanted to have some breakfast. The agent said I could access either The Star lounge to the left of reception, or the Infinity lounge located on the right. I’m not 100% sure who gets access to which side, though I believe passengers traveling in business class can access either, while Star Alliance Gold Members can access The Star only (if flying in economy).
I decided to check out The Star first, knowing I would have plenty of time to explore both. I was really surprised to see the crowds this early in the morning, and although there was plenty of seating, it was tough to find a seat that wasn’t occupied. The decorations were minimal, and overall the space worked well. The lounge offered couches to relax in and dining tables for eating. The couches were pretty much all in use, so I headed towards the dining area. Luckily the space cleared out as the morning progressed and I was able to get some pictures!
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I was pleased to see the lounge was kept clean, regardless of how busy it was, with plenty of friendly staff going around cleaning up dirty plates etc. After I found a seat (in a quiet area), I dropped my bags and went to see the food!
I didn’t see anything that really stood out to me in the Star lounge so I decided it was time to check out the Infinity side. I was surprised to see this lounge was even busier than the other, but just like the Star lounge, this one quickly cleared out (there must have been several flights all leaving around the same time).
Where the star lounge seemed to be practical with its simple finishes, the Infinity offered more for the eye to see…
There was a quiet business centre near the entrance with a printer and a few computers and quiet work areas. Sadly there were no neon lights in this area…
The food selection was much the same as the Star side, with a few different selections and self-serve Movenpick ice cream instead of Häagen-Dazs.
After a couple small nibbles of food and a bottle of soda water, it was time for a shower. Based on the rest of the lounge I was fully expecting to be underwhelmed with the bathrooms, and was quite surprised to find an upscale shower with high-end amenities, and no bright lights!
Though the wait for a shower was longer than expected (about 2 hours), it was worth it! The ability to freshen up after a flight during a long layover is priceless, in my opinion. Seven hours is a long time to be in an airport, and having lounge access kept me sane.
Even though I was there longer than I would have liked, the lounges were relaxing enough and had plenty to offer. The Star and Infinity lounges are very different on the surface, though the seating, food, and service levels are much the same. I personally preferred the toned down Star lounge, but depending on your style and mood, the Infinity side could be a better way to kill a few hours.
Are these the best airport lounges in the world? Not even close. The Cathay Pacific lounge at Vancouver Airport had better food and more contemporary style, and the Japan Airlines Lounge at Tokyo Narita is in a different league entirely (first class lounge review). Considering how amazing the flight experience was, I was a bit disappointed with the lounges in Taipei (especially since it’s home to EVA Air). That being said, the food was good enough, there was a decent selection of beverages, and the staff and shower facilities were beyond good. Though I wouldn’t make an effort to transit Taipei for a lounge visit (like some might do in Frankfurt), it still beats sitting at the gate!