REVIEW – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver (YVR)
April 13, 2018
REVIEW – Air Canada : Business Class – Vancouver to London LHR (B789)
April 15, 2018

REVIEW – Plaza Premium Lounge, Vancouver (YVR – International Terminal)

 


Plaza Premium Lounge (International Terminal)
YVR- Vancouver International Airport


  • Class: Business
  • Access:
    • Priority Pass
    • Business Class passengers on non-Star Alliance carriers
    • Paid Access:
      • 40 CAD – 2h
      • 50CAD – 3h
      • 70CAD – 6h
  • Date: June 2016


Intro


 

After the my rather depressing encounter with the sallow and decrepit Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, I was hoping the the Plaza Premium Lounge would restore my faith in humanity.

Plaza Premium has a great reputation and my limited experience of their lounges has been great.

On a lounge hopping tour of Heathrow’s Terminal 2, the Plaza Premium was actually my favourite lounge. Their arrivals facilities in Heathrow are great too.

 


The Lounge


Upon first entering the lounge you are met with a bank of computers on your left and a coffee shop style buffet counter on the right.  There were a couple of soup options, some healthy quinoa and vegetables and a large glass display of sandwiches and sweets. The difference in presentation between this and the AC lounge was like night and day. Entering this lounge felt like taking a time machine back to the modern day.

 

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YVR lounges-21
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I loved the fact that they had a proper coffee machine, where you could order a decent macchiato.

I have to say though, I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying out any business or even Skyping home, given the complete lack of privacy offered by the computers.

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

Not exactly a mind blowing selection of food in the café cabinet but at least that lady from the AC lounge can’t get her dirty fingers all over these ?

There is no self pour alcohol in the lounge but drinks could also be ordered from the cafe counter.  The menu read as follows:

 

Beer
Draft Pale Ale Molson Canadian Kokanee Corona
Budweiser Heineken Coors Light

 

Red Wine White Wine
Cabernet Merlot Pinot Gris
Merlot Chardonnay

 

Liquor
Appleton Rum Gordon’s Gin Ballantine’s Kahlua
Bacardi Gold Smirnoff Vodka Wiser’s Whisky Remy VSOP
Bacardi Black/ White Tequila Canadian Club Baileys

 

Cocktails
Gin and Tonic Vodka Martini Screwdriver
Gin and Ginger Ale Vodka Tonic Sea Breeze
Bloody Caesar Bloody Mary Rum and Coke
I had to Google the Bloody Caesar, apparently it is a Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary, which uses clam infused tomato juice instead of the regular stuff.
plaza premium vancouver yvr review

The decor in here as far more modern than the AC lounge, a variety of different seating options in soothing neutral tones. Still, it’s hard to ignore how cramped this space is. Those horseshoe shaped chairs by the window are packed in tight.

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

Continuing past the main sitting area, at the far end of the lounge, you come to a dining area. Once again, the seating here is extremely densely packed. 

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

The lounge benefits from a series of floor to ceiling windows throughout, yielding both natural light and fantastic views of the mountains and varied aircraft that visit YVR.

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

Some sweet snacks, a soft drinks machine and a nod to the lounge’s asian owners and the many Asian airlines that fly to YVR…

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

…Yam congee with condiments! Seeing a vat of congee with a variety of different toppings, always brings back memories of my time living in China back in 2002.

plaza premium vancouver yvr review

There were also a few more salad options here, as well as a noodle dish and a chicken dish.

 


Conclusion


 This lounge is a clear improvement over the AC Maple Leaf lounge; it is far more elegantly furnished, has better food options and better coffee.

 

Still, in an international context this is by no means a competitive facility. This is not a scratch on the facilities of HKG, TPE and NRT that many of this lounge’s guests will be accustomed to.

 

 If you are paying for entry and plan on having a couple of drinks, 40CAD for two hours is a no brainer though. You’d struggle to get a single drink and a sandwich for that price in the terminal. I think the real answer with this facility, given the clearly limited space and overcrowding issues, would be to raise the access price and remove some seats. This would  serve to make the space more of a lounge and less of a cafeteria, a distinction worth making given how quiet and peaceful the terminal outside is…

 

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