01. Introduction: To Taipei with Star Alliance and SkyTeam business class awards
02. United Airlines 737-900/ER first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03. Asiana A380-800 business class Los Angeles to Seoul
04. Incheon Transit Hotel
05. Eva Air A321 regional business class Seoul to Taipei
06. Grand Hyatt Taipei
07. The quiet serenity of Taipei during Chinese New Year
08. China Airlines Dynasty Lounge, TPE, Terminal 1
09. China Airlines 777-300/ER business class Taipei to Seoul
10. KAL Prestige Class Lounge, ICN
11. Korean Air A380-800 Prestige Class (business class) Seoul to Los Angeles
12. Delta Connection CRJ-700 first class Los Angeles to San Diego
I’ve explained my feelings toward airline lounges in the past, but those of you who don’t recall, I’m about as far as a lounge snob as one can possibly get. While I agree that they are nice places to sit and relax before a long fight, I’ve never once walked into an airport thinking that I’ve just got to get to the lounge or else I’d die. It’s even like this when I’m somewhere with a really nice one such as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR or the Delta Sky Club at JFK. Airline lounges just aren’t that important to me – I actually like being inside busy airports, as sick as that sounds.
That being said, I’m never one to turn down the chance to check one out if the opportunity presents itself. That was exactly the circumstance that led me to the China Airlines Business Class Lounge here at TPE on the morning I returned to the US. It was there, I had the time, so I had absolutely no excuse not to go and check it out for myself. And hey – I was feeling a bit hungry, so if there was food to be had, all the better.
Of all the airline lounges I’ve been to over the years, this Dynasty Lounge ranked right up at the top of the list as the one that felt like a “real” lounge. You know…dark and swanky, with a lot of plush couches in dimly lit corners. It really felt like a nightclub, and if there was loud techno music playing and the stench of alcohol in the air, it wouldn’t have seemed totally out of place.
Thankfully, instead of smelling like alcohol, the aroma of this lounge was rich with freshly cooked breakfast. It hit me hard as soon as I walked through the main entrance, and it lured me all the way to the back before I could even stop to put my bag down or take any pics. I wasn’t that hungry, but boy did that spread smell good…
I had a better look of the place after finishing my meal, and I couldn’t help but to think that this Dynasty Lounge was a bit too dark and dreary for my tastes. It would certainly be a cool place to hang out with friends and have some drinks, but as a airline lounge, it didn’t feel right. It was simply too dark to get any work done IMHO, so business travelers who are looking for an oasis between flights to catch up on things might not find this to be the optimal working space. Just for comparison, the American Airlines lounge at LAX is the perfect example of a lounge that’s comfortable and bright enough to work in.
Darkness aside, this is a very well-designed layout which seemed perfect for the weary traveler who needs a dark hole to hide in for a few hours. Especially considering that there aren’t many other public spaces in the terminal at TPE to find peace and quiet that the Dynasty Lounge can offer.