The Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge in Kuala Lumpr (KUL) is open after an extended remodel. It’s still a nice lounge…but not as nice as before, in my opinion.
Let’s start with the pros of the new lounge.
1. It No Longer Looks Worn Out and Tired
The furniture in the old lounge was dated and in some cases very worn. The new furniture and artwork is very nice and found throughout the lounge. Some of the chairs remain the same.
2. Remodeled, Clean Bathrooms and Showers
The new restroom is clean and modern. The five shower suites are bright and well-lit.
3. Private Suite
I was able to take a peak in the “private suite”, which I was told was reserved only for VIPs and those first class passengers traveling to London. This is located in the former smoking room of the lounge and offers an even more private place to wait out your flight. It also features a private bathroom and shower.
4. Nap Room Offers More Beds
A gender-segregated nap area offers four daybeds in the female section and six in the male section. The old lounge offered five private sleeping rooms. This new arrangement will allow more people to simultaneously utilize the sleeping facilities. First class bedding is also provided.
Now let’s move to the cons of the new lounge.
1. The Loss of Sleeping Rooms
My favorite part of the old lounge was the private sleeping rooms, which have been now been turned into the above nap area. The old rooms were fully private with a nightstand, twin-size bed, and luggage rack. I miss this amenity greatly in the new lounge.
2. Reduction in A La Carte Menu
Last visit, the a la carte menu had a wider selection of food available to order. While the menu is still largely the same, I found it more limited than before.
3. Smoking Room Eliminated
I’m not a smoker, but if you do smoke you will now have to venture over to the far corner of the business class side in order to smoke. I guess some of you may chalk that up as a positive.
I’d say that the new lounge is, on balance, a downgrade from the old one. The new furniture is very nice, especially in the dining room. It’s still a very nice lounge. But the loss of the sleeping rooms represent an overall downgrade, not upgrade to the lounge. In contrast, the new business class lounge represents a huge improvement over the old one. A full review will be published later this week of both lounges.