The Plaza Premium Al Reem Lounge, Abu Dhabi Airport

I recall a sense of deja vu writing this here on the blog but I have always been a creature of the night. There is something about the stillness, the societal pause, something about the convergence of curtains and dimming of lights that drives me to write into the early hours, to think into the early hours, sometimes to over think. I thought it would suit my habits well that the airports of the Middle East breathe a new life as night time prevails.

I was first to learn this two years ago when an indirect flight to Borneo took me via Dubai airport at 3am. Disembarking with a tension headache, I thought it unlikely a pharmacy would be open at that hour. Like any organised traveller, I had remembered a supply of painkillers for my travels. And like any disorganised traveller, I had packed this in my checked in baggage rather than my handbag. Allaying me from my unwarranted concerns, not only did I find a pharmacy open but also I found the entire micro-cosm of Dubai airport to be open, bustling and energetic; staff were mingling, passengers varying in their state of rousability, the shops, each and every one of them with a fully decked out window display, eagerly encouraging custom. Somehow, I fell out of my comfort zone at this hour of the night with its crowds and lights and cashiers.

Abu Dhabi Airport Lounge Plaza PremiumPrior to my recent visit to Abu Dhabi, I realised I would have several late night hours to pass at the airport before boarding our flight to the Seychelles. This time, I took a few moments out (a few hours to be precise) by setting up camp in the relative quietness of the Al Reem Lounge, a Plaza Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi.

The Al Reem Lounge Abu Dhabi

Al Reem Lounge Abu DhabiThe benefit of the Plaza Premium Lounges is that you don’t need any annual memberships or business class seats to access them and anyone who wishes to spend some time in the lounges may do so with a simple booking procedure with prices at the time of publishing this post starting at 29 USD per person for a 2 hour package. This lounge is located in Terminal 1 and a bowl of succulent dates stand near the entrance of the concierge alongside a pointy gold teapot.

Dining at Plaza premium Al Reem Lounge

bar Al Reem Lounge Airport Lounge Abu Dhabi

A little peckish from our early arrival at the airport, we headed straight to the buffet food where we found a selection of salads and hot dishes of barbecue chicken, a deliciously creamy potato curry, cumin rice and beef biriyani (as a non beef-eater, I can’t comment on the quality of the latter.)beef biriyani Abu Dhabi airport loungeThe desserts were quite high calibre contrary to those I have tried in other lounges, including a pistachio semolina pudding, caramel bavarois and a 3 tier platter of tasty Middle Eastern desserts, which I washed down with a cup of green tea.

Self serve cold, non-alcoholic beverages are available at the buffet but for a freshly made coffee or an alcoholic beverage, head to the bar on the downstairs level. Aside from the freshly made hot food, bowls of apples and unlimited cookies and marshmallows were lurking in naughty corners around the lounge. I just had to pretend I hadn’t seen them. The bikini was looming. Needs must.

salad bar Abu Dhabi airport

Ambience at the Al Reem Lounge

The lounge is dimly lit dim with a few television screens in the corners showing news headlines silently and a backdrop of soft piano music and a beautiful chandelier forming the centre point of the lounge. The lounge is split across three levels with the bar at the lowest level and the buffet, concierge and bathroom facilities at the higher level. There are other Plaza Premium Lounges at Abu Dhabi Airport so if you have booked lounge access, be sure to double-check these details.wpid-20150517_194931-01.jpegLounge Amenities

What is a lounge in this day and age without free WiFi and I was pleased to find that it worked very well during our time at the lounge with just one very brief break of connection lasting only a minute or two and even some good old fashioned glossy magazines for those of us who still enjoy the touch of published print between our fingers. Plug points were plentiful and both the ladies’ and gents’ bathrooms come with showering facilities, which we had intended to use but at 2am with an upcoming flight (which we were hoping to be asleep on anyway,) we became rather complacent. Please don’t think us unkempt 😀wpid-20150517_220317-01.jpegThe lounge itself is not huge in size and became quite busy after midnight. We arrived in good time and managed to obtain comfortable seats of our choosing but those arriving a bit later found it harder as seats started to fill up. The service was courteous and un-intrusive, which frankly was all I wanted at this time and the lounge must have done the trick in helping me to unwind as I managed nearly five solid hours of sleep on board the flight!

Disclaimer: We were guests of Plaza Premium Lounges for review purposes but I am an opinionated little lady and all views, good or bad, are entirely my own.

12 thoughts on “The Plaza Premium Al Reem Lounge, Abu Dhabi Airport

  1. The Al Reem lounge sounds like the perfect sojourn between connecting flights – five hours solid sleep is quite an achievement!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:17 pm

      Haha, I surprised myself Suzanne! To be fair, there were quite a few unoccupied seats on board so it helped that I could stretch out a bit!

  2. I had no idea that the Al Reem Lounge was open to anybody for a small price – I will be sure to make use of this next time I’m passing through!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:20 pm

      Yes that’s what’s quite nice about all the Plaza Premium Lounges Polly – no annual memberships or specific flight classes needed. I only learned of it recently but it’s really tempting to know that there’s the option for having lounge access with a simple one off payment. I can see myself using this newfound knowledge again one day ☺

  3. I’m impressed with the array of desserts on offer!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:23 pm

      I was too Suze, especially as I love pistachio flavoured dishes so it was quite a treat to have the option of a second helping of the pistachio pudding ☺

  4. If I’m not travelling business and don’t have lounge access then I’m a huge fan of paying for lounge access as it means you can normally freshen up – especially on the London to Auckland route! xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:28 pm

      Oh heavens, yes I can only imagine how much a lounge would come in handy on that route Kelly! I’ve never done a journey that long myself. I think I’ll definitely be using this kind of lounge again for long layovers/journeys as I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they food was and how much computer stuff I managed to get done in there in a quiet comfy seat! I should really have checked out the shower facilities but got very lazy! :mrgreen:

  5. This looks lovely, though I was instantly drawn to the link to your Borneo article! I am thinking of doing an elective their in August so very excited to go read about it right now 🙂 Hope you had a fabulous time in the Seychelles!

    Ash | Liakada

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:31 pm

      How exciting Ash! I’ve only written a few posts from Borneo so far on the orangutan sanctuaries and a hotel review but still have more I want to write about it one of these days if I can ever clear the backlog! It’ll be such an exciting place to do an elective if you do decide to go with that idea! ☺

  6. Hi Shikha, have recently seen your blog and enjoy reading about your travels 🙂 I’m going to make a bold, sweeping statement by saying that the Middle East has some of the best airport lounges in the world. Wouldn’t you agree? Dubai, Qatar, and I recently had the pleasure of discovering that Abu Dhabi (Etihad) has a lovely lounge in the Arrivals section too, just in case you want to freshen up before you head home (?)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 3, 2015 — 3:36 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Nancy! I’m delighted you’ve stopped by ☺ I myself have only been to this lounge in the Middle East but I can totally believe you on how they must be some of the best in the world if this one was anything to go by! I must remember your advice to check out the lounges in Dubai and Qatar if I’m ever heading that way! Thanks for the tip!

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