On our recent trip to Hong Kong, we visited the SkyTeam Lounge before our EVA Air flight. The SkyTeam Lounge at Vancouver International Airport is a gem in a sea of underwhelming Priority Pass lounges. The lounge is open to business and first class passengers on international SkyTeam flights departing Vancouver (excluding Delta who operates out of the US terminal, SkyTeam Elite Plus members, as well as Priority Pass members. Priority Pass membership is included with the American Express Platinum Card, which you can read more about here. The lounge is open 24/7 in the D concourse, beside gate D53. Unfortunately, the lounge is not open to travelers on domestic flights to destinations such as Whitehorse and USA.
The lounge is one floor up from the departures level but the entrance was easy to spot just beside the duty free. From there, the lounge agent checked our Priority Pass cards before pointing us to the elevators behind him. He was very friendly and efficient while dealing with a variety of system issues. Once upstairs, the lounge opens to a large reading material rack ranging from Chinese newspapers to Vogue.
Past that is a row of seating before you hit one of the best features of this lounge: a help yourself wine bar. The wine bar has to be one of the coolest features in any lounge and we will describe it in further detail below. Behind the wine bar is a section of plush chairs, lounge chairs as well as 2 sleeper chairs. The sleeper chairs looked comfy but they were constantly busy during the late night Australian/Asian rush hour. On the other side is a bridge leading to the dining area. The bridge also includes seating area with tables.
The dining area is a large buffet table set up with a noodle bar behind. Beside that are the fridges for drinks and hard liquor. There is also a seating area with both bar style seating and tables sitting 2-4 people. There is a hallway from the side leading to the washrooms and shower rooms.
Food and Drinks
For those that enjoy alcohol, the open wine bar was a very welcome feature. There was a selection of 8 different red/white wines. As well, there was a bar (though no staff) where you could help yourself to a featured iced white and sparkling wine. To operate the wine bar along the wall, you just put the glass underneath the wine you wanted, chose the pour size, and the machine did the rest. There were 3 sizes to choose from, the largest of which was a very sizable pour filling three-quarters of the glass.
The food selection was above average for your average business class lounge. Of course, for airlines offering first class service using this lounge, it is subpar to what you would find at a flagship location. The selection included a variety of smoked salmon, 3 types of salads with dressings and salad toppings. Beside that was a variety of cheeses. There were also multiple bowls beside the salads containing tortilla chips, warm bread rolls, and croutons. On the other side of the island were 4 hot choices including steamed rice, stir fried veggies, tortellini, and chicken cacciatore on offer that evening. There were also 2 types of soup, one Asian and one western. Also, there was a selection of desserts including cookies, brownie, cakes and cupcakes.
The noodle bar was serving up fresh noodles and dim sum. There was a choice of wonton noodles, fish ball noodles, and siu mai. A perfect precursor to our trip to Hong Kong. We couldn’t help ourselves and got seconds of the noodles (and thirds). Beside the noodle bar was the drinks counter featuring a variety of hard liquor, pop, juice, and other Asian drinks.
The SkyTeam YVR Lounge also has 4 washrooms. Each of the rooms included showers and were all constantly stocked with amenities and towels. Although they were constantly cleaned, they were not cleaned after each use. The shower worked well with a warm temperatures, and was one of the better shower rooms in a lounge.
Overall Lounge Impressions
The SkyTeam YVR Lounge is overall one of the better lounges. Of the lounges in the terminal, it is close to being on par with the Cathay Pacific Lounge and a substantial step up from the British Airways Lounge. It was nice to be able to grab a hot bowl of noodles before a long late night flight to Asia. The lounge did get a little busy towards 11pm with a range of Australian flights departing on Air Canada (*Priority Pass. Cough. Cough.*) as well as a China Airlines and China Eastern flight. The shower rooms in the lounge could use more cleaning but was overall refreshing. Of course, the wine bar was very welcome and the staff were friendly. They were constantly clearing tables and asking guests if they needed anything. Overall, this was a great way to start a long trip to Taipei and Hong Kong.