Review: The NEW Swiss Business Lounge – Zurich @ A Gates – Beautiful but Crowded

On a recent trip to Switzerland, I got to check out the brand new, just renovated Swiss Business Class Lounge in Zurich. The lounge is available to passengers traveling Swiss Business Class throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Though I would certainly high tail it to the Swiss Business Lounge in the E Gates Area if I were traveling back to the U.S or outside the Schengen Area.

The lounge is located to the right after security when facing the panoramic glass at Zurich Airport. There are clear signs guiding you to the A gates area and you should not miss the pair of Swiss lounges in this area on your right. The adjacent Senator lounge is open to Star Alliance Gold Members so that’s where you would go if you aren’t traveling in business.

The entryway to the lounge has manned attendant desk, but guests can just use the E-gates to scan the boarding pass and walk through.  As soon as you walk in, you will notice the modern and spacious design of the lounge. The lounge itself is organized into 3 levels. The check in desks and a few seating areas are located on the ground floor, the dining area and larger seating areas are located on the second floor, and the quiet work areas are located on the top floor of the lounge.

The lounge was extremely crowded when we arrived at around 1 PM and the only vacant spaces were actually located on the floor we entered on. So if you find yourself in the lounge in the afternoon, take those seats if you see them even if it means you have to go up and down the stairs for the food.

The dining area of the lounge is designed like one of those classic parlors serving burgers and milkshakes with the black and white floor tiles. The space is well designed and spacious but the lounge gets crowded nevertheless. Swiss really did a great job making the space look bigger than it actually was with the high ceilings and airy design. It was the perfect blend between classic and modern styles of design. My favorite part was certainly the wood finishes, which reminded me of the interiors of Swiss Chalets.

In fact it was so crowded that I was constantly getting the stare when I was photographing the lounge or my photography was interrupted constantly by passengers walking by looking for a seat.

After walking through the entire lounge, without finding a seat, I finally settled for the big Swiss Gallery Room in the back with its gigantic displays showing off the gorgeous Swiss Alps.

In the center of the table there is a scaled topographical map of Switzerland, which I really came to appreciate while I worked on editing some of my images. The table has more than enough power outlets to charge up your devices. I found it the space quite enjoyable and will return here if I am ever in the lounge again.

 

Back to the important stuff: the lounge features a dining area at the center which has a live burger station, pasta station, and an assortment of gourmet cheeses and artisan breads. There was also a decent selection of alcoholic beverages along with the usual selection of soft drinks and fruit. I’m not the expert on this stuff, but it all appeared to be a touch above the norm in quality. I especially loved the warmed pretzel bread rolls, those can be addicting!

There is also an excellent coffee machine at the center of the buffet area for all of you coffee aficionados.

Though the lounge barely featured any vegetarian main course items (other than the gnocchi which was delicious), there is always a good variety of Movenpick Ice Cream to enjoy. The ice cream and bottles of water are found in various areas throughout the lounge, making for a convenient snack. This is the best part of any Swiss lounge in my opinion:

Smokers can rejoice that they have serene area to enjoy a cigar. The lounge has a dedicated art gallery in the smoking area because you have to have something to look at while doing that I suppose?

Located on the third floor of the lounge are the quiet working spaces, which also feature the best views of the lounge and tarmac This area was absolutely packed and I felt a little uncomfortable taking pictures because I kept getting the stare down so please forgive me for my poor photos. I really felt like I was disturbing the peace.

Time flew by fast while I was at the lounge and before I knew it was time to board my flight to Oslo. It’s certainly a sad day when you have to leave a beautiful country like Switzerland <sigh> Do note that the lounge is still a bit away from the actual gate area of many flights. I was flying to Oslo and took me about 15 minutes to get to the gate.


Bottom Line:

The Swiss Business Class Lounge @ Zurich near the A gates is certainly a well designed space featuring a good assortment of food options. It offers pretty much anything a person wants in a lounge: showers, food, quiet areas, desks, and plenty of power outlets. I personally consider it to be the best lounge I’ve seen in all of Europe, designed for local or Schengen Zone business class passengers. It is most certainly worth a visit if you happen to be traveling in business. Just make sure you don’t miss out on the even better E Gate lounge if you are traveling outside of the Schengen Area. 

With that being said, the lounge is definitely on the crowded side. Though I was able to find a seat when I first came in, many people were actually standing by the time I was leaving the lounge. It certainly faced crowding levels close to the Centurion Lounge in DFW at times. So Swiss might have to think about constructing yet another lounge or expanding this one in the near future as the airline expands operations.

Anyway Swiss continues to impress with its lounges at Zurich airport. I still consider their lounges to be among the very best alongside Lufthansa, Singapore, Cathay, and Virgin Atlantic.


Have you been to the newly renovated Swiss lounges at Zurich Airport? What do you think?