seating at ABC - Airport Business Center Lounge Review, Lisbon (LIS)

Nothing in a lounge gets my jollies like the shower: Mother of amenities, soother of souls and loins alike. When you’ve just come off a trans-oceanic redeye, the smell of the chicken (or fish) seared into your shirt and the sound of waling babies echoing in your head, nothing helps you reset faster and more effectively than a shower. That is what brought me to the Airport Business Center in Lisbon, while the efficient workspace made me stay. Here’s our ABC – Airport Business Center Lounge Review, Lisbon (LIS).

The Facts – ABC – Airport Business Center Lounge Review, Lisbon (LIS)

ABC is landside –before security– on a mezzanine above checkin counters 14 – 36. In the labyrinthine terminal 1, it can be hard to find, especially given that everything in the airport is signed with equal importance. I entered without showing a boarding pass.

The lounge itself is sponsored by Startup Lisbon, a haughty-sounding brand that raised hopes for high-speed internet, though sadly the measured speed was only a little over 2mb/s. It has showers (for an extra charge of 10 euros), WiFi, and ample seating, including a couple of comfortable tables to perch your laptop on for getting work done. During the couple of hours I spent working, the lounge was mostly empty.

The Positives – ABC – Airport Business Center Lounge Review, Lisbon (LIS)

The Experience

Check-in was smooth, and I was more than happy to pony up the 10 euros for the shower. It included soap, shampoo and a towel and had no time limit, at least that anyone bothered to mention. The lights did go off half-way through, but I took it as a meditative moment in the otherwise unremarkable shower. Lights came on eventually just as inexplicably as they went off and I was pleased that I wouldn’t have to relearn to shower if I were to suddenly go blind.

White furniture, some tiled roof imagery in the background. Basic Lisbon stuff.

The Space

The workspace was exactly what I needed to plow through several hours of work, and I was able to do so unmolested by staff or other patrons– the lounge was, in fact, almost completely empty throughout my stay. No one came around at any time to tell me my time was up.

The view from the rear room looking out over the entrance. Excellent for grooming feelings of superiority to the common man.

The lounge itself lacks any interesting design touches, and feels pretty by-the-book. I didn’t find this to be a problem at all for my purposes.

The Negatives – ABC – Airport Business Center Lounge Review, Lisbon (LIS)

The Internet

Any place touting itself as a business center has to offer more than 2mb/s. For reference, this is roughly between Venezuela and Bolivia in the world speed rankings, and definitely isn’t good enough for video calls, streaming, updating software or any of the other things you should reasonably expect to do at a “business center”. I had to tether my cell phone to be able to work.

What’s this, internet for snails?

The Food

This is what I would expect to be eat after the apocalypse, fighting over the scraps of industrial food with rats and giant, mutant cockroaches. Everything is plastic-wrapped, preservative-laden and thoroughly unhealthy. Drink choices gave me a flashback to my last oil change. Even the coffee machine dispenses a small plastic cup.


Maybe a minor complaint, but if you’re hoping to make some conference calls, the mezzanine is open to the checkin counters below, making it somewhat noisy. It isn’t going to drown you out, but you will sound like you’re in an airport. If you want to use a small conference room for sound isolation, the price at the time of the review was 60 euros per hour. That’s not a typo.

My workspace for the stay.

Final Grades

Connectivity: 1/5 (at least there’s internet)
Workability: 4/5 (would improve with free quiet spaces)
Relaxation: 3/5
Catering: 1/5 (at least there were refreshments)
Ambiance: 3/5

Overall Rating: 11/25

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