Imagine this: you’ve just checked in for your flight at Suvarnabhumi International airport (BKK) in Bangkok and you’ve got some time to kill before you’re domestic flight to Phuket. Of course, you want to break free from the maddening crowds in this less-than-ideally designed airport, so you decide to head to a lounge. But which one?? The domestic wing of BKK has so many lounges to choose from, and all of them with reasonable prices, that you’re likely to wonder which is the best for you? Well, this review wil tell it to you straight: its a tight race, but for us, there’s no better domestic lounge at BKK than the Coral Executive. Our Coral Executive Lounge Review – Bangkok (BKK) will tell you why.
Our Trip – Coral Executive Lounge Review – Bangkok (BKK)
It was the summer of 2022, the absolute worst time to travel in the US and Europe. The rush was unbearable, the lost baggage was tragic, and we couldn’t bear it for a second longer. After enduring multiple flight cancelations and unplanned overnight layovers, the Sharks decided that it was time to point our gills toward less choppy waters. And that’s when we got the idea to fly to Koh Samui. We left Gothenburg (after enduring yet another cancelation and reschedule), transited Frankfurt, and finally made it to Bangkok for the final stop to Koh Samui. As you can imagine, we were exhausted, and needed some beer and noodles. That’s where the Coral Executive comes in.
The Facts – Coral Executive Lounge Review – Bangkok (BKK)
Getting to the lounge is easy. Once you’ve gotten your boarding pass and headed through the first ID check, you’ll go down some escalators and follow the flow of traffic to the left. Just keep walking straight down an unbearably long hallway until it dead ends. Then take a left and keep walking until you see the Coral Executive emerge before you. By the time you get there, you’ll be glad to escape the crowds, and even more glad you don’t have to tramp your way further down the hall to reach the other lounges.
In terms of access, the best and easiest way to get in is with your Priority Pass card, if you have one. Dragon Pass and LoungeKey work too. Otherwise, you can pay cash, about $25. If you have a long layover or are very hungry or thirsty, then we feel its worth paying the cash price. Go on, treat yo self.
The Space – Coral Executive Lounge Review – Bangkok (BKK)
What makes this lounge stand out over all the others is the quality of the seating and the bucketfulls of natural light that it offers. The soaring ceilings make you feel like you aren’t trapped in an airport, while natural light really does work wonders in making the airport experience a little less memorable. There’s even plenty of greenery here: this isn’t quite as lush or fancy as the Jewel, but it’s still a really nice and relaxing place to be.
Another point that stands out here is the range of seating types and table heights. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re trying to get some work done, or you’ve just arrived from an exhausting flight and want to sleep on a couch or in a little booth seat (we did both).
In terms of crowding, over the roughly six hours we spent here, we were never truly alone, but it was never overwhelmingly crowded either. The photo above is fairly representative of what you’re likely to get at whatever time of day.
Overall, there’s a sense that whoever designed the lounge did so with a real consideration for aesthetics and comfort. And that sort of thing goes a very long way, and sets this lounge above the much more dour “flagship” lounges down the hall.
The Food – Coral Executive Lounge Review – Bangkok (BKK)
The food at the Coral Lounge isn’t something to write home about, but its certainly more than enough to fill you up and keep your energy levels high as you travel. There are no made-to-order meals like you’ll find in some Southeast Asian lounges, but instead pre-cooked food available at the buffet. We found the food to be tasty enough, and we had no complains.
The buffet is spread out along one wall. The space can get a little tight if multiple people are jostling for space at the trough.
The plating is actually quite nice for a lounge, and we give Coral extra marks for splurging a bit. It almost makes up for the mediocity of the food itself.
There’s not much to inspire visitors here. You aren’t going to get anything beyond the run-of-the-mill drinks here: we’re talking coffees, juices, sodas, and waters. Alcohol is not available.
Now here’s a downer: the lounge does NOT have dedicated restrooms or showers. To relieve yourself, you’ll need to go out into the terminal and walk a short distance. This is not ideal, particularly if you are alone and can’t leave your baggage unattended for a long period of time. It’s probably the single most dissapointing aspect of the lounge.
Coral Executive is, pound for pound, the best priotity pass lounge on the domestic side of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. It has an airy, green space with high ceilings and lots of natural light. The food is decent, and the seating is comfortable. It’s even a decent place to take a nap. If you’re passing through BKK and have access to this lounge, we highly recommend it. If you pay cash to enter, its probably still worth it.