JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review
JAL Sakura Lounge seating area – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

No one likes Manila’s airport. No one. But that doesn’t mean that the lounge is entirely devoid of charms. In fact, if you manage to get your foot in the right door, you might even find yourself relaxing in the airport. One of those havens is the Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura lounge in terminal one. The lounge is small, but cozy and absolutely silent. Its absolutely a step up from some Priority Pass lounges in the Philippines. If you want to get some work done, this is a great place to do it. However, don’t plan to visit this lounge unless you’re flying JAL in business class or above; Oneworld fliers with Sapphire and Emerald status are also granted access. And, of course, before you go, be sure to read our JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review here!

The Facts – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

To get to the lounge, proceed through immigration and security and, when the terminal splits in two, turn to the right. You’ll find the lounge tucked away on the right-hand side of the long hallway. It’s flush against the wall and somewhat easy to miss. To enter, just show your Oneworld of JL boarding pass.

Sakura lounge entry
Entryway to the JAL Sakura lounge in Manila (MNL) – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

The Space – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

The space is very well designed for both work and relaxation. This is not a lounge that expects long layover times, so the chairs are only comfortable enough for a few hours’ wait. There are numerous bar-style work stations in the lounge, each with their own outlet, and overlooking the tarmac, where you can get some good views of the planes coming and going.

One of the great things about this, and all lounges in Japan, is that there is utter silence. Utter, silence. If you want to take a call, you’ll need to go outside. If you try to take a call, the staff will shut you down so fast you won’t know what hit you. Its glorious. This is a fantastic lounge for getting your work done, and a terrible one for drunkenly reliving what your friend did last night in Makati.

The food – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

Low key, the food here is legit. But then, that’s probably the minimum you’d expect from a premium Japanese airline lounge. In fact, the food didn’t quite reach our level of expectation. There was no sushi chef – though there was sushi. Instead, there were the usual options, like JL’s classic beef curry, and plenty of miso. The food station also offers what are basically two full entrées, which rotate but are reliably tasty. When we passed through, there was plenty of well-battered chicken. This is definitely a lounge where you can show up hungry and be satisfied. There are also crunchy snacks and baked desserts.

Food buffet
Small but neat: the food station in Manila.

The drinks – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

The drinks at the lounge include beer, a decent selection of hard liquors, and juices and sodas. Nothing flashy, but totally fine.

The Internet

The internet was completely reliable and very fast. We don’t have a speed test for you, but take our word for it: its good. Remember, though, to be safe when you’re online in a lounge!

The Restrooms

There are now showers. The restrooms are single use, and they are located by the check in desk. They are in no way noteworthy, yet we have noted them in the interest of completeness.

Final Thoughts – JAL Sakura Lounge Manila (MNL) Review

It’s a good lounge. Better than the Priority Pass options, so if you can get in, do it.

Final Grades

Alcohol: 2/5
Total Score20/30