Manila is one of those airports where you just beg for a lounge, for some sort of respite from the chaos. And, thankfully, in terminal one (T1), you get a bit of a break in the form of the PAGSS Premium Lounge. It isn’t the finest lounge in the Philippines (that would be the one in Cebu) but it really isn’t so bad either. With lots of good food and drink and plenty of comfortable seating, you won’t mind whiling away an hour or two here. For our full PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL), read on!
Our Trip – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)
After a wild month-long run through Indonesia and back up to Davao, Cebu and finally Manila, it was time to go home. We dropped into the PAGSS Premium Lounge between our Airasia flight from Cebu and onward flight on Japan Airlines to Haneda and then Chicago (pro tip: if you’re flying JAL and have the right credentials, give the Sakura Lounge in T1 a look. Its cozy and small, but it sometimes has decent food, including the classic JAL beef curry. Overall, though, the PAGSS Lounge is actually the better bet.)
The Facts – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)
The lounge is located near gate two. Once you’re past security, take a left and walk halfway down the long hallway until you see the lounge on your right.
To get inside, flash your Priority Pass card or your Dragon Pass. You’ll also get in if you’re flying business class on Kuwait, Air China, China Airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Ethiopian, Eva, PAL, or Xiamen. Barring that, you can also get in by paying $25 or 1274 pesos. Cash only. We at lounge sharks often think that its not worth it to pay, but here if we had a few hours we might consider it. The food is decent, the beer is on tap and the seating is definitely comfy. Oh, and the internet is bomb, so get to downloading!
The Space – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)
The lounge is hit or miss. It might not crowded, at least when the major airlines using it aren’t imminently departing, but if they are, it can be a little difficult to find a seat. The seating is varied, from bar stools, to plush chairs to leather backed seats. Happily, there’s something for everyone, spread out around three general areas. In general, the lounge is spacious even though it isn’t massive. This is actually a fantastic place to get some work done. The lounge also features a full bar with a bartender and barista. The food is spread out throughout the lounge.
The food – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)
Hey, not bad! We tasted the chicken adobo and found it to be to our liking. There was also a decent pasta, and a range of steamed buns and xiaomai. The lounge is definitely catering to its Chinese airline contracts. There’s plenty to choose from, lots of small desserts and snacks, including nuts and instant noodles. You definitely won’t leave the lounge hungry.
For once, this is a lounge that shines in the drinks department – if you like San Mig. We did our best to taste-test as much of the San Mig as we could and found every bottle we opened and every draft we were poured to be highly potable. Tagay!
That said, San Mig is the only beer, so we hope you like it. There’s also a good selection of wine for a Filipino airport lounge, plus a range of juices and a decent Italian coffee selection. Obviously there are sodas and waters, too.
Hot damn, for the Philippines, this is some legit internet! Let’s get to downloading those netflix movies. ???
No showers, but the bathrooms are in the lounge and they do the job admirably.
This is a really respectable lounge, especially in such a stressful airport. We give it a solid, solid 4/5 stars. There are a LOT of PAGSS lounges in the country, but this is perhaps the best. Cheers to that!