seating at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manila
Some decent seating

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.)

a map of our ill-fated journey home

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.

Lounge Walk way
The hallway leading to the lounge.

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!

PAGSS Lounge entrance Manila
Entrance to the PAGSS lounge

The Space – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)

The space is near the bar
Bar seating near the bar at the PAGSS Lounge

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.

Bar seating at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manila
More Bar seating

The food – PAGSS Premium Lounge Review – Manila (MNL)

Food at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia
Food at the PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia

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.

more food at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia
Let’s get a close-up of that delectable spread
salad and snacks
snacks at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia
Lots of little snacks, plus some really shit kimchi empanadas

The drinks

Drinks at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia
Really decent options here, though we recommend you stick to the bottom left shelf for your own good health.

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!

beers and coffees  at PAGSS Premium Lounge Manlia
Wines, beers, coffees!

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.

The internet

Hot damn, for the Philippines, this is some legit internet! Let’s get to downloading those netflix movies. ???

The restrooms

No showers, but the bathrooms are in the lounge and they do the job admirably.

Final Thoughts

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!

Final Grades

Alcohol: 3/5
Total Score22/30