For such a small airport in the corner of Sulawesi, Kendari (KDI) Airport is exceptionally rich in lounges. Depsite the small size of the terminal, there are competing lounges at either end. And that’s probably for the best, becuase quite a few travelers who come to Kendari are here becuase they want to transit from Makassar to Wakatobi or Baubau. Of the two lounges, the better option is undoubtedly Papandayan Executive Lounge. Thanks for a hefty delay on our onward flight on Lion, we had plenty of time to research and write this Papandayan Executive Lounge Review – Kendari (KDI) just for you. Read on, dear reader, to learn about the pleasures that await on your next trip to Kendari, and what it will cost you to access this little outpost of heaven.
Our Trip – Papandayan Executive Lounge Review – Kendari (KDI)
Our trip saw us fly all all over southern Sulawesi. From Bali we flew via Makassar to Kendari. As you could probaly have predicted, we went on from Kendari to Wakatobi. However, we made sure to stop into town for a day or two to check out the city, which is on a beautiful bay, has some cool nearby islands and beaches, and plenty of cheap seafood. When we’d had our fill of the scuba life in Wakatobi we took a three hour boat to Baubau and caught a flight from there via Makassar back to the home base, Surabaya .
The Facts – Papandayan Executive Lounge Review – Kendari (KDI)
This is a cash lounge–if you want to get in, you’ll need to pay. Thankfully, there’s probably no cheaper lounge in the world, nor one that offers better value than this. The cost to enter the lounge is a mere 75,000 IDR, equivalent to $5 USD. Hand over the cash, and walk right in. You can get a 20% discount if you pay by Mandiri transfer.
You won’t have much trouble finding the lounge, either. Once you go up the escalator you’ll pass through security, and then see the lounge immediately on your left.
The lounge entrance is large and in green and yellow letters. Its hard to miss.
The Space – Papandayan Executive Lounge Review – Kendari (KDI)
The lounge itself consists of one large room that holds the sitting areas and the buffet and drink area. The chairs are generally pretty comfortable. They have tables for lounging and eating, though they are fairly low. As a result, there’s no great place to do any work. On a more positive note, it does not appear that the lounge gets much traffic, so you won’t have to share the space or be annoyed by the noise levels.
The lounge features a smoking room. The smoke doesn’t really pervade the lounge, though its a pity that some of the best views have been given over to the one room that is filled with smoke.
There is also a functional reflexology center inside the lounge. While these are a dime a dozen in Indonesia, we liked this one becuase it looked directly out over the tarmac. What could be more delightful than snacking on kerupuk and having your feet rubbed while plane spotting in Sulawesi?
The Food – Papandayan Executive Lounge Review – Kendari (KDI)
Honestly, the food spread in the lounge is so ample and generous that you’d likely be able to eat more here for 75,000 than you would be able to buy in the restaurants located in the terminal. While this isn’t gourmet-level stuff, there’s more than enough food to keep you satisfied. There are soups, hot dishes, soups, rice, deserts, fruits, etc.
The deserts are all your standard-bread-y lounge fare, but its nice to have it.
As I said, the food isn’t wildly fancy, but you’ve got rice, veggies, and a solid meat dish that is likely chicken. Fill your plate then pile it higher with shrirmp crackers.
While it doesn’t look amazing at the buffet table, it does combine niely on the plate and makes for a proper meal.
Special shoutout for the banana soup, which is legitimately tasty.
The drink selection is your standard stuff. There’s no booze (but you already knew that). Instead, you’ve got an intoxicating selection of juices, water, coffee, and tea.
The low tables mean that the lounge has no ideal place to work, but if you do need to hop on a call or download some files, this is a pretty great place to do it. The internet is blazing – it may not sling like Singapore wifi, but the speeds here stand out relative to many lounges in Indonesia, and it does particularly well given how far Kendari is from major cities.
The Restrooms and Prayer Rooms
The toilets are located inside the lounge. They aren’t fancy, but they smell just fine and they flush real good. There’s also a separate station for wudu so that you don’t have to try and get your feet into the sink if you’re trying to wash up for prayer.
The musalla is fairly simple, but it has a carpet, a prayer rug, and a sign pointing to the kibla. That should be enough to keep your iman in line.
The Papandayan lounge in Kendari (KDI) surprised us for its reasonable cost and its extensive space and amenities. It’s not so common to find a lounge of this calibre-or any lounge at all, really-in Indonesia’s outstation airports. While you do need to pay a nominal sum to use the airport, its absolutely worth every rupiah. If fate ever brings us back to Kendari, we will definitely pass through this lounge again.