The Bidvest Lounge at Cape Town airport’s international terminal is the de facto go-to club for most passengers departing the Mother City. Indeed, while Cape Town is growing as a tourist destination, airlines aren’t competing on ground services for the most part. British Airways and Emirates are the only two airlines to run their own lounges, while the independent Bidvest lounge is contracted by every other international carrier. In addition, the Bidvest lounge welcomes pay-in users as well as holders of numerous credit cards, and members of lounge access programs such as Priority Pass. Access is therefore hardly exclusive, but the location of the lounge right outside immigration cannot be beat.
Bidvest Premier Lounge CPT design
The Bidvest Lounge is located on a mezzanine above the concourse level. The reception desk is located on the lower level, and the line routinely spills outside the door, as a guests show up with all sorts of credentials, highlighting the club’s broad access policies.
Upstairs is an elegant but dark space with vaulted ceilings. While the lounge has windows, it lacks views and receives little daylight. The dim lighting doesn’t compensate.
The space is divided into a main seating and dining area, followed by a smaller, more intimate seating zone in the back. There is little real estate overall and the layout feels cramped, especially at peak times when the lounge is overrun by travelers. When we visited, the air was hot and stuffy despite the relatively cool weather outside, and smoke from the smoking area would bleed into the main room, making the whole space smelly and slightly unpleasant.
On the bright side, the seats are comfortable, and universal power outlets are available throughout. Flowers on side tables brighten up the space. In the back room back the windows are a series of more private seats overlooking the concourse. Large shared work tables with built-in power outlets provide an alternative seating option for laptop users.
Bidvest Premier Lounge CPT amenities
The buffet offers a diverse and somewhat eclectic spread of snacks, appetizers, salads, and desserts. Soft drinks, espresso, wines and a variety of complimentary middle-shelf alcoholic beverages are also available.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available, though shockingly there is a 200 Mb cap on data transfers. We did not notice any issue with regular use over a one hour time frame, but the limit is inappropriate at an international departure lounge. It’s not specific to the Bidvest lounge, though – the much fancier British Airways Lounge is subject to the same restrictions from the airport provider.
The bathrooms are surprisingly well appointed, especially in light with the overall lack of real estate. Each individual oversized stall comes with a sink and plenty of space to change or freshen up. There is also a single shower room which is available upon request.
Other amenities include a smoking room, a selection of newspapers and magazines, and a shared fax/printer downstairs.
Bidvest Premier Lounge CPT bottom line
Overall, the Bidvest Lounge at Cape Town airport’s international terminal caters to all basic needs with comfortable seating, power outlets, a good food and beverage selection, elegant bathrooms, and a shower. But the crowds, the noise, the limited space, lack of daylight and smell of cigarette smoke in the buffet area make for a somewhat underwhelming experience. When it’s quiet, the Bidvest lounge is a haven away from the concourse. But when it’s busy – which is typical – you’ll be eagerly waiting for boarding time.
Ultimately, Bidvest can’t be blamed for the limited real estate they occupy and for the crowds. It’s unfortunate that more airlines don’t operate their own lounge.
You may have access to Bidvest Premier Lounge as a premium customer of one of the following airlines, or as an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Check the Access rules tab for more details.
Access for eligible customers traveling on the following Star Alliance member airlines only.
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Lufthansa (LH) SWISS (LX) Singapore Airlines (SQ) Turkish Airlines (TK)
Access for eligible customers traveling on the following oneworld member airlines only.
Qatar Airways (QR)
Access for eligible customers traveling on the following SkyTeam member airlines only.
Air France (AF) Delta (DL) KLM (KL)
Air Mauritius (MK) Condor (DE)
Bidvest Premier Lounge at Cape Town (CPT) welcomes:
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