Coral Premium Departure Lounge

Phuket (HKT) International Terminal, near gate 11
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The basics
Bathroom: yesBusiness Center: yesComplimentary Wi-Fi: yesShowers: noFamily Room: noSmoking Room: no
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    I really didn’t think it was possible for any lounge to make me think “Gosh, I wish I was sitting out in the main departures lounge right now” but here I am, sitting here wishing I was sitting out in the main departures lounge.

    Firstly, it is cramped. Think of a tiny minibus with hundreds of people in it. Now consider that the seating is uncomfortable, squashed together so that 2 people can’t sit at one table, or you’re forced into some canteen-like bench, on a small stool perched high above the floor. Without a word of a lie, the hotel room we’ve just left after a week was bigger. Honestly.

    Foodwise, you’re limited to about 3 hot dishes, of which one is boiled rice so doesn’t really count. Then there is a selection of what looks like 24 hour old salads with limp lettuce and very sad shrivelled tomatoes and some bland bread. I having said that, must say the massaman soup was delicious, but the bowls were tiny.

    You know the way all lounges have crisps, nuts, crackers, cheese etc? Well, this one doesn’t. Nothing of the sort. No little bowls of peanuts. No miniscule tongs to lift tiny cubes of cheddar onto crackers.

    Drinks are limited to self-serve beer or TINY glasses of wine. I mean tiny. I sniffed my first glass and the evaporation meant nothing was left. Second glass just about wetted my lips (without kidding, it wasn’t even 40ml – about the size of a shot)

    On the subject of food, if you have any allergies, I suggest you avoid asking for advice from the staff and wing it (despite a sign asking you to consult the staff). As a coeliac I’m pretty sure of what I can eat, but prepared foods mean I have to check. It took 10 minutes and three members of staff to tell me that the salads contain gluten but the pasta doesn’t. Seriously. Just as well I don’t have a nut allergy otherwise I’d be going home in a brown box. As it was, I narrowly avoided spending the next 24 hours constantly occupying the aircrafts’ toilets rather than 6J. I made light of it and treated it like some king of Russian Roulette that involved exploding bowels as opposed to exploding brains. Either way, someone is going to have quite a job of cleaning up that mess.

    What else can I say about this lounge? Well, if you want to board the plane without having to worry about turning off your phone, this is the place for you: 3 wall sockets throughout the whole, tiny little lounge means your phone won’t have enough juice to make it to the gate unless you can get into fisty-cuffs with the four-year-old charging their device so they can watch Peppa Pig for the next 6 hours.

    And the Aircon is less effective than a sparrow coughing…

    So, if you have unlimited lounge access then it probably doesn’t matter to you: just remember it’s more comfortable outside this broom cupboard, the facilities are better and you’ve got much more variety.

    But, if you’re using your Priority Pass limited visits, or, heavens forbid, you’re thinking of paying for a bit of luxury to help you in your travels then, please, for your God’s sake, don’t!

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