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All Nippon Airways first class is considered to be one of the best offerings in the sky — particularly ANA's new "The Suite" seats on ANA's Boeing 777-300 aircraft. And typically, a top-notch seat is complemented by just as nice of a lounge on the ground before your flight.
So, I was excited to check out the so-called “ANA Suite Lounge" in Tokyo-Haneda's Terminal 3 before my flight in The Suite to New York. Here's a look at what this rather exclusive ANA lounge offers.
ANA lounge layout and seating areas
Inside the entrance, ANA places a helpful map of the lounge. Going clockwise around the outside of the space, you'll find the following areas of the lounge:
Sit-down dining room.
Large seating area.
Another large seating area.
Buffet dining area.
In the middle of the lounge, you'll find four shower rooms and bathrooms for men, women and special needs passengers.
The main seating area is located adjacent to large, AvGeek-approved windows. While some seats face outward toward the gates and parked aircraft, most of this seating area is arranged into private cubicles.
Each cubicle offers a lounge chair, power outlets, hangers for a coat, headphones, a personal TV and a small table.
If you're a smoker, you have dedicated space to get one last puff in before your flight. The ANA Suite Lounge includes a small and well-ventilated smoking room.
For a place to work, you'll find a few private booths with a desk, power outlets and a closing door.
Further back in the lounge, you'll find a concierge desk — which was usually staffed during my visit — and a business center with a copier, scanner, printer and reading materials.
You can use one of the three private phone booths located near the center of the lounge if you need a private place to make or take a phone call. Each booth includes two power outlets but no seats.
Between the phone booths and the buffet dining room, you'll find another large seating area. While there’s a selection of seat types, each offer power outlets and most have a hook or hanger for a jacket.
» Learn more: The credit cards that offer airport lounge access
Food and drink at ANA Suite Lounge
For such a small lounge, I found it surprising that the ANA Suite Lounge is designed with two dining rooms. Unfortunately, the dining area that offers exceptional runway views is currently closed. Instead, all guests are directed to the dining room located in the back of the lounge. This area offers a buffet and a new digital meal-ordering service.
My wife ordered beef bone ramen from the meal order system. Having admittedly become ramen snobs, we were a bit disappointed by the lack of depth to the taste.
I ordered the eggs benedict as a check on how the lounge would handle a Western dish, and I was pleasantly surprised. The egg was perfectly poached and the English muffin was nicely toasted.
The serving sizes for the meals were quite small, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, you don't want to board your ANA first class flight too full!
For a first class lounge, the alcoholic drink selection was a bit underwhelming. The champagne is a Paul Berthelot Reservee Brut — which retails for around $40 per bottle.
Fittingly for Japanese culture, the liquors were very sake- and whiskey-focused, including scotch, bourbon and a decent Japanese single-grain whiskey. All alcohol was self-serve during our visit.
» Learn more: Reasons you should be using airport lounges
ANA lounge amenities
Although the ANA Suite Lounge isn't very large, it offers a variety of amenities that first class passengers might appreciate. In addition to workrooms, phone booths and private relaxation areas, the ANA Suite Lounge offers a full business center with a printer, copier and scanner combo.
My biggest airport lounge luxury is getting to take a shower in the airport before my flight. The good news for fellow shower fans is that there are four individual shower suites available in the ANA first class lounge. Lounge visitors can register for a shower room using a kiosk in the business center. At the time of my visit, I was able to get a shower room immediately.
Shower room amenities included a dental kit, comb, hairbrush, shower cap, hair dryer, Kose-branded amenities, a full towel set (body towel, hand towel, wash cloth and floor towel) and even a shoehorn.
Service was excellent throughout our stay in the ANA Suite Lounge. That includes an efficient check-in process, friendly bows from agents throughout the lounge and apologies when explaining that the sit-down dining area was closed.
One example of the efficient service: No agents were around when I poured the last bit of champagne into a glass. But, within a minute of me stepping away, an agent noticed the empty bottle, disappeared into the back, popped open a new bottle and placed it in the ice bucket.
How to access the ANA first class lounge
ANA restricts entry to its ANA Suite Lounge to just three types of passengers:
First class passengers flying ANA or another Star Alliance airline.
ANA Diamond elite status members flying ANA or another Star Alliance airline.
Passengers who've achieved two million lifetime miles on ANA.
That means you won't be able to get into the ANA Suite Lounge just by holding Star Alliance elite status. Unless you're a frequent flyer on ANA — or flying as a guest of one — the most practical way of getting into the lounge is by holding a first class ticket for ANA or another Star Alliance airline.
ANA Tokyo-Haneda lounge review recapped
Overall, the ANA first class lounge is great. You can get a delicious meal, a hot shower, use a massage chair, get some work done in a private mini-office or relax in a private pod.
With that said, ANA's first class lounge falls well short of some of the best first class lounges in the world. It currently lacks a waiter-served sit-down dining area like those offered by Singapore Airlines, Emirates and even American Airlines. The food and drink options are solid but lack the variety that you'll find in many lounges. You can serve yourself a drink or mix yourself a cocktail, but you won't find a bartender.
Is the ANA first class lounge still worth checking out? You betcha. However, the ANA first class lounge serves its purpose as a waiting area — not a destination in itself.
(Top photo by JT Genter)
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