As we mentioned yesterday, Turkish Airlines completed “the great move” to the new Istanbul International Airport over last weekend (in case you missed it, here’s my photo report of the new terminal).
Today it’s turn for the new Business Class/Star Alliance Gold lounge Turkish Airlines, which is definitely a larger, upgraded version of the lounge they operated at Ataturk Airport (which was already a very nice lounge, in my opinion).
Location and access
The new lounge is located one level up the main departures hall, near gate E1. There is a small reception area with a staffed desk in the departures hall. Not sure what the function of this desk is though, as the check-in desk is located upstairs.
Lounge access is granted by scanning your boarding pass barcode on one of the automated gates available, just as it was in the old lounge.
Once you’re in, you’re greeted by a large LED screen with visuals that make for a bold, dramatic space. The lockers in the luggage storage area look similar to the ones they used at Ataturk (as it does part of the furninture used in the lounge). The Wi-Fi password generators definitely came from the old lounge.
Of course, the self-playing piano made its way to the new lounge. It is now located right at the entrance of the seating area.
The lounge definitely feels larger than the one at the old airport, which could get really crowded during their peak hours. All the seating space revolves around the food outlets spreaded around the lounge.
The main seating area uses either the same furniture they had at the old lounge or exactly the same model of couches.
The TV area setup is also similar to what they had at the old lounge, but the open ceilings and the wall design definitely give it a diferent vibe.
The dining area is all around the food outlets. I liked the Mediterranean style they went for in this area. There are no power outlets on this area, which is maybe a good thing as it is intended to be a dining space and not a working space.
There is also a coffe/tea area with very Turkish-style tables and chairs.
There are two new spaces in this lounge that were not in the old one. I’m going to call the first one “the library”. Low ceilings, dim lightning and book shelves around.
I’ll call the second new space “the tea room”. Turkish-inspired modern furniture and decor, and an impressive tea spread make for a great, quieter room.
There is also a quiet area with recliners and cabanas, for those looking to take a nap while waiting for their flight, and closed meeting space for those looking to work in between flights.
The kids area
There is a very cute kids play area with a plane, slides and a popcorn station! It is also located at the bottom end of the lounge which assures the kids a good space to play without disturbing anyone.
The showers also look very similar to the ones they had at the old lounge in term of design and materials. I was informed there was a total of 24 showers available in the lounge, plus 24 suites for those looking to relax on a more private setting. I could take a look at the showers but sadly no suites were available for me to check.
Food & Beverages
There are several F&B outlets spread around the lounge. The food offering includes a salad bar, fresh pasta, flat breads, soup, mediterranean food and a grilling station, plus a couple of baklava/dessert stations.
Beverage stations were also spreaded around the lounge. As in the old lounge, only Turkish wines are offered. There are Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drink options and a decent selection of adult beverages.
All the amenities from the old lounge made their way to the new one. The golf simulator, the scalextric racing track, the playstations and the masseurs are there.
This is a job well done. The new lounge feels spatious and it offers several different ambiences depending on how you want to spend your time. There are also more food offerings, and a larger shower/suites area. The quiet area is also well done with the individual cabanas for extra privacy.
I’d like to see how the lounge responds at full capacity. Turkish Airlines had a somehow reduced schedule during last weekend because of the move so the lounge was definitely not at full capacity when I visited.