Join Jason on his return home from Europe, see the lounges he visits and which hotel he decided on during his layover.
There aren’t too many lounges available at Athens International Airport, but how does this Priority Pass lounge fare?
Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International Introduction
On our way home from the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center we got to the airport with enough time to stop by the lounge for an hour or so. This was good to get some food in our bellies and let the kids move around before they sat down for 4+ hours. This lounge was nothing special but it was empty and there was enough private space where we could go with our kids and let them have their own space to move about.
Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International Space
The lounge is 2 levels and you enter on the top level near Gates 8 and 10. As we entered, we had the check in agent check us in with our Priority Pass memberships, which are one of the benefit’s from my American Express Business Platinum and my wife’s from her American Express Platinum cards. The agent then gave us a code for the Wi-Fi. One nice thing is that kids under 7 are admitted free of charge.
As you enter the lounge, you are met by the beautiful bar. It had lots of food on it and tons of seating, both open and some private seating at the back of the lounge.
If you’re like us and have a stroller, kids, or a person with mobility issues and wish to get down to the lower level, you must exit the lounge, take the elevator down to the lower level andre- enter the lounge via a secondary door. Just make sure you mention this to a lounge staff member beforehand so they can open the secondary door for you.
Once downstairs there is a long island which I suspect usually has food on it during busier times, but while we were there it was empty except for the mini fridge. There was a mini fridge at the end that had any carbonated beverage you wished. The layout downstairs was great as there were sectioned off areas, business seating, and an open area in front of a TV. Our family gathered in one of the sectioned off areas which gave us lots of space. There were only 2 other people on the lower level so it was nice and quiet.
The downside of being on the lower level was that any time you wanted to get any food or drinks, you had to climb the stairs. This may not be an issue for most, but again, if you have mobility issues or kids, hopefully there is another adult that you can send up to get what you need.
Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International Food & Drink
The food at the lounge was just okay. It didn’t come close to “wowing” us but it also wasn’t inedible, though some dishes were close. The food we didn’t avoid tasted half decent, though it didn’t look pretty, but it was free so there’s not too much to complain about; just don’t come here with any kind of expectations.
While we were there, the food selections were: a very undersauced and already-going-hard chicken pasta, some roasted veggies, and a scalloped potato dish. We avoided the pasta for obvious reasons, while the scalloped potatoes and steamed veggies were fine.
There was a small selection of sandwiches that had been thoroughly picked through already and a selection of packaged salads was nearby as well. There were a few personal sized bowls of vegetables and lastly, there were snacks like cookies and nuts to help yourself to.
For drinks, there was a bar where they served all the typical bar drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We just wanted waters, but we got them from the fridge downstairs by our seating area so we did not have to carry everything downstairs.
Overall, the food & drink is good because it’s free, not because it tastes exceptional. It’s better than paying for overpriced airport food elsewhere and there should be at least a couple dishes here that are sufficient to fill you up until you land at your destination.
Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International Amenities
The lounge had good Wi-Fi which is probably the most important amenity in any lounge, in my opinion, so, that was a good thing. There are some TVs around the bar if you want to watch something and the bartender can put on whatever you like. There is also a TV downstairs in one corner that you can change the channel on yourself.
For an additional fee, amenities like showers and conference rooms are available. It’s annoying that the showers are on a fee basis as free showers would bump this lounge up in terms of its quality. I didn’t manage to find out what the fee was as we had no need for the showers and I forgot to ask, but I can’t imagine it’s too outrageous, so if you need a shower it may still be worth it.
Many of the chairs had regular and USB outlets in them which was nice as searching for an outlet is one of the most frustrating things to have to do in a lounge.
Newspapers and magazines were also available for your reading pleasure.
The bathrooms are on the lower level and were kept very clean throughout our stay. One downside was that there were no change tables in either the men’s or women’s bathrooms which was disappointing as you’d think since Puerto Vallarta is such a family destination that of all places you would think they would have one.
Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International Bottom Line
The Puerto Vallarta VIP Lounge International is a mediocre lounge at best. The two most important things in a lounge for me are fast Wi-Fi and good food. This lounge hit one out of those two and really failed on the other one. The food was edible and free and that’s the only thing I can really say about it that’s positive. Paid showers don’t help this lounge become any more attractive to visit, but if you want a place to sit before your flight with some fast Wi-Fi and free drinks then this is the best place to be in the airport.
It’s really too bad that the soft product is as bad as it is here because the hard product is really nice. The lounge has a lot of potential; it’s a beautiful space with lots of seating and a good bar. The food quality needs to be brought way up for it to reach its maximum potential. I’d be interested to see if this lounge improves in the future.
Feature photo courtesy of Travel Codex
This was one of the most interesting hotels that Colin has stayed at. Read more to find the oddities within the NEW Hotel Athens.
Starting out as the Bombardier C Series to now the Airbus A220, how was flight on an aircraft that made so many headlines?