Prologue:Hello and welcome to the continuation of my return trip in 2017 with TK.
As you read this report you will explore the old TK CIP lounge at IST and see why so many seasoned travelers considered it one of the best business class lounges in the world. In addition to the tour of the lounge you will also notice why TK's catering is top notch and considered the golden standard for others.
After getting off the bus that took me from my previous flight to the terminal, I followed the connecting sign that brought me to a security area where i was screened and my bag x-rayed again. Thankfully it was empty when I arrived and I breezed through the inspection. Back at the terminal, I headed to the TK CIP lounge for some rest before my connecting flight to JFK. I bought a one way CAI-JFK in J in order to take advantage of the 4X miles promotion that I received from TK some time ago. The one way ticket was USD 757.86 (EUR 649.90) total.
Considered by many to be the best business class lounge in the world travelers have sung its praises "ad nauseam" on this website and other travel forums. The lounge gets empty past midnight and food choices become limited.
The famous library and pool table on the left after you enter through the main entrance.
I go straight to the lower level. Here is the view of the staircase from below. Impressive isn't it?
My favorite corner of the lounge below the staircase - the tea garden.
I went to the desk on the second floor and requested a sleeping room. In order to qualify for its use you need to be a J *A Gold or TK Elite/Elite + pax AND connect to a TK long haul flt of 8+ hours with a transit time of more than 4 but less than 7 hrs. I passed one of the stations where it featured a destination dish.
The rooms are located in front of the showers in a hallway. Upon entering I thought that the space was adequate and I found the bed to be comfortable. In addition there was a radio/alarm clock TV telephone and two bottles of water on the desk. The hallway where the rooms are facing the showers. You are not given a key so every time that you leave your room and need to reenter you need to ask the attendant to open the room for you.
The room was well appointed.
I went outside and asked the attendant how busy it would be to grab a shower in the morning by 5-6A. She informed me that at that time it gets very busy so I decided to take a shower before I went to bed. I was invited to step into a shower room right away.
I think TK is the only airline that provides bathrobes in a J lounge.
Vanity items neatly presented in a box.
i must have slept between 1-2 hrs. and then woke up and readied myself to go to the gate.
Some breakfast paninis and pastries were available but I did not have anything since I knew that I was going to have a decent breakfast aboard.
========== Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge International ==========
Summary:The TK CIP Lounge was empty by the time that I arrived past midnight and as expected the food choices were limited. This was the perfect time for the cleaning crew to tidy up the lounge. i was glad that I had access to the sleep room. A ensuite WC would have been nice, but this is a J lounge after all and not a F one. The only inconvenience is asking the agent to open the door for you if you have to step out, so make sure you do all your necessities before staying in the room.
The situation with the WC is not ideal, although bearable. At the minimum there should be at least 2 dedicated WC's for J cabin.
This was a good flight with TK and the catering is top notch as expected. The crew was professional but not engaging which is typical of TK. The few times that I had an approachable and smiling crew it was a joy to ride making the flight a joy.