It's clear from every little detail at KLM's Crown Lounge at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, that this is no ordinary first class lounge. It's an experience! The Crown Lounge is available to all business class and Flying Blue Elite members (who get a super collectible porcelain Dutch canal house with a mini genever -- the national liqueur -- when they join).
The amenities are extraordinary and they've thought of every kind of traveler: families, business people, the exhausted, Americans, Europeans.
I'm very glad I got to experience it and learn about what it has to offer!
Food-wise, they change their menus 4 times a year, 3 times a day. Many airplanes will be serving the same meal 10 years from now as today, trust me. In lounge 52, which is intercontinental, there's hot food. Their other lounge, for short haul trips is 25 and will be consolidated with 52 in the next couple of years.
Right now, the theme of the menu is "Dutch treat," featuring the Dutch traditional dish of pea soup with Dutch smoked sausage, as well as their irresistible comfort snack, caramelized waffle cookies. Did you know that the Dutch invented the cookie, as well as the word for it? True!
KLM uses produce and food products that have been specially certified under European standards to be healthy.
HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK: tomorrow, Feb. 1, the menu is changing to American favorites for 3 months. I'm happy to report early that there will be:
chicken filet + pastrami
honey Cheerios-type cereal loops
boullion and soups
oatmeal cookies (I had fun figuring that out from the Dutch. I pieced it together from figuring, what other cookie would be from hot cereal?)
chocolate chip cookies
chicken wings with BBQ sauce, mustard
pasta with spinach and shitaake mushrooms
"chuck wagon beans" -- I'm guess this will either be "soup beans," as they say in Appalachia, or chili
The lounge also has all kinds of juices and adult beverages. They've commissioned the finest Dutch designers to create their silverware and furniture -- sleek and elegant.
KLM is in association with Air France and Delta; I learned that Air France especially will be getting some of the KLM excellent amenities and programs with its lounge. I wish that KLM owned most of the lounges on the planet, even the US domestic ones -- they really do know how to give things "the Royal touch".
KLM's lounge has showers! If they run out of showers while you're there, they make arrangements with the hotel attached to the airport -- whose passageway is right out the lounge door -- for you to shower there.
It starts with a very, very spacious lounge, one of the biggest in the business. Smaller lounges tend to fill up fast, so much so, that people will warn you to "grab a chair before they're all gone." Not so at KLM. There are all kinds of separate areas, including a smoking area! Bet you thought you'd never see one of those again, didn't you?
There's a dark, quiet room with potato chip shaped chaise lounges called "Deep Rest". I could have used this many times in my travels. Here's the thing -- and they warn you on the door -- that they don't do wake up calls. So, you'll have to set the alarm on your iPhone or watch. They don't announce flights on the PA, but there are stations with the latest flight information. Also, you have a choice of KLM ticket service, should you need it. You can avail yourself of the self-service ticket kiosk. There are also several KLM agents that you can sit down and talk to. They're very kind and one of them even did her utmost to help me track down a lost glove. Little did she realize how cursed I have been with gloves lately!
There are tv rooms where you can select your own show, a nursery, computer rooms, gathering areas, and lots of stations to charge up your devices. Arrivals can use the KLM lounge, too, which is not usually the case with other airlines.
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