I arrived at Rajiv Gandhi International airport at around 7pm for my 9.30pm Vistara flight to Mumbai last Wednesday evening, so I had some time to spend in the domestic Plaza Premium Lounge at Hyderabad airport.
This is the contract lounge used by almost all domestic flights at the airport. There is a separate lounge for international passengers, also operated by Plaza Premium Lounge.
Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad location
I cleared check-in and security rather quickly, given the low traffic due to coronavirus fears. My boarding pass said that the lounge was located near gate number 28, so I just followed the signage pointing towards it.
As I turned left from security, I found a lot of shops and restaurants on my way. I kept following the signs towards the lounge.
After a while, there was another sign guiding me towards the lift, which took me one level down into the lounge. The doors opened on the opposite side of the lift, leading directly into the lounge.
Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad hours
The Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad is open daily from 4.30am until 11pm, so it covers nearly all departures from the airport.
Accessing the Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad
Plaza Premium Lounges are generally contract lounges for airlines, and can also be accessed with Priority Pass and other lounge memberships/programs. Complimentary access can be obtained with certain Priority Pass, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa cards.
When space is available, this lounge accepts guests at the door. The door rate is INR 1416 (including taxes) for two hours.
Plaza Premium Lounge review
This is a very small lounge and I didn’t end up spending a lot of time over here because of how bad my experience was.
The hygiene was so bad that, even though there was still time left before my boarding began, I decided to leave the lounge as I felt more comfortable waiting at the boarding gate.
Let’s look at the layout and seating in the lounge, the food and drink selection, and then the bathroom situation.
Plaza Premium Lounge layout and seating
As soon as you step out of the lift you get inside the reception area and there’s a different row for bank and corporate card holders. Airline business class passengers are given priority at the reception.
There are various newspapers you will find on the newspaper stand next to the door.
You can’t miss the antique statue of the reclining buddha next to the entrance.
Even though there was plenty of crowd in the lounge, there was ample sitting space for me to find a silent spot for myself. There are charging stations across the lounge, and at accessible locations from the seat.
You can’t miss the “Coming soon” sign, promising a “new premium lounge experience” in the future. Based on my experience, it can’t come soon enough…
Plaza Premium Lounge Food & Drinks
The Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad has a pretty small food selection, and personally I didn’t think the food was that good either.
There was a salad section with a choice of sauces.
One choice of soup ( Talmel soup) and just one choice of bread.
Chicken kali mirch, plain paratha and jeera onion pulao.
Methi dal and aloo jeera.
Paneer khurchan and for dessert there was cake.
Spring rolls, cheese samosa and upma.
There is a fridge located next to the buffet stacked with water bottles, and a drinking water tap next to the washroom.
The bar was closed because of the Covid-19 situation and the precautionary measures taken by the state government to discourage people from having social gatherings. The selling of liquor is banned across the state. Soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite, etc. were served upon request.
There were lime soda and Lavazza coffee machines, which had a "cleaning in progress" card placed on it.
The other coffee machine was at the buffet counter, and this one was working.
Plaza Premium Lounge bathrooms
The Plaza Premium Lounge bathrooms were very badly maintained.
There are three western style toilets (two of them had their flushes broken) as well as an Indian-style toilet (flush also broken).
I tried holding my breath for as long as I could while I was in there as the smell was so bad!
Plaza Premium Lounge spa and massage
This is a paid service, though it wasn’t available while I was there, due to renovation.
The service overall was just average and the food wasn’t remarkable either.
I paid special attention to the hygiene and cleanliness, as people are especially concerned about this during the coronavirus outbreak, and I was very disappointed with the job they are doing in maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
The majority of the people present in the lounge seemed like they had gotten access because of their bank or corporate cards. I’m glad I had access to the lounge with my business class ticket, otherwise I would have been unhappy as a paying guest.
There is a “new premium lounge experience coming soon” and I hope they make a massive upgrade to this place.
If you’ve visited Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad (domestic), what was your experience like?