As I may have mentioned in my KLM Economy trip review – Kuwait isn’t exactly a super-popular travel destination. But as a Simple Flying contributor I think it’s important to offer comprehensive feedback for all travelers. To that end, I took it upon myself to do a whirlwind tour of the three lounges available to Priority Pass holders at Kuwait International Airport. These three lounges are the Pearl Lounge, Kuwait Airways Dasman Lounge and the Dasman Premier Lounge. In this report I’ll compare them and provide you with my recommendation. Ready? Let’s go!
A quick introduction to my airport experience: My flight to Amsterdam was at 3am. This means that airport lounges were probably quieter than you’d find them during the day. You should also know that Kuwait is a completely dry country in terms of alcohol, so airport lounges have zero alcohol as well.
First off, as a KLM-Flying Blue Gold Member, I was able to access the Pearl Lounge without having to pull out my Priority Pass membership. This lounge is the contract lounge used for Flying Blue elite status members as well as their Business Class passengers.
Heading up the stairs on the left after passing through passport control, the Pearl lounge was quiet, with only about four other guests. Obviously the seating was plentiful and all of it looked fairly comfortable as well.
Hot food was limited to cheese samosas and a farfalle pasta with arrabbiata sauce. There was also a tomato soup. The salad bar included quinoa, hummus, and a chickpea salad. Pretty decent options I would say.
Carbonated beverage options were limited to Coca-cola and Sprite. While for juices they had pineapple or orange. Water at this lounge was refreshing, with a choice of a cucumber or orange and lemon infused water for a subtle bit of flavor.
Overall, the food selection was limited compared to other lounges. The lighting was on the cold and dark side. although the dimness could be a positive if you plan on getting a short nap before your flight. The one thing that I personally enjoyed was the cucumber water, but that’s nothing to write home about.
Kuwait Airways Dasman Lounge
Just around the corner from the Pearl Lounge – to the right of Passport Control – is the Kuwait Airways Dasman Lounge. This lounge left an immediate impression on me. Stepping in, it was immediately noticeable how much warmer the lighting was compared to Pearl. Big wooden arches fill and divide the middle space, while wooden screen-walls are scattered along the sides. This lounge is just beautiful. Especially compared to the others. Again, the lounge was almost completely empty.
It’s one thing to look nice, but for me it’s all about the food! This lounge certainly didn’t disappoint in that department. The selection of hot and cold food was far greater and the desserts looked so much nicer too. This lounge even had small cups of ice cream! The potato and leek soup was overly creamy, somewhat flavourless and generally pretty gross. I’d avoid that.
For beverages, the standard coffee machine and tea selection was present. There was no infused water here, but on top of pineapple juice and orange juice there was mango as well.
Premier Dasman Lounge
At the far, far end of the airport at the outermost gates was another Dasman Lounge. Right across from it was another Pearl Lounge which I didn’t enter. I guess these two lounges are meant for passengers boarding aircraft that are at these relatively remote gates.
Unlike the first two lounges, these remote lounges didn’t have their own separate, walled-off and enclosed spaces. Rather, they were separated by frosted windows and half-size walls- this wasn’t too much of a problem but any general airport noise can easily carry over in this type of scenario. For this Dasman lounge I barely spent 30 seconds in it. The food offerings, as expected, were identical to the other Dasman lounge. The only difference was location and vibe.
If you’ve read all of the above then you probably know which lounge was my favourite. And if you skipped down to this section to find out then I’ll tell you: It’s the Kuwait Airways Dasman Lounge. This lounge is beautifully designed and offers a very aesthetically pleasing environment. Their food and beverage offerings are so much more abundant than the Pearl Lounge as well.
If you’re transferring through or departing from Kuwait International Airport, I hope this comparison of lounges has helped you out in some small way. If it has helped – or if you have anything more to add or debate – please leave a comment!