[Review] El Dorado Lounge: Bogotá International Airport
Last week, Mr. TT and I took advantage of a Thrifty Traveler Premium deal from January for $280 and spent the week in Bogotá, Colombia. One of the things I was most excited about was checking out the new El Dorado Lounge at Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport. The El Dorado Lounge opened just a few weeks ago and still has some areas under construction. In this post, I will be doing a full review of the El Dorado Lounge in Bogotá, Colombia.
How To Access The Lounge
The El Dorado Lounge is part of the Priority Pass lounge network. In order to access the lounge without paying a fee, you must hold a credit card that offers Priority Pass membership as a perk of membership. Because I hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which offers free Priority Pass membership, and allows you to bring an unlimited number of guests in with you, I was able to get myself and the other three people I was traveling with, in at no cost.
The El Dorado Lounge is only accessible for passengers departing from Terminal One (international departures only) and is open daily from 4:00 AM to 12:00 AM. If you don’t have Priority Pass, you can also purchase access to the lounge for $39 for three hours.
Location of the El Dorado Lounge
The lounge is located after the security checkpoint in the international departures area (Terminal 1) in front of Gate 47. Once inside the main entrance, we were greeted by a host and took an elevator down a level into the main check-in area of the lounge.
The El Dorado Lounge offers a host of amenities, although not all of them are included at no cost with your Priority Pass membership. When we checked-in, we were given two free drink tickets that we were able to use at the complimentary bar. The bar contained wine, beer, and a few mixed drink options.
When I went to redeem one of my free drink tickets I was chatting with the bartender briefly. She indicated that there was going to be a full bar at the other end of the lounge, but it was still under construction being the lounge just opened. The bar cart pictured below was a temporary solution until the permanent bar opens. The bar is supposed to be open by the end of April 2018.
Later in the evening, I went back up to the bar cart to inquire about buying a cocktail. The bartender indicated that a glass of wine would cost $12 USD, but it was a much larger pour than the free glass. I decided to purchase a glass of wine, and she wasn’t kidding, the red wine below was the glass I paid for vs. the free version. The pour was massive and probably almost 1/3 of the bottle.
When I checked my card statement later, I noticed that I had been charged US$17 for the glass and not $12 like I was told. $17 is a pretty steep price to pay for a glass of wine, and I probably would have passed had I known the actual cost. I will chalk this up to the lounge being only a few weeks old, and the employees not fully understanding the pricing structure.
Outside of the bar, there were a number of other amenities offered in the El Dorado Lounge. Across from the lounge restrooms was a full salon and spa.
None of the services offered at the salon were complimentary, but I found the pricing to be in line with what you would find in the US for similar services. I chose to have a straight razor shave which was an incredible way to unwind for an hour before our flight. The cost of the shave was $35 which included a tip. One of my travel companions got his haircut and noted that the price was in line with what he pays in the US.
There were not many people in the lounge, so we were both able to walk right in and get our services. No appointments were required, however, they did offer them.
Near the lounge entrance, there is a sleek business center that offers a great place to get work done. The table was outfitted with plugins at every spot. The only downfall of the space is that the window looks out into a parking lot instead of airside where you would be able to watch aircraft takeoff.
The lounge also had a simulator room in which you could play soccer, golf, cricket or have a baseball home run derby. However, when we checked into the lounge, the woman at the front desk had indicated the simulator was broken and we wouldn’t be able to use it. Because of this, we didn’t inquire about pricing.
Across from the business center was a unique children’s play area. I was impressed with the size of the space and the number of activities they had. If you are traveling with children through El Dorado International Airport, this would be a great place to let your kids burn off some energy.
The lounge also offers shower facilities but they are not included with entry. We had a redeye flight departing at midnight to Miami and I wanted to take a shower before we boarded. I inquired at the spa about the cost to use the shower and I was told that it cost 15,000 Pesos.
Looking at the current exchange rate, this would have been about $5.50 which I was more than willing to pay. I confirmed this was correct and went to the front desk to buy my shower ticket. The woman at the front desk said that wasn’t correct and the actual cost was 50,000 Colombian Pesos.
50,000 Pesos ended up being $18.50. This may have been a language barrier issue, or it could also be due to the lounge being new and employees not understanding the pricing structure of the different amenities as was my experience at the bar. Being desperate and wanting a shower, I went ahead and paid the $18.50.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the shower experience, as the rooms were small and the water was lukewarm at best. If you have ever showered at one of the American Express Centurion Lounges, that experience blows this one away. If you don’t absolutely need to take a shower, save your money and skip the shower at the El Dorado Lounge. Spending almost $19 on a shower seems unnecessary and I can’t imagine they are going to sell many of these.
The El Dorado Lounge is one of the largest airport lounges I have visited. There is a vast amount of seating, and the lounge is equipped to handle a lot of guests. The lounge seating also has plenty of outlets to plug in all of your electronic devices. Below are some images of the different seating areas.
Upon entering the lounge, there are a few different options for food, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. With the entrance you receive from Priority Pass membership, you receive access to the complimentary food and snacks area pictured below. There were sandwiches, chips, lots of fruit and a few desserts. Personally, I found this to be more than adequate.
Towards the salon at the other end of the lounge, there was another food area that had a more substantial offering. For $4.50 US, you could access this area and have what I would consider being more of a traditional hot meal.
Being we had a redeye flight to Miami departing at midnight, being in the El Dorado Lounge for the evening made our airport experience drastically better. The lounge is beautiful and built to accommodate a large number of visitors. In general, I found some of the pricing to be confusing, and it appeared that the lounge employees weren’t entirely familiar with it either. The next time I am traveling through Bogotá, I will definitely check out the finished bar and any other improvements that weren’t ready during our visit.
Having lounge access makes long travel days so much more tolerable. If you are not yet a Priority Pass member, The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers the best membership. You can bring an unlimited number of guests into lounges with you, as long as they are in your travel party.