In this review, we will check out the Garuda Indonesia Business Lounge for international departures in Terminal 3 of Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
Finding the Garuda lounge
After a visit to the surprisingly decent Plaza Premium Lounge, it was time to also check out the Garuda Business Lounge during my long layover at Jakarta Airport. Just coming off an excellent Garuda flight, I was curious how the Garuda flight experience would compare to its flagship lounge.
The Garuda Lounge is located roughly halfway at the international concourse of Terminal 3. To reach the lounge, you have to take the stairs or lift up one floor to the mezzanine level. It is well signposted so it should not be too hard to find.
Garuda Lounge entrance requirements
Entrance requirements to the Garuda Indonesia Business Lounge (sometimes named the Garuda Executive Lounge as well) are the standard SkyTeam lounge requirements.
To be allowed into the lounge, you need to be a business class passenger on a Garuda or other SkyTeam flight, or hold elite status with a SkyTeam frequent flyer programme.
The lounge however also allows qualifying passengers of a select few other airlines into the lounge, among which are business class passengers and elites of Japan Airlines (JAL). As I was about to fly in business class to Tokyo on JAL, I also qualified for access into the Garuda lounge.
Garuda Lounge seating
Garuda Indonesia’s business lounge has a simple layout but is quite a vast space, stretching out all along the edge of the mezzanine level looking out directly over the main concourse below.
This means that although there are some decent views of the terminal itself, there are no views of the tarmac from the lounge. While at the area immediately at the entrance there are glass panes at the mezzanine edge making you feel a bit boxed in, the seats further away are located at a proper balustrade making the lounge feel much more spacious there.
There is a vast amount of seats available in the lounge. Even at peak times you will definitely be able to find a quiet spot here, although you might have to walk all the way to the outer edges of the lounge for this.
Seating options range from comfortable chairs, sofas and couches to dining tables to work tables. Power outlets can be found at almost every seat. Coupled with a strong WiFi signal, it makes the lounge a good work environment.
I thought the lounge itself was nicely furnished, having the occassional design element, plants, art works and even display cabinets with model aeroplanes and Indonesian cultural objects.
Garude lounge buffet
The Garuda Indonesia Business Lounge has an extensive food buffet with a great variety of choice. There are all kinds of Indonesian dishes such as laksa, noodles, meats (meatballs, sesame chicken), veggies, fresh fruit, finger foods, sandwiches, donuts, samosas and plenty of other available dishes. There is also a salad bar.
You will find the main buffet area right at the entrance of the lounge, although there is also a smaller buffet area all the way to the left along the balustrade.
I thought the quality was quite good overall. You can definitely manage to get a good bite at the Garuda lounge before your flight if you want!
Garude lounge bar
At both buffet stations you will find coffee machines, several juice and water canisters, as well as fridges with soft drinks.
If you however fancy some alcohol, you need to head over to the small bar in the middle of the lounge and ask a lounge attendant for it. The Garuda lounge only has beer and wine available – which is unfortunately similar to almost every other lounge in Indonesia.
Especially for children, the Garuda Lounge also features a children’s playroom with a TV and a couple of toys. Older kids will probably appreciate the popcorn machine inside the lounge!
Given the large size of the lounge, there are two sets of restrooms inside the Garuda Lounge, which are kept after well by the cleaning staff. Showers are available too, although I did not test them out.
I was tempted to do so though given that the air conditioning inside the lounge was malfunctioning during my visit. The lounge attendants profusely apologised for this and also several signs placed throughout the lounge relayed the same message. Although this seemed to be a temporary problem which certainly is not the fault of Garuda, it made the conditions in huge parts of the lounge a bit unpleasant.
As this trip took place in February 2020, Jakarta Airport maintenance staff has hopefully addressed the problem by now!
Garuda vs. Plaza Premium lounge
While sipping my glass of wine and nibbling on some of the lounge food I was thinking which of the two Jakarta lounges I actually would prefer. Typing this some months later, I still cannot decide which I prefer – I guess it would depend on my mood!
The Garuda business lounge has a more extensive buffet with more choice, although the quality of the food at the Plaza Premium lounge wasn’t bad either – and they do have a noodle bar!
When it comes to drinks, both lounges are the same as they only serve beer and wine from the bar and have a comparable assortment of non-alcoholic beverages.
Even when it comes to seating I cannot pick a clear winner. The Garuda lounge has a slightly nicer design, although I would probably give the Plaza Premium the slight edge in this category as it has great tarmac views and some comfortable loungers if you can snatch one of them. At peak times I would however go straight to the Garuda lounge given it is much larger and seems less prone to overcrowding.
To conclude the review, I think that the Garuda Indonesia Business Lounge is a decent lounge which has all the basics covered. The decor is nice, there is a vast amount of seating options available with always plenty of space, plenty of power sockets and fast internet.
The buffet is very good, with plenty of different options available to satisfy a diverse, international crowd of passengers. Lounge attendants also work with a smile at this lounge and keep the facility immaculately clean.
You cannot go wrong with either the Garuda Business Lounge or the Plaza Premium Lounge as both deliver a sound experience, although neither are lounges I would arrive especially early for at the airport.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Lazing in Laos and Gallivanting a Wee Bit Around Asia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Aegean Airlines Business Class Bucharest to Athens (Airbus A320)
2. Review: Goldair Handling Lounge (Non-Schengen) Athens Airport
3. Review: Saudia Business Class Athens to Jeddah (Airbus A320)
4. Review: Saudia Alfursan Lounge Jeddah Airport South Terminal
5. Review: Review: Saudia Business Class Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur (Boeing 787)
6. Review: CitizenM Hotel Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang
7. Kuala Lumpur in One Day: What to See and Do in 24 Hours
8. A Batu Caves Half Day Trip From Kuala Lumpur By Public Transport
9. Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Private Resting Suite Gateway KLIA2
10. Review: Air Asia Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane (Airbus A320)
11. Review: Hotel Khamvongsa, Vientiane, Laos
12. Destination Trip Report: A Day in Vientiane, Laos
13. Guide: Domestic Bus Travel in Laos and How to Book a Ticket
14. Review: Simon Riverside Hotel, Vang Vieng, Laos
15. Trip Report: Vang Vieng – Worth a Stop on Your Laos Itinerary?
16. Review: Villa Ban Phanluang, Luang Prabang, Laos
17. Luang Prabang: The Stunning Pearl of Indochina
18. Guide: Luang Prabang Morning, Food and Night Markets
19. Kuang Si Falls: A Gorgeous Luang Prabang Day Trip
20. Review: Thai Smile Economy Class Luang Prabang to Bangkok (Airbus A320)
21. Review: Ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 4
22. Review: Air France/KLM Business Lounge Bangkok Airport
23. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Bangkok to Jakarta (Boeing 737-800)
24. Review: Sapphire Plaza Premium Lounge Terminal 3 Jakarta Airport
25. Review: Garuda Business Lounge Terminal 3 Jakarta Airport (current chapter)
26. Review: Review: Japan Airlines Business Class Jakarta to Tokyo Narita (Boeing 787-8)
27. Review: Capsule Hotel Transit Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
28. Tokyo Stopover: What to See and Do in the Capital of Japan for a Day
29. Review: ANA Business Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
30. Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport
31. Review: Turkish Airlines Economy Class Tokyo Narita to Istanbul (Boeing 777)
32. Review: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Lounge Istanbul Airport
33. Review: Turkish Airlines Economy Class Istanbul to Bucharest (Airbus A330)