This is our review of the new Eurostar Business Premier lounge at Gare du Nord in Paris.
Every now and then I get to do something fun but slightly odd for HFP – like going to a different country for the day and not leaving the airport or, in this case, the railway station.
Last Friday I took an early Eurostar to Paris for the press preview of the new Eurostar Business Premier lounge at Gare du Nord. I must say what I found was very impressive.
The lounge opened to the public on Saturday so if you are heading to Paris this week you will have the opportunity to try it out.
Click on any of the images to enlarge.
Instead of simply refurbishing the old Eurostar Paris lounge, a completely new lounge has been created inside former office space.
The new lounge is on the second floor above the security area – speaking of which, I can also confirm that the process of putting in new security gates looked pretty advanced. Once the new gates open the whole check in process from arriving at Gare du Nord to entering the Business Premier lounge promises to be much quicker than it is now.
As you come out of the lift and turn right you walk along a magazine shelf with an impressive selection of English and French titles.
The new Business Premier lounge consists of different ‘compartments’ with various seating arrangements. There is room for 160 guests in total.
Alongside the window facing the station are booth-like sofa areas.
At the far end is a long bar table with phone charging stations.
The first ‘room’ to the right gives the impression of having stepped into the living room of a Parisian flat. It has sofas, armchairs, fireplaces and paintings selected by The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.
The London-based architecture and interior design studio Softroom has managed to create an atmosphere which they describe as ‘enjoying a little bit more of Paris’ before getting on the train.
With 12 ‘environments’ regular travellers can have a different experience every time they visit the lounge without getting bored.
The food adds another wow factor to the lounge. If you are used to railway station lounges offering the odd sandwich, pastry and drinks (regular readers may remember my tour of Virgin Train lounges last summer) this is like stepping into food heaven.
Raymond Blanc has created an individual and innovative menu with the right balance of healthy and ‘naughty’ food. This includes various juices and salads as well as chocolate cake and various sweet treats. The French chef, who owns Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, a hotel / restaurant in Oxfordshire with two Michelin stars, wants guests to ‘enjoy food and celebrate life’.
There are actually two food areas …..
…. and a self service drinks station.
As you leave the food area you step into the next highlight of the lounge: the bar.
Yes, the new Paris Eurostar Business Premier Lounge has a fully staffed cocktail bar:
….. with signature cocktails especially created for the lounge. Raymond Blanc has even developed a signature gin, Toujours 21, exclusively for Eurostar. (See our teaser article from Friday for a cheesy photograph of me, Raymond and the gin …..)
The lounge can be used by anyone on a Business Premier ticket or with the appropriate Eurostar Frequent Traveller status.
You cannot use Eurostar lounges when travelling in Standard Premier or Standard class. The lounges are not part of Priority Pass or any other lounge programme.
There IS one way of getting in without a Business Premier ticket. American Express Platinum charge card holders get free access to all Eurostar lounges. You cannot bring a guest but you can issue a free supplementary Platinum card to your partner which would get them in. I know that Rob has also been allowed to take his kids into the old Paris lounge in the past when using an American Express card for entry.
The new Eurostar Business Premier Lounge is very impressive. It’s by far the best train station lounge I’ve ever seen and can compete with many airport lounges.
The lounge makes travel to and from Paris by train even more attractive than the Eurostar product already does. The only ‘downside’ is that it takes longer to get to the train than from the old lounge, however looking at the quality of the new lounge this is a sacrifice worth making.
If you missed our short lounge video on Friday, here it is again:
If it isn’t visible on your device, click here to see it on our YouTube page.
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