update: it seems now, a couple hours later, with a busier lounge, there is an attendant (limited English), but no sign-up sheet. people are just hovering around by the showers and she’ll let you know when one is available.
after the great shower in IAD i had high hopes for this lounge at Air France’s main hub, but alas, no. i wonder if the other lounges here are better/worse, since i was surprised at the meh-ness of it all.
ease of access and location: if you ask at the front desk, they’ll tell you both sides of the long lounge (which stretch out to the left and right) have showers. i turned left and found them (there are four on each side, i think, with at least one being wheelchair-accessible) in the far corners, but no one was manning them even though the doors seemed to be unlocked. i walked over to the food and asked one of the employees: “i was wondering where i could get towels for the shower?” (i would have asked in French [thank you high school and college] but i forgot the word for towel [thank you high school and college]) “la douche?” “ouais!” “elle est là.” — she basically pointed me back to where i came from.
i investigated further and found there was indeed a towel pack waiting on the shelf inside the shower — not very obvious if you’re not looking for it. so i locked the door and went along my merry shower-taking way.
there doesn’t seem to be any system for signing up for a shower, so it’s pretty much first-come first-serve, and i can see it becoming problematic if the lounge gets busy. luckily the flight i was on from IAD was 45 minutes early(!!!) so it was pretty empty when i got here. the good thing, though, is that no one is there to rush you (but be considerate!). oh and be sure to lock the door since again, it’s self-service and no one is assigning rooms, so people will just randomly try to open the door.
while the room itself is small, there’s everything you need, including a long bench to hold your stuff. two hooks on the wall by the door.
the goods: i was afraid there wasn’t anything there except the wall-mounted soap dispenser in the shower and the hair dryer by the sink, but when i pulled the towel pack off the shelf, an amenity kit dropped to the ground.
it contained everything i needed and then some:
- shower cap (not needed)
- l’occitane shower gel (didn’t use because there wasn’t a place in the shower to put it and there was a wall-mounted dispenser of shower gel which seemed just fine)
- l’occitane citrus verbena summer fragrance (smells like old lady, no offense)
- l’occitane cleansing refreshing cloth (not quite sure what it’s supposed to do — it was just a moist towelette for your face i guess)
- l’occitane fabulous serum (eh it’s a small tube of lotion, nothing fabulous about it, which is probably a good thing since more fabulosity is the last thing i need before going to Russia for a week)
- toothbrush with buccotherm toothpaste (i’m always happy when they give you a toothbrush!)
- razor and shaving gel (didn’t use; i prefer my electric)
the towel pack contained a mat, a not-so-large towel, and a large bath towel. despite what the packing list showed, they were anything but luxe — thin and rough, sadly.
a standard setup — the water either goes to the handheld or the wall-mounted rainfall depending on which way you turn the top dial; bottom dial controls the temperature. water pressure and hot water were both great. the drain on the floor is quite inset, meaning the slope towards the middle is quite steep — it was slightly odd standing there.
cleanliness and state of facilities: it’s really showing its age. the wooden bench is worn, the sink has cracks around the drain, the shower floor is worse for wear…well, disappointing but like i always say, beggars can’t be choosers. it seemed clean, though, which is more important.
overall rating: 3 out of 5. definitely a let-down coming from the great shower in Dulles. i would have given it a 2.5 but they seemed to put some thought into the amenity kit, even though many components were irrelevant. the rest of the lounge seems to be in decent condition, but the showers i guess are overused and under-refurbished. maybe it was my fault, though, for choosing the first shower in the hallway — another one might have been better?