the Air France website lists hours for this lounge as 1 PM to 10 PM, but i had no problem getting in earlier since it functions as a general SkyTeam lounge and there is a Korean Air flight that departs at 1:35 PM.
i feel like such a traitor for being in a SkyTeam lounge when i’m Star Alliance, but oh well. for a $400 round-trip fare to Russia, you have to make exceptions.
if i may digress for a moment: maybe it’s me projecting (probably is), but there is such a difference between Lufthansa lounges and this Air France lounge. here we have bold red accents all over, sensual curves…not saying it’s necessarily better, but i can appreciate whatever cultural intentions the design evokes.
ease of access and location: there is just one shower for the entire lounge, but there was no wait when i arrived. the person working the reception desk will unlock the door for you. the room is located at the far end, past all the food but before the work stations (that have no free power outlets — good luck if you need to get some work done and the few outlets here are taken).
the room is a good size, with a table and stool to put your stuff on. there was more than enough room for my backpack and rollaboard to come off the floor — and that’s much appreciated!
the goods: oh yes. the first thing my eyes were drawn to (besides that red sink with the umm…odd knobs) was the amenity kit.
besides the kit (covered in more detail below), you also get a towel pack with a soft, large bath towel, a floor mat, and a washcloth. note that if you’re a washcloth user, be sure to seek it out before you start tossing towels about or it’ll land on the floor. there are two hooks on the wall by the shower door. no hair dryer.
inside the amenity kit (*drumroll*):
all Akhassa products: shower gel, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, razor and shaving gel (that’s the small tube), dental kit, and shower cap.
the shower gel and shampoo will leave you smelling like you just rolled around in a field of lemongrass, but luckily (since i’m not all that fond of lemongrass) it fades quickly. the deodorant, though, while labeled as lemongrass, is AMAZING. i can’t describe the smell…maybe a sweet lemongrass without the pungency? in any case, i wanted to eat it up. such a delicious smell. ok, dare i say it’s a bit orgasmic. (TMI? sorry. … ok, no i’m not. it’s that good.)
i didn’t open the dental kit yet; i’ve used up my supply of emergency amenity toothbrushes that i carry with me and this is going towards replenishing it, especially since i brushed my teeth just a couple of hours ago in the British Airways lounge down the concourse.
y’all, it looks like a fancy setup, but it’s problematic. i spent probably five full minutes standing in the shower waiting for the hot water to come in (every now and then sticking my foot in the stream of water), only to discover that i had the dial turned the wrong way. for hot, you want to turn it counterclockwise until the handle points as vertical as you can get it. the cold end of the spectrum is somewhere around the 7 o’clock position. i have a feeling it got yanked around by someone trying to figure it out, making it all wonky. (i tried turning it counterclockwise at first but it was frigid and i assumed that was the cold since it was colder than the uhh, cold.)
i attempted to take a shower without hot water at first but i couldn’t — all the while i was thinking in my head how i’d lampoon the situation on twitter and my blog. luckily it didn’t come to that!
once you get the hot water going, though, the pressure is great and so is the temperature (it was a very nice change from the cold shower i convinced myself to expect).
by the way, if you want to make the handheld shower head stop, well, you can’t. the valve connected to the hose only manages to lessen the flow, but not by much. you’ll just have to face it away from you.
cleanliness and state of facilities: the shower has clearly been here for a while (although that could just be an optical illusion due to the dim lighting) but everything was in good enough condition. my biggest beef is the discombobulated water temperature control. however, the stall itself and the rest of the bathroom were quite clean.
overall rating: 4.5 out of 5. oh-so-close to being great. if they could fix the temperature knob it would be just shy of 5 stars (a little update to the interior would make it perfect). (no hair dryer, but i don’t use one, so i’m not missing it.)
p.s. i keep sniffing my armpits i love that deodorant so much! yum!