On a recent business trip to Scotland via Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to visit the KLM Non-Schengen Crown Lounge. Here is my review of what I feel to be one of the best business class lounges in Europe. It was opened in late 2019 and serves as KLM’s flagship lounge.
The Crown Lounge is located airside between the E and F piers of the Main Terminal. You will be able to reach this area if you are flying to a non-schengen country. Follow the signs for “Lounge 52”. The entrance is an escalator which you take to the top and scan your boarding pass to check-in. The lounge is open daily from 04:45 AM to 10:00 PM.
KLM have a video introduction of it that you can watch:
KLM Non-Schengen Crown Lounge 52
Entry to the lounge is as follows:
- Free entry as a KLM or other SkyTeam partner first or business class passenger.
- Free entry if you are a Flying Blue Gold or Platinum member, or SkyTeam Elite Plus passenger. You may bring one guest with you.
- Paid entry is available for 65 EUR for KLM or SkyTeam economy-class passengers. A 10% or 25% discount is applied for Explorer or Silver Flying Blue members respectively.
- Flying Blue Platinum or Gold members may bring in additional paid guests with a 25% discount.
Entry and lounge seating
A review of this lounge must begin by its distinguishing feature: The famous KLM Delft Blue houses. These collectible items are made in The Netherlands, feature a bottle of dutch gin inside, are given out to business-class passengers on intercontinental flights, and are present in the thousands in this lounge. As an avgeek I personally love them and am building up a small collection at home with each flight I take with the airline.
You enter the lounge via escalator and have your first viewing of them as you head up to check in.
The lounge is enormous but the designers broke the space into separate areas which makes it feel like a series of lounges on multiple stories all grouped together.
After you enter, if you head to the right there is the main restaurant area called “City”, and a relaxation zone called “Sea” with comfortable chairs, showers, a quiet zone, and even sleeping rooms.
To the left is “Polder” with an overflow food and drink area which opens as needed, and “Dutch Mountain” which is a combination staircase to the upper level and mixture of seating and Dutch artwork.
Upstairs is “Sky”, which features more seating, an outdoor terrace, and the main Blue bar. There is a Blue restaurant there as well which was designed to be high-end dining for an additional cost, but it hasn’t opened since the start of the pandemic.
The interior design is excellent and helps to make for a pleasing stay even if the lounge is crowded. This sure was the case when I arrived on an overnight flight from Montreal. That morning the lounge was absolutely packed. But even so, the wait for food was never more than two minutes and I was able to get seating and a shower with no waiting at all. There is every conceivable type of seating one could ask for: Bar-style tables with stools, regular tables in various sizes, booths, padded benches, and even privacy chairs by the windows.
There is a KLM area where staff can assist you with travel needs, and a showcase to KLM’s 100-year history with, you guessed it, more Delft Blue houses!
Heading upstairs, “The Mountain” is a fabulous staircase which acts as a stylish seating area complete with lit-up steps, greenery, Dutch artwork, and floor-to-ceiling windows. On the upper level you will find more seating including a work area and booths for single travellers built into the wall to offer privacy.
Upstairs there is the very chic Blue Bar.
The bar features a wide selection of both complimentary and paid premium cocktails, wine, and champagne. There is also a self-serve area with fruit-infused water and bar snacks.
Outside the glass doors is a small terrace where you can catch some much-appreciated sunshine.
Food and drinks
The main food area is in the “City” section on the main level. Since I arrived in the morning, a breakfast buffet was available. There were multiple sections featuring:
- Hot food such as eggs, sausages, beans, potatoes, etc.
- A bread and pastry station including croissants and chocolatines
- Sliced meats and cheese
- Hot soups
- Fresh fruit
On the upper level, the fine dining restaurant Blue has unfortunately been closed since the start of the pandemic.
For drinks, the main level features a Heineken-sponsored bar, self-serve water and cold drinks, and coffee is available via self-service or barista station. The upper level of course features the Blue bar which is the best place to sit when looking for alcoholic drinks.
Showers and sleeping facilities
In the “Sea” section of the lounge there is a large bank of shower rooms. You can reserve a time in one by using the self-serve kiosk, or seeing a KLM lounge attendant. When your room is ready, you will receive a QR code on your phone telling you which room to go to. You scan the QR code at the entry and the door opens for you.
The shower rooms are pretty small and basic, but the water pressue is good. They do not have a toilet so take care of that before you enter. Inside you’ll find Rituals-branded shampoo & shower gel, a large towel, and some personal amenities including dental kit, shaving kit, comb, and shower cap.
Sleep cabins can also be reserved for the cost of:
- 3 hours: EUR 49.50 or 12,400 Miles
- 5 hours: EUR 75.- or 18,800 Miles
This is a terrible value in miles, so definitively go for the cash rate if you have a long layover and want to get some sleep. They include a 33-inch TV, sink, and queen-size bed. They are only open when the lounge is, so you can’t spend the night in one.
Many European hub airport lounges are packed at peak times, and this one is no exception. But despite this, the KLM Crown Lounge is definitively one of my favourite business-class lounges in Europe. The use of space, variety of seating, the enormous amount of natural light, and amenities including outdoor terrace, showers, and Blue bar, make this a great stop during a transit through Amsterdam.