Review: Garuda Indonesia Lounge Jakarta (CGK)

Jyaga unsure (3.5/5)

Garuda Indonesia Lounge (International)

Airport : Soekarno-Hatta Airport Jakarta (CGK)
Terminal : Terminal 3 (International)
Operator : Garuda Indonesia
Access : SkyPriority Passengers
Date of Visit : December 2023

Garuda Indonesia is Indonesia’s flag-carrier based in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) Terminal 3. Soekarno-Hatta Airport (CGK), being Garuda’s main hub, is home to two lounges in the international section – a First Class lounge and a Business Class lounge – adjacent to each other. This review will focus on the Business Class section.

Lounge Access Rules

Unlike the complicated access rules to the Garuda Indonesia domestic lounges, the access requirements to the international lounge are very straightforward. In general, access to the Garuda Indonesia lounge is limited to SkyTeam Business Class passengers and SkyTeam Elite Plus card holders. This by default includes Garuda Indonesia Business Class passengers and GarudaMiles Platinum members.

Additionally, the Garuda Indonesia Lounge is also the contract lounge for premium passengers flying on non-Skyteam airlines like All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Qatar Airways, among others. In addition, Garuda Indonesia Economy Class passengers may also purchase access to this lounge for IDR387,400 (~US$26, £20), as part of a limited offer.


The Garuda Indonesia Lounge is located on Terminal 3’s Mezzanine Floor, airside. After immigration, take the rightmost escalator down one floor to the Mezzanine food court and make a U-turn, where you’ll find the elusive Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge. From the First Class Lounge, turn left into the corridor where you’ll see large Garuda Indonesia signage.

Mezzanine floor of Soekarno-Hatta Airport Terminal 3
Signage pointing to the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Signage of the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

The Business Class lounge is located down a low ceiling, dimly lit corridor, where you’d find the lounge’s reception. The corridor features various Garuda Indonesia banners on the wall. This space looked like an afterthought more than anything, with the left-hand ceiling too short for an average adult to walk under. Honestly, I don’t know why this area wasn’t incorporated into the original plans of the lounge…

Hallway leading to the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Hallway leading to the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

As strange as it looks, there is even an awkwardly placed children’s playground right in front of the Business Class Lounge reception, which only adds to the peculiarity of the design.

Children’s playground outside the reception

The mood changes abruptly in front of the reception, which looks much brighter and more inviting than the rest of the corridor. To note, there is also a set of escalators that goes down to the gate level in front of the lounge’s reception. This way you wouldn’t need to go and backtrack through the corridor and to the Mezzanine food court.

Business Class Lounge reception
Business Class Lounge reception

Garuda Indonesia Lounge

On this visit, I was granted access thanks to my Garuda Indonesia Business Class boarding pass. I was invited inside as soon as the friendly lounge reception agent made a full scan of my boarding pass.

Business Class Lounge reception

Right behind the reception is the lounge’s sole functioning food spread, which I’ll expand on after this. Interestingly, the partition wall between the reception and the lounge has a display of various inflight amenities used in First Class, like pillows, crockery, pyjamas, etc. Perhaps they felt it was better to display them since they are now rarely in use? It’s a pity how Garuda Indonesia only operates a skeleton First Class network nowadays.

Display wall in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Corridor of the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

From here, the lounge is divided into two sections – a main seating area to the right and a smaller seating area on the left of the reception desk. Since Garuda Indonesia appeared to have done away with its balcony seating section on the left, most seating is consolidated at the main seating area in the right-hand side section of the lounge. 


Immediately to the right of the reception desk and adjacent to the food spread is the lounge’s dining area. Located here are several dining tables, each seating a maximum of two people. While I generally found the design of the chairs to be nice, they weren’t especially comfortable.

Dining area
Dining area


The lounge has one food area consisting of a buffet of hot and cold options. Disappointingly, the small buffet often only features a selection of international dishes. Aside from the disappointing taste of the international-inspired dishes, an airline lounge would have been the perfect place to showcase Indonesia’s rich food heritage. In any case, the Saphire Plaza Premium Lounge does a much better job with this. Sigh…

Dining options in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

Anyway, most of the hot food was on display in a bain-marie, typical of a buffet. In terms of the hot dishes on offer during my visit, available were Butter Rice, sautéed potatoes, Sauted [sic] Mixed Vegetable, Sauteed Baby Potato, and Baked Chicken Mushroom. What an uncreative selection!

Hot dishes on offer
Hot dishes on offer

In addition, there was also Bubur Ayam, a local Indonesian rice congee often served for breakfast and Bubur Ketan Hitam, a sweet black rice porridge served with coconut milk. At the very least, I appreciate that this was a local dish, compared to the bad-tasting miso soup they served previously.

Bubur Ketan Hitam

Behind this is the salad and fruit station, featuring cut fruits, vegetables, salad accompaniments and mango mousse.

Salad station
Mango mousse and cut fruits

Finally, there is also a selection of muffins, bread and sandwiches, of which the former looks identical to those served on board in Economy Class.

Bread selection
Sandwiches and sliders

In addition, there is a live cooking station featuring dishes that rotate every few weeks. During previous visits, they featured chicken ramen and a pasta station for dinner. On my morning visit, the space has been repurposed as an egg station with cooked eggs, baked beans and made-to-order omelettes.

Egg station
Egg station
Eggs and baked beans

Other Observations

Frustratingly, there is also an excessive display of nice-looking chocolates that aren’t actually part of the food offering. They weren’t for sale either, since it is merely a sponsored static display that is not to be consumed. Surely if they wanted to display this, they should at least provide samples or even sell these chocolates in the lounge. Better yet, the brand displaying these chocolates doesn’t even have a store in the airport – so I don’t know what they’re going for here…

Static chocolate display


Located with the food spread are the beverage options, which are similarly quite limited. There were only the cold drink options of infused water, mango juice and orange juice. There was also a pot of tea and a coffee machine. While there is a coffee menu by the coffee machine, this is not for barista-made coffee. You’ll just receive coffee brewed from the coffee machine if you request a drink from this menu.

Beverage selection
Coffee machine

Additionally, alcoholic drinks are available on request at the bar, although it is limited to a local beer and two choices of wine – white or red. Despite that, I did appreciate that they offer bottles of water, which is convenient to take on a long flight (which the lounge funnily asks you not to do).

Garuda Indonesia Lounge Bar
Soft drink selection

Lounge Area

The lounge’s design is generally pleasant, given its warm colours and modern furniture. For one, I appreciated the soft warm-white lighting permeating the space, which was easy on my weary eyes this early in the morning. Behind the dining area is the main seating area, featuring tight rows of chairs facing each other.

Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

Most of these armchairs aren’t very comfortable, by their design lacking proper padding, but there are a limited number of softer sofa chairs as well. Whilst the chairs are tightly packed next to each other, each row is irregularly separated by an ornate partition.

Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

Despite the mostly uncomfortable seating, I appreciate that there is an abundance of power outlets. These are located on the console tables next to each pair of chairs. Do note however that these are not universal power outlets.

Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Seating in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

Towards the back, there are also a couple of reclining chairs, which is a thoughtful offering for those trying to pack some extra rest. Regardless, I wouldn’t count on catching a nap here, since the terminal’s noises regularly seep into the lounge.

Reclining chairs in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Reclining chairs in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge

First Class Lounge

Interestingly, there is a door leading to the First Class Lounge at the far end of the main seating area. I was curious about the purpose of this door but it probably doesn’t get much use since the First Class Lounge is also often closed.

Door to the First Class Lounge

Once, before my China Eastern flight to Shanghai, I did find the door open as the lounge staff moved between the two spaces! Quickly, I took a peek at the elusive Garuda Indonesia First Class Lounge. Frankly, it looked like a slightly nicer version of the Business Class lounge, with the added benefit of à la carte dining. In any case, there wasn’t anything spectacular about the design.

First Class Lounge

Supplementary Seating Area

While the Garuda Indonesia Lounge had a much larger, open-air balcony seating area, that section appears to be indefinitely closed. As such the area to the left of the reception serves as a more intimate, supplementary seating section. Here, the space consists mostly of sofa chairs, arranged in a typical style of a seating lounge.

Supplementary seating area
Supplementary seating area

Like the rest of the lounge, this area has windows that look into the terminal. There is not much in terms of a view.

View from the Garuda Indonesia Lounge


Children’s Play Area and Nursery

Finally, a small children’s play area and nursery are also available between the dining area and the main seating area. This section is exposed to the rest of the lounge and features only one small play table with a couple games and a television over padded mats.

Children’s play area

Relaxation Area

Along the wall of the main seating area is a small relaxation area, occupied by two reclining chairs identical to those I mentioned earlier. The space is darker than the rest of the lounge, theoretically making it more feasible to sleep in. However, the chairs still face a grill fence that is exposed completely to the lighting of the rest of the lounge.

Relaxation area
Relaxation area

Smoking Room

Wedged between the relaxation area and the toilets is a small smoking room. Unlike the beautiful smoking room you’d find at the JAL First Class Lounge, this was nothing more than a run-down space set in a room not much bigger than a utility closet.

Smoking room

VIP Sitting Room

Between the small, supplementary seating area and the food spread is a VIP room, consisting of several sofa chairs and a television. This VIP seating room is regularly closed and locked, though curiously its television was turned on. It is not clear if this space is reserved for actual VIPs or if it is open to top Garuda Indonesia frequent flyers.

VIP room


Near the far end of the seating area are the lounge’s toilets, separated by gender. Frankly, the toilets looked quite small for a flagship lounge but they were bright and regularly cleaned. While I’m not sure why, the toilet floors did look dingy and uninviting. I suppose the space hasn’t been maintained very well over the years, evident from the staining and discolouration of the travertine floors and the tile walls.

Male toilet in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Male toilet in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge
Toilet stall


The showers are located inside the restrooms, with two showers available in the male restroom. To use the shower, however, you’ll have to request the agents at the reception desk, who will give you a pair of towels and toiletries. While I did not try the shower for myself, the space looked clean and well-maintained – at least compared to the rest of the restroom.

The showers
Shower in the Garuda Indonesia Lounge


The Garuda Indonesia Lounge features complimentary WiFi internet access. Despite that, I find the network to be frustratingly slow, at times more so than the terminal’s WiFi network. At the very least, I appreciate that there are now signs with the WiFi credentials displayed in the lounge.

WiFi network


For a time, I had regarded this lounge as the best in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, before the opening of the Plaza Premium Lounge. But now, the Garuda Indonesia Lounge feels mediocre if not disappointing, despite being the flagship of a well-regarded international carrier. Nothing about the lounge was special, particularly not the food or the seating! I surely wouldn’t arrive early to use this lounge, unlike the massive Saphire Plaza Premium Lounge.

Read more from An Emerald Farewell here!

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