This is maybe the most ridiculous post you'll ever read on a points and miles blog, given that it concerns a review of a lounge I visited fourteen months ago. As a result, everything about the lounge could be different by now, and I wouldn't know, since I haven't been there in fourteen months. Why am I even bothering to review it? Who knows. Let's dive in!
Furnishings: Pretty nice and modern, I gotta say. With the big 3 airlines upping their lounge game considerably, the overall Admiral's United Sky Club experience is getting less drab and monotonous, but if you're craving something different, A&L is a good option. Oh, they have art on the walls, too. 8/10 Cookies: I came in during breakfast, and there weren't any. I don't want to give it a 1, though, because they probably put some out later in the day. Let's say a 5. 5/10 Snacks: I had a bagel with peanut butter and it was pretty good. However, the day before, I chipped my two front teeth biting down on a fork and had to have my dentist put in two fillings before rushing to catch my flight. As a result, I could only bite into the bagel with my molars, which caused me to get peanut butter all over the side of my face. Also, the little eating area of this lounge is pretty cramped, so I can imagine it being crowded during normal meal times. 7/10 Alcohol: They actually had a few different white wines chilling in an ice bucket, so you wouldn't miss your morning mimosa if that's your thing. 7/10 Views: None, unless you count the art on the walls. Do you like art? This was the kind of art you'd see in an upscale hotel. Not generic hotel art, but obviously they aren't going to mount a Cindy Sherman exhibit here or something. 2/10 Bathrooms: Basic, but not gross. I went in to wipe the peanut butter off my face. 6/10 Outlets: Pretty easy to find. 7/10 Other amenities: This lounge is before security, so you have to weigh how much you care about that. My story is that I had flown into EWR and gotten in late at night, so I just grabbed a cheap hotel by the airport. The next morning, I took the free shuttle to the airport with the intention of catching the Airtrain into New York. Since I had my Priority Pass card with me, it occurred to me that I could get a free breakfast at this lounge. So in this one case, the lounge being landside was a bonus. However, my feeling is that the lounge should always be the last place you go before your gate. The whole point of the lounge is that you get through security, buy your duty free whatever, and chillax until your flight. Having to go through security (at EWR no less) means you can't easily time when to leave the lounge and will either have to be stressed in the security line or at the gate way before your flight. For that reason alone, I'd probably skip this lounge in the future unless I happened to be at the airport way too early. It's a nice concept and the whole "art" aspect is novel, but if you strip out the cool furnishings, it's a pretty basic lounge outside security with no views. 3/10 Final score: 45/80
Edited later to add...
OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO I FOUND ABOUT ART & LOUNGE. Unfortunately, I'm not paying Wordpress enough money to embed videos in my own posts, but check it out on YouTube. I promise you'll love it.
My favorite things, in order: 1. The fucked up sound that makes it sound like a contemporary jazz trio was forced to perform under water. 2. The ambiguous and vaguely sinister promise to "brands" about how they can brainwash a HIGH-END CAPTIVE AUDIENCE. Seriously, Art & Lounge considers you captive! It's like they know EWR is a pile of shit are just daring you to spend time in the terminal before your flight. 3. The phrase "Unraveling unique art exhibitions." They use the word "unveiling" on the next slide, so you know they know the word, they just didn't want to use it twice. 4. The fact that they barely show any actual photos of the lounge, and the slide about the innovative cuisine is clearly made up of stock photos. 5. The video has 43 views (as of this writing)!!!