Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge Review – No Wow at YOW

With another successful eUpgrade booking came access to another Maple Leaf lounge, this time in the nation’s capital. How does Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge stack up? Let’s find out.

Location and Hours

Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge Review

The Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge is located shortly past security between gates 17 and 18. Tuesday to Saturday, the Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge is open between 0430 and 1830. Oddly, the lounge is open until 1930 on Sundays and Mondays. 

The Maple Leafe Lounge is directly across from the Aspire Lounge which I didn’t notice until my way out. Had I known I would have popped my head in to get some value out of the priority pass that comes with the American Express business platinum card. I will definitely pop in next time as it will offer a direct comparison to options in the Ottawa airport. Stay tuned.

Service and Amenities

On my visit, the lounge was eerily quiet. Having experienced lineups to get into the Maple Leafe Lounges in both Toronto and Vancouver, this was a nice change of pace.

After passing through the sliding glass entrance, you will find an elevator and staircase leading up to the second level and into the lounge. Past the check-in counter, you will find a large space with a full self-serve bar and kitchen on the left and an arrangement of seating options along the windows to the right.

At the very end of the lounge, you will find a TV cycling CTV news and a mix of lounges and tables. Surprisingly, for a government hub, there was very little activity in the business centre. Maybe this isn’t surprising 😉

Beyond that, the only other amenity highlights are the free Wi-Fi and free magazine service through PressReader found in all Air Canada lounges.

Food and Drink

On my visit, it was nice to see the box lunches gone and the return of a self-serve snack bar. 

That said, Air Canada did a great job with pandemic service and its CleanCare+ program. The meals were a creative way to highlight Canadian chefs however the elegance was often lost as the food was often seemingly tossed into a brown box. But I digress…

The Ottawa Maple Leaf lounge meal service is very basic. I was visiting early afternoon and had a choice between two plain-looking wraps, cauliflower or broccoli salad, and a cream of potato or vegetable soup. The wraps were very bland and the vegetable soup was made from dehydrated vegetables. You can really taste the corners cut here.

Aside from that, there are some staple snacks such as ketchup chips, tzatziki and vegetables, and a selection of juices.

The coffee bar is one of the better ones I have come across at the Maple Leaf lounges. Although it’s the same Lavazza coffee machines, the addition of milk choices is an oddly nice touch. Also, don’t skip the oatmeal cookies.

Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge Bar

The best feature of the Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge is the self-serve bar. There is a good selection of spirits and mixes to choose from.

The beer selection, like most Maple Leaf Lounges, could use some local selections. At the Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge, you have the choice of Molson Canadian and Guinness. On my visit, the draft wasn’t working and I had to flag someone down to get me a can from the back. On the positive, and something very Ontario, all their beers are tall cans.

Still, there are a lot of great breweries in Ontario and around Ottawa. It would be great to see some support.

Final Thoughts

I wasn’t expecting much out of the Ottawa Maple Leaf lounge given the airport size and that’s what I got. Still, given it is the nation’s capital and likely sees its share of politicians and dignitaries from around the globe, I was hoping for a little more. Even though everything was largely basic and nothing stands out, it certainly is a comfortable and enjoyable space to relax in before your flight, especially given it is quieter than most Maple Leaf Lounges.

I’m not sure the Aspire Lounge offers much better but I will certainly check that out first next time. If anybody has experience there let me know in the comments below!

What say you?
Thoughts on this Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge Review?
Let’s hear it!

Ottawa Maple Leaf Lounge Review

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