With the announcement that Air Canada is re-opening some of its lounges, I thought I would look back at my time enjoying them. Read on for my time checking out the Vancouver Maple Leaf lounge in the international terminal of YVR.
On the first leg of my recent Aeroplan booked trip, I got to experience the YVR lounge again. It was my first international trip in over two years so thought I would take the opportunity to update my YVR Maple Lounge Review.
Like all other Maple Leaf Lounges, the YVR lounge has shifted to an in your seat meal experience and, on my visit, the self-serve kitchen was still closed. Although convenient, the boxed meals lack quality and any sort of presentation. Understandable but also pretty laughable at times. They were serving breakfast on my visit and I had the options of avocado toast or smoked salmon and hardboiled egg on an English muffin. I went with the latter and, although good, was a challenge to cut and eat in the supplied box. Hopefully plates and cutlery return soon!
The bar was closed as we were flying out early so didn’t get a preflight cocktail but I did enjoy some tea with fresh fruit.
Overall the experience is defiantly different but can’t blame the lounge. They have done an excellent job with their Clean Care policies and procedures and have been able to offer good service throughout the pandemic. Here’s hoping that restrictions fully lift soon and the lounge returns to the fantastic experience of old!
Speaking of old, here is my pre-pandemic review to give you a sense of normal!
Where is the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge Located?
The Vancouver Maple Leaf lounge is located directly after security by gate 52. At the time of posting this, the lounge is open from 08:45 – 00:45 (Sun.- Fri.) and 06:45 – 00:45 (Sat.) For the latest hours and Covid restrictions please check out the Maple Leaf lounge website.
What is the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge Food & Drink Like?
The first thing you will see when entering the Air Canada Lounge at YVR is the well-stocked bar. On my visit, there was serve yourself beer and wines. I thought about pouring myself a Guinness however the bar staff is more than attentive and pour the perfect pint. They also make one hell of a Caesar.
The other thing I noticed upon entering the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge was the pleasant smell of garlic. On top of serve-yourself eats of salads, coffees, and hot bites, there are made to order meals. On my visit, they were serving up garlic prawns on a bed of angel hair pasta. I can safely say it was the best meal I’ve had at an airport lounge.
Note: As per my post on CleanCare+ in the Maple Leaf Lounges, meal service may be the norm going forward to reduce touchpoints.
How Are the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge Service & Amenities?
The other highlight from my time at YVR Maple Leaf lounge was the service. After ordering my pasta dish, the staff quickly said they would bring it to me. This is another first for me in an airport lounge. On top of that, the attendant suggested and brought wine pairings.
Friendly service continued with a waiter filling in for the now on break bartender. He had no idea how to make drinks but was more than happy to listen to instructions, and free poured at will. This may seem like a negative for some but I found it endearing and friendly.
Not wanting to confuse the new-to–bartending with how to pour a Guinness, I went back to the self-serve tap and poured my own. While letting it sit, something I learned while at the Guinness Storehouse in Ireland, I went and took some pictures. When I returned, my pint was gone. I poured a second, turned my back for a couple of seconds and again, gone. I caught confusing eyes with the now returning bartender and we both laughed as we saw one of the staff taking it away. This just shows how attentive the crew is.
The Air Canada lounge YVR also scores points for its decor. On top of one of the nicest bathrooms I have seen in a lounge, the mix of wood and clean modern design throughout captures the feel of Vancouver and the west coast. The surroundings are only made better by attendants bringing warm cookies around to each guest.
The Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge has plenty of seating options for its guests. From reclining chairs with tarmac views to work-friendly desks and restaurant tables, there is no shortage of ways to unwind or be productive. I propped myself at the bar for the most part and was able to charge my devices while I chatted with the bartender thanks to a nifty pop-up outlet.
From the friendly staff to the best lounge meal I have had to date, it’s easy to see why the Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge ranks as one of my favourites. Luckily for me, this gem is located in my home airport and look forward to visiting it again soon!