Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

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Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

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The Honolulu Airport is not known for its luxurious lounges but as a long-time American Airlines flyer I have come to really enjoy The Honolulu Admirals Club.

While Honolulu Airport may not typically be synonymous with high-end luxury lounges, my experience flying American Airlines for years has led me to really appreciate the Honolulu Admirals Club. This members-only oasis is a shared space with Japan Airlines, who also operates the Sakura Lounge within.

In this review, I delve into what makes the Honolulu Admirals Club a must-visit spot for travelers passing through Honolulu Airport. From amenities to ambiance, find out why this lounge stands out in an airport not usually known for luxury lounges.

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Location

As you exit central security checkpoint #3 the elevator is located on your left about 100 feet away. You will see the sign for a restaurant on your right, The Local, and the elevators are on your left before the entrance. Being right in the middle of the central lobby makes this lounge very convenient.

Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

I was headed to Phoenix at 11:30 pm on a Boeing 787-9 with American Airlines and hopped over to grab a quick dinner.

A basic layout and facility but one of my favorites since it presents as low-key and yet has excellent service with a unique food offering.

The Honolulu Admirals Club serves both American Airlines members and Japan Airlines members (Sakura Lounge) at Terminal 2 of the Honolulu International Airport. You can easily miss the entrance to the stairs and elevator so keep an eye out for the temporary sign stands or better yet, “The Local @HNL”.

Honolulu Admirals Club Entrance

Service Angels

The one consistent that you will always find at the Honolulu Airport Admirals Club is the friendliest and most helpful “angels”. Access to these exceptional individuals is why many are Admirals Club members and will remain so.

Once you get to the 3rd floor you will see the double sliding doors at the end of the hallway and one of their amazing staff members will greet you with a smile, Say “HI” to Armie for me 🙂

On a recent trip from D.C. to Honolulu they were able to fix a flight time and connection that the other representatives we spoke to, minutes before, were unable to. Consider this when deciding on the value of Admirals Club membership.

Another thing to look out for is prior to your flight you will get a nice welcome email from all of them, a nice touch.

Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

Honolulu Admirals Club Food

My two favorites are the Japanese curry and the Karaage chicken, delicious and unique for a lounge offering.

The Admirals Club in Honolulu has a strong Asian influence because it is a shared lounge with Japan Airlines, Sakura Lounge. This of course translates into some unique selections on the menu.

Honolulu Admirals Club food offering

I had the chicken karaage (twice), stir-fried vegetables, and chicken curry with white rice.

I love Japanese curry and have had it at several restaurants throughout Hawaii and can assure you this is the real deal. Huge chunks of tender chicken and a smooth texture to the curry. Not too spicy but just enough heat to let you know it is there, delicious.

I was impressed with the vegetables, crunchy and flavorful. You know it is not easy to keep vegetables fresh in a setting like this, it is appreciated.

The chicken karaage was standard and filling, always room for just a few more of these.

Honolulu Admirals Club curry with rice, chicken karaage, and vegetables

Over by the cookies and pastries you will see a tray of ramen noodle packs, don’t pass this up.

Grab a bowl from the shelf below and crack open the plastic bag. Don’t forget to sprinkle some green onions on top and use the nearby hot water dispenser for a tasty addition to your meal.

Now if they could get some char siu pork, fish cake, and fried egg…..mmmmm

Honolulu Admirals Club ramen noodles

My second helping of karaage chicken and the steaming hot ramen noodles.

Honolulu Admirals Club

Liquor

The selection is limited compared to other Admirals Club locations so if you want more variety just head downstairs to the “Local HNL” restaurant. Prior to Covid they had a much wider assortment so hopefully, that will come back soon.

Honolulu Admirals Club liquor selection
Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

Seating

Some pretty stylish seating throughout the club but no couches or “pods” that I have seen in others. I took these photos on a previous trip a couple of months earlier so you can see the views out into the garden area. Very relaxing and a great way to re-energize before the flight.

Honolulu Admirals Club seating
Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

This is the main seating area near the food and drinks. Those long white tables have chargers along the center track for electronic devices. Everything was spotless.

Review: Honolulu Admirals Club

Here are some better shots of the views into the garden area during the day.

Bathrooms

The bathrooms are just outside the entrance to the Honolulu Admirals Club and are clearly influenced by the Japan Airlines partnership. The seats are all automatic, heated, and extra cushiony 🙂

Final Thoughts

Day passes are available for purchase at most Admirals Club lounges. You can buy a pass upon arrival at the club just make sure it’s for same-day travel.

One nostalgic piece of the lounge that I truly miss is picking up a real newspaper and perusing the news from around the world. The Honolulu Admirals Club offered a digital version of major newspapers and magazines but it’s just not something I think I would use. Yes, I sometimes yearn for another age but the memories are there to keep me company.

If you have visited the Honolulu Admirals Club or Sakura Lounge let me know your experience in the comments below.

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