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Plaza Premium Lounge at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport [Review]

Keri Stooksbury's image
Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3236 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
Edited by: Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

156 Published Articles 771 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...

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I found myself lounge-hopping at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) ahead of my Qatar Airways flight to Doha, Qatar. After a smooth check-in and security experience, my friend and I ventured to the lounge closest to our flight, the Aspire Lounge. It was on the smaller side and didn’t have diet sodas, so with some time on our hands, I opened the Priority Pass app to see where else we could venture.

The next-closest lounge was a new Plaza Premium Lounge, about 7 gates away. After a brief walk to Terminal 1D, we enjoyed a little R&R, replete with local cuisine, expansive runway views, and, most importantly, diet soda. This lounge is worth checking out on your next trip through Nairobi!

Plaza Premium Lounge Location

The lounge is located in Terminal 1D of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (known as JKIA), next to gate 4.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO map
Image Credit: Plaza Premium Group

I entered the airport at Terminal 1B for my Qatar Airways flight. After passing through this terminal’s immigration and security, I took the escalators to the second level and turned right toward the Turkish Airlines Lounge sign. The gate numbers will decrease as you walk.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO signage to lounges
Walking from Terminal 1B toward 1D.

The terminal walkway narrowed when passing from Terminals 1C to 1D around gate 5. The area where the lounge was, near gate 4, almost felt like a temporary building.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO path to lounge
Transition from Terminal 1C to 1D.

Gaining Entry to the Plaza Premium Lounge

The Plaza Premium Lounge is open 24 hours daily to passengers departing on international flights.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO entrance
Plaza Premium Lounge entrance.

Lounge Memberships

Eligible members of LoungeKey, Priority Pass, and The Club can gain access to the lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO access
Lounge membership signage.

The Priority Pass website indicates that “Premium alcoholic drinks and shower facilities are subject to payment.” Priority Pass guests are permitted a 2-hour stay.

Several credit cards offer complimentary Priority Pass lounge access, and I was able to enter using the membership from my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Bank Partners

Corporate partners include AmBank, American Express, Bank of China, Capital One, China Citic Bank, China Construction Bank, Citibank, HSBC, and Maybank.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO bank partners
Bank partners.

Day Rates

When prebooking online, the day rates are as follows:

  • 3 hours for $38.38 (children 2 and older are $31.40)
  • 6 hours for $59.52 (children 2 and older are $48.96)
  • 30-minute shower for $25

These differed slightly from the walk-up “opening promotion” rates, which were:

  • 3 hours for $38.25 (children 2 and older are $27)
  • 6 hours for $59.50 (children 2 and older are $42)
  • 30-minute shower for $15

Guests can get a 20% discount by joining Plaza Premium Group’s free Smart Traveller program. The displayed Smart Traveller rates were:

  • 3 hours for $36 (children 2 and older are $25.50)
  • 6 hours for $56 (children 2 and older are $39.50)
Plaza Premium Lounge NBO rates Wi Fi
Pricing and Wi-Fi details.

First Impressions

The Plaza Premium Lounge opened in February 2024, and my visit was just a month later — it still looked brand-new. I was impressed with the spacious seating areas and bright windows that ran the length of the lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO seating towards rear
Seating toward the entrance.

The expansive apron and taxiway views looked out on propeller planes and smaller aircraft.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO prop views
Prop planes.

Two Kenya Airways aircraft were also being serviced.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO apron views
Kenya Airways planes.

Seating

Upon entering the lounge, the buffet and dining table area were to the left, with club seating and the restrooms to the right.

The end of the lounge on the right had a smaller seating area with club chairs in rows of 4, lamps, and side tables.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO rear seating
Seating at the rear of the lounge.

Facing this section was a row of bench seats with outlets and small tables built in.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO bench seating
Bench seating.

The main seating area in the lounge had rows of 5 individual club chairs, each with their own side table and lamp.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO main seating
Main seating area.

The side tables had 2 built-in universal outlets and 2 inputs for USB-A plugs.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO outlets
Universal and USB-A outlets.

An area more suitable for dining or working was on the other side of a partition on the left side of the lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO dining tables
Dining seats behind the buffet.

Food and Beverage

The buffet area was to the left when entering the lounge. The island area had breads, soup, desserts, juices, and infused waters.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO buffet area
Kericho Gold tea service at the start of the buffet.

The area against the wall had a beverage cooler, hot and cold food items, and a bar.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO view from bar
Bar at the end of the buffet.

Buffet

The buffet had vegetarian and gluten-free options, and allergens were indicated with icons and words.

This cooler contained blueberry cheesecake, African lime cake, tabbouleh, and vegan avocado, pumpkin, and grilled zucchini salad.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO cold case
Desserts and salads.

The other side of the cooler held musk melon (like canteloupe), watermelon, and salad ingredients such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO cold salads
Fruit and vegetables.

The hot buffet area had vegetarian options, including steamed rice and herb and garlic-tossed vegetables.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO hot buffet
Rice and vegetables.

Meat-based entrées included a Moroccan meatball tagine.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO meatballs
Meatballs.

Chicken with mushroom and sage and githeri (boiled maize and legumes) were also available.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO githeri
Chicken and githeri.

The bread area had olive focaccia, soft rolls, mandazi (a fried bread), grissini sticks, and carrot and ginger soup with herb croutons.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO breads soups
Breads and soups.

I had just tried mandazi the day before this visit and was excited to have another taste.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO mandazi
Mandazi.

The spread finished with carrot cake, banana bread, and whole oranges.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO desserts
Desserts.
Bottom Line:

The buffet had a handful of “local specialty” items, such as African lime cake, Moroccan meatball tagine, githeri, and mandazi. I enjoyed this last chance to try a few local delicacies before my flight.

Drinks

Complimentary alcoholic drinks could be ordered from the bar, including:

  • Beer — Tusker’s Draught, Heineken, White Cap
  • Wine — Two Oceans Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cesari DOC Pinot Grigio, Vecchia Cantina Chianti Sangiovese
  • Liquors – Campari, Bacardi Carta Blanca, Ballantine’s Finest, Absolut Blu, Gordon’s
Plaza Premium Lounge NBO bar
Bar.

Coffee and tea were self-service, and there were a few bar snacks and cookies in this area.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO coffee cookies
Cookies and coffee.

The cooler held bottles of Coca-Cola sodas (including Coca-Cola No Sugar!), Schweppes ginger ale, and sparkling and still water.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO cooler
Beverage cooler.

The island in the middle of the dining area had orange and apple juice and water infused with lime and mint or orange and apple.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO water juice
Juices and waters.

Amenities

Wi-Fi

The lounge had a standalone network, and the network name and password were prominently displayed on placards in the seating area.

Restrooms

The restrooms were behind the pathway that ran the length of the lounge and were divided by gender. The women’s side had 2 toilet stalls, 1 shower stall, and 1 prayer area.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO restrooms
Hallway for the women’s restrooms, shower, and prayer room.

The toilet stalls were contemporary and spacious.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO toilet
Toilet.

Showers

The shower stall was equally as spacious, with an area for luggage storage, a hair dryer, and bath amenities, including shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion. Plaza Premium’s website indicates that reservations can be made at the desk where you check in and that other amenities, such as a bath towel, comb, dental kit, and shaving kit, are available complimentary.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO shower
Shower room.

The website also indicates that cardholders of select banks or travel passes can enjoy 30 minutes of usage, subject to availability, so it is worth confirming your coverage when checking in.

Prayer Room

The restroom area also had a Muslim prayer room with prayer rugs and a wudu station for ablution.

Plaza Premium Lounge NBO prayer room
Prayer area.

Staff and Service

My check-in experience was pleasant and swift; outside of that, I did not interact with the staff. The lounge was clean and tidy and kept well-stocked during my stay.

Final Thoughts

Compared to the Aspire Lounge in NBO’s Terminal 1B, the Plaza Premium Lounge in 1D was a breath of fresh air. It’s bright, airy, spacious, and has plenty of seating from which to admire the fantastic views across the runway.

I appreciated the unique variety of food offered, especially the local specialties. I was also happy to see diet sodas offered to feed my Coke Zero addiction — if you know, you know!

Considering the circular nature of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s international Terminal 1, stopping in at Plaza Premium Lounge should be an easy detour, no matter your departing gate.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get free access to Plaza Premium Lounge?

Eligible members of LoungeKey, Priority Pass, and The Club have complimentary access to the Plaza Premium Lounge in Nairobi (NBO). Corporate partners include AmBank, American Express, Bank of China, Capital One, China Citic Bank, China Construction Bank, Citibank, HSBC, and Maybank.

What is included in the Plaza Premium Lounge?

The Plaza Premium Lounge at Nairobi (NBO) features complimentary food and beverages (including alcohol), a variety of seating areas, free Wi-Fi, a prayer room, and showers.

How much is the Plaza Premium Lounge?

For the Plaza Premium Lounge in Nairobi (NBO), the day rates when prebooking online are as follows:
    • 3 hours for $38.38 (children 2 and older are $31.40)
    • 6 hours for $59.52 (children 2 and older are $48.96)
    • 30-minute shower for $25
    Guests can get a 20% discount by joining Plaza Premium Group’s free Smart Traveller program.

    Is Plaza Premium Lounge free for Priority Pass?

    Priority Pass members have access to many of the Plaza Premium Lounges. The lounge group is also part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection and the Capital One Partner Lounge Network.

    Keri Stooksbury's image

    About Keri Stooksbury

    With years of experience in corporate marketing and with a nonprofit, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and reviewing thousands of UP articles in the process.

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