In a nutshell: The KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam Schiphol is one of my favorite business class lounges I’ve ever visited. The space is massive and varied, and the food options weren’t bad, even during COVID-19. The staff are also friendly and excellent. Although the upper level restaurant and bar area were closed, the outdoor terrace was open and worth enjoying.
On my return flight from a three-day visit to Istanbul, I had to overnight inside Amsterdam Schiphol airport at the Yotelair. I then spent most of the morning at the KLM Crown Lounge 52 before flying KLM business class back to San Francisco. KLM operates a couple lounges at Amsterdam Schiphol, and this is the lounge serving non-Schengen flights. Ironically, this is my third time passing through the airport, and even though I spent the night within the country, I have yet to set foot on Dutch soil.
Accessing the KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam
From Lounge 2 within Amsterdam Schiphol, which is roughly in the middle of the airport between Pier D and Pier E. The KLM Crown Lounge 52 is located in Lounge 3, near Pier F. Piers E, F and G all serve non-Schengen flights.
The KLM Crown Lounge is located on the mezzanine level. You’ll see the escalator and elevator.
The access the KLM Crown Lounges, you must be traveling on one of the following:
- A same-day KLM flight
- A same-day international SkyTeam partner flight
- A same-day SkyTeam partner flight connecting to an international SkyTeam-operated flight (doesn’t apply to KLM Crown Lounge 52)
Access is complimentary for business class passengers, Flying Blue Gold/Platinum members, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members. Both Flying Blue Gold/Platinum and SkyTeam Elite Plus can also bring in one guest for free. Flying Blue Silver and Explorer members can pay to access the lounge. Flying Blue Gold/Platinum members can pay for additional guests.
In addition to the KLM Crown Lounge 52 at Schiphol and their domestic lounge, KLM also operates Crown lounges in Houston and Toronto. Houston seemed off until I realized that The Netherlands and Houston are linked by the oil industry.
I was warmly greeted by the agents at the desk leading into the lounge. I’d planned to take a photo as I arrived at the top of the escalator, but then I recalled the EU privacy laws and that photos in public places even fall under these. Taking decent photos without people took a little effort, but luckily the lounge was not very full. The blue Delft houses that line the walls of the entry area were the first thing that caught my eye. There are 100 unique houses, and KLM will continue to add one per year to the collection.
The KLM Crown Lounge 52 is very large. I thought it odd that they only had one lounge for international flights until I realized how expansive it is. The downstairs area contains tons of seating, the primary food and beverage area, and areas dedicated to a sleeping, showering, and entertainment. Seating areas were not closed, but there were signs all over the place regarding social distancing and disinfection measures being taken during COVID-19.
I wandered the lounge for a while, exploring the different seating areas. Most people chose to sit near the food and beverage area or the windows nearby. There were far fewer guests in much of the rest of the lounge. I have to imagine that the lounge was far, far busier prior to the pandemic. It didn’t feel deserted, but it certainly wasn’t busy. This did make it easy to find a quiet, secluded place if you wished.
Taken as a whole, the KLM Crown Lounge 52 is beautiful. It might just be my favorite business class lounge that I’ve visited, from an aesthetic perspective. There is great variety offered in the spaces for dining, working, or relaxing.
Food and Beverage
The main food and beverage area is located in the downstairs portion of the lounge, pretty much straight ahead as you enter from the welcome desk. It’s designed as a circle, split into thirds among the coffee area, bar, and food area.
I love the copper design of the bar. Heineken, a Dutch beer company, is prominently advertised. Everything was marked for social distancing protocols, and the bar was typically staffed by one or two attendants.
While I don’t know what the food area is normally like, it appeared that the buffet trays had been turned into displays. The food area have been queued for one-way traffic as a COVID protocol. There were a couple items you could grab, but you had to ask the attendants for some items you wanted.
The prepared breakfast options included an open-faced BLT, muesli, and a breakfast wrap. I asked for both the sandwich and museli. The self-serve grab-and-go options were individually packaged rice pudding and potatoes.
I was in the lounge for several hours, long enough to have a quick lunch as well before my flight. Most of the same options were still available, but the KLM Crown Lounge 52 had added a curry sausage and lentil soup, plus a salad.
I enjoyed all the food I tried. Everything was fresh and tasty.
The KLM Crown Lounge offers a variety of amenities, including showers, nap rooms, and lockers. I really appreciated the lockers in particular. Rather than tote around my carry-on and jacket all morning, I simply stored them. They are easy to operate from a single screen where you are provided a locker number and set a PIN code for it.
KLM has a small business center with Apple computers and a printer at the far end of the lounge. There are also individual workstation areas where you can set up your own laptop. These are secluded and rather private. I also found it the most quiet at that end of the lounge. Since I had forgotten my European plug adapter, I worked from my laptop until it died, continuing from one of the KLM business center computers for a while after that. Many of the tables and the work desk areas have Type F Europe plugs.
One thing I forgot to mention: all the zones of the KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam have names. The food and beverage area, for example, is ‘City’. The ‘Dutch Mountain’ area is the entertainment zone, including this cool theater area. Climb up the mountain to find other secluded tables, as well as a wall with the KLM logo displayed next to a beautiful wall of Delft blue tiles.
At the complete other side of the lounge is the sleeping and showering area. I did not shower at the lounge, but here is the process used. You can also reserve a sleep room, but this comes with a fee of either Flying Blue miles or cash.
Upper Level and Terrace
There is a large second level to the KLM Crown Lounge 52 in addition to the massive downstairs space. The blue restaurant was closed (and I believe still is closed) due to COVID-19. Normally, you can come up here and enjoy true dining experience designed by the head chef behind a Michelin-starred restaurant. The restaurant is not complimentary, and the prices at blue are fairly normal for a quality restaurant.
The other half of the upper level is a brightly lit ‘Sky’ area with a bar and lots of seating. It was not staffed and completely deserted during my visit. It’s a nice space, and I have to imagine it is popular when the lounge is full and operating normally (i.e. not during COVID-19).
The outside terrace is where it is really at, though. Here you are treated to wonderful views of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. I spent quite a while watching airport operations and a couple flights depart. The weather had been a little wet on this particular September morning, but it was clearing up.
Final Thoughts on the KLM Crown Lounge 52 AMS
Even during COVID-19, I found the KLM Crown Lounge 52 Amsterdam to be one of the nicest I’ve ever visited. I think that it and ‘The Wing’ Cathay Pacific business class lounge in Hong Kong are my two favorites from a design perspective. The space is enormous, well-designed, and has lovely aesthetics. The food options were limited, but they were still good. I have no complaints.
The lounge was rather empty during my travels in September 2020, but I hope to return when it is operating normally (if we ever get to that point). If you’re a Delta Gold Medallion or higher (SkyTeam Elite Plus) and transiting AMS on SkyTeam flights, you and a guest can enjoy this awesome lounge for free.