I love a good airport lounge and always try to use one if I can, most often getting in with Priority Pass. Newark International is light on Priority Pass lounges, but they do have a very nice lounge in Terminal B, which just happened to be the terminal I flew out of last weekend with British Airways’ Open Skies!
Newark’s Art & Lounge – a concept art gallery and airport lounge – is located land side in Newark’s Terminal B, which is surprising since most of Newark’s long haul, international flights depart from its fancy Terminal C. Art & Lounge is located just to the left of security (BEFORE security) near the small, land side food court. I am always cautious of land side lounges, as I feel that you cannot truly relax until security has been cleared. In any case, I decided top stop by the Art & Lounge for a quick drink and ended up staying as long as I could…
Art & Lounge is a combination of swanky and cozy. The lounge is set up kind of like a dining room or den, with art on the walls and lots of art, books and shelves throughout. Art & Lounge boasts itself as a concept lounge, displaying art throughout and with availability as a venue for events…
The entrance is well-labeled with a number of signs; check in is as soon as you open the door. Check-in was quick and efficient, but I noticed that it did back up a bit as the evening went on. Very close to the check-in area are spacious and clean restrooms and luggage storage.
As you can see from the pictures, seating is arranged in pairs of two and four, allowing small groups to sit together. The furniture is quite trendy!
Art & Lounge features a small buffet and bar opposite the seating area. The buffet consisted of a basic salad bar, a hot bar with pizza, pasta, broccoli and egg rolls (odd assortment!), a soup, a pretty robust cheese plate for Newark airport and some delicious cookies! The cookies were top notch and the pizza was horrible. Everything else fell somewhere in the middle. Pretty standard airport fare!
The bar looked like a normal bar and two bartenders were serving drinks, although I hear this is not always the case. In addition to mixed drinks, red, white and sparkling wine were on the bar for self-service.
I did enjoy Art & Lounge and would return again, but Art & Lounge does have a few flaws.
First, Art & Lounge is a bit on the smaller side and it is home to a lot of carriers without official lounges and Priority Pass, so it does get crowded at times. It was a bit crowded and loud when I visited on a Friday night. Second, I had trouble finding an outlet to plug in my computer.
Third, security. Ugh. As I mentioned, Art & Lounge is land side, meaning you use the lounge before you clear security. As such, you need to allow enough time to leave the lounge, clear security and get to your gate at least 20 minutes before your flight leaves – if not longer. Upon check-in, the check-in staff reminded us (many times) that we needed to leave at least 45 minutes before our scheduled flight to clear security and get to our gate before closing. I would err on the 60 minute side. While Terminal B is not terribly large, the security line is somewhat hidden and can take longer than it looks.
Even with its flaws (they all have them(, I think Art & Lounge is pretty great, especially with the limited food and drink offerings in Terminal B. Interested in visiting Art & Lounge, check out the information below!
STEAL OUR LOUNGE
Art & Lounge: Terminal B, EWR – Newark Liberty International Airport. T: +1-973-623-1979 / 1976. Located in the main corridor just before security, between Satellites B2 & B3, next to Duty Free. Open Sunday – Friday 9:00 – 20:30, Saturday 13:30 – 20:30. Art & Lounge is expanding to Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Heathrow next year, which makes sense as those are British Airways’ Open Skies other hubs. Entry with Priority Pass, certain premium plane tickets or for $35/person (sometimes there are coupons here). Boarding pass (leaving or returning) and ID required to check in.
ON A BUDGET
$35 is pretty steep for a land side lounge without showers or something more than food and a place to sit. I would not pay to enter on a short layover, but its certainly worth stopping in if you have Priority Pass. An inexpensive food court is located right next to Art & Lounge.