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The Polaris Lounge in Houston is located in the central part of Concourse E where there’s also the United club lounge there. The entrance is relatively small and not as grand compared to other lounges so it can be easy to miss. But one thing’s for sure: Once you see it, there’s no mistaking a Polaris Lounge. But given its exclusivity, there are special entry requirements.
- Travelers flying out of Houston in United Polaris Business Class
- Travelers flying intercontinentally on a Star Alliance Airline in Business Class (+0 guests) or First Class (+ 1 guest)
- Travelers connecting same day to a United Polaris Business Class flight out of another airport
- Travelers connecting same day to domestic flight after getting off a United Polaris Business Class flight
So as you can see, no level of status will get you into this lounge, it’s truly only for premium cabin travelers. With that said, let’s check out the lounge.
Check-In and Entrance
The entrance was grand and the staff was super cool and jovial about the newly reopened lounge. But beware, they do check passports at the front desk, so do be sure to have those ready to go along with your boarding pass to present.
At the desk, upon getting everything verified, United gave a box of these dark chocolate truffles.
And they were quite good.
The only way up from here was an elevator that takes you to the upper level where the lounge was. From here there’s a wealth of seating options to choose from. Now Houston does have a smaller Polaris footprint compared to other United hubs, but it does still have a good size regardless.
From the elevator, the seating branches off in a couple of different directions, one that points in the direction of dining, and one that points in the direction of other services. Interestingly I always found Polaris signage to be clear and bizarre at the same time. It’s not like you really need signage for these lounges, if you walk around a few times you’ll easily be able to orient yourself. With that said, let’s have a look at the different seating options available here.
There are office cubicle-style seats that are quite spacious and you’ll find them in every Polaris lounge.
There were 2 power ports and 2 USB ports per cubicle which is absolutely awesome. Though here’s a unique problem I faced just this time for the first time ever. I took out my phone charger to plug in by USB only and since I have an iPhone 12 pro Max, that uses a USB C charger so I couldn’t plug that in. So while there was ample power ports, I think an optimization would be to have 2 power ports, one normal USB, and one USB C port. That would be perfect.
Then there were other kinds of lounger seats.
One thing that the Polaris Lounges do well which I value tremendously is that there is ample power port access no matter where you sit.
There were more seats in other parts of the lounge as well.
Food and Drinks
There was an all-out bar which was definitely stocked with a lot of good quality drinks, the only issue was that it was early in the morning, so it was closed and I wasn’t able to look at the menu.
And as a quick side note, even the high-top bar seating had individual USB drives and power ports by the seats, very thoughtfully done by United.
By the bar and dining area, there were different beverage stands. There was a section with hot drinks and here we have a variety of high-quality tea bags.
And there were stands with hot water, coffee, different hot drinks and cups to go alongside with them.
Right next to that was a table with cold drinks.
Below that were mini-fridges with water and canned soft drinks.
The buffet was right behind the bar and was very very nicely stocked with food. I was here during breakfast hours, which I’d argue has the “least exciting” options of the day but they went all out and provided everything you could possibly have with breakfast.
And there were lots of options on the cold side too.
There were fruits to go with the yogurt as well and I had some of these fruits like the strawberry, pineapple, and honeydew by itself and boy it was fresh!
As you can see, for a breakfast they pretty much had nearly everything humanely possible. You could make the case that a breakfast cheese and meats board was missing but I think this is ample enough. Not to mention, on top of the buffet, there’s also a Dining room service
The dining room was a single room with decent amounts of seating. Other Polaris Lounges have more seats in the dining room but for the size of this lounge, this was perfect. Now bear in mind I arrived at the lounge around 6 AM and the dining room wasn’t open until around 7 am.
This was the all day menu that they had at the Dining room. One thing I really liked was that there were 2 sets of menus. There was this giant one just outside the dining room so you could decide if the menu was appealing or not.
If it was, then you’d wait for a host to seat you and then you were given an actual menu so you can have a closer look at all the options.
kkThe waitress working our table was fantastic. While we looked at the menu and decided what we wanted, she offered us mimosas to which of course we had to say yes.
We tried a wide array of items from the Breakfast menu and all of them were enjoyable. Food is definitely one of the strong points of the Polaris lounges.
Restrooms, Showers, Nap Rooms
Their restrooms were nice, clean, and functional.
There are also nap rooms and showers, which were by the cubicle seats, though I did not have a chance to use them. They come with all the amenities you’d need for each. Showers come with toiletries, towels, and they even offer dry pressing services for clothes. The day beds come with blankets and gel cooling pillows.
This lounge posed solid views as well of the E concourse.
The Polaris Lounges are amongst the best lounges in the world that can be offered. The catch is that they are lounges with the most amount of restrictions. With that being said, the Houston Polaris Lounge was simply wonderful. The food was fantastic in every regard, the staff working the lounge were incredibly delightful, there was a wide array of seating and relaxing options, there were showers, nap rooms, etc. On top of that Houston’s lounge is among my favorite in the system since the Polaris footprint in Houston isn’t super large, so the lounge just fits the demand they anticipate at that lounge. Kudos to UA for this one!