Review: United Polaris Lounge Newark EWR

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The Polaris Lounge in Newark is located in the central part of Concourse C right after security and a little closer to the C120 /130 gates.  The entrance is relatively large and pretty tough to miss. And 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.

Access Requirements

  • Travelers flying out of Newark 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 Polaris Lounge in Newark is large and has lots of amazing features that define a world-class lounge. The entrance is shortly after security and a little to the left of security after you clear. Unlike other Polaris lounges like Houston or Los Angeles, this entrance is pretty hard to miss.

entrance

The entrance itself is also clean, fresh, and grand with a little Christmas decor.

entrance

The agent at the front desk was a little cold in welcoming us but once our passports and boarding passes were checked, we were in.

Below is looking back at the entrance to the Polaris

entrance

Seating

This lounge was quite large to cater to the large Polaris presence Newark has and it was well equipped to do so, from a size standpoint.

seats

The first room had a fair number of normal lounging options and this area wasn’t quite full yet.

seats

Back against the wall, there were more comfortable seats.

seating

Between these seats, you had a USB port and a normal power plug for each person which is pretty standard, but nice to see nonetheless.

power ports
seats

There were also phone booths and these were being used pretty much at every point I was there. I did get to try one and I thought the sound going in and out was pretty insulated so well done by United on this one.

phone booth
seats
seats
seats and bar

Back in the main room where the bar is, there were lots of seats along the wall though quite frankly I’m not sure I understand the utility of these seats. They are indeed right next to the bar but a bit of a walk from the buffet.

seats
seats

Back behind the bar there were a few more seats with spectacular tarmac views.

seats

Directly behind the bar is a pretty sizable dining section that we’ll have a look at in a little bit.

On the south side of the bar closer to the windows was where the main seating areas were. We have the signature Polaris cubicles. These have 2 power ports and 2 USB ports each. I quite like the amount of outlets but in this day and age I think it would be optimal if one of those USB ports were converted to a USB-C.

seats
seats

There were more seats adjacent to the window for a long stretch.

seats

And then more of the exact same seats further behind

seats
seats
seats

And after what seems like endless walking you each the end of the primary seating section of this lounge. Given that the lounge was right along large windows, the room was well lit as well which I was super happy with.

seats

And right beside the buffet section were more table-style seats optimized for eating rather than relaxing or working.

table seats

Food and Beverages

The buffet section had quite a number of selections. For breakfast, I was impressed with the selection and quality. For lunch and dinner, I was happy with the selection, but not so much with the quality

Breakfast Buffet

bacon
potato wedges
vegetarian sausage
egg whites
egg yellow
pumpkin pancakes
turkey sausages
porridge
greek yogurt
fresh fruit
granola and sugar
other jams and condiments
bagel and bread

 Lunch and Dinner Buffet

The buffet section had quite a number of selections, but I wasn’t especially impressed, to be honest.

buffet section
hot food section
Braised Portugese Chicken
Chicken & Sausage Pasta
Brown basmati rice
Roasted Carrot and Parsnips
White Bean & Escarole Soup
Eggplant Parmesean

There was a good variety of hot items but here’s the issue: Most of them weren’t hot. Unfortunately, they got cold, and they stay cold and they aren’t replaced quickly enough. This comes back to the staffing issues this lounge is currently having. They could really use a few more hands and eyes and I hope they are able to get them quickly.

sandwiches
sandwiches
charcuterie board
cheese and grapes
cookies
fruits
roasted gala apples
salads
veggies
veggies and cheese
more veggies

One thing I did like was that there were a lot of nutritious snacks which I think are always valuable.

raisins

Dining Room

As I was saying earlier, the dining room is directly behind the area where the bar is, and the main entrance can be accessed via the right side of the bar, not the left side like what is shown below.

dining room

Here is EWR’s menu for the dining room. The text maybe small to a picture, but zooming in should make the details of the menu more readable.

EWR menu

And of course once you decide to dine, then you are given actual menus for your reference.

menu
menu
Eggs your way with all veggies and turkey sausage
Greek yogurt with Granola on the side
The United Breakfast Grain Bowl

 

menu
tandoori spiced cauliflower

The cauliflower was so crisp to the edge but soft on the inside and went well with the yogurt. It was quite enjoyable.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

The heirloom tomato salad was good. I didn’t eat the tomatoes because I hate tomatoes but the aragula, burrata cheese, and the vinaigrette were all good together.

lamb kofta

The lamb was absolutely delicious and spectacular in every regard.

Miso glazed cod

This was also very flavorful and the fish was cooked great.

dessert
Skillet Cookie

The cookie skillet was just so rich and gooey and you could eat them forever.

lemon-vanilla budino

This was also really tasty and rich.

Overall, the actual dining room food was great, it just took so long to get everything, and the service was slow.

Beverages

The bar had lots of options that you could choose from. Pre-pandemic I remember this lounge having a cocktail menu, but I don’t see it anywhere in my latest visit here.

bar
cold drinks

There were also cold beverages and juice and water stands throughout the lounge in different places, you could not miss them.

juice and flavored water

Restrooms, Showers, and Nap Rooms

Anytime you see a ceiling like this, this is the walkway to the general bathrooms.

bathrooms

There were 2 sets of these on either end of the lounge.

bathrooms
bathroom features
toilets
mirror on the bathroom door

The showers and nap rooms are behind the glass door pictured below.

shower and nap rooms
shower hall

The shower suites are VERY VERY well equipped with a toilet, a bench for sitting, a sink, a nice shower of course, and all the amenities you could possibly want in a shower. The floor was also heated and you could control the temperature with a panel by the door.

shower

You could take either a waterfall or telephone shower, and the controls were super intuitive.

shower

Amenities wise, you are provided with slippers, a face towel, a bath mat, a normal towel, and an additional towel.

slippers

You are also given a toothbrush kit, deodorant that I didn’t use as I had my own, and a few other things, though there are many more services on request.

amenities

The day beds come with blankets and gel cooling pillows. So as you can see there are a lot of features for use.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it is clear this lounge has all the great amenities a business traveler or leisure traveler needs. There’s ample food, seats, drinks, fast wifi, showers, nap rooms, etc. The one chokehold this lounge has at the moment is the issues it faces as a result of being short-staffed. Hopefully, this lounge can fix this soon and return back to the top 10 worldwide airline business class lounge this lounge can be.

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