Review: Conviasa Salon VIP Lounge Caracas (CCS)

Before my recent flight in Conviasa’s business class, I visited the airline’s business class lounge or “Salon VIP” at Simón Bolívar International Airport just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Though the lounge won’t win any awards, it was clean, very well-staffed, and exceptionally quiet throughout my stay. Overall, it was a nice place to work for a few hours.

Access and hours

Though there are no official hours listed anywhere, I was told that the lounge stays open within three hours of international flights departing.

Location

Conviasa’s Salon VIP is located at the far end of the CCS’s International Terminal. I was shepherded there by a friendly Conviasa employee who was waiting for me after security, but you can get there on your own by taking a right after clearing security and walking to the very end of the terminal.

Layout & seating

This lounge, which opened in March 2022, is small, probably under 2000 square feet. That said, since there was literally nobody else there when I visited, seating was plentiful.

Gray fabric armchairs are set up in rows throughout the lounge, and I found them comfortable and clean.

Across from the entrance is a bright green wall covered in artificial foliage, as well as a number of stools and high tables where you’ll find most of the lounge’s power outlets.

Along the lounge’s northern wall are large windows facing the apron. The view is partially obscured by an opaque coating on the windows’ bottom half, but I was still able to get pretty good runway views.

Also, notice the clocks above the window–have you ever seen a more unique list of time zones in an airport? They read, in order:

  • Abuja
  • New York
  • Tehran
  • Caracas
  • Moscow
  • Beijing

Food

When I visited, there were drinks and a small amount of prepared food sitting on a counter, with an employee behind the counter the entire two hours I was in the lounge. Though I was fully capable of grabbing food myself, as far as I could tell the employee’s primary job was to stand behind the bar and hand it to me. The selection comprised sandwiches with mystery meat, parfaits, granola, and fruit salad. The drinks on offer were various sodas and fruit juices.

On the other side of the room, there was also a fridge with more juice and sodas, as well as parfaits.

There was also an off-brand Nespresso machine, which made average but drinkable coffee. 

Bathrooms (and shower?)

The bathrooms are located at the back of the lounge.

Interestingly, off to the side of the room was an area with a toilet in need of a good scrub and a shower. I didn’t see any towels or soaps, but I’m guessing you can request these from the staff.

Service

Unsurprisingly given a staff-to-guest ratio of four-to-one (I was the only guest during my stay in the lounge), service was very good. Though there wasn’t much food or drink on offer, staff was proactive in offering refills and asking if I needed anything. At times, I saw multiple staff members staring at me, which felt a little awkward.

When it was time to board, a Conviasa entered the lounge and escorted me to the gate with a lounge employee, and let me bypass a secondary security checkpoint to enter the boarding area. I felt like Venezuelan royalty.

Conclusion

This was a pretty neat experience. What stood out to me was the emptiness of the lounge and the number of staff, which was on par or better than what you’d find in a good first class lounge. The lounge also felt well-maintained and virtually brand new, which was great and partially offset the fact that the food and drink selection was pretty poor, with just a few cold breakfast options and no alcohol. 

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