|South Coast Plaza on Black Friday. Photo: Coast Magazine|
A lounge! More accurately, an exclusive VIP hospitality suite operated by SCP itself. Simply called Access, it's located next to Sak's Fifth Avenue with a nondescript, opaque storefront that I've passed by dozens of times without realizing the oasis that hid beyond its double doors.
Want ACCESS for yourself? Details on how to enter the drawing below!
|Entrance to SCP's Access lounge. Photo: VNAFlyer|
"Be a shopping VIP at South Coast Plaza! Show your Visa® card and a copy of this offer to receive a South Coast Plaza Welcome Bag with a VIP Savings Passport, Complimentary Valet Parking, and entrance to the VIP ACCESS Suite."Sure, discounts and little gift bags are fun, but the suite access (seemingly added as an afterthought), really caught my eye. Curious, I found the nearest mall conceirge, flashed my Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card, got my gift bag, and headed over to see what was actually being offered... was it just a stark empty, but quiet room, or was it a full-blown, proper lounge space.
This is what I found...
|Reception and seating in the common area. Photo: VNAFlyer|
|The conference room, available for rent and also used as an overflow area.|
|The TV room, perfect for catching sports or other TV shows.|
|A private room designed for those with young children in tow.|
|Another private room, this one with a computer workstation.|
|Lattes and BBQ kettle chips to enjoy while taking a break.|
High on my list of amenities: two spacious and very clean lavatories... er, I mean restrooms. There are a few private sitting rooms if you and your party wanted your own space; otherwise, there are sofas and chairs in the common room. Also available is a prayer room, designed specifically for Muslim guests but available for anyone needing a moment to themselves.
Should you need to hold a meeting in a different venue, the small conference room, which seats 8 at the table, is available to rent for $50/hour.
There are always 1-2 attendants on hand to check visitors in as well as serving refreshments and snacks. Champagne, imported beer, and wine are included if you choose to partake. I'm particularly fond of their latte, served with a small biscotti. Kettle-cooked potato chips also reign supreme.
These same attendants can also store your purchases at the lounge so that you are free to shop some more... and some more...
So, how does one get access to this lounge? Visa Signature cards, including the Alaska Airlines card issued by Bank of America, gets you the gift bag that includes a lounge pass (valid for all members of your party that day). You just have to show an SCP conceirge desk the offer and your card; they take down your name, hand you a gift bag, and off you go. Each cardholder is allowed one gift bag per day.
|Unpacking the gift bag. Yes, it includes the luggage tag. No, it doesn't|
include the computer. Photo: VNAFlyer
|Photo: Westin/South Coast Plaza|
I personally think all malls should offer a lounge!
* Winner will be selected on September 11, 2015 from the comments of those who leave an email address. A random number generator will be used to select the winners, and the winner will be contacted via email. A US mailing address must be provided within 48 hours. Unclaimed prizes will be awarded to another randomly-drawn commenter. All decisions regarding the award of the prize shall be mine and mine alone. No purchase necessary, must be 18 and over to qualify.