The Lowdown: Simply put, this is the only lounge that matters at SVO airport.

With 14 lounges to choose from, Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport is a lounge-rich airport. However, most of them are overcrowded and offer gas-station quality food and drinks. At the end of the day, the only one worth visiting is this one.

First of all, you can only gain access to the lounge if you are on an international flight departing from Terminals D, E or F.

I usually fly out of and into D or F, but am sure to arrive early enough to pop on over to Terminal E to enjoy this awesome lounge.

Getting in

I should start by saying that this is not a Priority Pass lounge. In order to get in, you must present a World Elite Mastercard or World Mastercard Black Edition that was issued in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia or Kazakhstan (post in the comments if you've gained access with a card from another country).

If you're wondering whether your card will get you in, it should look something like this:

This lounge used to allow free access to holders of World Edition Mastercards, but it started getting crowded, so they decided to institute a cover charge to keep out the riff raff.

It may seem like a pricey cover charge, but it's totally worth it for what you get. It's no fluke that it was named the best business lounge in all of Russia in 2017.

Facilities

The facilities are relaxing, especially when the lounge is not crowded. I find that late afternoon or early evening on a weekday are almost always fine. I heard from a friend that morning flights often can cause it to be a tad more crowded.

The lounge is divided into several zones: the restaurant area, a garden library, dimmed chillzone to rest, and restrooms / shower zone.

Food

It's always nice to have a nice, hot meal before a long flight, and airport food typically upsets my stomach. However, the food at Mastercard Lounge is not only edible, but extremely delicious. The menu was designed by a chef from the Ginza Project, a restaurant group with over 150 trendy restaurants around the world.

Budget your time wisely so you have time to order a nice meal from the menu. They change the menu up every few months, but as of the time of my last visit, I particularly like the pumpkin soup and turkey cutlets.

There is also a buffet line with salads, hot soup and desserts if you don't have time to order from the menu:

Other considerations

The restrooms and shower facilities are perhaps the cleanest you'll find in any airport.

They only have Russian-language newspapers and magazines, unfortunately.

Conclusion

Don't even waste your time with any other lounges at SVO. This is the real deal. It's worth the entry fee (if you even have to pay it), but be sure to get there plenty early as you may have to make a 15-20 minute trek to your departure gate if you are flying out of Terminal D (for example, to New York).

I give it 4.8 out of 5 champagne bottles.