Flying nowadays can seem more like a chore than it is relaxing or enjoyable. However, for those flying select airlines out of certain airports, there can be realms of calm and places to relax while waiting for that connection. Departures magazine released a list profiling the best airport lounges worldwide. The next time you travel, definitely go out of your way to use the airline or airport featuring these swanky airport lounges.
Virgin Atlantic JFK Clubhouse, John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport, New York
Back in March of this year, Virgin Atlantic opened its newest lounge at JFK Airport where you can escape the crowds outside. The lounge features retro décor a-la the 1960’s complete with purple mood lighting, red leather chairs, and a custom cocktail bar. Additional, extra glitzy amenities include services for massages, facial and foot treatments, a Bumble and Bumble products salon, and pool tables.
British Airways Concorde Room, Heathrow Airport
Though clad in traditional, older décor, this luxurious lounge would be best described as an older British Gentleman’s mansion study, complete with crystal chandeliers and velvet surfaces. Of course, the place also features full waiter service and complimentary champagne and wine. You also have the choice of retreating to a private cabana with beds and a bathroom, or heading upstairs to the Concorde Bar to take in the views of the runway.
Diamond First Class Lounge (Etihad), Abu Dhabi International Airport
This lounge is quite popular with well-to-do families. The place has private daycare service to watch the kids, while the parents can go get a spa treatment. Guests can also choose between going to the cigar lounge or the Champagne Bar, featuring the finest spirits. There is also a-la-carte dining available with a private chef table.
Finnair Lounge, Helsinki Airport
This ultra sleek and modern lounge fits well for any tech savvy traveler on the go. The walls are soundproof to filter out the airplane noise outside, and the PowerKiss wireless charging system is found throughout so that you can conveniently charge your personal electronics. There is a full service buffet most hours of the day (up to midnight for Asian flights), while the sleek minimalist furniture pieces offer a private, intimate space. There is also a Finnish Spa undergoing renovation to be re-opened by the end of this year.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt Airport
This lounge features German efficiency at its finest. It has its own passport control and security checkpoints, so you can spend more time relaxing and less time waiting in the line outside. The design is both sleek and modern; earthly-colored furniture dots the dining and lounge spaces while the oak bar is an inviting setting. The whole area is made complete by the attractive lighting scheme, which features fixtures illuminating a glow from black glass walls and dark ceiling beams.
The Pier, Hong Kong International Airport
Cathay Pacific’s flagship airport lounge in Hong Kong does well to impress. This rest area offers a Noodle Bar buffet as well as the luxurious Haven restaurant for multi-course dining. There are also two fully stocked open cafes/bars. Add in the modern business center with free computers and WiFi, as well as the pebble shower rooms, and this lounge may be almost good enough to call home.
Qantas First Lounge, Sydney Airport
This Australian flagship carrier takes green living to a whole new level. The centerpiece of the lounge is a 98-foot, 8,400 plant vertical garden that both soothes and freshens the air in the lobby. The end of the wall also finds its way into the Spa area where you can marvel at its beauty while receiving a full-body massage. The lounge’s 2nd floor is complete with plush leather furnishings as well as an open kitchen restaurant with food from Australian chef Neil Perry.
Qatar Airways Premium Terminal, Doha International Airport
This airline’s premium lounge in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar spares no expense when it comes to size and offerings. It is more a mixed-use shopping and 5-star hotel destination than just simply a lounge. Relaxing passengers can go to a few duty-free stores and do some shopping, head to the full service spa or Jacuzzi sauna, or indulge in some fine food and drink at a variety (that is, more than one) of restaurants and cafes. Too busy with work or traveling with kids? There’s a full business center and daycare here, too.
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounges, Singapore Changi Intl. Airport
This luxury airline’s airport lounge also operates more like a resort than a stopover destination. Upon arrival via a flight or curbside at the terminal, Passenger Relations Officers will help you with your bags and get you to a reserved space to check-in at the lounge. Inside at the SilverKris Lounges, passengers can go to have a business meeting, enjoy the bar and restaurant offerings or head to a slumberette room for some shuteye. You can even alert staff to awaken you so you don’t miss your next flight or appointment.
Swiss Lounge, EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
This top airport lounge is both huge and peaceful. One of the world’s largest, the lounge is enclosed by a giant glass dome that gives the impression that one is inside of a greenhouse. Chrome and wood furnishings can be found amongst the greenery and palm trees that fill this open and sunlit space. Relax in a recliner while taking in the views both inside and out, or take a stroll across the Japanese bridge to the European style bar. It’s no wonder this perfect and tranquil lounge was voted the best one of 2012 by Priority Pass.