The World’s 10 Swankest Airport Lounges
There are some airport lounges out there so welcoming, so comfortable, and so packed with amenities that you may need to enlist their excellent customer assistance in rebooking your flight for a longer stay. An excellent resource for choosing and reviewing a lounge is the wiki-style LoungeGuide.net. Culled from their pages, these 10 luxurious lounges will help you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Emirates Lounge, Emirates Air, JFK, New York – The Middle Eastern carrier’s secluded retreat is much lauded for a reason: Spacious leather chairs, Italian marble accents, and delicious food make their long-haul flights bearable, if not pleasurable. The business center and 42-inch plasma screen TVs keep you up to date to the last minute, and first- or business-class passengers will arrive in style, picked up in New York City by an Emirates car.
The Wing, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong – Cathay’s complex is the original luxury lounge, setting the modern standard since it opened in 1998. The Long Bar and the Noodle Bar will feed your body, while the Library and the Cabanas will soothe your soul. For first-class passengers, the Pier offers even more personal space, with spa-like granite shower suites and the private Daybreak Rooms, where waiter service and wake-up calls will allow you to nap, eat, work, and watch TV until it’s time for takeoff.
Upper Class Clubhouse, Virgin Atlantic, London Heathrow – Each one of Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouses is a little different, but the British carrier outdid themselves on their home turf, with a cocktail bar, several restaurant options, multiple lounge concepts (including “poolside,” with a running-water accent wall), and an office and library that perfectly replicate the benefits of a traditional English club with a modern edge.
BA Terraces Lounge, British Airways, Seattle – Exclusively for first-class passengers and frequent fliers, the Terraces Lounge provides a comprehensive experience, from drinks and snacks at the World Wine Bar to a complimentary massage at the Elemis spa to a freshly made cappuccino. The work and entertainment area is fully equipped, but we suggest evening flyers take advantage of the Club World Sleeper Service, where you’ll have your preflight supper in the lounge restaurant so you can sleep right away once you board.
Iberia VIP Rooms, Iberia Air, Madrid – Madrid’s airport is one of the fastest-growing for business travel, as it’s a convenient stopover for many connecting flights, so having a comfortable airport lounge is crucial. The Iberia VIP Rooms have stunning view of departing planes rising over the mountains — the perfect compliment to a glass of Rioja from the private wine bar.
SilverKris Lounge, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Changi – Singapore Airlines may have been getting a lot of press for their Airbus A380 suites, but it should come as no surprise that their lounge is similarly luxurious. Beautifully appointed in fine woods and marble, the recently renovated space offers business class passengers and above meeting rooms, spacious bathrooms, well-equipped business facilities, and a bar and restaurant.
CPH Apartment, Copenhagen – One of the pleasures of travel is enjoying a sense of place, and that’s what the CPH Apartment in Copenhagen is all about. Designed to feel like a luxury Copenhagen apartment, it’s a space design buffs will die over, with furniture including shelving from Muuto, dining tables from Hay, a Beck lounge table, the award-winning sofa In Duplo from Erik Jørgensen, and the well-known Wingchair designed by H. J. Wegner.
L’Espace Premiere Lounge, Air France, Charles de Gaulle, Paris – The red carpet in the lounge’s may simply be intended to echo the first-class cabin’s décor, but it’s an excellent metaphor for what’s inside. Check in privately in the lounge, sink into a roomy leather armchair, enjoy a massage, or of course, sample a wide selection of wines, champagnes, and French cuisine of which the airline is justifiably proud. The red carpet treatment continues at departure: an agent will escort you to your gate, and a Mercedes will take you across the tarmac to your plane.
British Airways Concorde Room, British Airways, Heathrow, London – The Concorde may be no more, but this lounge brings back the aura of jet-set glamour in a big way. The full-service restaurant, private cabana rooms with beds and en suite bathrooms, the Elemis travel spa, and the concierge desk may recall the luxury hotel you’re departing from more than the airport lounges you’re used to.
Qantas First Lounge, Qantas, Sydney – The ultra-contemporary design of this lounge by acclaimed Australian designer Marc Newson is a spacious 2,000 square meters, and includes design accents like a vertical garden with over 8,400 plants, leather furniture by Italy’s Poltrona Frau, and Tai Ping wool carpets from Hong Kong. Individual marble-lined shower suites; and state-of-the-art business facilities get you ready to work, while the Payot Paris day spa and restaurant by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry get you in the mood to play.