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The Traveller's Magazine
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Ah, who doesn’t love a little pampering before their flight? If you’re going to dish out for access to an airport lounge, then you’d better make sure it’s a good one. You can’t go wrong with these luxurious spaces, the perfect way to unwind… just don’t miss your flight!

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Airport lounges have really outdone themselves in recent years. You can expect a lot more than just plasma TVs, leather sofas, open bar and free Wi-Fi. That was so ten years ago. How about a sleep pod, to catch some extra shut-eye in between flights, a pre-boarding manicure or a session in a full-body massage chair? Airport lounges are no longer just a place to kill time while you’ve got an unwanted stopover. They are destinations in themselves!

Upper Class Clubhouse, London Heathrow – Virgin Atlantic

Virgin lounge Heathrow

Where: Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3

As you might expect, this huge lounge has the best in entertainment facilities including a pool table, retro video game consoles with the best games and a full-out cinema room with all the fixings! For the more serious types there is an office, library, work stations, Wi-Fi… Check out the observation deck and enjoy a cocktail out in the roof-top garden. There is also a spa and hair salon in the lounge so that you look good when you board your next flight.

The Pier, Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific

Pier noodle bar

Where: Hong Kong Airport, Gates 62-66, NW Concourse

This is one of two of Cathay Pacific’s premium lounges. It offers “day-break” rooms which are perfect for lounging in plush leather armchairs. LCD TVs with on-demand programming as well as waiters attentive to your every need, including a wake-up call so that you don’t miss your flight. Alternatively you can get some work done with free Wi-Fi, showers and a few different dining areas, everything from fine dining to noodle bars.

Concorde Room, London – British Airways

BA Gold Bar

Where: Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5

This relatively new lounge for First Class passengers opens right up onto the runway with floor to ceiling glass walls. The restaurant offers cosy booths for a dinner alone or with your travelling partner, with all-day dining which is most suitable for jet-lagged travellers looking forward to a steak dinner at 9am. There are three private cabana rooms which are great for napping but these must be reserved in advance. Spa services and more…

Emirates Lounge, NYC/JFK – Emirates

Emirates lounge

Where: JFK Airport, Terminal 4

Curl up and relax in this lounge… it has enough cream-leather sofas and armchairs to go around. Watch TV in the viewing area, head to the business centre to use their state-of-the-art computers or bring your own and make use of the free Wi-Fi. It’s open to First and Business Class passengers and offers every touch of luxury.

First Class Lounge, Frankfurt – Lufthansa

Frankfurt lounge

Where: Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 1

The lounge isn’t in Terminal 1 but next to it, in its own building. This 12,000 square-foot lounge has a cigar room, a bar stocked with 80 different types of whiskey, private work stations, rest-area with leather day-beds, alarm clocks so you don’t over-sleep, bathrooms and showers as well. The dining area is open from 5:30am until 11:30pm. Once it’s time to head to your boarding gate, passengers are driven in either a Mercedes or Porsche right to their aircraft. Now that’s service!

Flagship Lounge, New York – American Airlines

AA Lounge

Where: JFK Airport, Concourse B, Terminal 8

American Airlines, you’ve really outdone ourself this time. This lounge is a whopping 7,000 square-feet. Bonus points go for all of that meticulously piled fruit… and for the guy that takes the bottom orange and sends it all tumbling. Here you have access to a quiet work space or a chatty and more social cyber café. There are showers, food, wines and liquors, DirecTV on flat-screen TVs… the works. Access is however restricted to First Class passengers on international or transcontinental flights.

L’Espace Premiere Lounge, Paris – Air France

La Premiere Lounge

Where: Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 2E

If you’re stopping in Charles de Gaulle Airport, get yourself to Terminal 2E pronto! Passengers flying First Class are escorted into the lounge, whose décor matches the in-flight cabin. Red carpet, overstuffed leather armchairs just calling out to you… “sit in me, forget all your worries.” What else is in the lounge? Work area with free Wi-Fi, relaxation area with reclining lounge chairs, showers, massages, food, wine, champagne. Once you’re ready to board you flight, you are personally escorted in a Mercedes… ow!

Have you ever used an airport lounge, which one?

Imgs: dooglemoin, Quan the Pooh!, ved_sirdeshpande, TravellingOtter, steelcity, shorthairfrancis, missiononline.it / Flickr cc.

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2 responses to “7 best airport lounges in the world

  1. I think that the No. 1 Traveller lounge deserves a mention. Their new airport lounge at Heathrow is brilliant. I used it on a recent trip to Barcelona and thought the services and facilities were great.

    1. You’re right Ruth! It’s lovely isn’t it? Almost makes you WANT to go to the airport early or at least book flights with a long stopover to enjoy it. There’s no better way to pass the hours at Heathrow… except maybe shopping! 🙂

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