The World’s Most Luxurious Airport Lounges

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There are several airport lounges across continents that offer a luxurious experience to travelers. These lounges boast modern facilities, top-of-the-line technology, and some even have spa services for their patrons. This article will feature some of the most luxurious airport lounges around the world: their facilities, pricing, and most importantly, are they worth the visit.

Often, the first impression in any situation will dictate expectations and define experience. An airport lounge is a sanctuary for some travelers, offering an escape from the chaos of the airport environment. It is a place where one can seek relaxation, refreshment, and find peace, especially during a long hour wait. The airport lounge has evolved over the years from being a privilege for first-class passengers and members to being an establishment accessible to the common public. Given the competition, service providers are coming up with more extravagant ways to pamper their guests.

Features of Luxurious Airport Lounges

Elegant Interiors The interior design of a luxurious lounge is another major selling point. The basic layout between all lounges will include comfortable seating, work areas, TV and flight information, as well as a self-serve bar and food area. However, it is the design and aesthetics of these features which make an impact on a customer. Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok and the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney have been highly acclaimed in recent years for their architectural and interior designs. Thai Airways makes use of a somewhat old-fashioned but luxurious design of teak wood and Thai motifs, whilst Qantas has a more modern and contemporary design featuring their signature faux fireplace and circular stone and marble cocktail bar. In terms of seating, most lounges will feature the same type of furniture, however, the quality will differ. For example, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge in Tokyo boasts sofa chairs and chaise longues custom made with exquisite fabrics and leather by design houses Pierre Frey and Poltrona Frau. The variance in lounge interior is a fundamental concept in the airline’s marketing strategy. On the whole, the airline wishes to portray their premium services and there is no better medium of this marketing than through the lounge environment.

To control the environment within the lounge, select passengers are provided with a code to access the facility. If any of the passengers are not accustomed to luxurious lounges, then the thought of a lounge access code might just deter them from seeking out such premium services. These codes are simple to use and change every few weeks. It is usually up to the airline to issue these codes and the lounge staff to keep them updated. The access code is a way for the lounges to maintain a certain level of exclusivity and also serves as a security measure.

As the title alone suggests, luxurious airport lounges are exclusive spaces that are designed to cater to the wealthy class, airlines’ premium passengers, and various club members. These are truly first class facilities, often offering a range of complimentary services that includes alcoholic beverages, gourmet meals, spa treatments, Wi-Fi, private work areas, and showers. The global lounges are located in numerous cities in various countries. Here are a few features that truly make them stand out from regular lounges.

Exclusive Access

Unlike traditional airport lounges, which are open to business and first class passengers, frequent flyers, and lounge memberships, these luxurious airport lounges tend to be more exclusive. Certain luxurious lounges provide access solely to the first class ticket holder and are off limits to anyone traveling in business class. An example of this is the Thai Airways Royal First Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport or Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal at Frankfurt International. Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge in Sydney is open to First and Business class passengers, PPS Club members, and Solitaire PPS Club members. As PPS Club is by invitation only, this makes 2 of the 3 SilverKris lounges based in Sydney quite exclusive. Another fine example is the Qantas First and Business class lounges that were opened at Sydney and Melbourne in recent years. The Qantas First Lounges are designed to offer unsurpassed levels of comfort and service for customers traveling in First class around the world. The First lounge concerns are solely for customers traveling on Oneworld flights in First and eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer members. Globetrotters of all allegiances, behold the ultimate in luxurious lounge experience; but beware it may make your usual travel routine seem somewhat modest!

Elegant Interiors

Travellers can expect that luxurious airport lounges would be decorated in style. The Emirate lounge in Bangkok is a good example of this. Customers are greeted by a large portrait of Thai King mounted onto a water feature, backed by a mural of paddy fields. There are sofas and coffee tables arranged in a way that offers various levels of privacy, and for those wishing to work, there is a long bench facing the runway with PowerPoint at every seat. The décor is finished with a mosaic of traditional Thai artifacts and a wall of books, for those after a little light reading. As this example demonstrates, furniture and layout in luxurious lounges is essential, because when people go home and talk about their holiday, they want to tell their friends that they sat on the most amazing chair! The Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney is known for its designer interiors, offering a luxurious and exclusive retreat, and features a vertical garden to regulate humidity and temperature within the lounge. In a different kind of luxury, Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London Heathrow offers a number of cowshed-inspired therapy cabins which provide a secluded area for the pampering provided by Dr. Hauschka skin care.

Gourmet Dining Options

One of the main challenges of providing a good dining option is the chance that the food will run out before all of the passengers have had a chance to try it. While this may seem frivolous at a glance, it is a very important consideration with two possible negative outcomes. If the food runs out too quickly, a significant portion of the passengers will have missed out, causing a minor service failure. A greater problem arises if the second batch of food is in some way inferior to the first, as it suggests to the passengers that they have been cheated in some way. Given that the cost of paying to enter an airport lounge is not insignificant, there is an onus on the lounge to show value for money in every aspect of the service. Fresh food may be prepared in some lounges, but at most Gourmet Dining Lounges the use of a buffet is preferred as it allows greater choice for the passengers. With several quality hot and cold dishes available at any time, the likelihood of running out of a popular meal is greatly reduced. An even better option is the cook-to-order menu. Staffed by experienced chefs, this is the epitome of first-class dining, and the availability of a meal prepared to the passenger’s exact specification will leave a lasting positive impression. High quality wines and spirits are also a standard feature, and top class lounges often have a sommelier on staff to provide guidance on the wine selection. In general, the requirements of a Gourmet Dining Lounge are fulfilled in a fashion befitting any top class restaurant, a fact which is a key drawing point for these lounges and their airline.

Spa and Wellness Facilities

Facilities offering pampering treatments may be the reason why business travelers join their corporate incentive trips with a family vacation. Lounges from airlines like Qantas (in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane) and Virgin Atlantic offer full-service spas with treatments lasting up to an hour. At Virgin’s Clubhouse at Heathrow, a passenger can have a haircut, a massage, and a facial all before a long-haul to Australia. Six of the seven Malaysian Airlines Golden Lounges have Enrich spa facilities with a full-time masseur, and Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Spa and Wellness gives Royal First Class passengers free half-hour massages. In North America, only a few airline lounges have a resident masseuse, the most notable being the new Alaska Airlines Board Room in Anchorage. Still, there may be a trend towards more massage facilities with Air Canada’s International Maple Leaf lounges offering massages to Elite and Super Elite members and discount coupons for others at Wellness Centres in Toronto and Vancouver. Other exclusive facilities include saunas at Finnair’s lounges in Helsinki and London and a rooftop swimming pool at the Emirates lounge in Dubai. In a competitive business, airlines are under increasing pressure to differentiate their product and services. Stand-alone business class lounges are often a first step towards a premium market position (almost all business class-only airlines operate their own lounges), as are dedicated areas for elite frequent flyer members. To maintain this premium image, it is likely that lounges with spa and wellness facilities will be a growing trend. So the next time you dread taking a 6am flight before a day of business meetings, remember that a lounge with a delightful spa package might not be far away.

Top Luxurious Airport Lounges Around the World

In Germany, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) offers a ground-based flight service. It provides travelers with an individual escort from the First Class Terminal to their departure gate, a private nap room with a bed, and an extensive selection of high-quality dining options. À la carte dining allows passengers to custom make a meal with items such as caviar, sushi, and veal. There is no need to rush before a flight as the lounge has a cigar lounge, billiards room, and a bath with a rubber duck. The lounge is open to first class passengers and Hon Circle members.

In Malaysia, the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) provides a quiet, elegant environment with services designed to refresh and revitalize travelers before their next long-haul journey. Features include à la carte and buffet dining, foot baths, luxurious showers, and a variety of seating options ranging from wide leather chairs to long, comfortable chaise lounges. The lounge is open to passengers traveling in first class, as well as Enrich Platinum and OneWorld Emerald members.

Here are a few of the world’s more suitable top-flight airport lounges. Interestingly, every top-flight lounge is in a different country and a different continent.

To start off the list of top luxurious airport lounges around the world is “The Wing”. Located in the Hong Kong International Airport, The Wing is a first-class lounge that sets the bar high for airport lounges. The craftsmanship and lounge atmosphere are remarkable. The 6,400 square meter facility was designed by the London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners. The agency gained their inspiration from the space and lines of cathedrals and palazzos to create a unique space that offers guests a sense of place and a place of escape. The idea was to create a garden that has been cultivated over time. Heavy trees frame the first-class area and offer a secluded and shady resting plan. These exact trees are over 40 years old and were transported from China and planted in its original container to make it feel as if the park were built around them. At the far end of the first-class lounge, extensive views of the airport can be seen and these areas served as inspiration to where the architects would design a contemporary yet timeless masterpiece. The unique cabin-like structure made of bamboo and offering a view to the outside nestled within the airport serves as The Wing’s The Haven and The Cabanas. This is an area in which quality food and beverages are served. Finally, the wing also includes 12 shower suits that are built without a compromise on quality. All in all, the facility is a unique and high-quality space that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Coming in at number 2 is definitely a close second to first-class airport lounges at the time, but was chosen no doubt for its unique and timeless design.

Designed by leading interior design company, Foster & Partners, The Wing encompasses five concepts: a reception area, a unique champagne bar, a contemporary coffee loft, an exclusive first-class lounge, and a main business lounge on two levels, catering to the needs of all Cathay Pacific passengers.

Following the successful opening of the Media Business center in 2006, which has proven to be an invaluable facility to our lounge guests, the decision was made to expand on this concept with the opening of the Lounge Business centers. The first phase of this initiative has been unveiled at The Wing, Cathay Pacific’s latest and most innovative lounge complex at Hong Kong International Airport.

The private rest suites are equipped with a comfortable bed, ensuite bathroom, and rain shower 5A in a private garden setting, providing you with the most relaxing atmosphere before your travel. The sit back and relax room features comfortable seating and a 106″ high definition pioneer home theater system showing the latest news, sports, and entertainment in a cozy living room setting.

Lounge B is located in Airport Y. It touts 5,000 square meters of luxurious facilities comprising private rest suites, a sit back and relax room, and a cautious business center with private workstations and a meeting room available. The main living room offers the epitome of comfort with its high ceiling, warm environment, relaxing armchairs, and an array of international newspapers and magazines.

The world-class lounge operated by Air France has been recently renovated at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Establishment of the new lounge is part of the airline’s pursuit of reconstituting the chic image, which has been underlined by constructing the eight best long-haul planes said to be resembling boutique hotels in the sky. Always attentive to customer expectations, the new lounge, designed by Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance, offers areas for work, relaxation, and dining. A true living space that is entirely dedicated to passenger well-being. A real bubble at the heart of the airport designed by Studio Putman, Bauhinia, with its private lounges looks out onto a Japanese garden and provides high-standard amenities. High flyers can also choose to relax in a chaise longue or proper bed in the Loft area which is equipped with a Clarins spa treatment center. For just cargo, the very new Air France lounge at Terminal 2E, boarding area K, is a stylish and convivial living space.

The concept of airport lounges has been rudimentary at best. Many have lacked ample services for travellers. Today, lounges have become not only more numerous but they have made an effort to go above and beyond to cater to the air traveller. This trend has resulted in a more elegant solution for frequent flyers desiring privacy and a more relaxing environment between flights. Creating luxurious surroundings, top-rate amenities, and a new level of customer service, lounges are attempting to attract customers who were once loyal to flying first class. The landscape has changed dramatically since the first passenger lounges opened in the 1930s. At the beginning of the 21st century, passengers could choose from a handful of lounges operated by individual airlines. Most of the same old tired facilities remained in existence such as comfortable seating, reading material, light snacks, and well-stocked self-service bars. Some offered single bedrooms with adjacent washrooms. Prices and entry restrictions were varied.