Long, unexpected layovers are the bane of a frequent-flyer’s existence. But thanks to a new crop of modern, ultra-luxe airport lounges, we’re actually looking forward to our next delayed connection.
After all, who would turn down a complimentary massage or free champagne at AirFrance’s new Charles de Gaulle lounge, or a quick pre-flight snooze in one of Lufthansa’s special “nap rooms” at their new Frankfurt space?
We’re pretty sure this is what Frank Sinatra meant by “rarified air.”
Tell us in the comments below, what’s been your best airport lounge experience?
SINGAPORE: With soft leather seating and a mirrored ceiling to reflect light, you can't beat Singapore Airlines' SilverKris Lounge at Changi Airport, which boasts a comprehensive buffet of the city's famous street food, including laksa, curry, flat-noodles and fried rice treats. For more information visit singaporeair.com.
Singapore Air/Singapore Air
FRANKFURT: If you have a long layover, keep your fingers crossed that it lands you at Lufthansa's First Class Terminal
in Frankfurt Airport, where a personal bathroom (complete with tub and ducky), leather lounger and even "nap room" await your travel-weary bones. Later, kick back in the cigar lounge—which is also stocked with over 80 fine whiskeys—before being driven to your flight in a Mercedes S-Class or Porsche Cayenne. For more information visit lufthansa.com.
PARIS: Air France's shiny new lounge at Charles de Gaulle boasts 32,000 square feet packed with a mini-forest of real green trees, winding walkways and streaming sunlight. Because your in France, you'll find edible options like bread, cheese, and pastries, along with unlimited access to champagne. Not enough pampering for you? Hit the Clarins spa for free massages and facial treatments. For more information visit airfrance.com.
SYDNEY: Imagined by Aussie designer Marc Newson, Qantas' modern space at Sydney Airport boasts a 98-foot vertical garden at its entryway. You'll also find greenery along the walls of the serene Payot Paris day spa, which offers complimentary facial and massage treatments to flyers. For more information visit qantas.com.au.
ABU DHABI: Etihad's first class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport features on-staff nannies to keep the munchkins occupied while you make haste for the Six Senses Spa for a little post-flight pampering. Afterwards, hit the the champagne bar for celebratory bubbly or the in-lounge restaurant for a gourmet meal. For more information visit etihadairways.com.
HELSINKI: Finnair's modern Helsinki Airport lounge is an oasis of calm, with noise-absorbing felt along the walls and a 24-hour gourmet buffet—the most decadent edition of which occurs at midnight for travelers en route to Asia. For an additional pick me up, try a complimentary treatment at the Finnair Spa, which is complete with traditional Finnish saunas. For more information visit finnair.com.
LOS ANGELES: You don't have to be a special member or flying on a particular airline to enjoy the new reLAX lounge at LAX, which charges $15 per hour ($30 for three) for access to its swanky hang-out lounge, which boasts complimentary refreshments like sandwiches, cookies, pastries and fresh fruit in addition to an a la carte wine bar. For more information visit relaxloungelax.com.
HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific's Pier at Hong Kong International Airport offers weary travelers a smattering of post-flight delights, including fresh Japanese noodles at the Noodle Bar and fine dining at the Haven restaurant. Complimentary champagne and buttery leather armchairs ensure you'll get your fill of relaxation before the next departure. For more information visit cathaypacific.com.
The Pier /The Pier
ISTANBUL: Turkish Airlines International CIP lounge
at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport has a uniquely old-world feel, from the reading library—where patrons can choose from wide variety of a single-malts, or even shoot pool—to the film screening room, which offers up traditional Turkish treats like köfte. For more information visit turkishairlines.com.
Turkish Airlines/Turkish Airlines
NEW YORK: Virgin's posh JFK Clubhouse has a groovy Austin Powers vibe, from the glinting gold light fixtures to sofas fashioned from giant leather balls. A luxe cocktail menu with refreshments like the signature "Virgin Redhead" (a gin, raspberry and framboise confection) will vanquish any lingering pre-flight nervousness. For more information virgin-atlantic.com.