Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Top Five Airline Lounges In The world

By Paul Kent

We all know that travel is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination. But for some that journey is just a little bit more comfy. Those people who are used to turning left (or climbing the deep carpeted stairs) when they board an aircraft are commonly used to the better things in life. For these people space is a certainty, premium wines are expected and excellent service is included in the price.

In order for a club lounge to be notable it has got to offer something more than just complimentary WiFi, world newspapers and luxurious seating. After all, we are after unique flying experiences. Here we list the '5 Stars of the 5 Star Treatment ' - The Best Airport Lounges in the World:

Cathay Pacific - HK

Is it the famous Long Bar, The Noodle Bar, private massages or personal "day-break" rooms that raise this lounge into our 5 Stars? Perhaps it's the Foster + Partners restyling that commenced in late 2010 and mixes minimalist design with ample natural light? Or maybe it is just that for 15 years 'The Wing ' has set the global benchmark for airline lounges.

Virgin Atlantic - London Heathrow

This is among the funkiest lounges out there. From the pool table to the cinema; from the mix of chairs (important when resting a laptop) to the impressive cocktail list, this lounge has everything. However , the highlight has to be the Cowshed Spa available for massages or facials and the Bumble & Bumble hair salon for a complimentary brighten up. Classic Virgin - magnificent and flamboyant.

Lufthansa - Frankfurt

Ok, a little bit of cheating in this one as it is a First Class Lounge. But it still should get an honorable mention for its selection of over 80 different whiskeys, a rest area with leather daybeds, and restrooms with monsoon showers. This lounge is so special it even gets its own free-standing building next to Terminal 1 with chauffeur-driven Mercedes and Porsches available to transfer passengers to the plane's firstclass stairway.

Finnair - Helsinki

A perfect master class in simplicity and thoughtfulness - they even allow Economy Passengers to enter (for a fee). The felt walls absorb any outside noise while the Marimekko tableware is pure Nordic style and beautifully complements the stylish furniture. The Finnair Spa is about to open very soon, offering traditional Finnish saunas to flush out those travel toxins.

Qantas - Sydney

Another lounge that wins on style points. Beautifully designed by home-grown genius Marc Newsom to bear a resemblance to the inside of a plane wing, this light and airy lounge flows beautifully. Complimentary Payot spa treatments are available inside a vertical garden where even boarding calls are banned from disturbing the serenity. Neil Perry dishes add to the upmarket bistro feel.

Groucho Marx once declared "I don't care to belong to a club that would have people like me as members". But for these 5 lounges we'd make an exception.

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