Everyone knows that travel is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination. However, for some, that journey is just a little more comfortable.
Those people that are accustomed to turning left (or climbing the deep-carpeted stairs) as they board an aeroplane are commonly used for the more exquisite things in life.
For these people space is a given, premium wines are expected and thoughtful service is included in the price.
In order for a club lounge to be notable, it has got to offer more than complimentary WiFi, world news magazines and comfortable seats.
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:
1. Cathay Pacific – HK
Is it the renowned Long Bar, The Noodle Bar, personal massages or personal “day-break” rooms that elevate this lounge into our 5 Stars?
Perhaps it’s the Foster + Partners restyling that began in late 2010 and combines minimalist design with ample natural light? Or maybe it is simply that for 15 years ‘The Wing ‘ has set the benchmark for airline lounges.
2. Virgin Atlantic – London Heathrow
This is among the funkiest lounges out there. From the pool table to the cinema theatre; from the mix of chairs (critical when resting a notebook) to the extensive cocktail list, this lounge has everything.
However, the highlight must be the Cowshed Spa available for massages or facials and the Bumble & Bumble hair salon for a complimentary brighten up. Classic Virgin – luxurious and fanciful.
3. Lufthansa – Frankfurt
Ok, a modest amount 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 bathrooms with monsoon showers.
This lounge is so exclusive it even gets its own free-standing building next to Terminal 1 with chauffeur-driven Mercedes and Porsches available to deliver passengers to the plane’s first-class staircase.
4. Finnair – Helsinki
A master class in simplicity and thoughtfulness – they even let Economy Passengers enter (for a fee).
The felt walls absorb any outside noise while the Marimekko tableware is pure Nordic style and wonderfully complements the chic furniture.
The Finnair Spa is set to open imminently, offering traditional Finnish saunas to flush out all of those travel toxins.
5. Qantas – Sydney
Another lounge that wins on style points. Beautifully designed by homegrown genius Marc Newsom to feel just like the inside of a plane wing, this light and ethereal lounge flows superbly.
Complimentary Payot spa treatments are available inside a vertical garden where even boarding calls are banned from disturbing the tranquillity. 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”. Nonetheless, for these five lounges, we might make an exception.