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The World’s Best Airport Lounges

Have a long layover? With luck, you’ll be at one of these destinations below, where Michelin-worthy dining, hotel-like bedrooms and complimentary spa treatments are on offer at the world’s best airport lounges.

Read on for Indagare staff members’ personal picks, in no particular order.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip that could take you to one of these lounges. 

Al Safwa First Lounge from Qatar Airways at DOH

Doha

What to Expect: Soaring ceilings and minimalist decor make this airy, museum-like space (pictured top) one of the most striking airport lounges in the world. Choose from various seating areas as well as several restaurant options (a full-service, sit-down gourmet experience, a casual buffet and an entire desserts room), plus a business center with a handful of iMac-topped workstations.

Don’t Miss: Why have a daybed when you can have a real bed? Al Safwa First Lounge’s complimentary, private bedrooms feature plush bedding (along with an ensuite bathroom and shower).

La Première Lounge from Air France at CDG

Paris

What to Expect: This chic, surprisingly intimate airport lounge has leather seating in red, white and gray. Passengers should make a beeline to a dining table: the restaurant features a menu from Alain Ducasse, and the food is consistently delicious.

Don’t Miss: Away from the main room is the resting lounge with daybeds, as well as the spa and shower section. Each traveler is allowed a complimentary treatment of up to 30 minutes.

Qantas First Lounge at SYD

Sydney

What to Expect: Expansive tarmac and runway views keep aviation lovers happy at this lounge, which wraps around a large expanse of the terminal. Oak dividers break the space apart into multiple small-scale seating areas, along with a business station and library, self-serve bar and buffet and full-service restaurant from Australian chef Neil Perry. A zen-like spa offers complimentary massages that can be scheduled in advanced.

Don’t Miss: The wine list is a celebration of Australian wines from across the country.

Emirates First-Class Lounge at DXB

Dubai

What to Expect: One flight up from the public spaces, The Emirates lounge spans the entire length of the terminal, with private boarding gangways at each gate. There’s also a main buffet and bar, as well as an à la carte menu available throughout the lounge and at a sit-down restaurant. The spa offers several complimentary treatments (including a hair touch-up).

Don’t Miss: Every gate features a small but well-stocked buffet with fruit, sushi, sandwiches and pastries.

Swiss First Class Lounge at ZRH

Zurich

What to Expect: Swiss-precision luxury is on view at this lounge, where Omega clocks keep time. There’s a Champagne bar at the entrance, as well as a 1,000-bottle wine humidor and bar. At the restaurant, the menu has options like venison entrecôte and poached local fish—plus a cheese selection from a “Maitre Fromager.” Throughout the lounge, sculptural oak partitions divide the space into residential-style living rooms. There’s also a sprawling terrace area with outdoor seating overlooking the runway.

Don’t Miss: With luck, you’ll be able to doze in one of the lounge’s two private bedrooms available on a first-come, first-served basis. The suites come with luxury linens, an ensuite bathroom with a rain shower, and wall-to-wall views over the tarmac.

The Pier, First & Business lounges from Cathay Pacific at HKG

Hong Kong

What to Expect: These sister lounges offer two different experiences for travelers. For those traveling in first class, The Pier First lounge is the more serene, residential-style option, with plentiful, comfortable seating (including eight private suites with day beds and working areas), a bar and a pantry full of snacks, juices, fruit and small dishes and a well curated collected of glossy international magazines and newspapers. A sit-down Dining Room has an extensive menu of Western and Eastern options.

Business class travelers (along with first class passengers) have access to the Pier Business lounge, which, though less exclusive, has its own perks. Among them: a yoga and meditation space, noodle bar and stellar dim sum.

Both lounges have showers stocked with Aesop products.

Don’t Miss: The lounge offers 15-minute massages in the spa area.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR

London

What to Expect: Purple and red hues—familiar to those who’ve traveled in Virgin’s “Upper Class” cabins—set the mood in this fun yet sophisticated space. Waiter service throughout the lounge brings dishes like a full English Breakfast, grilled salmon and Indian curries. The spa offers several complimentary treatments, including massages and facial cleanses.

Don’t Miss: Afternoon tea from Master Patissier Eric Lanlard: finger sandwiches and a mix of savory and sweet pastries served alongside a pot of tea and a glass of Champagne.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip that could take you to one of these lounges. 

– Peter Schlesinger on January 7, 2020

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