Swimming pools, butler service and luxury spas. You won’t believe some of the services available to first-class passengers, CIPs and VIPs in the world’s best airport lounges.
For the majority of travellers, airport lounges invariably mean queues, delays and the inevitable visit to duty free. Not for first-class passengers, commercially important people (CIPs) and VIPs, however…
1) Punta Cana International Airport VIP Lounge, Dominican Republic
Fancy a quick dip while waiting for your flight?
Punta Cana International Airport already boasts open-air terminals with roofs adorned with palm fronds. However, the airport will soon become the first in the Caribbean to have a swimming pool in a terminal overlooking the airstrip.
As such, visitors to the new VIP lounge will be able to watch aircraft arrive and depart from the stunning panoramic pool just feet from the runway.
Due to be opened in December, it is being designed by the famous Dominican architect Antonio Segundo Imbert.
2) Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
Passengers at Lufthansa’s first-class lounge have access to some of the best facilities for travellers anywhere in the world.
Leather seats, sofas, a top-class bar, luxurious bathtubs and beds – the First Class Terminal has all the comforts of home… and more.
The buffet serves an extensive range of starters, healthy meals and desserts. Eaten too much? Simply request a day bed and take a snooze. Suitably refreshed, passengers are then met by a chauffeur-driven car to take them to their flight.
3) Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge & Spa, Bangkok
A priority pass for the First Class Lounge and Spa at Bangkok Airport not only buys well-heeled passengers luxurious surroundings. In addition, it allows them to cleanse their minds and bodies in a luxury spa.
Furthermore, the lounge is fitted out with workstations for business travellers as well as private shower suites and nap rooms. The dining room also offers buffet or a la carte dining.
4) Etihad Airways, The Residence, Abu Dhabi
Existing somewhere between first-class service and private-jet travel is the shadowy world of the ‘secret’ airport lounge. The most impressive is arguably The Residence within Etihad Airways’ First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi.
VIP passengers can confer with their flight concierge before settling down to dinner served by a Savoy-trained butler.
“Every step of your travel process has been taken care of; you don’t have to worry about looking at a boarding pass or going to which gate, and you don’t have to worry about your luggage,” Sam Chui, a Dubai-based blogger and frequent flier, told Condé Nast Traveler. “It allows you to relax and enjoy more of the service, like maybe having a cigar and cognac tasting.”
In addition, once on board the Airbus A380s, they can enjoy the only three-room suite on a commercial airline entertainment, complete with a 32in flat-screen TV with noise-cancelling headsets.
5) Al Safwa Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha
First-class ticket holders with Qatar Airways enjoy access to the exclusive Al Safwa Lounge.
VIPs can use private living rooms within the lounge furnished with leather sofas, flat-screen TVs, waiter service and a carry-on luggage closet.
In addition, there’s a gaming room with a Formula 1 racing simulator, walls adorned with original art and, best of all, a hidden duty-free shop complete with bespoke tailoring services.
The Al Safwa also includes the oligatory fine dining restaurant, a spa and nap rooms boasting hotel-quality beds.
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