No one likes a layover at airports. You’re weary from constant travel, there are stressed passengers and loud airport announcements, and the hard seats at the gates are too uncomfortable to get a proper sleep in. But when you travel first or business class, it’s a whole different story, because it means you get access to airport lounges – which can sometimes be more luxurious and comfortable than the hotels you’re planning to stay in. So relax, sit back, and take a glance at the places that make airport layovers something to envy:
Qatar Airway Al Sawfa Lounge (Doha International Airport)
(Image via Qatar Airways)
The Al Sawfa Lounge in Doha’s International Airport looks more like a museum or hotel lobby than a boarding lounge – the designers of the lounge took inspiration from Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art, and the whole area is encased in tall sandstone walls. And just in case the wonderful décor isn’t enough to make you feel relaxed, the lounge also has the majestic Vitality Spa, with nine treatment rooms. With additional comforts in the form of à la carte dining, a cinema and an entire business centre, this lounge is definitely worth its weight in gold.
Cathay Pacific Pier Business Class Lounge (Hong Kong International Airport)
(Image via Cathay Pacific)
Cathay Pacific’s Business Class Lounge recently went through a renovation (as did the First Class one), and the changes have been all for the better. The lounge, with the help of Ilse Crawford’s Studioilse design studio, has transformed into a warm, welcoming relaxation space. It contains a ‘fast’ lane, housing the formidable Food Hall and all the cuisines you’d ever care to sample, and a ‘slow’ lane that holds luxurious couches and Solo Chairs for anyone looking to be productive.
Air France La Premier Lounge (Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport)
(Image via Air France)
Air France’s lounge has it all- an elegant relaxation space, a spa treatment centre, and a chauffeured service from the lounge to the airport. The pièce de résistance of the lounge is undoubtedly the bar, lit dramatically by red light in the shelves and casting bottles into silhouettes. All in all, the lounge perfectly balances comfort and style to create the best layover experience one can find.
Qantas First Class (Sydney International Airport)
(Image via Qantas)
Qantas’ First Class lounge is almost like a home away from home, but possibly even better. There are complimentary Aurora spa treatments, a restaurant menu devised by renowned chef Neil Perry, and over 8,300 plants, so you can immerse yourself in the wonders of nature even in the midst of a crowded airport. And with meeting rooms, Apple computers, private suites, and a library, you’ll never want to leave.
Salon VIP Lounge (Quebec Jean Lesange International Airport)
(Image via Quebec City Jean Lesage)
The lounge was recently judged the best lounge in North America by independent lounge membership program, Priority Pass, so you know you’re in good hands when you get to the airport. If you’re travelling in the winter, there’s comfortable seating with a central fireplace, but there are a multitude of delights no matter when you land there – iPads for catching up on the news, a menu of delicious light meals, full bar service, and an entertainment area with plasma TV screens, to start with. There’s even a playground for any young children who’ve tagged along, perfectly prepared to put them in the right mindset for any long flight overseas.