The world's most amazing airport lounges



Slide 1 of 31: No one likes being in the airport. It's a necessary evil so many of us put up with just to get to our desired vacation destination. To be frank, it sucks. That is, unless you've got lounge access, of course. Some airport lounges are so swanky these days, you might even find it hard to leave. Here are some of the fanciest.
Slide 2 of 31: Virgin Atlantic's Clubhouse oozes fun and funky style, and we'd expect nothing less from one of the coolest airlines in the business. The striking red ball sofa is an excellent place to relax with a drink, and you'd be hard pressed not to fall asleep in some of the body-hugging soft seating.
Slide 3 of 31: If you didn't bring a laptop or book, have no fear – there's a pool table to keep you entertained and TVs all around. And for dinner, you can dine from the à la carte menu with options like pulled pork sliders or vegetable dim sum. 
Slide 4 of 31: The spa, though, is the highlight here: expect head, neck and shoulder massages, hot stone treatments and wonderful head massages. There are even relaxation pods to help keep you feeling zen well before your flight.
Slide 5 of 31: Why end a luxury break in the Caribbean at a busy, stuffy departures lounge when you could check into the VIP lounge at Punta Cana International Airport? This pay-to-use lounge takes the edge off the disappointment of leaving this idyllic isle, with its complimentary buffet and ample soft seating. 
Slide 6 of 31: Expect all the usual facilities, such as free Wi-Fi and shower rooms, as well as plenty of magazines and newspapers to keep you occupied. Come boarding time, though, you'll be wishing you were delayed, as this lounge comes with one very special feature...
Slide 7 of 31: Out on the sun terrace, which overlooks the runway, is an infinity pool. The only airport lounge pool in the world, this is a truly special way to end a week or two in the Dominican Republic. The best part? Anyone can use it, you just have to stump up $50 (£38).  Here are 50 experiences you didn't know you could have in the Caribbean
Slide 8 of 31: If you're passing through Dallas, the American Express Centurion lounge makes it very difficult to continue with your onward journey. This lounge really goes the extra (air)mile for its customers. Forget the sad buffets of other airport lounges – here there's an à la carte menu designed by James Beard award-winning chef Dean Fearing, with dishes like vanilla French toast for breakfast or Texas mole for dinner. 
Slide 9 of 31: Plus, cocktails are designed by one of America's top mixologists, Jim Meehan (we'll have the white mimosa, please) and wines are selected by expert Anthony Giglio. Expect the finest prosecco from Italy and malbec from Argentina.
Slide 10 of 31: Spa treatments are by exhale® and include manicures, deep tissue massages and hand massages – perfect for unwinding before or after a long flight.
Slide 11 of 31: Dubai – a destination synonymous with luxury – has a few fantastic airport lounges. The Emirates First Class Lounge, though, is by far the best. This is the national carrier's home, after all, so they've gone all out with amenities and that classic luxury decor, with plenty of golds and rich wood. 
Slide 12 of 31: This place is huge too – it spreads across the floor above the entire departures concourse, meaning you're unlikely to get bored. There's a cigar bar where you can enjoy a drink as well as some of the best cigars in the world, and à la carte and buffet options. 
Slide 13 of 31: Day beds make for excellent napping spots, or just offer some quiet time before you fly, and the direct boarding from the lounge is a huge plus. But the clincher here is the wine cellar. Not only can you drink fine wines and champagnes in this lounge, but you'll also get a rundown of what's in the cellar from an expert, who can recommend the perfect bottle to purchase.
Slide 14 of 31: Cathay Pacific is a five-star airline, and its First Class lounge – The Pier at Hong Kong International – really reflects that. Not only is there à la carte dining and a help-yourself pantry for snacking, there's an elegant bar made from green onyx with walnut wood panel walls. 
Slide 15 of 31: But the best thing here has to be the eight individual day suites. Each one has a privacy curtain, a large window with a runway view and a soft daybed for a snooze before you fly.
Slide 16 of 31: Plus, there's a personalized massage service for pre-flight pampering, and fancy toiletries and fluffy white towels in the shower rooms, some of which also have baths for a seriously luxe soak. Six private work stations with state-of-the-art iMac computers offer a serene space for productivity too.
Slide 17 of 31: Forget the First Class Star Alliance lounge and head straight for Business – this is by far LAX's best space. This huge lounge rarely feels overcrowded thanks to its plentiful seating – including soft seating and dining tables.
Slide 18 of 31: There's a decent buffet spread, a big bar area and an impressive wall of wine from which you can choose your favorite tipple. But the highlight here is actually outside...
Slide 19 of 31: The best thing about this lounge is its outdoor terrace, where you can enjoy the last few bits of SoCal sunshine before you fly off and watch the planes on the runway. It's a real treat to be able to sit outside to wait for your flight, as so many airports confine you within their sterile walls. A bit of fresh air goes a long way here.
Slide 20 of 31: At its base in Charles de Gaulle Airport, Air France has created a spectacular and delightfully relaxing place to while away your wait. The restaurant is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse who has crafted a fine-dining menu accompanied by exceptional French wines.
Slide 21 of 31: Even the mineral water selection is special, with high end brands like Fiji and Voss on offer for guests. There are small business booths with work stations for anyone wishing to knuckle down, and plenty of soft seating to stretch out on.
Slide 22 of 31: Relaxation is taken seriously here too – there are day beds separated by tall fake grass (pictured) that come with pillows and blankets worth over $1,400 (£1k), and the spa offers massages tailored to the needs of frequent travelers. You may not want to board the plane after an hour or two in here, though Air France does have a fabulous First Class cabin too, so it's not all bad once you leave.
Slide 23 of 31: Lufthansa's First Class Lounge is famed for its exceptional buffet, which serves up expertly seared tuna steaks and superb pasta dishes. There's a lot to love about this place, with its private cubicles ideal for working in, and fantastic views of planes taking off.
Slide 24 of 31: There are nap rooms where you can snooze on a proper bed with white sheets and a pillow, plus fantastic bathrooms where you can have a soak and enjoy some of the luxury toiletries.
Slide 25 of 31: For smokers, a cigar lounge will be the highlight. Here you can enjoy a classic combination: a glass of whisky and a high quality cigar. When it comes to boarding time, you might even be lucky enough to get picked up in a Porsche and taken right to the plane on the tarmac. These are the world's best airports you've never heard of
Slide 26 of 31: For British Airways' First Class passengers, the Concorde Room is a spectacular place to begin your journey. This lounge quite literally looks like someone's living room, with its funky furniture and bold, statement sofas.
Slide 27 of 31: The restaurant has excellent British cuisine, from Scottish salmon to Yorkshire cheeses, and it serves complimentary Laurent-Perrier Champagne that retails for $157 (£120) in shops. Get your work done in the business center, and if you're after some serious relaxation, grab one of the sumptuous day beds (pictured) on the terrace, which overlooks the departures terminal with views of planes in the background.
Slide 28 of 31: Serious sleepers should book into one of the three private cabanas, which come with their own bathroom so you don't have to queue to use the communal ones.
Slide 29 of 31: Channel your inner sci-fi nerd at this one. If you've ever wanted to spend time in the mess hall of the Starship Enterprise, or sit on the bridge of a space craft and give orders like a true captain, this might just be the lounge for you. At Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport the EVA Air Infinity Lounge looks positively sci-fi, with its futuristic lighting and seats.
Slide 30 of 31: You won't find any evil klingons here though. Instead, it's all smiling staff and sumptuous luxury. Expect plush leather seating, showers and plenty of drinks and snacks. You can help yourself to alcohol at the bar, and at the buffet you'll find Taiwanese specialities, such as steamed buns and noodles, as well as delights like Mövenpick ice cream.  Discover the world's eeriest abandoned hotels and airports
Slide 31 of 31: The main lighting installation even changes color to add to the futuristic experience in this intriguing lounge, which overall is a welcome departure from many of the basic interiors of classic airport lounges.  Now check out 16 of the world's coolest airports 

Beyond the buffets

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK, USA

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK, USA

If you didn’t bring a laptop or book, have no fear – there’s a pool table to keep you entertained and TVs all around. And for dinner, you can dine from the à la carte menu with options like pulled pork sliders or vegetable dim sum. 

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK, USA

Punta Cana VIP Lounge, Dominican Republic

Why end a luxury break in the Caribbean at a busy, stuffy departures lounge when you could check into the VIP lounge at Punta Cana International Airport? This pay-to-use lounge takes the edge off the disappointment of leaving this idyllic isle, with its complimentary buffet and ample soft seating. 

Punta Cana VIP Lounge, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana VIP Lounge, Dominican Republic

Out on the sun terrace, which overlooks the runway, is an infinity pool. The only airport lounge pool in the world, this is a truly special way to end a week or two in the Dominican Republic. The best part? Anyone can use it, you just have to stump up $50 (£38).

Here are 50 experiences you didn’t know you could have in the Caribbean

Amex Centurion, Dallas Fort Worth, USA

If you’re passing through Dallas, the American Express Centurion lounge makes it very difficult to continue with your onward journey. This lounge really goes the extra (air)mile for its customers. Forget the sad buffets of other airport lounges – here there’s an à la carte menu designed by James Beard award-winning chef Dean Fearing, with dishes like vanilla French toast for breakfast or Texas mole for dinner. 

Amex Centurion, Dallas Fort Worth, USA

Amex Centurion, Dallas Fort Worth, USA

Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai, UAE

Dubai – a destination synonymous with luxury – has a few fantastic airport lounges. The Emirates First Class Lounge, though, is by far the best. This is the national carrier’s home, after all, so they’ve gone all out with amenities and that classic luxury decor, with plenty of golds and rich wood. 

Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai, UAE

This place is huge too – it spreads across the floor above the entire departures concourse, meaning you’re unlikely to get bored. There’s a cigar bar where you can enjoy a drink as well as some of the best cigars in the world, and à la carte and buffet options. 

Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai, UAE

The Pier by Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, China

Cathay Pacific is a five-star airline, and its First Class lounge – The Pier at Hong Kong International – really reflects that. Not only is there à la carte dining and a help-yourself pantry for snacking, there’s an elegant bar made from green onyx with walnut wood panel walls. 

The Pier by Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, China

The Pier by Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, China

Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, LAX, USA

Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, LAX, USA

Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, LAX, USA

Air France First Class Lounge, Paris, France

At its base in Charles de Gaulle Airport, Air France has created a spectacular and delightfully relaxing place to while away your wait. The restaurant is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse who has crafted a fine-dining menu accompanied by exceptional French wines.

Air France First Class Lounge, Paris, France

Air France First Class Lounge, Paris, France

Relaxation is taken seriously here too – there are day beds separated by tall fake grass (pictured) that come with pillows and blankets worth over $1,400 (£1k), and the spa offers massages tailored to the needs of frequent travelers. You may not want to board the plane after an hour or two in here, though Air France does have a fabulous First Class cabin too, so it’s not all bad once you leave.

Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Frankfurt, Germany

Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Frankfurt, Germany

Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Frankfurt, Germany

For smokers, a cigar lounge will be the highlight. Here you can enjoy a classic combination: a glass of whisky and a high quality cigar. When it comes to boarding time, you might even be lucky enough to get picked up in a Porsche and taken right to the plane on the tarmac. These are the world’s best airports you’ve never heard of

British Airways Concorde Room, Heathrow, UK

British Airways Concorde Room, Heathrow, UK

British Airways Concorde Room, Heathrow, UK

EVA Air Infinity Lounge, Taipei, Taiwan

EVA Air Infinity Lounge, Taipei, Taiwan

You won’t find any evil klingons here though. Instead, it’s all smiling staff and sumptuous luxury. Expect plush leather seating, showers and plenty of drinks and snacks. You can help yourself to alcohol at the bar, and at the buffet you’ll find Taiwanese specialities, such as steamed buns and noodles, as well as delights like Mövenpick ice cream.

Discover the world’s eeriest abandoned hotels and airports

EVA Air Infinity Lounge, Taipei, Taiwan

The main lighting installation even changes color to add to the futuristic experience in this intriguing lounge, which overall is a welcome departure from many of the basic interiors of classic airport lounges.

Now check out 16 of the world’s coolest airports 

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