Around the world in 10 lavish airport lounges

Posted by Christi Nortier on 15 February 2019

Travelling is a luxury, but it is tiring and stressful to cover long distances on short amounts of sleep. However, these glamorous airport lounges, where the rich and famous get to hunker down in style, might just be better than a holiday destination.

There is a pool at the first class lounge at Punta Cana Airport. Photo: Supplied.

There is a pool at the first class lounge at Punta Cana Airport in the Dominican Republic

1. Slow Lounge, most South African international airports

The cherry on top: The lounges work on the philosophy that the journey is as important as the destination. Take a breather by joining a wine tasting or feasting at the buffet table. In Cape Town, the cocktails of the Horizon Bar change colour depending on the time of day to mirror the sun. Afterwards, freshen up with a shower in the private marble bathrooms or enjoy a free spa treatment. In the meantime, soak up the free Wi-Fi and power sockets or swap your book for another one at the Living Library. Just before you leave, have your jacket steamed to look as calm as you feel.

Who gets a glimpse: Certain British Airways customers, FNB Premium card holders and clients of RMB or FNB Private Bank. They can each take one travelling companion in with them.

Where: O.R. Tambo International Airport, Lanseria International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.


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2. The Centurion Lounge, LaGuardia Airport, New York

The cherry on top: You can take your pet in with you. Even though they’re on holiday, they’re still not allowed on the furniture, but they are allowed out of their carriers. Enjoy some privacy by booking a semi-private workspace or enjoy New York-styled food and drink.

Who gets a glimpse: American Express Platinum Card or Centurion Card members, their pets and up to two guests.


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3. The VIP Lounge Club, Punta Cana International Airport, Dominican Republic

The cherry on top: It has an outdoor pool and deck overlooking the tarmac– need we say more? The lounge is decorated to extend your beach holiday with hues of green and blue. Have a meal, charge your phone and have a drink if the pool doesn’t draw you in.

Who gets a glimpse: Anybody who pays the R550 entrance fee.


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4. The Pier, Hong Kong International Airport, 

The cherry on top: This lounge has eight Day Suites for when the decadent lounge is making your head spin. Each has a day bed, reading light and curtains which shade a window which looks out over the runway. The dining room’s à la carte menu is Asian-inspired, as is the buffet spread. If you do need to work, you can log onto one of six iMac computers in the work suites.

Who gets a glimpse: Cathay Pacific first class passengers, Marco Polo Club members and Oneworld frequent flyers and one guest.


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5. Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Frankfurt Airport, Germany

The cherry on top: Since this is one of Europe’s busiest airports, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to use the personal assistant service. Your personal assistant takes care of all your travelling hassles and to-do’s. While they rush around carrying out tasks on your behalf, you can enjoy a bubble bath, the library or the spa. In addition, it has its own cigar lounge.

Who gets a glimpse: First class Lufthansa passengers and their life partners, spouse and/or children who are travelling with them.


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6. Japan Airlines First Class Lounge, Tokyo Haneda Airport

The cherry on top: The beauty of this lounge is in the design philosophy. The design is inspired by the principle of ‘Ma’, that less is more. However, decadence is not off the cards. Alcohol is varied and luxurious with a sake bar, champagne bar and beer on tap. There’s also a ‘play room’ with chess, foosball and a library.

Who gets a glimpse: First class Japan Airlines passengers


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7. Qatar Airways, Al Safwa First Lounge

The cherry on top: The design of this lounge is based on Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art. Sandstone and marble are constructed to form high-volume ceilings and wide spaces which house temporary art exhibitions on loan from the museum it draws so much inspiration from. Its own permanent artwork is the water mountain. There is a cinema and family room to keep busy bodies happy.

Who gets a glimpse: First class Qatar Airways passengers


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8. Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai airport

The cherry on top: This is basically an airport in one lounge. It has duty-free shopping and restaurants. It also has showers, a business centre and a wine sommelier to help you purchase a rare bottle.

Who gets a glimpse: First class Emirates passengers


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9. Qantas first lounge, Sydney airport

The cherry on top: When you walk in, you are greeted by a jungle. The wall is covered in a living vertical garden. To keep this sense of an oasis of calm in a bustling airport, this lounge has private suites, showers, a spa, and a library. It even has an Apple computer room and meeting rooms.

Who gets a glimpse: Qantas first class passengers


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 10. Heathrow VIP, Heathrow Airport, London

The cherry on top: This is the most expensive lounge at Heathrow Airport. It will cost you R40,000 to have your own lounge, an exclusive security and passport control area and a transfer by limousine to and from the airplane. You can meet two of your own non-flying guests in the lounge and have food and drink on tap.

Who gets a glimpse: Only business or first class passengers


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Featured image supplied

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