Lounging First Class

Cathay Pacific’s first-class lounge, Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Studioilse

A ticket to the most luxurious airport lounges in the world is only a flight away. With ultra-modern, upscale and – in some cases – lavish airport lounges cropping up in airports across the globe for first and business class guests, flying just got glamorous. From LA to Hong Kong, we explore the most luxurious and fashionable lounges to make sure you won’t miss them next time you travel.


Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge at The Pier, Hong Kong

Photo courtesy of Studioilse

Explore the largest Cathay Pacific Airways lounge in the world at the Hong Kong International Airport. Opened in 2001, the lounge recently received a fully refurbishment to create a comfortable home away from home atmosphere, with a warm and stylish design. The lounge amenities include a noodle bar, teahouse, deli-style restaurant, relaxation rooms and workstations.

Note: The Pier First Class Lounge is open to First Class passengers, Diamond Marco Polo Club members, and Emerald Oneworld members.


Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow

Photo courtesy of  Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Located in Terminal 3, this year the Virgin Clubhouse is celebrating its 10th anniversary, marking it with a full refurbishment. The futuristic style and modern design of the lounge gives the impression of being in a private member’s club.

What you get at this Clubhouse is an experience: unwind in the relaxation area with a spa, Jacuzzi and power showers, before indulging in a manicure or haircut. After this, visitors can enjoy quality food and drinks, play a game of pool or relax by the (fake) fireplace. Meanwhile, plane spotters can head up to the roof deck.

Note: The Heathrow Clubhouse is open to Upper Class and Gold Flying Club members, as well as Delta One passengers. Business Traveller recently reviewed the facility.

The lounge is currently open as usual but will be fully functional at the end of Spring 2017 after its refurbishment.


Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney

Photo courtesy of Mark Newson

Designed by renowned Mark Newson, the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney is a piece of art, with its stylish and contemporary décor. The lounge’s interiors are probably one of the most vibrant and trendy, featuring 30 metres living wall covered in greenery. It also includes all the classic first class lounge amenities, such as restaurant by top Sydney chef Neil Perry and a complimentary 20 minute massage.

Note: The Qantas First Class Lounge is open to First Class passengers on Qantas, Emirates and other Oneworld airlines as well as Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum or equivalent on Emirates and on Oneworld airlines travelling in any class.


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge, Doha

Photo courtesy of Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge

One of the most stunning and exclusive lounges in the world, blending minimal design with majestic spaces, the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge is an oasis of luxury. The design is inspired by Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art Al Safwa, and some Islamic fine art and artefacts from the museum are even exhibited in the lounge. The Al Safwa lounge is an example of Arabian luxury and exclusivity.

Note: The lounge access is for Qatar Airways’ First Class and Business Class passengers only.


The Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Star Alliance Business Class Lounge

Situated at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge in Los Angeles stands out for its award-winning design, focused on maximising efficiency and reducing energy needs. The architectural style is inspired by 50s and 60s LA, echoed by the wood flooring, limestone walls and artisan ceramic tiles. The lounge also offers a stunning outdoor terrace for guests to enjoy, with views over the distant Hollywood Hills and the Southern Californian sunshine.

Note: Business Premier passengers travelling on Air New Zealand get complimentary lounge access.


Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul

Photo courtesy of Autoban

Ranked one of the world’s top 10 lounges in the world, the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul mixes modern with traditional style and provides a plethora of activities for guests to experience. From Turkish restaurants to pool tables, a library, relaxation room and, last but not least, a golf simulator (for practising your skills before the flight), guests are well and truly entertained in the lounge.

Note: Business Class passengers get complimentary entry.

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