Best airport lounges

The hours you spend at an airport between two flights can be horribly boring with one eye on the time and the other on your suitcase. But, once you discover the little secret called ‘the lounge’, those hours can turn out pretty well. Like a little indulgence treat.

People who use airport lounges do it for several reasons, knowing that these small details could turn their journey into a pleasant experience or a nightmare. There’s some pretty decent food and a nice selection of beverages. There’s also plenty of reading materials to choose from and last, but not least, you can take a shower if you need to. When they were first opened, these ‘VIP lounges’ were intended only for officials or celebrities. Things were to change in the 80s when airlines allowed anyone join as long as they were willing to pay a membership fee. On top of that, the fierce competition in recent years made the airlines realise that these clubs are simply pure gold when it comes to winning customers. Their design is a good choice if you want to be noticed. Below you’ll find a description of two of the most spectacular airport lounges in the world.

Turkish Airlines is a company on the rise, in a country on the rise, if I could venture to extrapolate. This country’s creativity boost includes elements from fashion design to haute cuisine ‘chefs’ is indeed difficult to rival. The national airline created a quite a stir in the field of business travel when it opened the spectacular CIP Lounge in the Istanbul Atatürk Airport in 2011. Created by the local Autoban company, the unexpected design is, to quote the designers, ”a shell inside a larger shell that is the airport. ” The area of nearly 3000 square meters is divided by function. It comprises not only a dining area, workspaces, the pool table(!), but also relaxation, reading, children and television areas. And to make you feel that the CIP lounge has been truly lavishly deisgned, there is a working grand piano.

Almost at the same time and just in time for Helsinki’s year of glory as the World Design Capital in 2012, Finnair opened its Via lounge at Vantaa International Airport. If you are already familiar with Scandinavian design and its close to perfection simplicity, this space will become immediately familiar. Isku Interior Oy was the Finnish company responsible for the design, while the beautiful light fittings belong to Eero Aarnio, an icon of Nordic design. These were intended to take you to a new level of visual comfort. This visual comfort is supported by real comfort offered by the spa which had to include, when you’re so far North, a steam room, four dry spruce wood saunas and stone one. And to save the best for last, all of the above have view of the runway.

Foto: Autoban, Finnair