As wonderful as travelling is, we are all familiar with the down-side; the long security queues, hustling for a seat at the gate, and squeezing into noisy cafes with a squillion other travellers. But somewhere amidst the chaos of an airport is a peaceful oasis offering spa rooms, bedrooms, a la carte dining and the finest champagne. The entry fee? A very expensive airline ticket! Here's peek into some of the world’s most fabulous first class lounges (no first-class airline fees required)
Cathay Pacific – The Pier, Hong Kong
Taking on the personality of a luxury apartment, The Pier is an example of fine-travelling at its best. Warm, contemporary, and incredibly inviting, the lounge offers travellers private day suites with showers, The Library for quality quiet time, The Bureau for catching up on business, and freshly prepared dishes at it’s a la carte restaurant. Carefully constructed with luxury finishings and convenience & comfort in mind, Cathay’s first class lounge is sure to turn transit travel into a treat.
An amazing vertical garden featuring over 8,400 individual plants, chair-side waiter service, and an open kitchen restaurant with a menu prepared by Australian chef Neil Perry, are but a few of the fabulous features of Qantas’ first class lounge in Sydney. Passengers can while away the time in the high-tech entertainment areas, or relax in the library over a game of chess or a good book. For those after a bit of pampering, the beautiful Aurora Spa offers exclusive signature treatments and massages prior to boarding. Designed using Feng Shui principals and luxurious furnishings, the lounge is a harmonious haven offering a seamless travel experience that is truly first class!
Having achieved the Seal of Excellence, it comes as no surprise that Al Safwa, Qatar’s first class lounge in Doha, has excelled in offering travellers an exceptionally modern, luxe experience. The cinematic room, a full business centre, private nap rooms, a luxury spa, and an a la carte restaurant (including a dessert room!) are all indeed first class calibre. However, the lounge’s most impressive feature may well be its architectural design - clean, minimalistic, and futuristic, warmed by the wonderful service and beautiful art installations.
Switzerland is synonymous with detail and quality and SWISS’ first class lounge in Zurich does not disappoint! Beautifully crafted and perfectly serviced, the lounge provides travellers with private bedrooms, a five-star à la carte restaurant, a fabulous wine cabinet & champagne bar, as well as partitioned areas for privacy. In the winter months, the lounge offers passengers fondue or raclette on the outdoor terrace, from which the fabulous views extend over the airport and out to the Swiss Alps.
Etihad’s first class lounge, in its native Abu Dhabi, is a travel experience re-imagined. Boasting 16 unique zones including fitness and relaxation areas, a spa, nail bar, shaving salon for the gents, a children’s play area, a restaurant preparing international culinary delights, and a bar with a bespoke cocktail menu, Etihad has ensured that travellers' recreational and relaxation needs are beautifully covered. Having taken inspiration from the world’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants, visitors are immersed into a tranquil space of 21st century Arabian modernism with impeccable service and warm hospitality.