Earlier today, I wrote about how you can gain access to an airport lounge on your next trip. Which got me wondering: What are the swankiest airport lounges in the world? While there are a few great options in the United States, you'll find the most luxury abroad. With help from the folks at LoungeBuddy and GateGuru, here's what I found.
American Express is making a big splash in the airport lounge industry by creating lounges independent from any airline. American Express cardholders can access these lounges for a $50 day pass. So far, there are Centurion lounges in Dallas, New York and Las Vegas, with more to come. The lounge in Dallas features a five-star chef who creates a delicious Tex-Mex buffet, free spa treatments and luxurious shower rooms.
You'll find chrystal chandeliers and an old-school air at this lounge in terminal five, available to first-class passengers of British Airways. The lounge boasts private booths with full waiter service, private cabanas with day beds for full relaxation in privacy, and of course a state-of-the-art business suite. What's missing in the Concorde Room is the Concorde itself; the supersonic plane was retired in 2003.
Finnair's lounge in Helsinki was already legendary, but in August they opened a new premium lounge. The new facility is open to Finnair Plus Platinum and Gold members only, while the older lounge is open to Business Class customers as well. The lounge features stunning, modern Finnish furniture, brand-new private shower suites, a Finnish sauna and a premium buffet.
It's no surprise that you'd find the epitome of luxury in the Middle East, but Etihad's oasis is truly sumptuous. There's a champagne bar and cigar lounge, the Six Senses Spa which features complimentary treatments, and nannies on staff to watch your little ones while you relax.
Not just a lounge but a dedicated first-class terminal, with its own passport control and security checkpoints, so no mixing with the hoi polloi here. The lounge has private sleeping rooms so you can catch some shut-eye in peace, private bathrooms with full showers, and, of course, a cigar lounge. Lufthansa drives first-class passengers from here to their airplane in luxury German cars.
Cathay Pacific was voted the best airline in the world for the fourth time this year, and it's no wonder: The Asia-based carrier certainly knows how to treat its passengers. You'll find prvate "cabanas" in the first class section of this lounge, which include a bathtub, shower and day bed. A dining area features both Asian and Western cuisine in its buffet, while a champagne bar is available for drinks.
Want a spa treatment, like a facial, massage or foot and leg wrap? It's complimentary here. Need some peace and quiet? Head to the silent room called "The Library." And feel free to refresh yourself in one of eight luxurious marble-lined shower rooms.
You won't be bored here: The lounge offers a billiards table, a music room with a theater screen and La-Z-Boy style chairs, and carrera racing. The newly-renovated space also offers private relaxation rooms and a giant play room for children.
Both lounges boast a dizzying array of amenities, like complimentary spa services, Bumble and Bumble salons, and mouth-watering food. "The Den" at Heathrow is perfect for gamers and film buffs, where you can play on retro video game consoles or catch a flick on state-of-the-art multiscreens.
This is perhaps the only lounge in the world that offers an outdoor terrace with a firepit overlooking the Hollywood hills. Need an iPad? They're available on request. You'll also find shower suites, complimentary hot and cold food and California wines.
You'll find a full-service Elemis spa, which includes a Jacuzzi and sauna here. Relax in bedroom suites, send your children to the extensive array of kids entertainment, soak in a hot tub, or partake in one of several dining facilities.