As sexy as your honeymoon destination may be, there's something decidedly unsexy about the airport process, from check-in through loitering at that gate awaiting your flight. Sometimes, a great lounge to rest in can make your trip start from a way better place, and here are some of the best around the world.
Las Vegas's Centurion Lounge in McCarran International Airport (LAS) (above) is a swanky spot with a wide selection of beds and comfy couches to relax on between flights. "From the bar to the restrooms, everything is thoughtfully designed with high-end travelers in mind. Great service and a friendly staff, paired with the ability to access the lounge upon arrival and departure, make it a favorite for Platinum cardholders. The showers that are available upon request are very neat and clean, and when it's not quite time to hit the bar, the coffee is on point! Other benefits include easy access via the trams (even flying Southwest), and if you're traveling with little ones, no problem!" says luxury travel agent and honeymoon expert Lindsey Epperly of Epperly Travel. There's a children's room for little travelers to enjoy!
"One of my favorites is the British Airways Galleries First lounge at London's Heathrow Airport. They have excellent food, and don't just settle for the buffet; ask for a menu, which they don't always hand out. The lounge also has great views of the runway, and you don't have to fight or hunt for a chair. American Airlines customers who have Executive Platinum status but are flying BA can get in, and it's a nice little haven from busy Terminal 5," says travel expert Johnny Jet.
John F. Kennedy International Airport is home to two luxury lounges, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and Delta SkyClub. "Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offers an upscale, relaxed experience with modern decor, comfortable seating, a bar, a pool table, and even a hair salon. If you're looking for a relaxing spot to grab a cocktail or fill up with some yummy options from the full menu, the Clubhouse is a favorite for luxury travelers," says Epperly.
Another great option is the Delta SkyClub (above). "The Delta Sky Club at JFK Terminal 4 is my most frequented lounge. The showers are superb, sparkling clean, and have more amenities than some spas, but my favorite part is the roof terrace, where you can have a drink and watch planes land and take off before your flight," says Jen Rubio, cofounder and creative director for Away.
The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Germany, is always a favorite. It will return your rental car for you, and you can have a shower or take a nap. "You can get food service in the restaurant or at your seat in the lounge, there's a cigar lounge and bar for the guys, and then you're taken from the lounge to an elevator with private passport control—and turned over to your driver, who will take you on the tarmac in a Porsche or Mercedes to the plane!" says Epperly. Stefanie Michaels of AdventureGirl.com agrees: "Hands down, one of the most impressive airport-lounge experiences I have ever had was at Frankfurt Airport's Lufthansa Lounge. There is a separate terminal for first-class passengers, complete with its own TSA and passport-control area—so no need to wait in those long airport security lines. The lounge has a full-service restaurant with dining options created by famed chef Alain Ducasse, a place to shower and freshen up, and a Porsche and Mercedes driver (take your pick) who takes passengers directly to the tarmac and awaiting plane!"
"The Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok has a phenomenal spa—and includes one-hour Thai massages for first-class passengers and 30-minute massages for Thai business-class passengers," says Epperly.
Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai, concourse A (above): "I actually prefer long layovers in DXB because of this lounge," says Dan Suski, founder of SeatLink.com (a website dedicated to airline seating). You can hit the spa for a massage, have a sit-down meal with cuisine from around the globe, get social in the cigar lounge, or go wine tasting in the wine cellar, all within the confines of a spacious lounge that seems to go on forever. (It spans the entire length of the concourse, the same as in concourse B.) The best part? "You don't have to leave the luxury of the lounge for the hectic terminal in order to board your flight, as boarding takes place straight from the lounge itself for first-class passengers," says Suski.
Singapore Airlines Private Room at Changi: "Reserved for suites and first-class long-haul passengers only, it features remarkably attentive service, fine dining (don't miss the burger with seared foie gras and fried quail egg), luxurious showers, private rooms to nap or relax, and plenty of other quiet places to stretch out and catch up on email. This lounge lacks a spa, but that's easy to forgive, given the almost telepathic service and high-end food and beverages you'll receive in this lounge," says Suski.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London: "It feels like a posh, modern hotel room that a bunch of other travelers just happen to be in. The cool thing is that there are lots of nooks and crannies with luxe appointed everything, so you can feel apart from the crowd and still sip, snack, and relax between flights. And there's no pleather, so if you travel in shorts on a hot day, you simply will not stick to the furniture. Amazing," says Bryce Gruber, editor of the Luxury Spot.
The Wing in Hong Kong (above): "Cathay Pacific's premier lounge, featuring cabanas. It gives you a quiet place to work, shower, and relax, like a small hotel room. When you're done, the restaurant serves a combination of buffet and à la carte options, feeling more like a proper restaurant," says Peter Lombard, founder and CEO of InsoucianceAbroad.com.
The Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney: "Of all the lounges I've been to, this one seems to keep one of the broadest meal options ever—sandwich bar, cereal bar, hot dog stand, and the list goes on. Plus, it's the best I've seen at catering to dietary restrictions, with gluten free, vegan, nut allergies, etc... Plus, with great views of the tarmac, you're never bored," says Lombard.
Polaris Lounge from United in Chicago: "It blows away the American Airlines/Delta competition and represents a significant upgrade for United. Its premium feel, concierge and spa access, and upgraded food and beverage service all rival top-tier business-class lounges from the world's most luxurious carriers. Look for future Polaris lounge openings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong, and London Heathrow," says Suski.
"One of our favorite airport lounges is the Club MoBay Departure Lounge in the airport at Montego Bay, Jamaica. It has lots of great perks for travelers, including complimentary food and drinks, unlimited WiFi, shower facilities, video games, and fast-track access for Immigration and Security. It certainly makes for an enjoyable (and relaxing) trip, from start to finish!" says Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group.