If you frequently travel for business you’ve probably discovered all sorts of tricks to make the process as comfortable as possible. You’re the one with the sleek computer bag that snaps open for quick access during the security check. You’ve got your neck pillow in place before you get on the plane, your wrinkle-free business slacks that allow you to head directly to a meeting without concern and the perfect packing strategy with no excess baggage or wasted space. But none of those shortcuts will help with the boredom of the airport. The food is terrible, the lines take forever and the people you’ll come across are grumpy. The secret is finding the best business travel lounges. These safe havens from the insanity of airports can make all the difference between dreading a layover and snagging a bit of much needed rest and relaxation. Here are five of the most amazing airport lounges for business travelers.
If you’ve ever passed through London’s Heathrow airport, you might have locked eyes on the gilded doors of the British Airways Concorde Room. This is the cream of the crop, the first-class waystation that truly lives up to that billing. Whether you’re on a high stress business trip or a simple stopover at the home office you’ll find everything you need to work or play right at hand. The Concorde Room features a workspace with multiple computer stations, a free printer and a massive LCD screen that anyone can use for presentations on the go. After getting your work out of the way you can hit up a complimentary drink in the dining area or take advantage of a free massage or the many cabanas ready for your napping pleasure.
For those executives who frequently travel between London and New York City, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK Airport will rival anything else you’ll find. It’s absolutely massive, a 10,000 square foot space with a futuristic layout that will make you forget all about the airport just outside the doors. You’ll find a free internet bar with computers ready and waiting for your use and a staff of concierges that can help you charge, print or coordinate whatever you’ve got to manage. Waiters take your food orders from any of the incredible salon chairs and sleeping pods, and you’ll want for nothing.
Virgin Atlantic has clearly made it a mission to offer this sort of service in all the major hubs, so if you’re going through Newark Liberty Airport instead of one of the NYC branches, you’ll find a similarly incredible experience. It’s about half the size of the JFK edition, but is less than a year old. The design is calm and timeless, and the amenities include multimedia stations stocked with DVDs, adapters for any sort of smartphone from any country and private areas to work, sleep and eat as you desire.
Not to be outdone by its British counterparts, you’ll find the highest levels of service available from the Lufthansa First Class Terminal Lounge in the Frankfurt airport. Believe it or not, this lounge is part of a completely private terminal, open only to first class passengers. You’ll check in at the door and be assigned a personal assistant to take you through the entire process, and that’s after valet parking your vehicle. The Lufthansa lounge provides completely private offices, although you might be more inclined to check out the whiskey bar or cigar room for some quality conversation. Tired and dirty after a long flight? Feel free to have a long soak in one of the custom tubs in the quiet bathrooms.
Traveling to Australia is always draining. It’s in the middle of nowhere regardless of where you’re coming from. So check out the International First Lounge offered by Qantas Airlines. The vertical garden, packed with more than 8,000 plants will immediately put you at ease, as will the well-stocked library where you could hear a pin drop. Enjoy a video game or a massage, both on the house, and forget all about the long car service from JFK airport to CT waiting for you when you land back home.