Inside the world’s most exclusive airport lounges

Thought the golden age of travel was over? Think again - you'll never want to leave these glamorous airport lounges.

You know it all too well: never-ending security lines, restless kids and the last-minute rush to the boarding gate.

For the vast majority of us, a visit to the airport is far from tempting. But for a small few - the top-end travellers  - the airport provides luxury and glamour to start your holiday in style.

The height of decadence and pampering, with champagne in crystal, exclusive spas and private cinemas, the golden age of the airport lounge is truly upon us.

Passports out - here are a handful of the most impressive airport lounges bringing the glamour back to travelling

Qantas International First Lounge

International Airport, Sydney

With classic Australian flair, the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney International Airport has been turning heads for years. With a design scheme creatively directed by one of the country’s top design talents - Marc Newson - even the tiniest of details has been painstakingly designed to exude luxury and comfort.

Bright and spacious, forget everything you know about the airport experience as you relax in Australia’s busiest airport.

A deluxe spa ensures you board your flight restored, but the lounge’s crowning glory is the fine dining menu by the country’s leading culinary talent Neil Perry (that’s right, of Rockpool fame).

Enjoy the finest seasonal produce the region has to offer while you chase it all down with some equally fine Australian wines.

Next time you rack up enough flyer miles to visit the Qantas First Class Lounge, ask for the 'unlisted breakfast'. According to the lounge’s senior concierge, this secret item on the menu is a bit of an ‘inside’ scoop, known only to an elite few!

Al Safwa Lounge

Doha International Airport, Qatar

Undoubtedly one of the most exclusive and magnificent lounges in the world, the Qatar Airways First Class Al Safwa Lounge is everything you might expect and more!

As you enter the cavernous space with its soaring ceilings, cast your eyes around to soak in the ultimate in contemporary high-end design. You’re eyes aren’t deceiving you - there's a suspended waterfall!

Flight delayed? No need to fear - spend entire hours in the lounge’s dedicated luxury shopping areas, stop by the critically-acclaimed restaurant or bathe in your own private Jacuzzi.

Couple this opulence with an unsurpassed level of service (patrons are individually escorted onto their flight by the very same person who greeted them upon entry), and Al Safwa Lounge will make you want to tack on a few more hours (or, indeed, days!) onto your layover.

Cathay Pacific Pier Business Class Lounge

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific's Pier Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong International Airport is a total sensory profusion.

Walk right into the exclusive teahouse, renowned worldwide for an expertly curated menu of premium Chinese teas.

With an interactive tea menu, patrons are given aromatic previews of each available selection, accompanied by tailored instructions to ensure that every blend is brewed to its highest potential.

After recharging with a restorative cup of tea (or many!), fourteen shower suites kitted-out in dove grey marble, gold tapware and top-shelf beauty products await.

Relaxation rooms and a noodle bar are also provided to ensure you’ll never experience one iota of stress in one super bustling airport.

Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge

Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul

Big, bold and oh-so-luxurious, the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge is equally one of the most impressive and largest private passenger lounges the world-over.

Stretched across two stories of Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, this lounge is one of the few that can confidently cater to every traveller, young and old.

Recently refurbished, this mammoth luxury lounge is capable of holding 2,000 passengers at any one time - whether they choose to sink a few shots in the billiards hall, while away some hours in the library, or spend some time in the private cinema.

Classical pianists and jazz musicians provide live music via the two grand pianos on both storeys, while wearied travellers sip cocktails and indulge on mezze at the bar. For those looking for even more tranquillity, roaming masseurs offer complimentary massages throughout.

British Airways Concorde Room

Heathrow International Airport, London

The next time you touch down in Heathrow, keep your eyes peeled for an entrance nicknamed 'Millionaire’s Door'.

Aptly christened in true British style, behind the door awaits crystal chandeliers, soft golden light, stylishly contemporary furniture, little hints of the old world, and butler-ish bartenders.

Praised for its fine-dining and enormous selection of champagnes and wines, make sure you also take some time to inspect the design scheme inspired by top five-star boutique hotels.

If you’re still feeling a little dusty after enjoying the ultimate in posh pampering, you can always check yourself into the Elemis Spa for a facial, combining innovative sonic cleansing and high-potency actives to fight the effects of flying.

An oft-unnoticed wink for which you’ll need to keep an eye out, however, is the seating in the Concorde Room’s executive offices. Lifted right from the original Concorde supersonic jet that is now unfortunately decommissioned, enjoy a piece of English industrial innovation few have had the fortune to try.

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