Five Best: First-class Airline Lounges

Fine food, foot massages: Phillip Wellman checks out where to kick off a long-haul flight in style

Lufthansa's lounge at Frankfurt is designed to alleviate air travel stress. The kitchen provides freshly prepared dishes and relaxation rooms have sound-absorbing walls and daybeds. And when it's time for take-off, first class customers are driven to their aircraft in a Mercedes, Porsche or limousine.

Lufthansa (020-8750 3500; www.lufthansa.com). First class returns from Heathrow to Shanghai from £7,189. Lounge access is only available on long-haul flights.

Golden Lounge, Kuala Lumpur

This lounge is big. So big, in fact, that it has both a glass-enclosed "rainforest" and a river running through it. With so much space, even on its busiest days it feels spacious. The lounge features award-winning massage chairs and foot massagers and there is even a nursery with babysitting services so parents can enjoy everything on offer.

Malaysia Airlines (020-7341 2000; www.malaysiaairlines.com). First class returns from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur start at £3,430, including lounge access.

Virgin Clubhouse, San Francisco

This lounge is a futuristic domain with an unrivalled view across the Bay. Coloured glass panels move along the outside wall reflecting patterns inside, and five rotating monitors show digital art. There are laptop access points throughout and a business facility caters to those who can't escape work. The centrepiece of the Clubhouse - named best public space in the 2001 FX International Interior Design Awards - is the bar made from glass, where passengers enjoy complimentary drinks and food.

Virgin Atlantic (08705 747 747; www.virgin-atlantic.com). First class returns from Heathrow to San Francisco start at £2,319, including lounge access.

The Wing and the Pier, Hong Kong

Designed by John Pawson and overlooking Norman Foster's terminal, The Wing features the world's longest airport bar. The Wing and the Pier, which opened in 1999 and 2001 respectively, offer several areas for dining including silver service options. Five uniquely designed cabana spa rooms with enormous bathtubs are one of the lounge's most popular attractions.

Cathay Pacific (020-8834 8888; www.cathaypacific.com). First class returns from Heathrow to Hong Kong start at £4,397, including lounge access.

British Airways New York JFK

Designed by Kelly Hoppen, the lounge mirrors her onboard cabins. Inspired by Rolls Royce, they feature Connolly leather, walnut-effect furniture and plenty of velvet. The latest addition is a Molton Brown spa, offering a wide-range of complimentary treatments. The "Supper Room" has menus created by British Michelin-starred chefs and a wine list devised by Jancis Robinson.

British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.britishairways.com). First class returns from Heathrow to New York JFK start at £3,905, including lounge access.

Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn