travel

First-Class Comfort Makes These VIP Lounges Worth the Wait

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Have you ever enjoyed your stay in a VIP lounge so much that you were in no hurry to leave? Our favorite VIP airline lounges take the work out of travel with perks like fine dining, complimentary drinks and snacks, Wi-Fi, private work spaces, private shower rooms and plenty of comfortable seating options. With this kind of service, travelers can lounge in luxury before the vacation begins. Bon voyage!

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge. Photo courtesy of American Express

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CENTURION LOUNGE
American Express, Multiple locations

Centurion: The commander of a century (company) in the ancient Roman army. The ever-expanding lounges—accessible to select American Express cardholders—live up to Centurion’s mighty definition. After opening the first Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas in 2013, several other U.S. locations—and one location in Hong Kong—have popped up, commanding the latest in luxury for international travelers. The latest of these lounges is slated to open in LAX later this year, with rumored New York JFK and Denver International Airport locations to join the club in 2019. If the LAX location is anything like the others, guests can expect top-notch amenities like fresh, seasonally-inspired fare developed in partnership with renowned local chefs; signature cocktails, premium spirits and curated wines; designated work spaces; shower rooms; spa services, TVs, magazines and newspapers; conference rooms; luggage lockers; high-speed Wi-Fi; a multitude of seating options; and even Member Services Professionals to assist with travel itineraries, reservations and room requests.

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CONCORDE ROOM
British Airways, Heathrow Airport, London, England

With two locations—JFK in New York and Heathrow Airport in London—British Airways offers the best of proper British design to first-class travelers. Renovated in 2017, the Concorde Room’s flagship London location brings modern amenities and elegant style to Heathrow Terminal 5. Highlights of the reno include iconic furniture that’s been freshly re-upholstered, mobile phone chargers, and hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings. A large terrace overlooking the runway gives guests space to relax on lavish sofas and loungers. Other amenities include cozy spaces aplenty, a swanky bar, and an à la carte menu from Executive Head Chefs Frank Coughlin and Errol Figueroa.

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LUFTHANSA FIRST CLASS TERMINAL
Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany

At Lufthansa’s first-class lounge in Frankfurt, the motto is: “If you must travel, travel in first-class style.” From the moment travelers venture into the lounge, they are greeted by their own personal assistant to help secure a smooth airport experience. “Relax” chairs, two designated quiet rooms, daybeds, four private shower rooms (one featuring a bath), and a cigar lounge provide the perfect opportunity to relax during a hectic day of traveling. Lufthansa dining options include cuisine by Michelin-starred chefs—buffet and à la carte options are available—and a bar that features more than 130 different whiskies (good luck choosing). For those who lean more towards work than play, the lounge also features five separate office units equipped with all the necessary amenities needed to get down to business.

You may also like: Best in First Class Travel

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QANTAS FIRST- AND BUSINESS-CLASS LOUNGES
Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California

The Australian airline, Qantas, has an entire fleet of upscale lounges, spanning from Sydney to Singapore. While all locations are worth noting, we love the LAX lounge for its magical powers that are strong enough to make you forget you’re at one of the most stressful airports in the world. Here you’ll find a white-marble-filled oasis sprawled across two lounges (first-class and business). First-class amenities include scrumptious restaurant dining, lounge dining, bar service, baristas, private showers, wireless internet and complementary newspapers and magazines. While the business-class lounge has slightly fewer amenities, it does feature an indoor fireplace surrounded by a large circular seating area that is truly iconic.

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