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Exceptional Enclaves

Published: 02/03/2014 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2014 » March 2014 » Special Reports » Home » Features » Home » Archive » 2014 » March 2014 »

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With the airline industry returning to a more favorable economic climate, there’s a new urgency for carriers and airports to boost their premium offerings for frequent travelers – both in the air and on the ground. It’s an investment in cultivating brand loyalty and creating a distinguishing experience in an increasingly competitive environment. 

Thus passengers are continuing to discover new lounges that are the result of innovative thinking, outfitted with state-of-the-art technologies, modern designs and a wider range of services. 

The Bridge Lounge Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Airport 

Location: Level 5, South West concourse and near gate 35 of Hong Kong International Airport. 

Opening date: October 29, 2013

Accessible to: Premium passengers, Marco Polo diamond, silver and gold members, as well as Oneworld emerald and sapphire members.

Design: London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners created a residential design with elements of Japanese bronze, Italian copper, wood and warm-color carpets. The space is separated into two wings, each extending from either side of the 46-foot Carrara marble reception counter set against a luminous wall made of Venetian glass tiles by Fabbian of Italy – a signature of the airline’s lounges. The bamboo-shape shadow pattern adds to it an Asian touch.

Features: On the right hand side is the Long Bar, TV Lounge and The Bakery – a completely new feature unique to this lounge. The left-hand-side section features the Bistro, with the usual business class lounge food and drink offerings; the Coffee Loft with a stationed barista; the IT Zone with 12 workstations and six dual-system iMacs. Also on the left, the Main Lounge with living room-style furnishing; and nine shower suites.

The Bridge is the sixth and latest Cathay Pacific lounge at HKIA, joining The Wing, The Cabin, The Pier, G16 and The Arrival.

Visit cathaypacific.com

A Plaza Premium Lounge outlet also opened in HKIA recently.

 

Plaza Premium Lounge Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru

Location: Airside of Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore, India – one in international departures and the other in domestic departures.

Opening date: The domestic lounge is now open, and the one in international departures is scheduled to open this Spring.

Accessible to: Another of Plaza Premium’s pay-per-use properties, the lounges are open to any passenger with entry fees starting at RP1000 ($16) plus tax for two hours.

Design: Created by Australian Mitchel Squires, the lounges showcase Bangalore’s reputation as “The Garden City,” offering glass ceilings, lush greenery and timber furnishings.

Features: A selection of food and beverages, a seating area, shower facilities, a business center and a spa and massage area. In addition to the two post-security lounges, Plaza Premium is also opening a Day Hotel located landside. The property will be Bengaluru’s first transit hotel service. Open 24 hours, the 65,700-square-foot property will have rooms with a shower facilities, beds, WiFi, TV and an intercom system. Rooms can be rented overnight or for a number of hours – pricing details have yet to be set.

For details visit plaza-network.com

A Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow is also penned to open next year.


Asiana Business Lounge Incheon International Airport

Location: Past security on the 4th floor located in the west wing.

Opening date: The newly expanded Business Lounge addition opened Oct. 24, 2013.

Accessible to: Asiana and Star Alliance Business Class Passengers, Diamond Plus Members, Asiana Club Diamond Members. Asiana also offers the lounges in Korea on a pay-as-you-go basis, so long as you’re on flights operated by Asiana Airlines. Fee is KRW 30,000 ($28).

Design: It took about three months to complete the addition to the existing lounge, doubling the size to nearly 35,000 square feet and bringing the total capacity to 456 seats making it Incheon’s largest lounge. The bright modern style is reminiscent of a library further emphasizing the space’s luxury feel.

Features: At the entrance are images of Korea’s traditional buildings and a video wall with a production by the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation. Individual seating areas are equipped with lounge chairs nestled among brightly lighted bookshelves complementing large windows overlooking airport operations. Amenities including dining options, sleeping rooms and massaging machines plus showers, WiFi and a fully equipped business center.

For more information visit flyasiana.com


Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver International Airport

Location: International Departures Pier D, directly after security screening

Opening date: The lounge has just reopened following a five-month renovation.

Accessible to: Any passenger for a fee. Plaza Premium lounges are among an increasing number of independent, pay-as-you-go (or, “pay-in,” as they’re known in some parts of the world) facilities – a phenomenon that’s becoming more common in airport terminals around the world. Single lounge visits start at $35 including tax, for two hours.

Design: The newly opened flagship lounge was created by designer Kinney Chan of KCA. Measuring 6,800 square feet, the facility is the largest pay-per-use lounge in Canada and can seat about 180 guests. It is divided into several zones to provide travelers with a “range of different experiences and choices.” 

Features: Upon entering the main area, guests are greeted by a variety of seating configurations. The lounge area offers comfortable sofa chairs for those travelling alone, along with communal tables for larger parties. Large windows provide panoramic views of the runway, while computer workstations, free WiFi and power sockets are readily available throughout.

There are food stations that serve hot food, coffee and snacks, including the lounge’s signature Fish Ball Noodle Soup. Other features include a private resting area, a VIP room, two shower rooms with full amenities and three nap rooms.


Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles International Airport 

Location: Level 6 of Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Opening date: September 25, 2013

Accessible to: All First, Business and Star Alliance Gold Card passengers departing on Star Alliance member airlines from the terminal.

Design: Architectural firm Gensler has designed a décor that is “inspired by a contemporary interpretation of modernist LA architecture of the 1950s and 1960s.” Opened at the end of September 2013, the lounge has a dramatic entrance accessed either by the “Time Tower,” a giant 72-foot high LED-wrapped elevator shaft showing specially-made interactive multi-media videos, or an escalator which gradually reveals a glowing wrap-around wall leading to the reception desk.

Features: The 18,000-square-foot lounge has been created both to provide a haven from the airport, while taking advantage of all the new features of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). An open air terrace overlooking the Hollywood Hills, fire pits, a water wall. While there are quiet areas such as a study, a library, and even a media “den,” there is also a balcony looking out towards the giant windows over the new west Gates where A380 superjumbos arrive and depart, and huge interactive multimedia LED screens provide entertainment for waiting passengers.

The lounge is particularly useful for those transferring on flights, with eight shower rooms, free WiFi and printing, fax and copy services on request. Traditional power outlets are supplemented by USB power ports to recharge mobile devices, and tablet computers are available on request for use in the lounge.

The lounge is managed by Star Alliance member carrier Air New Zealand, which currently is still in Terminal 2 rather than in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, although apparently a move will happen in 2014 when its Koru Lounge in Terminal 2 will close.

Eight Star Alliance member carriers operate out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, including

 ANA

 Asiana Airlines

 Eva Air

 Lufthansa

Visit staralliance.com


The Haven by JetQuay Singapore Changi Airport

Location: The only pay-in lounge before immigration at Changi on level one of the arrival hall of Terminal 3.

Accessible to: Passengers who are in transit, arriving and have cleared custom, as well as departing passengers prior to check-in. It’s another of the growing number of pay-in lounges.

Design: The Haven by JetQuay measures 6,000 square feet, and features wood and stone finishes that have been infused with lighter hues to create a harmonious and cosy atmosphere. 

Features: The Haven by JetQuay is operated by Worldwide Flight Services, and offers shower and nap facilities, as well as meeting rooms, sitting lounge area, a food and beverage counter and a business center. Sofas and armchairs are spread across the sitting area, and there is even a dedicated play zone for children.

The dining offerings include hot meals and light refreshments which can be selected from an all-day menu. There are TVs with cable channels, as well as numerous reading materials from global newspaper and magazine brands. In addition, there are 18 nap rooms that can each accommodate one adult and child, and two meeting rooms.

The “lounge package” can be purchased for S$30 ($24) for adults and S$18 ($14) for children, and includes two hour’s use of the facilities, with access to the food and beverage options and showers. Nap service is available for a minimum of three hours (S$50/ $39) and can be extended at an hourly rate (S$13/ $13).

For more information visit thehaven.co.sg


SkyTeam Lounge Istanbul Atatürk International Airport 

Location: Airside in the International Terminal near Gate 224

Opening date: July 3, 2013

Accessible to: Elite Plus, first and business class customers, serving all ten alliance members flying to the Turkish city.

Design: The 3,767-square-foot lounge seats up to 90 passengers. With a modern design, SkyTeam’s signature bronze pendant lighting and sleek, curved furnishings, the new lounge is in keeping with the flagship venue at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4.

Features: The SkyTeam Lounge offers a range of services including a business center with printers, free WiFi, a relaxation zone with an oxygen bar, a bar, a buffet offering a selection of cuisine, over 70 electric power sockets, and a reading area.

For more information visit skyteam.com


Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Atatürk International Airport 

Turkish Airlines has expanded and redesigned its departures lounge at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. The facility has added nearly 26,000 square feet, adding a second floor that connects to the original space via a spiral staircase.

In the original lounge area, which includes a children’s playground, library, prayer room and teleconference section, there is now an enlarged rest and shower space and additional massage beds. Facilities also include free WiFi, meals and snacks.

Accessible to: Miles and Smiles Elite, Elite Plus, Star Alliance Gold Card Members and Business Class passengers. 

In addition, last year Turkish Airlines opened its new arrivals lounge at Ataturk. 

The lounge measures 2,700 square feet and offers showers and changing rooms. Facilities also include food, newspapers and magazines, WiFi and staff to iron clothes. The arrival lounge is designed to welcome passengers on morning arrivals who are too early to check into their hotels. 

Only arriving Business Class passengers and Economy or Comfort Class passengers with Elite Plus membership have access.

Priority Pass

Launched in 1992, Priority Pass today has an expanding network of 600 airport lounges in 300 cities around the world. The lounges offer all the basic amenities travelers expect, including WiFi, food and beverage buffets, shower facilities, beds and workstations. Recent additions to the network include 12 lounges in China, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

These include two lounges in Shenzhen-Baoan International Airport – the Domestic Guest Lounge in the southwest wing, level four of the international terminal, while the International Guest Lounge is in the southeast wing on level three.

Two lounges run by Menzies Aviation have also joined the network. The Umphafa Lounge in Terminal 1 of Durban-King Shaka International Airport can be found after immigration on the third floor. The Mashonzha Lounge is located in Terminal A of Johannesburg-Tambo International Airport.

Other new lounges available to Priority Pass members include the Marhaba Lounge in Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport and the Dnata Lounge in Terminal 3 of Singapore-Changi Airport.

Priority Pass is a membership-only arrangement. The three types of membership are: standard, which costs $99 a year plus an additional cost of $27 per use; standard plus membership ($249), which offers members 10 free uses of any lounge within a year, with members charged at the standard rate of $27 from the 11th visit onwards; and prestige membership, which costs $399 annually and gives guests unlimited use of all lounges for a year.

Priority Pass has recently partnered with Hilton to allow HHonors points to be redeemed for Priority Pass subscriptions.


READY FOR TAKEOFF

Qantas Lounge Hong Kong International Airport

Location: Where the existing Qantas Business Lounge is located, on Level 5 (entrance via Level 6, opposite Gate 15). 

Opening date: March 2014. 

Accessible to: Qantas First and Business customers, Qantas Platinum, and Gold Frequent Flyers, Chairman’s Lounge members, Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire customers and their guests, and Qantas Club members and their guests.

Design: Contemporary interiors reflecting Hong Kong’s “diversity, color and luxury lifestyle.”

Features: Panoramic views, dim sum dumplings served on yum cha trolleys and Asian flavor lounge menu by Qantas consulting chef Neil Perry, and classics from his Rockpool and Spice Temple restaurants, a feature bar with signature cocktails, wines, spirits and barista service and a family zone.

Visit qantas.com.au

Also next year, Qantas will add an LA venue to their lounge portfolio. 

 

Finnair Premium Lounge Helsinki Airport

Location: Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, next to the current Finnair Lounge near Gate 36 of the non-Schengen area.

Opening date: Spring 2014

Accessible to: Finnair Plus Platinum and Gold members and their guests, and also frequent flyer cardholders with equivalent status at another Oneworld airline.

Design: Helsinki-based design house dSign Vertti Kivi & Co has chosen a simple Scandinavian style.

Features: The 219-seat lounge will have shower suites, a Finnish sauna and a screen displaying images of Finland’s nature.

Visit finnair.com






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