You won’t believed, this is airport lounges

Airport lounges offer much more than merely a chance to escape the crowds and indulge in free food and drink. These days, cinemas, spas, Jacuzzis and swimming pools ensure you can start your holiday in enviable style. Choose your pick from our top 5 guide to ultra-cool airport lounges.

London: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from London Heathrow and you will immediately be whisked off to a separate check-in and security, meaning more time to play in Virgin’s hedonistic flagship Clubhouse.

The comfortable leather Eames chairs scattered around the lounge are perfect to conduct some last-minute business from. However, this lounge mainly belongs to the big kids. In ‘The Den’, passengers can amuse themselves with the retro video games, pool table or multi-screen cinema. For a more relaxing waiting time, you can settle yourself on a daybed underneath a dramatic skylight in the hidden loft bar or pamper yourself in the lounge’s Jacuzzi, St Tropez tanning booth or Bumble and Bumble hair salon.

The United Arab Emirates is famed for its luxury, and Etihad’s Diamond First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi Airport doesn’t let it down. Leave the children to enjoy themselves under the supervision of a nanny in the nursery, complete with beanbags, books and toys, before you go off to explore.

Enjoy a complimentary facial or massage in the Six Senses spa or relax in the cigar lounge with a specially chosen cognac or armagnac. There is a fully stocked library available for any avid bookworms, and an à la carte restaurant offering five-star dining. There are also two beds available in the lounge if you just want to catch forty winks before your flight.

Ibiza partygoers are famous for their crazy morning-to-evening revelling, and now the party doesn’t have to end at the airport. Spanish concessionaires Áreas have teamed up with dance music mogul, David Guetta, to create the ‘F*** Me I’m Famous’ club lounge in Ibiza Airport.

A vivid, fuchsia-lit walkway tempts travellers into the modern lounge where the DJ booth and dancefloor take pride of place. Live music, food and lighting have all been specially choreographed to fit the ambience of the hour. At 6am, enjoy a light breakfast in the Ibizan dawn lighting whilst settling back to ambient, chill-out music. At night, get on the dancefloor to move to some electro-house whilst sipping on a cocktail.

Awesome Airports

Most airports feel like air passenger purgatory but visit any of these five architecturally cool airports – featuring everything from an indoor urban park to award-winning structures – and you won’t want to step on the plane.

Beyond passport control at Schiphol Airport lies a sprawling space for taking in nature’s sights and sounds – Airport Park. This indoor/outdoor lounge was designed to look like an urban park with ivy-covered furniture, tree logs masquerading as seating. Travellers can relax with organic treats from Park Café at one of the picnic tables on the outdoor terrace, listening to the sounds of animals and cyclists.  Airport Park isn’t only appealing to travellers’ tired eyes, but to the eco-friendly. LED lighting and fibre optics cables powered by natural light illuminate the park. Those with mobile phones that need recharging can put their travel-stiffened legs to use by going for a spin on a bicycle that produces energy.

The architecture in the international terminal of Beijing’s airport is a mix of ultra-modern and traditional Chinese elements. Designed by London firm, Foster + Partners (architects of London’s Gherkin and the German Reichstag parliament building), construction on the terminal was completed in four years – breakneck speed – just in time to welcome the international community to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Inside, travellers are sure to marvel at the massive, curved ceilings and a colourful Chinese pagoda. Unusually for a Foster-designed building, colour is playfully employed, with touches of red representing Chinese culture and traditions.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were going on a journey to outer space than an international flight when you arrive at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport. The railway station at Lyon’s airport looks as though it is about to set off into outer space with its futuristic design, as the structure splits off into two identical steel arches with a triangular peak resembling more of spaceship rather than a port for high-speed trains. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava the station was completed in 1994. Calatrava has won numerous awards and his designs projects include Valencia’s controversial City of Arts and Sciences, the sports complex designed for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and another amazing airport, Sondica, in Bilbao, Spain.

The whimsical design of Barajas Airport’s Terminal Four welcomes travellers to Spain’s vibrant capital. The exterior and interior ceilings are adorned with over 200,000sq m (2,100,000sq ft) of laminated bamboo strips to create a wave-like effect but most striking is a 1 km-long (0.6 miles) row of pillars along the terminal’s central pier, each one painted a slightly different shade to form an eye-popping rainbow of graduated colour. The London-based architectural firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, designed the space by deriving inspiration from previous work at London Heathrow and in 2006 it won the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture, the only airport to do so.

At the foot of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains lies the enormous Denver International Airportwhere unusual and sustainable features make up its incredible architecture. The striking Jeppesen Terminal building designed by Curtis Fentress Architects features a canopied roof, made out of Teflon coated in fibreglass, and is structured into triangular peaks to resemble the mountaintops, Native American tepees and western settlers’ wagons that have been integral to Denver’s geography and history. The Teflon roof can withstand heavy winds and snow, but is light enough to let in 10% of solar rays and reflect 90% of radiation. And for extra eco-friendly points, Denver also has the largest airport solar panel farm in the nation.

Great styles on your suitcases

Nothing can be more embarrassing on holiday than plucking a scruffy-looking suitcase off the airport carousel. Bag one of these stylish cabin suitcases however and you’ll be the envy of your fellow passengers.

Antler’s Liquis International Cabin Suitcase may be a bit of a mouthful to say, but it’s ideal for a short-haul holiday. Weighing in at only 2kg, this lightweight item of luggage is the perfect airplane carry-on. The Liquis International looks pretty eye-catching too; we love its sculpted, waterfall-inspired exterior. And if you wish to introduce a burst of colour to your life, the suitcase is available in several bright colours including red, silver, blue and purple.

This chic, mock crock wheel tote by Jasper Conran at Tripp is extremely smart, glamorous and practical. The bag features a main compartment with a laptop sleeve and padlock, plus a handy separate section for storing files. It also has a neat front pocket for easy organisation. With its distinctly modern look and feel, this will turn heads wherever you travel.

You’ll have no trouble spotting this bold, purple-coloured Alba suitcase from Carlton amid the ubiqitious black rollers at the airport. Not only is this one stand-out accessory, but its elegant, curved shell will undoubtedly draw admirers. Perfect for a quick getaway, the Alba’s top and side carry handles and wheels have been designed to handle all urban challenges. And once you arrive at your final destination, relish the joy of unpacking thanks to Alba’s nifty interior compartments, including an integrated waterproof pouch, to keep you organised and stress-free.

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