Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Travel: T&C Travel, The World's Most Elite Airport Lounges

Passengers Waiting in these Lounges Might Find Themselves Wishing for Delays

By Julie Earle-Levine
The Qantas lounge in Sydney, AustraliaThese days, flying first-class is all about what goes on before the plane takes off, or so it would seem at some of the world's most elite airport lounges.Qantas

Sydney

The look: Created by Australian designer Marc Newson, the 22,066-square-foot lounge resembles the wing of a plane. Curvilinear oak partitions break out ten zones with chocolate- and cream-colored furnishings.

Details: The dining room, with its open kitchen and tables designed by designed by Cappellini, feels like a cool Sydney café. (The menu is devised by chef Neil Perry of Sydney's famed Rockpool restaurant.)

Who: The business crowd, well-dressed families and young fashion designers en route to New York and London for shows.

Services: Hosts will meet you curbside and speed you through customs. They can also book hard-to-get restaurant reservations anywhere in the world.

Superlatives: A sublime day spa using Payot Paris products. The complimentary facials and massages are given in rooms with vertical gardens designed by botanist Patrick Blanc.

—Julie Earle-Levine