These lounges signal the evolution of the airport sanctuary.
The Ultra-Premium Hideout
Etihad First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3
Free to first-class fliers and Etihad Guest Platinum members and their guests.
Modeled on a private members’ club, the sprawling lounge and spa has 16 zones, including a Six Senses spa. Guests flying in the Residence—Etihad’s first-class cabin—get their own VIP area with a private dining room and a dedicated Savoy-trained butler.
The restaurant serves Arabian, Indian, and international dishes along with a five-course Emirati tasting menu developed by chefs from Mezlai, at the Emirates Palace hotel. Try the lounge’s signature mocktail, the Abu Dhabi, a cold-brew coffee infused with cardamom and sprayed with rose water. There’s also a fitness room, cigar lounge, salon, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room with Poltrona Frau leather recliners, prayer room, and children’s playroom.
Your Amex Gets You In
The Centurion Lounge at Houston Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal D
Free for American Express Platinum cardholders and Centurion members; $50 for other Amex cardholders.
The chain of seven lounges from American Express opened its newest location in Houston earlier this year.
Free meals from chef Justin Yu, owner of Houston’s vegetable-centric Oxheart, and complimentary wine and cocktails from mixologist Jim Meehan, plus charging stations, computers and printers, shower suite, conference rooms, flat-screen TVs, and children’s playroom.
Brussels Airlines’ Suite at Brussels Airport’s Terminal B
Free for Star Alliance Gold members and business-class travelers on Brussels Airlines, or accessible with the purchase of a Flex & Fast ticket ($28).
Open to passengers traveling outside the Schengen Zone, the Suite was given a major overhaul earlier this year to increase capacity; it can accommodate up to 160 people during peak travel. The contemporary, minimalist décor—bleached-wood furniture, glass walls, and design references to Magritte—extends throughout four separate zones for dining, working, relaxation, and reading.
Cured meat and cheese bar, Belgian beer on tap, extensive multi-language newsstand.
Pay As You Go
No. 1 Clubrooms at London’s Gatwick Airport North and South Terminals
Open to all fliers for a $51 entry fee; reservations recommended (no1 lounges.com).
This chain of airport lounges has locations in four U.K. airports. This year it opened its best lounge yet: the Clubroom, which has the inspired look of a posh boutique hotel.
Complimentary dining, including chicken tagine, meze, and finger sandwiches; premium spirits and cream tea; access to premium security lane; Sony PlayStation. Children not permitted.