By: Lauren Durden
These airports have the best amenities, services and dining options in the world of travel.
The dreaded layover is something all travelers have dealt with at one point or another in their journeys. In a perfect world, you would always get upgraded to first class, there would never be a screaming child in the seat next to you and you would always fly direct – never having to endure long layovers. However, sometimes you truly can enjoy the journey, not just the destination. The following airports prove that the layover can be just as relaxing and luxurious as your next vacation locale. So, if you’re looking for a little extra pampering, entertainment or fun during your next layover, book your next flight through one of these stopover points.
London’s Heathrow Airport keeps things very British with a fully stocked, 11,000 square foot Harrods store, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a new terminal named after the Queen with new shops and 17 new restaurants. If your luggage seems to be lost already and you’re in need of a few outfits, Heathrow offers complimentary personal shoppers to assist you in your purchases. If you’re in need of a suit, look no further than the Thomas Pink store where you can purchase one, have it pressed and packed into a flight-ready package.
Of course, no layover in London would be complete without a cup of tea. Take respite in the Sofitel Hotel, located in terminal 5, and tuck into their afternoon tea service offering diners finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, pastries, cakes and a bevy of tea options.
Zurich Airport – ZHR
After a massive renovation in 2011 the Zurich airport has gone from a sparse airport to a sprawling hub. With rooftop terraces, cell phone charging stations, and multiple areas for long haul travelers to sleep and shower, the airport’s facelift has taken it to the top of traveler’s lists. The airport even has bikes to rent, in case you need to stretch your legs after a long flight.
Singapore’s Changi International Airport is an oasis for worn down travelers. The free movie theaters, Bloomberg business lounge, free wifi and entertainment zones with video games might entice you, but it’s the relaxing amenities that make this airport a standout. There are designated quiet zones that are free from airport announcements, nap pods to catch up on your beauty rest, a rooftop pool and even a butterfly garden for some added peace and serenity during your layover.
Trying to make it through a layover that is longer than five hours and need to get away from the airport? Try a free 2-hour city tour and experience a little of what the city has to offer beyond your boarding gate.
This airport offers amenities not even seen at some hotels. The Hong Kong International Airport is home to the world’s first airport IMAX movie theater, a nine hole golf course and comfortable travel lounges with showers. If you get famished waiting for your next flight, you can always sample the fare at one of the Michelin starred restaurant offshoots, located throughout the airport.
Seoul’s Incheon Airport – ICN
If you think nine hole golf courses are as good as it gets, all you need to do is take a short flight from Hong Kong to your next luxe layover in Seoul. Seoul Incheon Airport boasts an 18 hole golf course, two movie theaters, an ice skating rink, a Korean cultural center, and seven gardens where stressed travelers can decompress. Need a little more relaxation? This airport also has amenities where you can get a massage and areas where weary travelers can shower for free.
While the destination may be the focus of your travel excitement, don’t overlook the possibilities for a little extra entertainment and enjoyment during your next layover. Whether you’re seeking some shut eye, ready for retail therapy, or looking to escape the hustle and bustle of your terminal, these airports have it all.