Some airports are tapping into a voyeuristic curiosity: peeking inside an urbanite’s living space. Copenhagen’s CPH Apartment is a passenger lounge modeled after a luxury Danish flat, complete with living room, kitchen and library. Helsinki’s Almost@home lounge is an artful diorama of Finnish designs, furnishings and crafts where visitors can chill out and even purchase the coveted items for their own abodes. And at the airport in Ibiza, Spain’s isle of partying, travelers can dance their layover away at a new all-night club with guest DJs and various music genres. Crashing hard on your flight home is almost guaranteed.
Rest, relax, recharge
On long-haul flights, international travelers in transit no longer have to settle for spine-bending naps in unforgiving chairs and splash baths in the bathroom sink. Nor do coach passengers have to suffer, or envy higher-tier passengers, because they fly budget.
As a nod to the rent-a-room trend, Minute Suites recently set up shop in Atlanta and Philadelphia, providing tired travelers with a private space to catch some shut-eye (see story below). Yotel, the U.K.-based hotel chain, provides futuristic sleeping pods in London Heathrow and Gatwick and in Amsterdam’s Schiphol. At Tokyo’s Haneda, travelers can weave some dreams in any of 10 nap rooms and revive in a shower room. Beijing, Zurich, Hong Kong and Frankfurt also have soap-and-rinse facilities.
Singapore pumps up the pampering with a variety of sleeping quarters, such as recliners in the Rainforest Lounge and budget-style rooms at the in-terminal Transit Hotels. Visitors can also feel human again at the 24-hour gym (price includes shower, basic toiletries and a non-alcoholic beverage), the Balinese-theme rooftop pool, and the spa and salon. Tired legs receive special treatment with free calf massages.
XpresSpa, a beautification chain, is becoming as common as Rosetta Stone kiosks, with locations in more than 20 airports in the United States and Europe. San Francisco provides a studio, the Yoga Room, for sun salutations and downward dogs (mats and felt Zen rock garden included), as does Dallas-Fort Worth.
Borrowing a page from elite airline lounges, a growing crop of sanctuaries is supplying such R&R fixtures as buffets, bars, free WiFi and cushy couches with TVs and piles of reading materials. The new breed, however, invites everyone (including lowly economy fliers) inside. No. 1 Travellers, a luxe retreat with such amenities as sleeping cabins, a movie theater, a game room and a spa, has expanded to several locations in four U.K. airports. Abu Dhabi’s Al Reem Lounge also welcomes walk-ins desperate for a shower and a snack.