A selection of the world’s best airport lounges have been revealed by independent lounge membership program, Priority Pass, in its annual Lounge of the Year Awards. This year’s winners include lounges in Jamaica, Estonia, Malta and Quebec, as well as Singapore and Dubai.
Now in its thirteenth year, the awards are based on 72,000 ratings by Priority Pass members and recognize airport lounges offering the best service, experience, refreshments and business facilities. Priority Pass is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and operates the world’s largest lounge access programme, with over 1300 airport lounges in 600 cities.
This year’s overall winner is Club Kingston at Jamaica’s Kingston Norman Manley International Airport. With a decidedly Jamaican flair, the lounge features artwork and décor sourced from across the island, as well as local food and drink including traditional Jamaican patties and pea soup – all served to a gentle soundtrack of reggae music. A bartender even creates signature cocktails, including a ‘Club Kingston Classic’, ‘Priority Passion’ and ‘VIP Splash’. The lounge also offers excellent facilities to support business travellers on the move, including a conference facility and dedicated work stations.
Tallinn Airport Business Lounge at the Lennart Meri Airport Tallin, Estonia has been crowned Best Lounge in Europe by Priority Pass members, closely followed by La Valette Club in Malta International Airport. Tallinn’s Airport Business Lounge is designed to give travelers the feeling that they are waiting for their flight in the comfort of their own living room and aims to live up to the airport’s promise of being “the world’s cosiest airport”. Stand-out features include a massage chair and sleeping pods; a library where travellers can select an in-flight read; a curated selection of local food, beer, wine and spirits; a warming fireplace, and even an outdoor terrace – all of which ensured the lounge drew the plaudits of Priority Pass Members throughout 2017.
Shelly-Ann Fung, Chief Executive Officer of VIP Attractions, which owns and operates Club Kingston, says: “Over the last six years, we have made significant and innovative contributions to the travel experience for guests entering and leaving Jamaica. Not only does Club Kingston offer innovative design and extensive facilities that travelers expect of first-class lounges in the world’s finest airports, but it also showcases the best of Jamaica through cultural designs, local brands, and a visual journey through displays, sports and music.”
This year’s overall winners are:
- Global: Club Kingston at Kingston Norman Manley International
- Europe: Tallinn Airport Business Lounge at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport
- Africa & Middle East: Ahlan Business Class Lounge at Dubai International
- Asia Pacific: SATS Premier Lounge at Singapore Changi International
- North America: Salon VIP Lounge, Québec Jean Lesage International
Justin Banon, Director of Priority Pass adds: “Travelers increasingly know what they want, and are not willing to settle for less. As a result, we’re seeing increased investment and recognition of the value of lounges from airports, airlines, financial institutions and other organisations worldwide. This is great news for business and leisure travellers, as it means a wider choice of venues offering exceptional service, refreshments and unique facilities to meet different travellers’ needs. During 2017, we’ve seen this reflected in our member feedback, with lounges in different destinations recognised for their service, food and drink and business facilities.”
The Club MCO at Orlando International Airport in Florida was ranked top for Best Business Facilities, with a ‘Productivity Zone’, designed to help guests conduct business calls in private and provide a quiet space to work, proving very popular with travellers. The International Business Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport was also ‘Highly Commended’ in this category. Both lounges received further recognition in their respective regional awards, with The Club MCO ‘Highly Commended’ in North America, while the Dubai International Business Class Lounge was named top lounge within the Middle East & Africa.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge in Washington has been recognised for offering the Best Quality Refreshments. Its signature dishes of lamb with baked eggplant and Mediterranean salmon, followed by Turkish tea or coffee and fresh baklava is very popular with travelers. The Club BWI in Baltimore has been recognized for the exceptional service and attitude of its lounge staff.
The SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 2 at the world-renowned Singapore Changi International Airport, was named Asia Pacific Lounge of the Year. The lounge is known for immersing its guests in Singaporean culture with displays of real orchids, Peranakan porcelain and artwork depicting local scenes. The lounge hosts regular cultural events, for example serving mooncakes during the Mooncake festival, to ensure that visitors are treated to a unique experience every time they enter the lounge. Its signature Laksa meal is also a favourite amongst travelers.
Ahlan Business Class Lounge at Dubai International was named Lounge of the Year for the Middle East & Africa. Surrounded by wine barrels and wine chillers, the lounge specialises in creating personalised dining experiences for guests. Its signature ‘Refresh’ cocktail, a buffet offering an array of Arabic delicacies, a la carte menu and spa, all helped the lounge secure its win. It was also ‘Highly Commended’ in the Best Business Facilities category.
Priority Pass received over 72,000 ratings from its members in this year’s awards via the lounge rating function on the Priority Pass website and app. Members provide ratings on a wide range of criteria covering overall lounge quality, refreshments, staff, business facilities and ambience.
The complete list of winners in the 2017 Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards:
- Overall Winner: Club Kingston at Kingston Norman Manley International
- Overall Winner: Tallinn Airport Business Lounge at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport
- Highly Commended: La Valette Club at Malta International
Africa & Middle East:
- Overall Winner: Ahlan Business Class Lounge at Dubai International
- Highly Commended: Dilmun Lounge at Bahrain International
- Overall Winner: SATS Premier Lounge, T2 at Singapore Changi International
- Highly Commended: Strata Lounge at Auckland International
- Overall Winner: Salon VIP Lounge at Québec Jean Lesage International - view lounge video
- Highly Commended: The Club MCO at Orlando FL International
Latin America & The Caribbean:
- Highly Commended: Aeroportos VIP Club at Brasilia J. Kubitschek International
Best Business Facilities:
- Overall Winner: The Club MCO at Orlando FL International
- Highly Commended: Ahlan Business Class Lounge at Dubai International
Best Quality of Refreshments:
- Overall Winner: Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington at Washington D.C. Dulles International
- Highly Commended: VIP Lounge (East) at Guadalajara Miguel Hidalgo International
Best Attitude and Service from Lounge Staff:
- Winner: The Club BWI at Baltimore/Washington MD International
- Highly Commended: Plaza Premium Lounge at Siem Reap Angkor International