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Escape the masses in Asia’s most luxurious airport lounges

With decadent à la carte dining, bars stocked with premium liquor, and private spa rooms to help you unwind, these five-star airport lounges will make you hope for a delayed flight.

The Pier

If you’re a frequent first-class flyer or business traveller looking to make your Asian journey even more luxurious, these all-inclusive airport lounges are for you.

Taking into consideration the quality of the food and drink options, and the inclusion of private rooms, spa facilities, and exclusive guest services, these lounges are ranked among Asia’s very best.

Whether you choose to sip on a freshly made cocktail, have a rejuvenating nap or indulge in a complimentary spa treatment, these five-star spaces will banish any stress or pre-flight jitters you might be feeling.

American Express Centurion Dining Room, Hong Kong

Widely known as one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive restaurants, the American Express Centurion Dining Room is tucked away on the upper level of Hong Kong Airport. The two à la carte menus are crafted by Lau Yiu Fai, Executive Chef of the InterContinental Hong Kong’s two-Michelin-starred Yan Toh Heen restaurant.

The breakfast menu features barista-made coffee, classic dishes like eggs benedict and pancakes plus an Asian ‘Eastern Set’ of congee, fried egg noodles and Dim Sum. While you sip on a glass of G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne, expert chefs are busy in the kitchen preparing meals fresh from the all-day lunch and dinner menus. A standout dish is the Oscietra caviar, paired with Dungeness crab meat and crème fraiche, served on seaweed crackers as a locally inspired alternative to the traditional blinis.

Who’s allowed inside: Holders of the invitation-only titanium American Express Centurion card.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room, Singapore

As its name suggests, The Private Room is an ultra-exclusive lounge reserved for first class passengers on Singapore Airlines only. After being led through the business class lounge and then the first-class lounge, you’ll arrive at the doors of The Private Room – complete with plush leather furnishings and wall panelling, discrete lighting and thick marble pillars separating the lounge and dining room.

It’s reminiscent of an old-world gentleman’s club and for that reason, Singapore Airlines recently embarked on a SGD50 million upgrade of The Private Room and its other flagship Changi Terminal 3 lounges, due to be completed by mid-2021.

The dining room menu changes with the seasons, holding on to a few favourites including chirashizushi, wok-fried lobster with braised wanton noodles, and assorted satay. Meanwhile, the extensive drinks list is headlined by Piper Heidsieck Rare Millesime and Charles Heidsieck Champagne.

Who’s allowed inside: First class passengers on Singapore Airlines.

Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge, Hong Kong

Designed by London-based Ilse Crawford, The Pier is warm, welcoming and elegant without being overly extravagant. Crawford has included plenty of soft couches, brown leather armchairs, soft lighting fixtures and indoor plants, and utilises materials such as limestone, onyx, walnut wood and bronze.

Hidden behind privacy curtains are eight Day Suites, each with a comfortable day bed, reading light and plush cushions. There’s an in-house masseuse to soothe any pre-flight tension, as well as spacious shower facilities stocked with Aesop amenities to keep you feeling fresh.

If you have work to do, you can connect to the high-speed Wi-Fi and head to the Library or the more secluded Bureau, which features six large work desks with Apple computers. Once you’ve clocked off, you can try the seasonal à la carte menu at The Dining Room, grab a light bite from The Pantry, or order your favourite tipple from The Bar.

Who’s allowed inside: First-class passengers on Cathay Pacific, as well as first-class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers across the Oneworld alliance.

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge, Tokyo/Narita

Following a six-month transformation, the top floor of the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo’s Narita Airport has returned with a new focus on freshly prepared seasonal food. Boasting minimalistic Japanese design and wood furnishings, the space is now split into three zones – the lounge, buffet dining area, and JAL Table.

At JAL Table, travellers can feast on a range of made-to-order sushi and sashimi, steaming bowls of ramen, and the signature JAL beef curry. The menu changes weekly and is complemented by a Champagne bar and, of course, a selection of premium sake. There’s even a John Lobb shoe-shine service to ensure no detail goes unattended. The lower floor of the JAL First Class Lounge is currently under construction, set to reopen at the end of 2019.

Who’s allowed inside: First class passengers on Japan Airlines and other Oneworld member airlines flying out of Tokyo/Narita, plus top-tier frequent flyers across the Oneworld alliance.

Qantas Lounge, Hong Kong

Echoing the style and flair of the eclectic city it calls home, the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is unassuming yet elegant. Expertly designed by SUMU Design and Caon Studio, the space is divided by tiling, screens and greenery into public and private areas.

Start with a signature Spice Temple cocktail, glass of wine, or barista-made espresso. Then head to the Spice Temple BBQ Bar for regionally inspired dishes like Char Siu, a Cantonese-style barbecued pork – or simply pluck tasty delicacies from one of the circling yum cha trolleys. There are also business facilities, shower suites and a Family Zone.

Who’s allowed inside: Qantas First and Business customers; eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Club, Emirates and Oneworld members and their guests.

While you’re travelling through Asia, why not check out its oldest hotel? The iconic Raffles Singapore just underwent an extensive two-year transformation – and it has never looked better.

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