The 15 Best First Class Lounges in the World [2021]

Etihad Airways First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Relaxation Zone

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When you’re traveling, airport lounges are a welcome benefit over the alternative — waiting at the gate of a crowded terminal.

One of the ways to access some of the best airport lounges in the world is by flying first class. First class airport lounges are typically even more luxurious than business class airport lounges.

First class lounges have unique amenities, including spas, private restaurant dining areas serving haute cuisine, cigar lounges, and even gyms. These lounges are usually much more private compared to business class lounges, which can get quite crowded at times.

So whether you’re traveling on an international first class ticket and want to see where your lounge ranks compared to the world’s best or you’re curious about which airlines have invested the most in a lavish ground experience, this guide will show you the best first class airport lounges in the world.

What Makes a Great First Class Airport Lounge?

So what’s the difference between a fantastic first class lounge and a good first class lounge? The answer is that the experience should feel peaceful, relaxed, and rich with amenities.

An ideal first class lounge includes the following elements:

  • Exclusive access rules (with the absence of crowds or cramped space)
  • Wow-factor amenities that set apart first class from business class, like complimentary spa treatments, in-lounge gym access, private beds, and cigar bars
  • Fine dining à la carte options curated by renowned chefs in a white tablecloth setting
  • Top-shelf drink choices curated by mixologists and baristas
  • Luxurious shower suites showcasing designer toiletries
  • Serene atmosphere for relaxation

The 15 Best First Class Lounges in the World

There’s a strong correlation between the world’s best first class airlines and the world’s best first class lounges. In fact, the best first class airlines recognize that an unparalleled lounge experience is an essential chunk of the overall first class experience!

Mainstays like Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, and Air France are unsurprising names in this ranking. But there are probably a few options you didn’t know about — let’s dive into our favorites!

Hot Tip: Some of the lounges featured in this article may be closed or operating under reduced opening hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Etihad Airways Residence Lounge at AUH (Abu Dhabi International)

Etihad Residence Lounge at AUH
Etihad Residence Lounge at AUH. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Location: Within the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge
Opening Hours: 24/7

Etihad is one of the only airlines that offers 2 distinct tiers of first class products. That’s because Etihad’s The Residence is a 3-room private suite paradise aboard the A380 that is unparalleled in the world of commercial aviation. And while the A380 is currently grounded due to COVID-19, there are still hopes of it being reinstated someday soon.

The Etihad Airways Residence Lounge at AUH is located deep within the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge, truly a lounge within a lounge.

Although Etihad Airways offers private rooms for customers traveling in The Residence at outstations like New York (JFK) and London (LHR), the Residence Lounge at AUH is the only one with a dedicated lounge for Residence passengers. And with no aircraft offering The Residence currently, you can begin to understand why this lounge is currently closed.

There are 2 Residence Lounges here, and you’ll have 1 of them all to yourself (plus a traveling companion, if also traveling in The Residence).

The main lounge is a warm living room with leather couches, lounge chairs, an oversized TV, a dining table, and a personal bar counter with snacks and fruit.

Remember, each Residence Lounge is designed to be your private space, so you’ll also have a private shower suite with a toilet, a walk-in shower with a rain showerhead, luxury Acqua Di Parma toiletries within, and bathrobes with the Etihad Residence logo embroidered on them.

Without a doubt, the best perk for personalized service at the Residence Lounge is your personal private butler who will take care of your requests during your time there.

As a guest of the lounge, you’ll enjoy a customized menu from the lounge’s executive chef who can curate some incredible gastronomic experiences for you, including lobster and caviar platters. Make sure to complement your meal with any of the artisanal cocktails available or luxurious Champagne and wine flights.

Oh, and did we mention you can get basically unlimited treatments from the Six Senses Spa (located in the larger First Class Lounge)? You’ll have access to your own prayer room, too.

Indeed, the Etihad Residence Lounge is our best first class lounge — much like what you’d get on the plane, the lounge experience is simply unmatched.

2. SWISS First Class Lounge at ZRH (Zurich International)

SWISS Air First Class Lounge Day room
SWISS First Class Lounge at ZRH day room. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Location: Terminal E, on the second level above the main terminal, halfway down the concourse
Opening Hours: Daily from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The SWISS First Class Lounge at ZRH is, without a doubt, one of our favorite first class lounges in the entire world. Nestled in the unassuming airport of Zurich, this exclusive first class lounge brings a breath of fresh air to the otherwise drab airport.

Offering one of the most well-rounded experiences in first class, the ground experience starts with a private immigration counter. If you’re connecting onto another flight, you’ll be guided by an attendant and possibly chauffeured directly to the lounge reception.

This lounge is spread out over 8,000 square feet and has a capacity for up to 80 guests. One of the first things you’ll notice in the lounge is a massive wine humidor, holding up to 1,000 bottles of wine!

Next to the wine humidor is a Champagne bar with 4 varieties in total. There’s a magazine rack and a small snack bar nearby, too. But what you’ll notice throughout the lounge is thoughtfully-placed seating options, including leather armchairs, couches, coffee tables, day beds, and more.

The lounge is cordoned into 3 distinct areas:

  • The main bar
  • The à la carte restaurant
  • The terrace

The bar has a full selection of premium beverages, all masterfully crafted. The restaurant has white tablecloth service and gorgeous views of the runway. It serves some fantastic options including an exclusive “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” menu that offers rotating specialties from different cantons.

Common favorites include roasted lamb chops, salmon fillet, Swiss cheese fondue, and vitello tonnato. The wine list is even more impressive, drawing from inspirations around the world.

The clear highlight of this lounge, however, is the duo of day rooms, which are basically private hotel rooms provided to guests to freshen up. These rooms can’t be booked in advance — you’ll want to request one as soon as you step foot in the lounge.

Each of the day rooms is furnished with a double bed, an ensuite bathroom, and incredible views of the runway. The bed is adorned with HÄSTENS bedding, which is famous for making the most expensive mattress in the world.

There’s also a TV, bottles of sparkling and still water, and plenty of power outlets. The ensuite bathroom in an all-glass enclosure with a private toilet, a walk-in rain shower, a floating vanity, a beautiful backlit mirror, and plenty of luxury amenities.

If you don’t get a chance to reserve a day room, there are immaculate restrooms and shower suites to help you freshen up.

The lounge also has an outdoor terrace with plenty of seating and gorgeous views of both the apron and the runway. You’ll also find a large conference room with floor-to-ceiling windows letting in a ton of natural light.

This lounge is truly a special experience!

3. Air France La Première Lounge at CDG (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)

Air France La Premiere Lounge at CDG
Air France La Premiere Lounge at CDG. Image Credit: Air France

Location: Terminal 2E, after security, up the red elevators on level 3
Opening Hours: Daily from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Air France Salon La Première Paris, also known as the Air France La Première Lounge at CDG, is a runner-up choice for the best first class lounge in the world.

Air France operates an exclusive first class product called La Première, and it’s also one of the hardest first class flights to book with points. If you’re arriving in Paris on a connecting flight, you’ll be fast-tracked through immigration and whisked from your arriving flight to the lounge with a private chauffeur.

After arriving in the lounge, you’ll notice 2 rooms — 1 larger room and a smaller room towards the back. There are numerous lounge chairs with red and white tones throughout the space.

The larger room has traditional leather armchairs, dining tables and chairs, as well as couches in nooks along the walls. The smaller room is more private and consists entirely of in-wall couches. There’s also a relaxation area where you’ll find some chaise lounges.

The cocktail bar is located off to the side and has high-chair seating where you can get custom mixed drinks made for you.

But the 2 biggest highlights of the lounge are the spa by Biologique Recherche where you are entitled to a complimentary 30-minute spa treatment (make reservations in advance!) and the dining service.

The restaurant technically has a buffet, as well, but it’s more for drinks and light bites. The star is the à la carte dining masterminded by Alain Ducasse. Quite simply put, this lounge puts many Michelin-starred restaurants to shame.

You’ll enjoy some incredible dining options like pasta with black truffle, foie gras atop warm brioche bread, filet of beef with peppers, roasted pigeon, black pudding, free-range chicken with crayfish fricassée, fresh turbot, and so much more. It truly is the most special lounge dining experience you can have.

Elsewhere in the lounge, you can find private bathrooms with ensuite toilets and sinks. You’ll also notice that there are 4 shower suites with private toilets, a floating vanity, a backlit mirror, a walk-in rain shower, bathrobes, slippers, and toiletries by Biologique Recherche.

When it’s time to board your flight, you’ll get fetched and driven up directly to your plane. You’ll board your exclusive jet bridge in true elegance and be off to your flight!

Hot Tip: You can actually purchase access to the La Première ground experience for €500 (~$600) or 75,000 Flying Blue miles on departing/connecting flights. You can also buy arrival services (only includes fast-track through immigration and no lounge access) for €200 (~$239) or 30,000 Flying Blue miles. 

4. The Wing, First Class Lounge at HKG (Hong Kong International)

The Wing, First at Hong Kong International Airport cabana
Shower cabana at The Wing, First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Location: Near gates 1 to 4 on the Balcony level (seventh floor) in Terminal 1
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:30 a.m. until the last departure

The Wing, First Class Lounge at HKG is essentially a large, open-air space above the main terminal, and it features numerous seating options throughout, including armchairs, quirky lounge chairs, and more.

This lounge has 4 main food and beverage areas:

  • The Haven — the main à la carte restaurant
  • Champagne Bar — an area with self-serve Champagne varieties
  • The Atrium — a buffet-style section with counter seating and high chairs
  •  The Bar — a marble-clad cocktail bar serving numerous drinks

The Haven serves exceptional dishes, ranging from Wagyu beef to “dan dan mian” and soup with wontons and noodles to butter chicken masala.

Every first class lounge has a special amenity or facility that it offers. And in the case of The Wing, First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, the crown jewels of the lounge are the shower cabanas.

Managed and operated by Cathay Pacific, The Wing, First Class Lounge contains a total of 5 cabanas. So what are these shower cabanas? They are huge spa-like sanctuaries where you can freshen up to the max.

Each of these temperature-controlled cabanas contains a gigantic walk-in shower, a deep soaking tub, a pampering area, a daybed/couch hybrid for relaxation, a stone sink, a private toilet, working spaces, complimentary ironing service, and lush Jurlique amenities.

Be sure to reserve one of these as soon as you enter the lounge because even though each guest can reserve a cabana for up to 90 minutes, the wait can still get long.

But even if you don’t have the chance to book a shower cabana, you won’t go wrong by snagging 1 of the 12 shower suites, each of which also come with complimentary pressing service, a spacious vanity, a humongous back-lit mirror, amenities from Jurlique, a walk-in rain shower, and a private toilet.

This lounge also has a business center with phones, workstations, printers, and comfortable office chairs.

Hot Tip: Learn about the best ways to book Cathay Pacific first class using points in our step-by-step guide!

5. The Pier, First Class Lounge at HKG (Hong Kong International)

The Pier, First at Hong Kong International Airport dining room seating 2
The Pier, First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Location: Near Gate 63, down the escalator from the Departures level (sixth floor) in Terminal 1
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The Pier, First Class Lounge at HKG is Cathay Pacific’s sister lounge to The Wing, First Class Lounge at HKG. This space offers a totally different experience from The Wing, First Class Lounge.

Whereas The Wing, First Class Lounge is typically characterized as flamboyant and lively, The Pier, First Class Lounge is described to be zen and calm.

Reminiscent of a natural underground sanctuary, this Studioilse-designed space consists of numerous velvet articles of furniture, artisanal wood furnishings, and choice lighting.

There’s plenty of seating available, ranging from high-back leather wingback chairs to sunken and woven armchairs.

As far as food and beverage go, there are 3 options dotted around the lounge:

  • The Dining Room — the main à la carte restaurant serving multi-course meals and drinks
  • The self-serve food area — salad bar, small bites, bread and cheese, pastries, and self-serve alcohol
  • The bar — a circular cocktail bar to enjoy mixed drinks, spirits, and more

The Dining Room actually serves a wider variety of food options compared to The Haven (The Wing’s à la carte restaurant). If you’re a fan of fresh and delicious food, you’ll want to spend time filling yourself up at The Dining Room.

The Pier, First Class has a few unique amenities, too! There are 8 day suites, which are basically private spaces separated by thick curtains. These day suites contain a long day bed, power outlets, and incredible views of the tarmac and runway. The guidelines suggest a maximum time of 1.5 hours in a day suite, but this is never really an issue.

Additionally, The Pier, First Class offers a complimentary 15-minute spa treatment with a choice of a foot massage, a neck, shoulder, and scalp massage, and an eye revitalizer. Remember to reserve your massage as soon as you get to the lounge!

There are 14 shower suites in total, each with a marble vanity, a dressing room bench, Bamford amenities, a walk-in rain shower with excellent water pressure, and common toiletries like hair spray, deodorant, slippers, and shaving foam.

And lastly, this lounge offers meticulously cleaned restrooms — in fact, the whole lounge is spotless all the time, thanks to a stringent cleaning schedule.

6. Lufthansa First Class Terminal at FRA (Frankfurt International)

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Bath and Champagne
Champagne with your bath at Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Location: Terminal 1, follow signs for First Class Terminal
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Lufthansa has really taken its commitment to first class to a new level. Offering the Lufthansa First Class Terminal as a totally separate building/complex, this experience is sure to be one of the best you’ll ever have in an airport.

This lounge measures nearly 20,000 square feet in size, and it’s filled with leather armchairs, couches, dining tables and chairs, lounge chairs with ottomans, reclining chaise lounges, and more.

The dining room is the centerpiece of the lounge, offering white tablecloth à la carte service in addition to buffet choices. Popular à la carte dishes include filet of beef, creamy veal goulash, wiener schnitzel, baked spring chicken, grilled Atlantic salmon, and a variety of antipasti and smoked salmon.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is the selection of liquor — you can basically arrange a tasting flight of any type of alcohol you want, including whisky (over 130 different kinds!), wine, and beer.

You’ll also find a cigar lounge that also serves a variety of top-shelf scotch!

There are also 2 private nap rooms, each with a day bed and power outlets. Next to the nap rooms, you’ll find the shower reception, where you can request one of 4 shower suites and a first class rubber duck!

All of the shower suites come with bathrobes, slippers, a hairdryer, a floating marble vanity with a backlit mirror, a walk-in shower with both a rain showerhead and a handheld shower wand, ETRO luxury bath amenities, a private toilet, and a changing bench. If you have the opportunity to, you’ll want to reserve the 1 shower suite with a deep soaking tub and ETRO bath salts, too!

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal has 5 workstations, each appointed with a comfortable office chair, a wall-mounted lamp, a landline telephone, and a sliding door.

There’s also a duty-free shop and immigration counter on the lower level to make traveling seamless. Lastly, you’ll get driven from the First Class Terminal directly to your plane via a luxury Porsche or Mercedes.

Hot Tip: Take a tour of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt in our detailed review!

7. Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa at AUH (Abu Dhabi International)

Etihad Airways First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Dining Area
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Location: Terminal 3, just past security (follow signs for Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa)
Opening Hours: 24/7

The Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa is one of the hallmarks of Etihad Airways’ first class experience. Accessible just past security, this gorgeous space highlights all the best that Etihad has to offer.

After checking in, you’ll notice an open foyer with Arabic coffee and dates, as well as infused water. This lounge is on the petite side, but it still packs a lot of amenities.

One of the first sights you’ll see is the expansive dining room, which is where you can enjoy white tablecloth à la carte service. 2 cocktail bars offer aged whisky, phenomenal cocktails, or a simple glass of Champagne.

Some of the signature dining options include the breakfast mezze, orange-infused duck breast, olive-crusted hamour fish, Eggs Florentine, and vanilla-glazed veal cheek.

The Etihad First Class Lounge contains plenty of leather armchairs, booth seating, and a relaxation zone. The relaxation zone contains 4 recliner chairs with mood lighting and a gigantic multi-screen display of entrancing screensaver-like patterns.

This lounge also has a small cigar lounge with top-shelf choices, expensive liquor, and a few egg lounge chairs for comfort.

But the really unique perk in this lounge is the gym, which is quite possibly one of the only lounge gyms in the entire world! This small space includes an exercise bicycle, 2 treadmills, free weights, and an elliptical. You’ll also find cold bottles of water and towels, as well as  1 men’s shower and 1 women’s shower.

There’s a Six Senses Spa that offers a complimentary 15-minute treatment — you can pay for longer treatments, too.

If you need to freshen up, you’ll want to request one of the shower suites, offering a marble vanity, a backlit mirror, a private toilet with bidet, a walk-in shower with marble walls, a dual rain showerhead-handheld shower wand set-up, and Acqua di Parma products.

Lastly, there’s a large kids’ playroom to keep the children busy!

Hot Tip: Our tour of Etihad’s First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi visually guides you through the dining area, bars, seating areas, spa, gym, and kids’ playroom.

8. Emirates First Class Lounge at DXB Concourse A (Dubai International)

Emirates First Class Lounge Concourse B
Emirates First Class Lounge. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Location: Concourse A
Opening Hours: 24/7

The Emirates First Class Lounge at DXB Concourse A is one of the most sprawling and gaudy lounges in the world.

This lounge literally occupies an entire floor in Concourse A, which means there are tons of amenities and lots of ground to cover.

Seating options are aplenty, ranging from dining tables and chairs to armchairs and lounge chairs.

There are many dining choices to be savored here — even though there are buffet-style arrangements with small bites, Arabic coffee, premium tea, and Mediterranean pastries, there are actually 2 tiers of buffets in this lounge!

The best buffet area has fresh sushi, sashimi, antipasti, and other international foods showcasing cuisines from India and the Mediterranean.

But make no mistake: the sit-down fine dining restaurant is the highlight here, offering chef favorites like Eggs Benedict, dukkah-crusted salmon, black Angus tenderloin, braised veal cheeks, paneer tikka masala, superfood salads, Italian burrata, foie gras terrine, tres leches cake, and even freshly-prepared omelets available all-day!

Of course, you can also savor fresh juices, craft cocktails, and top-shelf liquor.

Another eye-catching part of the lounge is the elegant, art deco cigar lounge, straddling the line of art nouveau design like what you’d see in “The Great Gatsby.”

Here, you can sample the finest Cohibas while enjoying a drink or even a full meal!

Another great facility in the Emirates First Class Lounge at DXB Concourse A is the nap rooms, which is a separate section of the lounge appointed with armchair-ottoman duos for taking a nap. There are also chaise lounges if you prefer a bit more curvature in your resting positions.

You’ll fall asleep with ease, thanks to the dim lighting and fantastic air conditioning seducing you into a deep slumber.

To freshen up, make use of the countless shower suites stocked with VOYA products. These shower suites are surprisingly simpler than you’d expect — you’ll find a walk-in shower, a sink, a toilet, a bathrobe, slippers, and a hairdryer.

Remember, you can get a complimentary 15-minute spa treatment at the Timeless Spa, which is located right next to the entrance just outside of the lounge.

Other amenities include a spacious business center with cubicles and standalone workstations, duty-free shops selling designer products, and a large kids’ playroom (which includes video game consoles!).

The last major novelty is that this lounge boasts direct access to many boarding gates, which means you can basically walk directly from your lounge to the gate without entering any of the common areas.

Hot Tip: Craving a look at the Emirates First Class Lounge at DXB? You’ll find a thorough tour in our helpful review.

9. Thai Airways Royal First Lounge at BKK (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi)

Thai Airways Royal First Lounge Seating
Thai Airways Royal First Lounge. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Location: Concourse D, level 3
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

The Thai Airways Royal First Lounge at BKK, also known as the Thai Airways First Class Lounge at BKK, is representative of Thailand’s commitment to culture and top-notch service.

Your experience here starts with a dedicated check-in area, designed to fast-track you through the security and departure festivities. You’ll be offered bottled water and cold towels, reminiscent of the check-in process at a 5-star hotel.

If you’re arriving on a connecting flight and departing from Bangkok in first class, you’ll get picked up by a golf cart!

Once you get to the lounge, you’ll be escorted to wherever you’d like to sit — there are around 2 VIP rooms and 6 private corners you can make use of. Each of them contains a couch, armchairs, a TV, and a coffee table. In the other parts of the lounge, you’ll find armchairs and wingback lounge chairs.

The shining star at the Thai Airways First Class Lounge is the service — you’ll undoubtedly be taken care of from beginning to end. Whether it’s accommodating you through the check-in process or just ordering food.

But what’s exceptional about this lounge is that you’ll get a complimentary 1-hour spa treatment! Just set up your appointment and 5 minutes before your scheduled treatment, you’ll be escorted to the Royal Orchid Spa. Your treatment room has a private shower and toilet, too.

There are also shower suites available outside the spa, each with a walk-in shower, L’Occitane amenities, a private toilet, and a sink.

If you get hungry, you can take a seat at the à la carte restaurant called The Dining Room. Pro tip: stick to the Thai food — it’s incredible. You can also order fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, coffee, tea, cocktails, and more! You can also have your food and drink sent directly to your seat anywhere in the lounge.

There’s also a small buffet available, but you’ll only want to check it out if you’re in a rush for a quick bite.

The lounge has a business center with desktop computers, chairs, printers, and desk lamps. But if you’re in rest-mode, check out the private slumber rooms with a daybed, pillows, a bench, a side table, a wingback chair, and plenty of privacy.

Hot Tip: If you’re flying through Bangkok soon and are ready to be pampered, check out our extended review of the Thai Airways Royal First Lounge.

10. Singapore Airlines Private Room at SIN (Changi International)

Singapore Airlines First Class The Private Room Lounge - Dining
Singapore Airlines First Class The Private Room. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Location: Within the SilverKris Lounge, Terminal 3, level 3 unit 03-MS-06 (closer to A gates)
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

One of the most exclusive experiences you can have in an airport is within The Private Room, a lounge within a lounge offered by Singapore Airlines. Actually, to be precise, it’s a lounge within a lounge within another lounge.

The Private Room is in the Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge, which is in the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge — you’ll feel like you’re watching “Inception” all over again.

Passengers departing on a Singapore Airlines first class or suites class flight are entitled to access — passengers arriving into Singapore on a first class or suites class are also unofficially granted access.

The Private Room is an ultra-exclusive enclave that contains comfortable leather armchairs and wingback lounge chairs, mostly arranged individually or as pairs.

The highlight of this space, however, is the dining room that is shaped like a triangle and boasts white tablecloth service and cognac leather high-back tufted chairs. This area’s elegant mid-century décor is reminiscent of an old-world fine-dining establishment. But the best has yet to come.

Once seated, you’ll be presented with a leather-bound menu with drool-inducing choices like lamb shank stew, kampong chicken rice, “lap mei fan” (clay pot rice), baked lobster with 3 cheeses, baked Chilean sea bass papillote, assorted satay, and even dim sum!

Do be sure to have a nice glass of Dom Pérignon or Johnnie Walker Blue Label with your meal. You’ll find a small buffet in the corner of the room, but why even bother?

There are 2 private rooms with a chair, an ottoman, a side table, and charging facilities. Nearby, you’ll also notice a family room containing 2 armchairs, kids’ chairs, a sink, and a changing area.

The shower rooms are on the smaller side, but they get the job done with a sink, a backlit mirror, a walk-in shower with a rain showerhead, luxury amenities, and more.

You’ll also find a couple of workstations with desktop computers and ergonomic office chairs available for use.

Hot Tip: Our review of The Private Room takes a peek at this exclusive lounge within a lounge within a lounge.

11. Qantas First Lounge at SYD (Sydney International)

Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney
The Qantas First Lounge in Sydney. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Location: Terminal 1, up the escalator to level 3, follow the signs for Qantas First Lounge
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Qantas First Lounge in SYD, more specifically the Qantas International First Lounge in SYD, is one of the most wonderful lounges in the world. It’s certainly the best space in Australia for first-class passengers, but it competes squarely against other global airline brands’ offerings, too.

The lounge focuses on a stylish white marble theme with bright red, brown, and black design elements. This lounge stretches across the length of the terminal and has soaring floor-to-ceiling windows letting in an abundance of natural light and views of the apron.

You’ll find tufted leather armchairs in cream, black, and red. There are also loveseats available for couples.

The lounge also contains plenty of dining tables and chairs where you can savor a full à la carte menu designed by Neil Perry’s team at Rockpool.

Seasonal ingredients are highlighted here, and you can find breakfast favorites like Eggs Benedict, egg white omelets, buttermilk pancakes, and sweet corn fritters. But of course, the cult-favorite is the salt and pepper squid served during lunch and dinner (though it never hurts to ask if you have a breakfast hankering, too).

Of course, there’s a staffed cocktail bar ready to conjure up the most creative alcoholic potions.

Lastly, those on a severe time crunch can check out the self-serve buffet counter.

Further in the lounge, you’ll find numerous shower suites, each built with robust marble walls and kept squeaky-clean. The shower suites have walk-in showers, rain showerheads, private sinks and toilets, as well as the oh-so-famous amenities from ASPAR.

But of course, one of the biggest highlights is that you can access the Aurora spa with a complimentary 20-minute treatment — you’ll be contacted to book this a day before your flight.

You’ll also find a business center with comfortable office chairs, landline telephones, and desktop workstations. There’s also a quiet library area that is a more peaceful space to relax in.

Hot Tip: See photos of the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney, including the stunning views of the apron, in our guided tour.

12. British Airways Concorde Room at LHR (London-Heathrow)

British Airways Concorde Room at LHR
British Airways Concorde Room at LHR. Image Credit: British Airways

Location: Terminal 5A South
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

British Airways has an elite first class experience called The Concorde Room that is available only at London-Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and New York-JFK’s Terminal 7.

The Concorde Room at LHR is located within the Galleries First Class Lounge, and you’ll immediately notice that this lounge is designed to feel residential and warm.

There are intimate seating options, ranging from sofas to luxurious armchairs and couches. The lounge also contains a “terrace,” which is an indoor (not outdoor) space with sweeping views of the apron and runways. Here, there’s natural light, day beds, as well as an open-air section with couches, armchairs, and sheers drawn for added privacy and comfort.

Without a doubt, the pinnacle of this space is the Concorde Dining room, which is where you will feast on fine dining with full table service. It truly feels like a Michelin-starred restaurant!

You can enjoy an extensive menu, including the BA Burger, a full English breakfast, Egg Benedict, chargrilled 21-day aged ribeye steak, and a selection of decadent cheeses. Also, there’s a thoughtful wine menu to tickle your fancy.

You can also make a 1-hour booking at one of the Cabanas, which are private rooms with a chair and an ottoman, tables, a TV, an extra armchair, and a private bathroom. Each of the private bathrooms is clean, is furnished with Aromatherapy Associates amenities, and has walk-in showers with shower towers (multi-jet shower nozzles), toilets, sinks, and mirrors.

You’re also entitled to a 15-minute complimentary spa treatment at the Elemis Spa — you can reserve this up to 28 days before your flight. But if you forget, you can ask for availability near the spa reception.

Being the huge business hub it is, you’ll also find a meeting room and a business center with 4 desktop computers, 2 laserjet printers, and office chairs. There’s also a piano you can play with headphones on (so it doesn’t disturb other guests)!

13. Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge at DOH (Hamad International)

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge at DOH
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge at DOH. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Location: Terminal 1, up the escalator to level 3, between A and B gates
Opening Hours: 24/7

The Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge at DOH resembles a huge open-air museum.

The grounds are utterly gargantuan, the ceilings are almost too far for the naked eye to see, and the space is sparsely occupied by other guests, considering how few Qatar Airways aircraft offer first class service (it is only available aboard the A380 that is currently grounded due to COVID-19). You can also purchase access or leverage Qatar Airways elite status to get into the Al Safwa Lounge.

The lounge is shaped as a long rectangular space — and the facilities are scattered throughout the area. The first things you’ll notice are the incredibly high ceilings, the artisanal artwork around the lounge, and the ridiculously tranquil ambiance.

This lounge has a waterfall wall and even showcases some ancient ceramics, antiques, and historical artifacts — truly in the same vein as a museum. But the coolest fixture is the giant fountain where water drips from the ceiling into a flat metal circle and creates a reflective surface, like what you’d see in on a lake.

Once you’re sufficiently entertained by the mesmerizing articles throughout the lounge, you’ll probably want to stake out a seat at one of the many options scattered throughout the greater space.

This includes egg lounge chairs, leather armchairs, mesh low chairs, dining tables and chairs, and more.

There are a number of incredible amenities we’ll be discussing, but the first up is the wellness/relaxation area. The Quiet Area and the Spa are both located in the same area.

The Quiet Area consists of a dozen first-come, first-serve private rooms. These rooms each have either 1 or 2 twin beds, as well as a desk, a chair, charging ports, a television, and a private bathroom with a sink, toilet, walk-in shower, bathrobe, towels, and backlit mirror.

This spa located in this lounge is called the Qspa, and all of the treatments come at an extra charge. Lastly, there’s a relaxation area at the end of the lounge containing bean bag-like daybeds.

Nearby, however, there’s also a jacuzzi room, which you can use if no spa customers are using it.

Let’s move on to the food and beverage offerings, which are tremendous. This lounge contains a staffed cocktail bar and a dining room where all of the à la carte services are offered.

The menus always have an even emphasis on Western and Arabic choices. Choices include a Qatari set menu, Moroccan lamb skewers, pan-grilled hamour fish, a grilled filet of beef, spaghetti with bolognese sauce, and “Samak harra” (spicy fish). If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can enjoy classic Arabic desserts like “om ali” (bread pudding) and “muhallabieh” (milk pudding) or more Westernized favorites like tiramisu and opera cake. In all honesty, you’ll be stuffing yourself to the brim here!

The Al Safwa Lounge also has a business center with plenty of actual office spaces, desktop computers, office chairs, desks, and more. Nearby, there’s a game room, nursery room (called a Parent’s Room), nanny room, media room, and duty-free shop.

14. ANA Suite Lounge at HND Terminal 2 (Tokyo-Haneda)

ANA Suite Lounge at HND Terminal 2
ANA Suite Lounge at HND Terminal 2. Image Credit: ANA

Location: Terminal 2, near gate 110
Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. until the last ANA departure

The brand-new ANA Suite Lounge at Tokyo-Haneda Airport Terminal 2 is the new, awe-inspiring lounge by All Nippon Airways that premiered in 2020 at a time when ANA was moving its international operations to Terminal 2.

The ANA Suite Lounge at HND’s Terminal 2 has been given a massive facelift compared to ANA’s older first class lounges in Tokyo (both at HND and NRT). This space has a capacity for 360 guests.

Focusing mostly on comfort, the main seating options include sunken leather armchairs that are low to the ground, as well as recliners and lounge chairs.

The area focuses on an elevated dining experience, especially considering the new live kitchen with an à la carte menu and a new cocktail bar crafting cocktails and serving a variety of other libations.

Note that the new bar has a bartender and a barista, each responsible for alcoholic beverages and coffee drinks, respectively.

You can still check out the buffet, which has varied selections including sushi, pastries, salad, and more. A noodle bar is also offered.

Importantly, the ANA Suite Lounge now has a dedicated rest area with 6 beds, a handful of recliners, and massage chairs. You’ll also find private work areas, full shower suites with walk-in showers, and more.

15. Oman Air First Class Lounge at MCT (Muscat International)

Oman Air First Class Lounge at MCT
Oman Air First Class Lounge at MCT. Image Credit: Oman Air

Location: Terminal 1, level 5
Opening Hours: 24/7

Oman Air’s ostentatious first class lounge at Muscat International Airport is an extremely eye-catching space. Nestled in the brand-new terminal, this lounge has plenty of amenities for solo travelers and family groups alike.

Surprisingly, Oman Air’s first class product is available only on 2 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, both of which are flown to either London-Heathrow (LHR) or Salalah (SLL), the third-largest city in Oman behind the capital Muscat and Seeb.

The luxurious first class lounge is ordained with beautiful, golden Omani architecture.

Make a beeline for the restaurant, which features scrumptious à la carte dining. In the same area, you’ll find the cocktail bar, which is the only place alcohol is served. Food options include jumbo prawns, Arabic mezze, and even afternoon tea service! You might even be able to find Hennessy Paradis there, which retails for $1,000+ per bottle!

There’s 1 shower suite and it has golden accents throughout, reflective of the true opulence of Oman Air. This shower suite has a floating vessel sink vanity, a private toilet and bidet, as well as a walk-in shower.

You’ll also find a business center with desktop computers, a prayer room, a kids’ playroom, a family room, and a private family room. There’s a spa where you can pay for treatments, too!

Final Thoughts

It’s very obvious when a first class airport lounge is one of the best in the world. All of these lounges have exceptional amenities, some of them so unique that no other lounge in the world offers the same amenity.

Whether you’re focused on the highest echelons of à la carte dining, looking for a luxurious full-body massage, or want to have a 5-star hotel bedroom to yourself in a first class lounge, 1 thing is clear: these first class lounges are incredible oases to forget about all the worries in the world; that is, until you’re called to board your flight.

Until then, you’ll desperately wish your flight was delayed!


Frequently asked questions

Do you get lounge access with first class?

If you’re traveling internationally in first class on a long-haul flight, you will usually get lounge access. There are exceptions, but you should look up the access rules and lounge benefits for each flight you’re booking, as they may change from airline to airline.

What airline has the best first class lounge?

We believe the best first class lounge is the Etihad Residence Lounge at AUH, followed by the SWISS First Class Lounge at ZRH, the Air France La Première Lounge at CDG, and The Wing and The Pier First Class Lounges at HKG. For the other lounges that complete our list, you can refer to the rest of the article.

Are first class flights worth the money?

It just depends. For a vast majority of people, first class tickets are simply too expensive. However, if you have the means to pay for it or if you can use points, it’s totally worth it. The exclusivity, service, amenities, and perks you get will make travel so much more fun!

What's so great about airport lounges?

Airport lounges are designed to be exclusive, peaceful, and well-appointed with amenities. And if you can access the world’s best first class lounges, you might find awesome amenities like complimentary spa treatments, fine dining, and much more.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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