Runway style: airport spas helping travellers look their best

Words by
Charlotte McManus

4th January 2017

Airports might not be the first place you’d think of for relaxation and pampering, but with pools, spas and beauty treatments, fliers can stay in tip-top condition

Qatar Al Mourjan Lounge
Hamad International Airport

This is possibly one of the best airports in the world in which to get delayed and still come out looking stylish. The Hamad International Airport boasts its own fitness centre, complete with a 22-metre swimming pool. There is a hydrotherapy tub, a fully equipped gym with resident fitness instructor and squash courts. Exhausted after a long flight?

The anti-jet-lag massages are designed to realign the body and restore moisture, using Balinese massage techniques. An express facial, QR230 for 25 minutes includes exfoliation and sunscreen application. Access to the pools is free with a treatment or QR130 otherwise.

The Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge itself is vast and serene, taking its inspiration from water and nature, with twinkling pools and acres of space. There are sleep pods, secluded relaxation areas and the showers are roomy and well stocked. Elsewhere in the airport execs on the move can have a speedy blow dry and manicure at Nails, a sparkling white sanctuary whose treatments all take less than 40 minutes.

Concorde Room
Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5

The Concorde Room is worth arriving early for. Sensible travellers will of course shun the alcohol on offer and prepare for long haul with a massage or facial instead. The Elemis spa offers treatments including a jet-lag eye reviver, an eyebrow shape or an Aviator facial or power shave for men.

The Concorde Room also provides sleep suites with bathrooms and chaises longues. First class passengers in Terminal 3 can also enjoy an Elemis spa, as can those arriving in T5, at the arrivals lounge. The latest treatment to launch is the new BIOTECH Energising Skincare System, which includes application of cleansers, day cream and night cream.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse 
Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3

Designed as an oasis of calm within one of the world’s busiest airports, Heathrow’s Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse comes with its own built-in spa for Upper Class passengers. Their staff aims to provide a bespoke service with products by Cowshed and Truefitt & Hill; customers can either enjoy a complimentary treatment or upgrade to specialised options. From hair styling and facials to massages, manicures and men’s grooming, indulgent treatments help take the stress out of travel. If your journey doesn’t take you through Heathrow, other Virgin Clubhouse spas can be found at Gatwick and JFK. 


A close shave in an Etihad Airways lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport

Emirates First & Business Class Lounges 
Dubai International Airport, Emirates Terminal 3

In Dubai International Airport, trained wellness professionals are on hand to provide relaxing treatments and beauty therapies in dedicated Timeless Spa “sanctuaries”. In the First Class Lounge, highlights include Thai Body Stretch, Indian head massage and Reflex Therapy for the hands and feet using 2,000-year-old acupressure techniques, while the Business Class Lounge offers massage, hairstyling and beauty services for a nominal charge. Additionally, Emirates passengers with the luxury of spare time can pamper themselves at the Timeless Spa in the Airport Hotel, which accommodates a wider range of extended services.