An interview with Lilli Hollein - curator and co-founder of the Vienna Design Week
Let’s fly business: here are the 5 most exclusive onboard lounge bars in history
Check out Emirates, Etihad, Virgin, Qatar and Korean’s (prohibitive) First & Business classes
If you rarely happen to fly overseas with a Business or First class boarding pass in your hands, well, this article will throw you in a totally unexplored world.
It is quite likely that, wandering along the economy class’ narrow corridors to stretch your stiff legs after hours of a tight squeeze on some torturing coach class seat, you may have reached the red partitions which lead to a luxurious galaxy inhabited by Business & First class flyers.
Speaking of premium flying customers, you won’t be surprised to know that airline companies spare no expenses to treat them with style: behind the above-mentioned curtains (if not upstairs, according to the plane’s layout), an exclusive bonanza of double-beds, mini-bars, TVs, wi-fi’s, not to mention shower boxes and SPA areas is artfully hidden. But, hey, customers need to be allowed a bit of social fun, maybe sipping a yummy cocktail made by expert mixologists at a proper lounge bar counter. So please forget the classic Bloody Mary drowned in Worcester sauce – it is widely known that low pressure reduces the sensitivity of your taste buds – and think of a fresh, perfectly shaken cocktail after a high-altitude beauty treatment or regenerating shower.
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Let’s discover what Business & First class travellers do with their spare time, while all economy’s highlanders are stuck with glasses of cheap wine counting the minutes until the check-in at the hotel.
We kick off from Emirates, which just unveiled its new A380 Onboard Lounge design openly inspired to private yacht cabins. With a capacity of 26 guests, the brand new lounge will make its first public appearance on July 2017.
The Onboard Lounge’s revamped look – marked by (not accidental) sophisticated yet neutral champagne nuances and polished wooden finishes – stole the heart of Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston, the airline’s official celebrity face.
Slightly more intimate (there’s room for up to 10 passengers), and yet equally fluid design-wise, the onboard lounge as seen by Qatar Airways boasts a curvy bar counter and classic lounge feel. The futuristic interior is flooded in suffused purple lighting, and features Oriental-inspired chandeliers making it the best heaven on air for yummy cocktails and small talk with fellow Business & First class travellers.
If a night out-like feel is what you seek for, Virgin Atlantic’s onboard lounge bar with its colourful lighting and chrome-plated finishes is definitely the go-to answer. Although addressed to Upper Class travellers, it is open to all passengers willing to take a peak without ordering drinks. In other words, look but don’t touch.
Korean Air offers a business class lounge called the Celestial Bar, an extremely sober environment operated in partnership with Absolute vodka, and serving a great selection of signature aviation-themed cocktails.
And now, you’ll get to know ultra-luxury at its best: here’s the VIP cabin of private luxury jets (photo below) born from the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Lufthansa Technik. The design concept aims to turn aircrafts’ interiors into proper 5-stars ambiances: passengers are first welcomed in an open space volume powered by the latest technologies, then led to the kitchen unit, living area, entertainment lounge and night-area with king-size bed and private bathroom feat. walk-in shower.
Ops, we are definitely flying high!
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