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What Its Like Inside the Vienna Airport Lounge Voted Best in the World

Of all the international travel hubs around the world, Vienna is home to the best airport lounge in the world—Vienna Lounge at Terminal 1 in Vienna Airport was voted not just the best in Europe, but the overall global winner in the inaugural Priority Pass Excellence Awards. The awards consider over 1,500 lounges and travel experiences and are judged on 379,966 Priority Pass member ratings and reviews across a wide range of criteria, including quality of facilities, customer service, food and beverage selection, and overall satisfaction.

While recently in the city to review the opening of The Hoxton Vienna, I paid a visit to the lounge to see what all the fuss was about. As a pay-to-enter lounge (or access with a Priority Pass membership), the space definitely felt more premium and thoughtful than the usual lounge of this genre—which can often just feel like slightly less crowded waiting rooms with snacks and soft drinks.

The design

The first thing I noticed as I entered the main lounge was the bright and calming feel of the space, flooded with natural light from the windows looking out onto the runway, and with stylish parquet flooring and greenery throughout. The walls are decorated with artwork by Klimpt and Schiele, as provided by Vienna’s Leopold Museum, giving the space some local personality and the feel of a stylish hotel lobby, rather than a sterile airport. The lounge is also extensive, covering nearly 27,000 square feet with enough room to host 450 guests.

Vienna airport lounge

Beverage stations inside the Vienna airport lounge

The food

The focal hub of the lounge is the bistro-esque dining area, where an impressively large Viennese buffet takes center stage. There’s a huge variety of hot and cold options available, including traditional dishes, as well as cheese and meat and a salad bar. There’s also a sweet Viennese cafe area where guests can help themselves to beautifully baked cakes and strudels. For drinks, the options range from several soft drinks, infused waters, spirits, beers, and wines—including Austrian beers and wines—to a Bloody Mary station.

The space

Elsewhere there are comfortable loungers throughout, each with their own European electrical sockets and USB ports. Families will love the dedicated play area for kids, as well as the family bathroom with changing facilities. I personally loved the private booths with beds and reading lights, ideal if you want to catch some shut-eye before your flight—although you would need to bring your own blanket. Upon entering the lounge there’s also a complimentary locker room to store any bulky items or carry-on baggage, which helped make the lounge feel a lot more spacious and comfortable.

My favorite area of lounge, however, was the year-round outdoor roof terrace with views over and beyond the runway. A great spot, especially when the sun is out in summer. After catching some rays on the terrace, you can freshen up before your flight in one of the spacious private shower rooms—complete with Dyson hair dryers and fluffy towels.

My highlights:

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the airfield
  • A Bloody Mary station
  • Outdoor roof terrace
  • Private booths with beds
  • Dyson hair dryers in the private shower rooms

Is it worth it?

If you’ve got some time to spare before hitting the skies, this is definitely a lounge experience that’s worth the price.

How do I visit?

Priority Pass membership fees range from $99 a year to $469 a year; the most expensive tier provides free access to all Priority Pass lounges plus $35 guest visit fees. Non-members can access the Vienna Lounge for three hours at a cost of $59 for adults and $31 for children ages 4-14 (children three and under enter for free).

This article was originally published on Condé Nast Traveller UK.

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