It’s the moment business travellers and jetsetters around the world have been waiting for.

Lounges in the UAE, Ecuador, Latvia, Thailand and Mexico are among those recognized in annual poll based on 52,000 ratings to find the best pre-flight oases.

Priority Pass has revealed the winners of its Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards.

This year’s global winner is the Sala VIP Internacional, operated by Corporación Quiport, at Quito International Airport in Ecuador, the main gateway into the country and the only greenfield airport in South America. Sala VIP Internacional put the customer experience at the heart of their recent lounge expansion and pride themselves on offering services that will cater to everyone’s needs. One of the main highlights of this lounge is the outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the city, providing a space that captures the light and color of Ecuador’s vibrant capital. The lounge is fitted out with ample and distinguished locally sourced furnishings providing a luxurious and cultural feel. The lounge menu, designed by renowned local chef Andrés Miño, includes international and Ecuadorian cuisine, and guests can enjoy a variety of wines from the lounge’s private cellar, while watching Quito’s beautiful sunsets. This modern and elegant lounge is open around the clock and features private working spaces, dedicated sleeping areas, a massage room, and showers for guests to refresh themselves before a long flight or during a layover.

The Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards analyses the results of votes across several categories including business facilities, comfort, service from lounge staff and food and drink. 

Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO at Quiport, operator of Sala VIP Internacional said: “It’s an honor to be named as the global winner of this year’s Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards. We’re proud to offer a universal space where passengers can relax and unwind whilst still capturing the special Quito spirit – warmth, colour and great food.

“Taking in our famous sunsets while surrounded by the jacaranda and jasmine that adorn our terrace is the perfect way to relax before a flight and we’re thrilled that this unique experience, coupled with our excellent customer service, has left a lasting impression on our guests.”

Middle East and Africa Region Winner

Among stiff competition, the Ahlan Lounge at B, Terminal 3 in Dubai International Airport has been crowned the top lounge in the region. Dubai International, as the third largest airport in the world by passenger numbers, expects to play host to just over 90 million passengers this year. The Ahlan Lounge at B provides the perfect oasis for passengers transiting through the airport. Upon entering the lounge the Arabian interior touches are immediately welcoming. The lounge offers buffet dining with traditional Arabic dishes as well as a wide variety of international food.

Marhaba Lounge at Terminal 3, Concourse A, also in Dubai International Airport, was announced as the runner up in the region, taking home the “Highly Commended” award. The lounges plain but functional interiors provide a peaceful oasis for guests. Marhaba offers a satisfactory international and Arabic buffet as well as a wide range of beverages. Travelers have access to business services and the lounge even offers sleep pods for those needing to catch up on some rest during their trip.

This year’s winning lounges are also investing in improved business facilities, ensuring visitors can catch up on work without distractions. Sala VIP Internacional in Quito has equipped nearly all seats with power outlets, including dining tables, so customers can stay connected. More widely, conferencing facilities are available in many Priority Pass lounges, with TV screens and video systems available for interactive presentations. Highly-ranked lounges such as SATS Premier Lounge at Terminal 3, Changi International Airport, are also equipped with dedicated, private business workstations.

Global Airport Lounge of the Year winners  

Global: Sala VIP Internacional, Quito International Airport, Ecuador
Europe: Primeclass Riga Business Lounge, Terminal E, Riga International Airport, Latvia
Africa and the Middle East: Ahlan Lounge at B, Terminal 3, Concourse B, Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
Asia Pacific: Miracle First Class Lounge, International Concourse D, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand
North America: Lounge 19, Terminal 1, Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico
Andy Besant, Director of Travel Experiences at Collinson, operator of Priority Pass, said:Some less explored destinations have performed particularly well in this year’s rankings. As intrepid travel continues to rise, we’re noticing increased traffic in lounges at airports that are off the traditional tourist trail and veer from expected flight paths, highlighting the outstanding experiences that are offered in lounges the world over.”
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