And the Priority Pass ‘Airport Lounge of the Year’ awards go to ….

Airport lounge network Priority Pass has unveiled the winners of its ‘Airport Lounge of the Year’ awards.

Whilst it is easy to take such awards with a pinch of salt, the fact that the Priority Pass ones are based on reviews from cardholders does give them some credibility.

The global winner for 2015 was the EuroAirport Skyview Lounge at Basel-Mulhouse Airport.  This is the same lounge that is used by British Airways and can also be accessed with the Lounge Club pass that comes free with the Amex Gold card.

To quote:

Located in the only bi-national airport in the world, the award winning 1,700 square meter lounge, which is owned by EuroAirport and operated by Swissport, combines the craftsmanship of Swiss and French architecture and design. Standout features include a unique vast glass dome that brings natural light into the heart of the lounge, a spacious terrace overlooking the airport runway and exotic palm trees that surround a tranquil pool of water. This helped the space stand out against over 850 other lounges in the Priority Pass network. The EuroAirport Skyview Lounge won the regional European Award in 2014, 2009, 2008 and 2005, the Global Award in 2012 and was also Highly Commended for the European Award in 2011 and 2010.

I have never been to this lounge, although – given all the prizes it has won – I may be missing out!

Basel Mulhouse airport lounge

Impressively, I have also failed to visit any of the regional winners except for the SWISS lounge in Zurich (which, to be honest, I was surprised to see on the Priority Pass list):

Asia Pacific:

Overall Winner: Louis Tavern CIP First Class Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International

Highly Commended: More Premium Lounge at Taipei Taoyuan International

Highly Commended: Asiana Business Lounge at Seoul Incheon International

North America:

Overall Winner: Salon VIP Lounge at Québec Jean Lesage International

Highly Commended: The Club at ATL at Atlanta GA International

Latin America & The Caribbean:

Overall Winner: Aeroportos VIP Club at Brasilia International

Highly Commended: Club Mobay at Montego Bay Sangster

Best Business Facilities:

Overall Winner: Wingtips Lounge at New York JFK International

Highly Commended: Swiss International Airlines Lounge at Zurich Airport

Best Quality of Refreshments:

Overall Winner: Dilmun Lounge at Bahrain International

Highly Commended: Plaza Premium Lounge at Vancouver International

Best Attitude and Service from Lounge Staff:

Winner: The Club at SJC at San Jose CA Mineta International

Highly Commended: Emperor Lounge at Auckland International

I’m not sure how the Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 or any of No 1 Traveller lounges failed to come 2nd – although I agree that none of them have the ‘wow’ factor of Basel-Mulhouse.  As you will see from my review of the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 later this week, that is another impressive space which can be accessed via Priority Pass and Lounge Club.

If you have been to any of the lounges above, please let us have your thoughts in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. Isn’t the EuroAirport actually tri-national? GVA is sort of bi-national.

    Plaza Premium at YVR did have good food and drink, was worth spending one of my Amex Gold lounge club passes rather than settling for the Maple Leaf.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I had a great brownie at PP YVR. Don’t remember the drinks being anything special though.

    • I had the same though John and I think you are correct.

      Mulhouse airport is also the airport for Freiburg in Germany.
      There is probably no specific area designed to be the German one but it is still tri-national in my opinion.

      And yes GVA has the France sector.

  2. Louis’ Tavern? Best in Asia Pacific? It’s not bad, the first class bit we went to (upstairs in G concourse, for those who might be heading to BKK) was quite empty and it has hot food at all hours, but I can’t see how it’s better than some of the Plaza lounges elsewhere in the region.

    • I’m confused by this. My memory of this lounge(allbeit at 1am) was that it was small, pokey and the available food was borderline disgusting to look at and/or eat. Most of all though, I remember that we got a sticker on entry from the extremely grumpy dragon that was used to allow them to tell when we had been there the maximum two hours so we could be kicked out! We left as soon as we could, well before the two hours.

      • There are (somewhere in the region of) 6 Louis’ Taverns lounges in BKK, including two (or three, depending on how you count them) on the G-Concourse. One of these is the downstairs “First Class” lounge, and the other is a split level lounge with “Business Class” downstairs by the travelators and the ramps to the gate G2 IIRC, and “First Class” upstairs on the same level you come in on through security.

        We went to the big split level one, the upstairs First bit had about 4 people in and a capacity perhaps of 100+. The downstairs Business bit was heaving, until Qantas left when it also got quiet. There are separate entrances, but a roped off escalator connects the two levels.

        I *think* that the difference between “Business” and “First” lounges is who can use them. Vietnam Airlines gave us a voucher that said it could be used in any of the “Business” lounges and it seemed from the crowds that Qantas did the same, but Priority Pass seems to be accepted in the “First” lounges too. Aside from the seating being more comfy, and it being much quieter, and a bit lighter, there didn’t seem to be much difference between the “First” and “Business” bits. Different food, and a pancake making machine downstairs, same/similar booze.

        The food didn’t look particularly appetising, but bits of it were edible. The sandwiches were surprisingly ok.

        I’m not going to rush to BKK early to hang around there, but it was alright and I’d have no problem sitting there for a couple of hours again. Extremely fast internet too, even over a VPN.

        • Hi EdC, I’m arriving in BKK on 26th Dec Qatar Business and was wondering if you knew of an arrivals lounge for me? I’m also then connecting to Thai J Class up to CNX a few hours later and was wondering if you know of the best lounge I could use for that outbound flight?

  3. Chico Dusty says:

    OT: The new Gibraltar Airport was close to becoming bi-national but the Spanish haven’t yet put up the cash to extend the terminal entrance over the frontier.

  4. I visited the Sky lounge just yesterday. It’s quite spacious and relaxing. That said they have a 3 hr limit and the normal seats are too narrow to easily work with you laptop on your lap.

    Food and drink options were ok but not fantastic, they had run out of gin last night!

    Europe airport is bi-national ( French and Swiss) however Germany is only a very short drive away

  5. Sussex bantam says:

    I use this lounge very frequently. It is indeed beautifully designed and is SO huge there is always masses of seating. I have no idea how big they thought BSL was going to end up – maybe the size of Heathrow ! (RK I think you must have visited a different lounge – this is the exact opposite of small and pokey !!)

    Food is ok but not much more than that.

    Oh and I always found the desk guys very friendly and no sign of any timed stickers

  6. What struck me most when visiting the award-winning lounge in Basel was the quietness – I was the only guest for about 2 hours (that was around midday)! When I had arrived at the airport 4 hours before my flight was due to leave for LHR, the check-in desk was still closed. I asked a BA member of staff who happened to walk past me when they would open. He had a look at my boarding pass. “As you are travelling in Club Europe, I will check in your luggage right now.” He took my bags and closed the counter again afterwards. “I want you to spend some time in our beautiful lounge.”, he said… Certainly one of my most pleasant BA travel experiences so far!

  7. Jimmyjimmy says:

    Wow, Basel is a poor lounge, granted it is spacious but dull, dated, poor food and drink choices.
    J

    • Guess it must depend what day/time of day you arrive. My wife and I were surprised by the extent of choice and quality of food when we were there.

  8. planeflyer says:

    I’ve been into a few of the Louis Tavern lounges, and my impressions are not generally positive. I guess it won as PP has such a massive footfall in BKK that a lot of “average” feedback translates into popularity.

  9. My wife and I visited here on the way back from Basel in March. Very relaxing space and it was nice to be able to get outside onto an observation deck as well.
    Combined with a good selection of self serve food and drink it probably is the best lounge we’ve visited.
    Basel was a lovely little town as well, all in all well worth a weekend break.

  10. Bariummeal says:

    I was in the Taipei one last year and was horrified at how awful it was. Seats and decor like an African dictator’s palace, no food apart from pot noodle, a beer machine that was broken and unfriendly staff – without doubt the worst lounge I have ever visited. So if they gave this ‘highely commended’ – well I take the scores with a vat of salt.

  11. Used Basel lounge many times and is very good indeed in all respects. Freshly squeezed orange juice does any other lounge offer this ?

  12. i’ve enjoyed the BSL lounge both as a PP member – when travelling on Ryanair 1p flights (remember them?) – and as a *A Gold member when flying LX. It was previously a Swiss lounge.

    There were a couple of special on request services – pressed orange juice and Moevenpick ice cream. Both of these rendered the lounge a step ahead of others.

    The Swiss lounge at ZRH is nothing special. I’ve been there too many times and the lounge is boring, though internet access is OK. The lounge dates back to when ZRH was developed as a white elephant airport to service the worldwide aspirations of the former Swissair.

  13. The Club at ATL – highly commended?! It’s OK, but really nothing special. Nothing over and above what’s offered in the various US airlines’ own standard lounges. The furniture style and design is very “American chain hotel” – i.e busy, clashing patterns, chintzy fittings, not especially comfortable – and it’s quite cramped. Food is limited to mediocre wraps, crisps, dips. There are a couple of showers, which are usually available without a wait. The free bar offerings are fine. I suppose, given the general standard of US lounges available for PP members, maybe this is the best they could find – simply because it’s fairly new.

  14. The very worst lounge I have found this year is the PP lounge at Stuttgart airport – it was so bad I didn’t even register to stay. It is a small ex-storage cupboard that has a coffee machine and a small fridge, along with two tables and four chairs. That’s about it. Dreadful.

  15. I passed through Quebec City airport in October but was arriving. It is a very small airport but the railway station we left from is an amazing art deco building with at least two excellent restaurants. There are, however, only about ten trains per day giving the staff plenty of time to weigh the passengers’ luggage and charge them if it exceeds a certain weight, on a train!

  16. The basel lounge is fantastic the staff stayed on for us an extra two hours because a BA flight was delayed. The food selection is good, they have good beer on tap and a wide range of drinks. The design is great. Other lounges would have kicked you right out at closing regardless.

    • Lady London says:

      I’ve used Basel lounge a lot. For visits of up to 1 day (on purpose when I had time to fill) down to 1 hour or less. This seems to be pretty much the only lounge used by all the airlines of whatever (or no) alliance.

      The choice of different seating around the giant circle is nice. The chaise longues are nice if you really need a snooze. Food varies from American lounge-standard, dry pretzels and maybe a few wet crisps only and some soft drinks – to very nice spreads. I’ve found breakfast is very well done, aimed at the business market, good choice and very OK quality. If you spend time at non-food parts of the day, as it’s mostly empty other than the real rush periods, the lounge has a lot of glass so feels cold and has not a lot to offer if you are there out of the peak. I’ve been there more often at quiet times and it’s always felt “cold” to me. And Simon I think you were very lucky as IME they have always made sure to advise people to leave a little early so as to be sure to make their own closing time.

      I agree that if the Swiss lounge at Zurich pre-renovation is here, then it’s a perfectly reasonable lounge but well behind a decent Plaza Premium lounge. I believe the Swiss lounge is being renovated or has just been renovated and I’m sure it’s very nice.

      Maybe some of the rankings reflect the fact that Priority Pass does not give access into a huge number of the top airlines’ own lounges. I don;t understand why there aren’t a lot more Plaza Premium lounges listed as the top ones here. Perhaps the survey had an informal rationing system for the awards?

  17. It’s a shame they don’t have the worst lounges for Priority Pass.

    Barcelona (Terminal 1) would (I’m fairly sure) be up there … I was with a group of 4 others; so I agreed that I’d sign one person in and they split the entry price 3 ways…

    What a complete load of rubbish.

    Limited drinks – served by a stroppy barman who seemed intent that we wouldn’t get our money’s worth for the 1 hr that we were there! We only got 1 refill (small glasses too) in that time.

    Limited snacks (cheese and crackers only and not a good selection – it would comfortably fit on a couple of dinner plates for the whole lounge).

    Won’t be going back

    • I’d like an article on this lol.

      Most of the lounges I go in, they fall over themselves to give you booze (maybe not the very best/ premium, but otherwise you can have as much as you like of the acceptable stuff). And the snacks are OK as well.

      Once we get into cost control, sounds rubbish but we need to know!

  18. I have visited only the Dilmun Lounge, Bahrain in this list. Funnily enough I was there during lunch time and thought I had the best lounge meal. It is heavily oriented towards Arabic and Indian food (which I love) so not everyone may share the same opinion. I was DENIED entry as BA Silver flying on Qatar and told that I should either be flying BA to gain access as BA elite or be a Qatar elite member. Luckily I had priority pass and gained access with that else I would have been really pissed off.

  19. Lady London says:

    On the worst lounge list I think I’d put most of the French lounges I’ve been in . With the honorable exception of Cathay at Paris Charles de Gaulle, who are lovel, a nice environment to get some work done and have a snack. I haven’t sampled a couple of the newer lounges at Charles de Gaulle – mainly because I try to avoid that airport now. So if anyone likes a particular lounge at Charles de Gaulle, I’d like to hear.

  20. Who could tell me if my Air France Amex Gold gives me the right to use club lounges? Thanks for info.