And the Priority Pass ‘Lounge of the Year 2018’ award nearly goes to ….. Aberdeen Airport
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Airport lounge network Priority Pass has unveiled the winners of its ‘Airport Lounge of the Year 2018’ awards.
Whilst it is easy to take such awards with a pinch of salt, the fact that the Priority Pass awards are based on 52,000 reviews from cardholders does give them some credibility.
The global winner for 2018 was Sala VIP Internacional at Quito International Airport in Ecuador.
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 colour of Ecuador’s vibrant capital. The lounge is fitted out with ample seating 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.
More relevant to HfP readers are the European winners.
The overall European winner was the Primeclass Riga Business Lounge at Terminal E at Riga International Airport, Latvia.
The good news is that the European runner-up award was the little-known Northern Lights Executive Lounge in Aberdeen.
I am very pleased about this. I reviewed the Northern Lights lounge in May 2018 – see here – and was very impressed. It was actually the best lounge, adjusting for the airport it was in, that I visited last year and it is great to see it getting broader recognition.
As I wrote last May:
“a lot of small clever ideas come together to create something impressive”
The Northern Lights lounge can be accessed by Priority Pass unsurprisingly (buy one, or free with American Express Platinum), Lounge Club (free with American Express Gold) and all other major lounge pass networks. It also hosts premium cabin passengers on certain airlines who do not have their own lounge.
If you want to book in advance and will be paying cash, you can book on the Aberdeen Airport website here.
The other Priority Pass lounge winners
Here are the winners of the other awards:
Africa & Middle East
- Regional Winner: Ahlan Lounge at B, Terminal 3, Concourse B, Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
- Highly Commended: Marhaba Lounge, Terminal 3, Concourse A, Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
- Regional Winner: Miracle First Class Lounge, International Concourse D, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand
- Highly Commended: SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore
- Regional Winner: Lounge 19, Terminal 1, Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico
- Highly Commended: The Club MCO, Terminal B, Concourse 4, Orlando FL International Airport, United States
Latin America and The Caribbean
- Highly Commended: Eldorado Lounge, Terminal 1, Bogota El Dorado International Airport, Colombia
It is worth noting that, if you’re in Dubai, you can access the Ahlan First Class lounge in Terminal 3 Concourse D – which is better than the Ahlan lounge which won the award – via DragonPass. This lounge is used by a lot of airlines for their First Class passengers and has free flowing champagne and a la carte dining. You can read more about that in this HfP article. It does not accept Priority Pass unfortunately.
If you have been to any of the lounges above, please let us have your thoughts in the comments below.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 2023)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.