Now you can unwind and beautify at the airport. (Photo: Frederic Cirou/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images)
The idea of a relaxing layover seems like an oxymoron. But an increasing number of airports have realized that if there’s ever a time we need to destress, it’s before, after, and in between flights. Enter airside spa treatments: More and more airports are offering options for customers to relax and primp. Here are five of the best hubs for getting beautified:
Heathrow Airport, London, England
The Dior store at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 offers free makeovers. (Photo: darrellinyvr/Flickr)
There are over 100 complimentary (and fast) luxury beauty treatments available at Heathrow’s five terminals, with 50 in the airport’s brand-new Terminal 2 alone. The experiences range from hand massages at stores like Jo Malone, Guerlain, and Elizabeth Arden to mini-facials at Sisley, Decleor, Kielhl’s, and Clarins. You can get anti-aging treatments and consultations at the Dr Sebagh boutique, hydrating preflight prep facials at Dermalogica and Shiseido, and makeovers at M.A.C, Givenchy, Dior, and YSL. The list goes on.
Changi Airport, Singapore
Changi’s rooftop pool looks pretty sweet. (Photo: Singapore Changi Airport)
How about a nice, relaxing dip after you deplane? Check your luggage at Left Baggage and head to the Balinese-themed rooftop pool and Jacuzzi in Terminal 1. It’s only $11.50 to enter, and they also throw in a towel, showers and shampoo, chaise lounges, and one nonalcoholic drink from the poolside Tiki bar. But remember, it’s only for airside passengers, so use the pool before you clear immigration. If you’re still feeling stressed, you might go for a stroll through one of the airport’s nature areas: the rooftop Cactus Garden, with over 40 varieties of cacti and succulents in Terminal 1; Terminal 2’s rooftop Sunflower Garden and indoor Orchid Garden; and the Butterfly Garden (Terminal 3) with more than 1,000 winged inhabitants.
Helsinki Airport, Helsinki, Finland
Finnair’s Premium Lounge sauna heats up to 100 degrees Celsius. (Photo: Okko Oinonen/Finnair)
What could be more Finnish than a sauna? (Allegedly, the country has one for every three people.) Even if you’re just passing through, you can get the authentic Finnish experience by visiting a 100-degree Celsius sauna in Finnair’s brand-new Premium Lounge. Well, nearly authentic. Although the natives traditionally sauna in the nude, it is “recommended” that airport visitors use the towels provided in the unisex sauna. Cap off the experience with a cold shower — the Scandinavian custom is to jump in the snow, but this is the urban version. Access to the Nordic-themed lounge — with decorative touches from noted Finnish designers such as Marimekko and Eero Saarinen — is free to business and first class ticket holders, as well as passengers in the top tiers of Finnair’s frequent-flyer program or the One World program. For everyone else, admission is $68.
John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, New York
Take a load off at Be Relax Spa & Lounge (Photo: JetBlue)
JFK has lots of options to primp or relax. If you’re flying British Airways, the Elemis Travel Spa (Terminal 7) offers free 15-minute massages and facials, as well as the male-oriented Power Shave, to first-class passengers and loyalty card holders. For everyone else, the French spa chain Be Relax opened a 1,000-square-foot facility in Terminal 5’s JetBlue area this spring. Treatments like massages (hot-stone and Swedish), oxygen-infusion facials, acupuncture, and — for the truly dedicated — waxing are administered in private rooms, while the main area has acupressure chairs to soothe you as you get an OPI mani/pedi or another beauty treatment. Barbering treatments for men are also available, and the spa has the airport’s first blow-dry bar for women. If you don’t have time to visit Be Relax before you leave JFK, there are airport outposts in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Rome, and Dubai.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois
O’Hare’s Yoga Room (Photo: Chicago Department of Aviation)
As part of its recent refurbishment, the previously spa-deprived O’Hare now has two new Terminal Gateway Spas (in Terminals 1 and 3), where you can get a 45- or 90-minute full-body massage in a private room (from $65) or a quick chair massage, as well as facial and nail treatments. Terminal 5 has an XpresSpa, where, as the name suggests, treatments — including chair massages, manicures, facials, and hot shaves — are geared toward travelers in a hurry. (XpresSpa has branches at 17 other airports in the United States and one in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.) If you want to work on your inner beauty too, the Windy City’s airport also has a bamboo-floored yoga room (an instructor is not provided, but mats are).
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