Best lounges, airports & hotels: the Australian Business Traveller Awards

By David Flynn, August 4 2015
Best lounges, airports & hotels: the Australian Business Traveller Awards

Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Etihad take line honours for the world's best airport lounges in the Australian Business Traveller Awards for 2015.

Best First Class Lounge: Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class, Hong Kong

Between rushing to the airport and boarding that next flight, Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge is a well-appointed haven for busy business travellers.

With its private Day Suites, foot massage service, à la carte restaurant and full service bar, all wrapped in a thoughtful and carefully-curated contemporary design, Cathay Pacific and lounge designer Ilse Crawford have raised the bar for airlines around the world. 

Best Business Class Lounge: Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

With a boutique design which captures the essence of Hong Kong plus a riot of locally-inspired Rockpool dining including BBQ pork and yum cha treats, no airport boasts anything quite like the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Partner that with attentive Sofitel service and the result is a business class lounge that’s world class by any measure.

Best Arrivals Lounge: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Arrivals Lounge

Business travellers stepping off a long-haul flight appreciate an arrivals lounge where they can refresh and recharge.

Etihad Airways has taken that one step further with a ‘wet shave’, steam press and shoe shine service – seemingly small but exceptionally thoughtful ‘finishing touches’ for busy executives who needs to look their best.

Best Australian Airport: Canberra

With a spacious design, excellent wayfinding and passenger-friendly facilities including five Qantas and Virgin Australia lounges, Canberra Airport punches well above its weight to prove that bigger isn’t always better.

Best International Airport: Hong Kong

Served by all of the world’s major airlines, Hong Kong International Airport has got it all: a compact traveller-friendly footprint, extensive shopping and wonderful lounges, while the Airport Express train puts Hong Kong itself less than half an hour away.

Best Hotel Group: Starwood Hotels & Resorts

With properties in over 100 countries and a network of quality brands including Sheraton, Westin, St Regis and W Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is a great choice for the business and luxury traveller.

There’s also a stellar loyalty program to match, with all members of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) enjoying free in-room Internet access from their very first stay plus the ability to earn frequent flyer points at generous rates with the likes of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and more.

For frequent guests, Starwood’s elite Gold and Platinum tiers provide valuable real-world benefits such as complimentary room upgrades and late check-out – and for Platinum members, upgrades to spacious suites, access to hotel lounges and free daily breakfast: all for the price of a standard room.

Best Airport Hotel: Sofitel London Heathrow

Many business travellers are wary of airport hotels, which are often designed more around frequent flyer convenience than five-star quality. But the Sofitel London Heathrow shows that airport hotels don’t need to be the poor cousin to their big city counterparts.

Directly connected to Terminal 5 and with free connections from other terminals, it offers everything you’d expect from a Sofitel flagship including two quality restaurants, a health club and spa, and well-appointed rooms cocooned behind soundproofed windows.

Best Business Destination: Hong Kong

As one of the world’s leading financial centres, built upon a unique heritage and perched on China’s doorstep, Hong Kong is more than just ‘east meets west’ – it’s where opportunity meets success.

Also read:

The Australian Business Traveller Awards recognise the trend-setters and game-changers in the highly competitive business travel market across 30 categories ?including first class suites and business class seats, airport lounges, frequent flyer programs, inflight food and wine, travel technology and more.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Dec 2012

Total posts 22

I can definitely vouch for the Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge at AUH. While their food selection is limited, it is a relaxing respite area. Only wish they were more of them!

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 276

That Hong Kong lounge does look pretty refined and you should be in for a great experience. 

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 93

not sure about HK as a business destination with rapidly falling rates of english language competence, rampant corruption, insane over-regulation and increasing interference from Beijing!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1200

Canberra AIrport is very good but it is a case of infrastructure being built way in advance of current demand.....whether this is genius foresight or folly is open to question.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

How were these awards decided? While the QF lounge in Hong Kong is my favourite J lounge in Asia you obviously haven't been to Istanbul if you think its the best J lounge in the world!

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

Awards were decided by the editorial team and focus on the Australian business travel experience - for example, lounges on routes from Australia by airlines which fly to/from Australia. When Turkish Airlines begins flying to Australia its well-regarded Istanbul lounge will be a contender.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2014

Total posts 15

Seriously ... Canberra airport is the best?

It is the most soulless airport ever.

Avis car rental currently operates out of a vehicle in the car park.

No food/drink outlets in baggage area and only 1-2 outlets in the departure area.

Outside of the lounges it is a ghost town.

Plus being labeled an "international airport" with no international flights? LOL

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2013

Total posts 10

Agree that Sofitel Heathrow airport hotel is fantastic. Best omelette for breakfast I've ever had....ever...anywhere! Great gym and obviously access to all the terminals.  Genuinely friendly staff too.

07 Aug 2015

Total posts 1

What they seem to forget about the Abu Dhabi arrivals is that although the lounges are fine, arriving at the airport is like a third world experience. Poor directions, crowded, dirty, and endless queuing at the gates even for business class passengers.

for economy passengers the experience is abismal, food, seating, rest areas

They need to do some major work at this airport

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