United Airlines will open its latest Polaris business class lounge at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Friday June 29.
However, travellers should think of the Polaris Houston lounge as being a little but more 'boutique, explains Alexander Dorow, United’s Director of Premium Services.
It will be "a little smaller than our other locations… I call it our ‘boutique hotel’ of a lounge”, Dorow tells Australian Business Traveller.
“It has little areas that are quiet and away from the rest of the lounge, private resting suites that look out over the tarmac, shower suites, and a buffet that we’ll be calling The Bistro.”
Highlight dishes showcase local influences such as this healthy Texas breakfast skillet...
... along with a ligher avocado caprese salad...
...amd this unique English muffin duo.
A Polaris 'penthouse' with sweeping views
“We wanted to create a lounge that was really private, and it feels like you're stepping into somebody's residence,” Dorow explains.
With that in mind, the Polaris lounge crowns the top floor of Houston Airport's Terminal E, taking over that space from the old United Club.
“The entire third level is now the Polaris Lounge, above the United Club and with sweeping views over the tarmac and runways.”
“The lounge used to have an entry level, a main second level and then a third level above it."
Dorow says the staircase which used to connect the second and third floors has been closed and built over – “you'd never even know it was there” – with an elevator to whisk Polaris passengers between lobby and lounge.
For a taste of what United's Houston Polaris lounge will be like, read our review of the recently-opened Polaris lounge at San Francisco
No frequent flyers allowed
As with its siblings, the Newark Polaris lounge will be restricted to business class and first class travellers on United's international fleet and its Star Alliance siblings, with top-tier frequent flyers in other classes shunted into the lesser United Club lounges.
Polaris LAX lounge opens November
United’s fifth Polaris lounge is slated to open in November at Los Angeles Terminal 7, "and is much more of an intimate space," Dorow says.
“The Los Angeles Polaris lounge is built into what was our former Global First Lounge, but we also took over all of the United management office spaces that we had to essentially double the size.”
The resulting lounge is a ‘bow tie’ in shape, built around either side of the terminal’s central rotunda, from which “you can actually look up and see part of the lounge, actually where the dining space is going to be.”
“The bar will look very different than what you see here in San Francisco or in Newark – it really feels like you're in California, especially in Southern California, with the unique tiles that are indigenous to that area. We want the lounge to feel really ‘homey’ to our customers who call Los Angeles home.”
Dorow says the “distinctly LA” vibe will embrace a strong focus “on wine and spirits which is attributed to the California clientele, more so than any of our other hubs.”