By Kelley Granger

Terminal – the word just oozes demise and bleakness. We’re not sure whose idea it was to name these sections of the airport, but they sure weren’t a marketing genius. Luckily, airports themselves have been getting savvier and are transforming these forsaken areas into bustling lifestyle hubs, where anything you can do on the outside can be done next to the boarding ramp. We know you’re a discerning traveler, so here are some superlative services, shopping, dining and more that you can schedule during your next stopover.


Elemis Travel Spa

Relax | Elemis Spa, London Heathrow Airport

British Airways recently moved into Terminal 5 at London Heathrow and sure classed up the joint. Inside their giant travel lounge, called Galleries, weary souls can find respite and relaxation at one of the airport’s three Elemis Travel Spas. The spas offer exclusive treatments, including facials that rehydrate skin post-flight and shoulder to scalp massages to release tension. If your poor feet have taken a battering, treat them to the Flying Feet treatment, a hot lime compress cleanse followed up by a refreshing gel and hot stone massage.

Eat | Bonfire, Logan Airport, Boston

Spice things up on your trip with a visit to acclaimed chef Todd English’s restaurant, Bonfire, located in Terminal B. The hunky chef serves up hunks of meat steakhouse style with grilling influences from Argentina, Europe and America. If you’d like the Todd English experience without the dedication of a full sit-down meal, mosey up to Ozone-BOS right in the same terminal, where you can sample specialty cocktails to loosen you up pre-flight and nosh on lighter fare to hold you through your airline’s “no meal” policy.


The new Terminal 3 at Changi Airport

Shop | Changi Airport, Singapore

Changi Airport is a godsend for those who got cheated out of a supreme shopping experience on their trip, so if you’ve got the chance to stop at Changi Airport in Singapore on your way home you’ll be sure to have the souvenir/gift bases covered. Hailed by many as a mecca for the truly devoted consumer, you’ll find Tiffany & Co. stationed in Terminal 2 (done with architectural details to mimic the flagship New York store), or for something more authentic to Singapore, visit native jewelers Poh Heng in Terminal 1. Burberry, Coach, Fendi and Gucci are just steps away, as well as the only airport-based Chloe. Even more shopping awaits in the newly opened Terminal 3, which debuted its wares and marvels (a five story vertical garden) in January. You’ll score with duty free purchases and store hours, which typically run from 6am to midnight or later.

Work | oneworld Lounge, Los Angeles International Airport

You don’t have to fly to Hong Kong, Australia or England to get a taste of the oneworld alliance (the team includes Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways and more). Just schedule your stopover in Los Angeles’ LAX to check out the lounge celebrated design firm Gensler created in the Tom Brady International Terminal. An oasis of limestone, sea grass embedded resin panels and wood slatted screens await your reposing. The space was designed to evoke a sense of the outdoors, so if you get airport anxiety high tail it over to this space where you can shower, have a drink and work on projects at the computer bank in peace (for first and business class passengers, that is).

Originally published July 2008
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