Flying in Style: How Luxury Hotels Are Making Your Airport Experience Less Painful

If you think the best you can do to alleviate the stress of a cross-country flight is a drink at the Polo Lounge, think again. Hotels are going out of their way to make your airport experience smoother, instead of waiting to coddle you once you arrive on their premises. “We try to be a concierge at the airport and make their lives a bit easier whether they’re coming off an hour flight or a 14-hour flight,” James Bardolf of the Peninsula Beverly Hills told the New York Times. His role as “airport concierge” means he’ll greet you at LAX with anything you need, and for a $100 fee, he and his staff will speed your departure by getting you through security fast, securing your access to airport lounges, and getting your seats upgraded. Other hotels are offering similar services, so read on for the full list:

Round Hill Hotel & Villas and Island Outpost Hotel & Villas at Montego Bay get departing guests through security and immigration faster, and lets them rest in a 10,000-square-foot lounge with Wi-Fi, showers, a bar, and mini-spa, for about $30. That’s less than the regular lounge, and it’s newer and nicer.

In Marrakech, the Four Seasons has a hotel pickup service for 600 dirhams ($74) that lets you get your passport checked for customs in the lounge, while La Mamounia’s private 560 square-foot space is designed by Jacques Garcia in the same style as the hotel. It’s also scented with their unique date fragrance, created by Olivia Giacobetti exclusively for La Mamounia. Other hotels that are adding their own airport lounges include the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa, Waldorf Astoria Maldives and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

In the luggage arena (because we’re all trying to stick to that carry-on), you can use the exercise clothing and sneakers at all Westin and Fairmont properties to reduce bulk while packing, or if you’re a repeat visitor, many hotels will allow you to store all your clothing there between visits, including Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons properties. And if you don’t want to deal with the expense and hassle of airport food, see if your hotel can cook something up for you: many hotels, from large (most Four Seasons properties) to boutique (the Montage Deer Valley, One & Only Palmilla) will prepare to-go boxes that will keep you stuffed and satiated on the plane ride home.

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