Airport spas for the weary traveler

From a couple of simple massage chairs to elaborate and enormous full-scale spa and wellness centers, we’ve taken a look at some of the airport spas and parlors which are increasingly proliferating the world’s airports.

Take the stress out of travel with an airport spa. Image credit: iStock.
Take the stress out of travel with an airport spa. Image credit: iStock.

You’ve been there before. Your flight is delayed by an hour, which you recognize is likely a very optimistic estimate. You’re sitting on the uncomfortable, too-small seat and surrounded on all sides by screaming children and those who feel the need to loudly voice a frustration that is universally felt by all. There’s a bar, but maybe that isn’t the solution. There are some smaller restaurants, but you aren’t really hungry and you’d rather not fritter away your money in the duty-free just for the sake of it. Imagine how welcome and necessary an airport spa might seem to you in these times.
Take a look at these heavenly havens for the weary traveler.

Timeless Spa, Dubai

The Timeless Spa, brought to you by Emirates, has blessed Dubai International Airport with a trio of spas of the highest caliber. Two of these airport spas are available for use, free of charge, for Emirates’ first class customers who find themselves in Terminal 3.
Half-back massages and manicures are the order of the day here, giving passengers some welcome physical relief before they board their outward-bound planes. Here you can even have your hair styled and beard trimmed – ideal for business travelers jumping straight into the thick of it after their flight.

Even better, though, is the full-service spa located at Airport Hotel. Here you can be treated to full body massages, delivering a tingling warmness from head to toe. For those looking for even more,a full body wrap or anti-aging facial treatment might be the order of the day.

While massage parlors and spas may seem like something you book a month in advance and take a day off work to enjoy, they are being seen more and more in airports across the world. The logic is simple: provide a spontaneous, stress-relieving massage in one of the more stressful environments a person is likely to find themselves in. The results are obvious. A four or five-hour flight is infinitely more palatable if you’re physically loose and limber, particularly in the parts of your body that will tense up during times of stress – the shoulders, back, and neck.

Find yourself with a few hours to spare? Why not treat yourself to an airport spa session. Image credit: iStock.
Find yourself with a few hours to spare? Why not treat yourself to an airport spa session. Image credit: iStock.

OM Spa, Hong Kong

Making sure the air travel aspect of your trip goes well is key to the success of the rest of your trip. Whether you’re visiting Australia as a business traveler or on your way to Argentina for a family excursion, arriving at your destination stressed isn’t ideal. Taking care of as many things in advance as possible, for instance an airport transfer in Honk Kong, is key to a successful trip, but ensuring peace of mind and body during your flight is essential too. The OM Spa in the Regal Hotel at Hong Kong Airport caters to both hotel guests and travelers with a few hours to play with.

The bamboo decor and rooms adorned with freshly-picked flowers are in stark contrast to the enormous, bustling airport and city the spa is located in. A tamarind body scrub will have your skin feeling fresh and hydrated and a Sabai hot stone massage might just be the finishing touch you need before stepping aboard your flight. The Eastern take on an airport spa is exemplified by the option of a rejuvenating jasmine milk bath – a style synonymous with Hong Kong.

Back to Life Spa, Amsterdam

One of the best offerings on the European continent is the Back to Life Spa at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. As one of the major European crossroads, Amsterdam deals with an enormous number of international visitors flying into the city every day. Whether you’re coming in from the States and touching down for a couple of hours before jetting off again, or you’re leaving from Amsterdam and have found your flight has been delayed for a while, making use of the on-site spa facilities is a great idea. The futuristic design is reminiscent of a sci-fi film, with various contraptions and machines designed to give travelers the opportunity to unwind before a long distance flight.

The spa may be the best in the world for offering such a comprehensive range of basic offerings (with a respectful nod to Ultimate Transit Haven at Singapore Changi Airport) – perfect if you’re looking for some deep tissue relaxation in a shorter time frame. A 20-minute chair massage will do the trick in most situations, thought if you’re a business traveler in search of absolute zen you can also make use of the reflexology foot massages and get yourself a 15 minute O2 boost in the aromatherapy oxygen bar.

Airport spas offer a range of services to help restore your skin and body. Image credit: iStock
Airport spas offer a range of services to help restore your skin and body. Image credit: iStock

d_parture Spa, Newark

Newark is a city that has experienced a great deal of change. Forever in the shadow of its famous cousin to the east, New York, Newark has emerged in the past couple of decades as a city of incredible depth and culture. Not so long ago, the idea that it would be the location for the world’s greenest airports spas would have drawn curious looks. Now, however, Newark International Airport is home to the d_parture Spa, perhaps the most eco-orientated airport spa in the world.

Built almost exclusively from sustainable materials like reclaimed glass and bamboo flooring, d_parture Spa offers a treatment for travelers that you won’t feel guilty for making use of. An altitude protection facial is a good idea for reinforcing the skin before you are exposed to the pressure changes in air travel. For those whose sinuses are also easy victims to flying, a scalp and eye massage is perfect for relieving that tension and helping you breathe easily after a long distance flight – ideal if you’re taking a relaxing Blacklane airport transfer service for Newark and heading directly to a business engagement in the city.