Arrival/Check-In: My colleague and I were flying back to New York (JFK) on Brussels Airlines in business class and had access to its new lounge, The Loft, at Brussels Airport. We cleared security, always a fun experience, and headed to the lounge on the next level, where the reception staff welcomed us with a smile and a warm greeting.
Facilities: The lounge is large by any standards at 13,347 square feet, boasting eight different “hubs,” each with its own function. It has a capacity for 300 people at one time and, that being said, it was still very quiet. The floors, which look like bleached oak, are actually sound-absorbing ceramic tiles, while the ceiling is also designed with the same noise reduction function. The décor, in light earth tones, includes a lot of glass and natural light.
A great deal of thought went into the design of this lounge, such as installing 180 outlets throughout the facility. Every table and desk has an attached outlet, as do the high-backed seats and the lounge chairs in the relaxing area, so no one needs to prowl the premises looking for the odd outlet.
There are seven coffee/hot drink machines throughout the lounge. The food station is in the center, and the serving tables are separated to enhance the traffic flow through the area. Warm food is available as are cold meats, cheeses, salads, fruits, pastry and — since it is Belgium — chocolate, especially chocolate mousse.
Passengers have use of four shower/changing rooms plus a room with four nap boxes for those travelers with long layovers eager to get some shut-eye. There is also a meeting room with all the electronic equipment needed for a business meeting. A business center features two Skype modular units similar to phone booths where you can sit and Skype.
Brussels Airlines’ Miles and More members and Senators and HON Circle Card holders can access a private sitting area with its own coffee/hot beverage machine.
Services/Amenities: Brussels Airlines teamed up with Microsoft and Designit to create a unique digital experience while visiting the lounge. This means guests can borrow a Surface Pro 3 during their stay and access the lounge’s app, Connected Lounge, by which they can book a shower room, check availability of nap boxes, book a meeting and check flight status.
The lounge showcases Belgian products from Bulo furniture to the four Belgian beers (Stella Artois, Leffe Blond, Leffe Brune and Hoegaarden) on offer.
The Experience: A passenger, knowing we had not been in the lounge before, told us, “This is the best lounge in Europe.” And by the time we were leaving, we wholeheartedly agreed with him. It is the best lounge in Europe — and elsewhere as well. It is well worth a visit.
[item check=yes]Complimentary WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary food offerings, extensive menu including hot food/soups and hot beverages[/item]
[item check=yes]Complete complimentary bar with wine, beer and liquor[/item]
[item check=yes]Meeting spaces/group seating[/item]
[item check=yes]In-lounge rest rooms[/item]
[item check=yes]Comfortable, overstuffed chairs[/item]
[item check=yes]Dining tables and chairs[/item]
[item check=yes]Available reading materials[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate entertainment areas with televisions[/item]
[item check=yes]Concierge services[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate family-friendly room[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample, easy-access power outlets[/item]
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.