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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Finnair’s premium lounge has designs on your comfort

Jonny Clark takes some time out in Finnair’s latest premium lounge in Helsinki to explore one of the world’s leading designer airline brands.
Carefully selected furniture in the lounge includes the legendary Tulip and Womb chairs created by Eero Saarinen. Courtesy Finnair
Carefully selected furniture in the lounge includes the legendary Tulip and Womb chairs created by Eero Saarinen. Courtesy Finnair

Finnair’s excellent one-stop flights around the world are helping it to become one of the most popular European carriers, and it recently expanded its US options for travellers from the Middle East and Europe.

Between connecting flights, I dived into the airline’s new Premium Lounge, designed by the Helsinki firm dSign Vertti Kivi. Opened last summer, it is situated next to the business class lounge near gate 36 of Helsinki international airport.

Accessible only to Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers, the lounge is split into three distinct areas – a dining area, ground level main lounge and raised quiet lounge make finding somewhere that suits your mood effortless.

There’s no doubt this lounge is a showcase of Finnish design, with clean, slick lines, beautiful white finishes and the only real colour coming from the washes of coloured lighting that define the different zones.

To reinforce the design ethos of the carrier, the airline has introduced Marimekko tableware and Iittala Ultima Thule glasses – first designed for Finnair in 1968 by Tapio Wirkkala. Carefully selected furniture in the lounge includes the legendary Tulip and Womb chairs created by Eero Saarinen.

With seating for 120 guests, the lounge is by no means small or lacking in amenities. By the entrance a self-service buffet offers beautifully presented Scandinavian cold dishes and warming soups with fresh bread.

There is the chance to sit in the main dining area, the only section with conventional tables. Guests can also take the weight off their feet in the central part of the lounge, where an airy curtain-walled relaxation area has large contemporary leather recliner chairs, small side tables and designer floor lamps.

Just off the main lounge area is a children’s play room, with glass walls, offering a modicum of sound protection from the more excited younger travellers. There is also a bank of work desks featuring Apple Macs for those needing to catch up with work before their flight.

The quieter area, in which I set up camp, is perfect for solo travellers. Just off this sound haven a darker room is ideal for those in need of rest.

The secret weapon of Finnair’s lounge complex is the new spa complete with private shower suites, as well as a Finnish sauna – available to both premium and standard business class passengers. To complete the holistic vision, expect fluffy towels, forest berry-based shampoos and shower toiletries from Finland.

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