Airports in UK: Rejuvenating and Relaxing

Andrew J. Wein - Oct 25, 2010
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From oxygen sessions and nail bars to hot-stone massages and teeth whitening, there are a host of services to help your customers relax at the airport.


Heathrow is the ultimate chill-out zone, with a huge variety of spas, health studios and beauty sanctuaries. The Be Relax spa in Terminal 5 offers everything from 10-minute manicures and oxygen treatments to seated and table massages, pedicures and longer “me-time” experiences.

For a room with a “moo”, check your Upper Class and Gold Card clients into Virgin Atlantic’s Cowshed spa at Heathrow or Gatwick. The latter looks out over an internal rock garden, while the Heathrow spa is hidden behind a waterfall. Travellers can relax in the hydro spa pool and sauna or enjoy a massage, manicure or pedicure. There is also a St Tropez tanning booth to kick start the bronzing process.

British Airways’ premium passengers can enjoy Elemis Travel Spas in its lounges at Heathrow’s Terminals 3 and 5. Complimentary 15-minute treatments include facials to combat dehydration during flying, massages, foot massages and hand re-energisers. At Terminal 4, Etihad’s premium customers can enjoy revitalising 15-minute facials, plus realignment and hot-stone massages to ease away muscular tensions.

The wellness centre in the SkyTeam lounge, also in Terminal 4, provides Jet Airways and Alitalia passengers with showers and full-body massage chairs. A vegetal living wall by botanist Patrick Blanc adds to the calming experience. Manchester’s new Terminal 1 has a Be Relax spa and an Escape Lounge with a treatment room, where beauticians provide facials, manicures and massages. Entry costs £15 for adults and £7.50 for children aged between two and 11.

Oxygen Bar

Help reduce jet-lag with a 10-minute session of pure oxygen from a disposable headset in the SkyTeam lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 4, or at the Be Relax spa at Manchester.



Automated massage chairs at Birmingham and Edinburgh provide three minutes of kneading, rolling and tapping in shiatsu style. They cost £1 at Edinburgh. Travellers at Edinburgh are spoilt for choice when it comes to massages, as OHM Therapies offers Indian head massages, aromatherapy massages and reiki healing.

Nails and Beauty

Pre-flight hand, nail and beauty treatments are available at the Cocoon Beauty Sanctuary at Heathrow Terminal 1.

A 20-minute beauty treatment will set guests back £15, but is redeemable against product purchases, as is the Dr LeWinn’s hand treatment. The Beauty Centre, also in Terminal 1, offers complimentary consultations and facials in its treatment room.

Massages and beauty treatments and facials are available at the Clarins Studio in the south terminal at Gatwick. The Manicure Lounge at Leeds Bradford offers a range of express manicures as well as nail extensions, repairs and rejuvenation treatments.

Teeth Whitening

A 20-minute teeth-whitening service is available from qualified dentists at Birmingham. Smile Company has five chairs in Terminal 1 and the pre-bookable service costs £99. Richard Gill, Birmingham airport’s head of market development, says: “This procedure offers huge savings over normal dental clinic prices and we are delighted to be one of the first airports to have a major trading outlet.”


The deluxe spa at the Sofitel London Heathrow, which has direct access to Terminal 5, offers jet-lag specials such as the “Skin Brightener Facial” and “Regenerating & Firming Eye Treatment” to relieve tired and puffy eyes. Superbreak offers an overnight stay at the Sofitel London Heathrow from £64.50 per person on a room-only basis. A night at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow, with its Pegasus spa, starts at £38.50. The operator can also book Gatwick hotels with spas. The Otium Health & Leisure Club at the Thistle East Midlands hotel has a swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and gym. A range of beauty treatments and massages are available.

Champagne Shower 

Shower yourself – not literally – with a champagne package from Lounge Pass. Commissionable packages, which include a glass or bottle of bubbly, start at £22. Airport lounge entry costs from £13.50.

Overseas Airports

Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok: Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Spa for premium clients offers a sauna, steam rooms and a variety of traditional body, neck and foot massages.

Helsinki-Vantaa: Sweat out a stopover in the four saunas at Finnair’s Via Spa, located in the airport’s Via Lounge. Choose from an Alps spruce, stone, steam or a traditional Finnish sauna with views of the runway. Naturopathic treatments have been designed with transit passengers in mind. There is also a cold-water paddling pool and a mineral water pool to alleviate travel fatigue and the effects of jet-lag. Access is free to Finnair Plus Platinum card-holders and €45 for the general public.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle: Air France’s La Premiere lounge in Terminal 2E offers premium passengers a complimentary 30-minute pre-flight facial, body treatment or massage.

Amsterdam Schiphol: A second XpresSpa salon opened earlier this year offering massages, manicures and facials tailored to the length of time that passengers are at the airport.

Munich: Those on longer stopovers can spend some time relaxing in Kempinski Hotel’s Fit & Fly spa, which has a swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam room. A day pass costs €29, and two hours’ use is €18, including bathrobe and towel. 

JFK International, New York: The Elemis Travel Spa in the British Airways lounge offers premium passengers a complimentary 15-minute facial or massage.


By Kathryn Liston

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