If you read a lot of points / travel blogs, you’ve probably heard that the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul is widely regarded as “one of the best business class lounges in the world” and that it “rivals many first class lounges”. With a reputation like that, I was obviously looking forward to visiting it after my flight from JFK-IST.
Since I was traveling on Turkish Airlines, I was able to simply self-scan my boarding pass and walk right in. If you’re traveling on a partner airline, you’ll need to check in at the front desk.
There’s no better way to say it: This lounge is absolutely massive. Just when you think you’ve reached the end of it, you turn a corner and there’s a whole new section. It just keeps going and going!
General Layout & Design
Right as you walk in, there’s the library (with pool table, of course):
And self-service lockers for luggage storage:
If you’re looking for a good place to sit, don’t be tempted by the dining area that comes next (and by “next”, I of course mean “after the movie theater”):
Make a left turn, and wind your way to the very end. You’ll know you’re close when you pass the piano:
My favorite area to sit is a bit more scenic than the first few sections, with ornate decorations and an olive tree!
Even though the lounge was very busy during my visit, the decor made me feel very calm and relaxed. Of course, grabbing some delicious food certainly didn’t hurt!
Food & Drink
As much as I loved the decor, my absolute favorite part about this lounge is the food. The same advice I gave when looking for a good seat applies here as well: don’t settle for the first thing that presents itself to you. There are so many different food options, you really need to scope them all out before deciding what to get. Here are just a few of the highlights – first, the extensive meze salad bar:
There are a number of these meze stations throughout the lounge. There are also separate olive bars and fruit stations as well:
In addition to the cold options, there are several hot stations. The two most popular ones seemed to be Turkish Pizza station (really, really good), and the grilled meats station (also really good). I of course had to try both, but that did mean having to wait for them to be replenished:
Oh did I forget to mention the fantastic lentil soup?
By now it should be pretty obvious that you’re not going to go hungry in this lounge. One Mile at a Time has more photos of the extensive buffet options. But what about drinks? Rest assured, there are plenty of beverage options as well, regardless of whether you prefer the kid-friendly variety…
… or the adult beverages
There are also a wide range of hot teas and coffees, in case those are more of your cup of… well, you know.
While I didn’t check them out, this lounge also has showers and private sleeping rooms – both of which can come in really handy after a long flight, or during a long layover. Mike from UPGRD shared a few photos from his visit to the lounge. Wifi is free and easy to access throughout, and there’s also a separate kids play area.
Overall, I absolutely loved this lounge. It’s a remarkable contrast to what passes for a lounge in the US, and I look forward to visiting again if / when I find myself at the Istanbul airport!
Have you ever been to the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul? What was your impression like? What are some of your other favorite lounges around the world?