The Healthiest Way to Spend a Layover
Offering everything from golf courses to nap pods, some progressive airports are becoming destinations unto themselves.
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When you’re stuck at an airport for hours, it can be hard to resist the call of a cocktail or trans fat-laden treat. A better way to kill time? These health-promoting amenities, which are popping up in top terminals around the world.
Relax, stretch and clear your head at one of four US airports with designated yoga spaces. San Francisco’s Terminal 2 is credited with being the first to open a yoga room. Simply show up, park your luggage, and grab a mat. Added bonus: SFO’s Terminal 2 is the nation’s first LEED® Gold-Registered Terminal, and offers complimentary water refilling stations. Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Burlington, Vermont airports also have yoga rooms.
Travelers with long layovers can pick up a game of golf or just work on their swing at airport golf courses around the world. Some of the best are in Asia. Seoul’s Incheon Airport has a “golf town” located inside its International Business Center; it offers a 330-yard driving range, 18-hole putting course, and a restaurant. The SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course at Hong Kong’s International Airport is located on an island, surrounded by a man-made lake. Lessons are available.
Airport spa treatments have come a long way from the basic back massage, and many now feature dedicated spas with private treatments rooms, offering everything from deep tissue massages to oxygen facials. Look out for the OraOxygen spa at Calgary International Airport, or the Elemis Travel Spa at London’s Heathrow. Singapore’s legendary Changi Airport offers multiple spas but those looking for something different can try a fish pedicure at the Fish Spa. Don’t miss the Absolute Spa at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, which has five private treatment rooms with offerings from detox baths to Hawaiian coconut lomi lomi massages.
Sleeping on a real bed definitely beats nodding off mid-flight. Yotel’s stylish nap pods can be found at Amsterdam’s Schiphol and London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, and offer jet-lagged road warriors luxury sheets, free wi-fi and monsoon showers. The 10 Snooze Cubes at Dubai International Airport are fully sound-proofed and contain full-sized beds. If you want to sleep in more spacious surroundings, try the luxurious Emirates Airport Hotel in Dubai, where rooms can be rented by the hour.
To burn some energy and stretch the legs, look out for airport walking paths or designated indoor trails, which can be found in Indianapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis. As an added bonus, Dallas-Fort Worth features two optional step courses as well; hoof it up the 55-foot high staircases at Terminal D. Baltimore/Washington International Airport has two designated Cardio Trails inside the airport. The most beautiful paths can arguably be found at Changi; travelers can walk through rooftop cactus and sunflower gardens, or stroll through a butterfly enclosure.