There is one unique problem with the newly remodeled Turkish Airlines CIP lounge in Istanbul: any traveler that goes there will probably never want to leave.
You wouldn’t blame me for admitting this if you saw the new 6,000 square meter, two-level facility for yourself. The lounge proudly shares that it is larger than some airports – and that claim is undoubtedly true. Plus, with unlimited buffet options from Turkish sweets and coffee to salads and steaks to even a lahmacun station (lahmacun is a delicious pizza-like item with minced meat and onions on slices of thin dough), I wouldn’t be surprised if your stomach ended up larger than some airports, too.
Eating isn’t the only thing you can do to pass the time while waiting for your flight (though if you’re smart, you’ll arrive extra early just to make the most the experience). There are loads of other options too. Here are six activities you’ll want to experience for yourself when you visit the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul:
Catch a flick in a real movie theater, complete with freshly popped popcorn.
Looking to catch up on a Blockbuster before settling for a much smaller screen on the plane? The movie theater boasts comfy recliners and a real popcorn machine where you can have your own silver screen experience.
Find peace of mind in the Turkish tea garden.
Sprinkled with adorable mosaic chairs and garden-style tables, the Turkish tea garden was one of my favorite areas of the lounge, where you can relax, sip Turkish tea and enjoy the peaceful space around you.
Practice your swing in the golf simulator.
Have you ever seen a golf simulator in an airport lounge? Now you have. Who needs real golf when you can just do it virtually in an airport?
Race cars with your travel buddy.
Next to the golf simulator, passengers can put each other to the test on a model racecar track.
Polish your aim in the billiards room.
Not only is the billiards room functional; it’s beautiful. The room includes floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with books about art, history and culture. The pool table in the center is only an added bonus.
Catch a live concert.
Or, if you have the skills, sit down at one of the lounge’s grand pianos (preferably the one with its own stage so you can have the real star treatment) and grace the audience with a favorite rendition. Chopsticks, anyone?
Whether you decide to take advantage of some of the fun activities or if you just want to sit around and enjoy majestic windows, comfortable chairs and a peaceful wait before your flight, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any experience quite like the one in Istanbul. The lounge even features a nap area that you can reserve ahead of time to get a few “zzz”s in private.
Now all they need is an overnight guest service and you’ll practically never even need to leave the airport.