- The New Star Alliance Lounge at LAX
- Turkish Airlines Business Class, LAX-IST on TK10
- Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul – Old Town
- Some of My Activities in Istanbul
- The Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul
The Turkish Airlines Lounge at IST airport in Istanbul is probably one of the more famous lounges. As a Business Class lounge, and one that Star Alliance Gold members have access too, it’s probably one of the best lounges there is. It’s huge, has great food, and there’s quite a few things to do there. With that being said, it’s usually pretty crowded, so that takes away from the ambiance a bit.
The entrance is at the end of the terminal and is enclosed by huge glass walls. You can’t miss it. After checking in at the front desk, they mention that luggage storage is right around the corner. This storage section is different from others in that there are “lockers” that you can set a password with, so there’s no need to worry about someone taking your bag. I had my computer bag separate so I held on to that but stored my larger bag. I think it’s great to have a storage area like this since it keeps the rest of the lounge clear of luggage.
I decided to walk around and take some pictures of the place and see what there was. Just across the storage lockers was a recreation room with a pool table and books. There’s also a selection of newspapers available.
As you continue down the hall you’ll see plenty of seating and a lot of exhausted passengers. On the left side of this hallway was a section dedicated to prayer rooms. At the end of the hallway was a computer/office area that was full occupied.
This lounge also has sleeping and shower rooms for those of you with long layovers. I didn’t need to make use of it on my trip, but I believe you’re allowed to use one for up to 6 hours, otherwise they’ll direct you to a hotel. WiFi was easy to set up and was reasonably fast.
It was clear that the lounge was much nicer than almost any other Business Class Lounge (the new Star Alliance Lounge at LAX is pretty nice also), but then I realized I’d only seen about a quarter of the lounge, and the best was yet to come!
I turned the corner and was greeted with a ton of natural light and the very well-decorated arches throughout the room. There was a piano set up where occasionally a professional plays and plenty of additional seating. There’s even plant life, which makes for a very cozy feeling lounge.
I turned the next corner and found a mini putting green with two people playing in addition to a lot more seating. Again, even with the large number of seats in this lounge, most of them were occupied. It’s not hard to find a seat, but it’s noticeable how many people are here. This is probably due to how many seats they have in their long-haul Business Class cabins with a 2-3-2 configuration.
Given the size of the lounge, it’s not surprising to see several drink and snack stations set up throughout. Some of them were a little more difficult to find than others, but you’ll know fresh food is being made when you see a huge line.
The celebrity of the lounge had to be the Turkish Pizza chef. There was always a line and the guy simply couldn’t bake enough of them to keep up with the demand of the seemingly starving passengers. There were other food stations as well that served hot food like kabobs, rice, and soup.
If you’re traveling with small children, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a kids room for them to play in. It wasn’t huge, but I don’t think it needs to be if you’re a little kid that’s far away from home! It had a TV and plenty of toys and activities for the little ones.
And let’s not forget about TVs for the adults. There was a movie theater inside with plenty of comfortable seating, plus a popcorn machine that was making fresh popcorn. There was also another seating area with plenty of TVs tuned to various channels. If that wasn’t good enough, the entry/exit area had a giant screen set up with random screensaver-like videos playing.
This lounge is awesome. Maybe the best Business Class lounge there is. It can definitely get crowded if you’re leaving in the evening when many other flights do, but you’ll always find a seat and have access to fresh and delicious food. Long layovers should be easy with access to sleeping and shower rooms as well.
I actually think they’ve added a second level to this lounge since I had the chance to visit, so there should be even more space to hang out. I’d definitely recommend paying a visit here if you’re in IST!