Carry On: Luxe new in-transit lounging, dining and drinking spots to check out

Airline seats aren’t getting any more comfortable, but business-travel trappings have

Because “it’s always happy hour at the airport,” Intervals Sky Bar and Restaurant on the new Skybridge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) aims for a world-class cocktail experience, with pinchos (Basque tapas-style snacks) to pair.

At Hamad International Airport (DOH), Louis Vuitton recently opened a lounge above its store. Even the tea sandwiches served to special clients and Qatar Airways upper-class passengers come stamped with the LV logo.

The new Centurion Lounge at One Vanderbilt in Manhattan brings a luxe airport-lounge experience landside. American Express Black Cards can earn access, though Resy also offers limited bookings for Daniel Boulud-led dining in the 55th-floor space.

This fall, the U.S.’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), debuts a private-jet terminal. Lineup-free TSA screening, baggage porters and BMW transportation to the aircraft are cherries on top of its Salon lounge and a six-person private VIP suite.

Capital Dining

Victoria’s new power-dining spot is Marilena Café + Raw Bar, from the renowned Top Table Group (Vancouver’s Blue Water Cafe and Elisa, Whistler’s Araxi, New York’s Carlotto). It promises approachable seafood-forward cuisine, with a Japanese-style raw bar and a stellar wine list among the expense-account lures.

Jet Setter


Resonance, a global consultancy with its braintrust in Vancouver, calls itself a “place maker.” Helping destinations brand unique identities, creating the World’s Best Cities rankings and driving the WRLDCTY Forum and Festival takes Vancouver-based president and CEO Chris Fair around the globe—and gives him a unique perch for observing shifts in business travel.

Even in the Zoom and Teams era, Fair still sees conferences and industry gatherings driving hordes of business travel, with various off-site and social events in a destination becoming increasingly important to balance “time in a windowless box.”

He says next-generation lifestyle hotel brands like The Hoxton, founded in London in 2006, are capturing more business traffic, because “business travellers are much more interested in the experiential quality, character and authenticity of a hotel or destination than the thread count of the sheets.” They’re often located in hip areas, too: ripe for exploration between meetings, versus spending time criss-crossing a city to see the traditional sites.

Fair predicts that business-travel recovery will drive sky-high demand (and prices) for flights, while “the world’s fleet of commercial aircraft will only grow by less than three percent annually over the next decade.” Expect workforce changes and innovations to bring “much more automation and much less service as part of our travel experience,” too.

His best travel advice: avoid the money-saving layover (“the growing number of delays and flight cancellations means any connection doubles the chances of not arriving at your destination on time”) and never check a suitcase: “There are only three kinds of baggage: late, lost and carry on.”