Air France’s all-new business class lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2E is now open, and with everything from a cocktail bar to a Clarins spa we expect travellers won’t mind too much if their flight is delayed.
Indeed, even assuming that everything will run smoothly, we suggest you allow yourself a good few hours at the lounge to soak up its preflight delights.
Start by booking a facial treatment at the Clarins spa, with two private suites staffed by Clarins beauticians who’ll help freshen up and then super-hydrate your skin in readiness for the drier air of the flight ahead.
That done, consider your other options at the lounge’s sprawling ‘wellness’ area, which includes two private saunas…
… a ‘detox bar’ serving organic detox products from the Palais des Thés as well as Evian flavoured waters…
… a shared ‘instant relaxation’ area with flowing sunbed-style loungers…
… and these elegant ‘mini-suites’…
… whose privacy drapes clearly draw a little inspiration from Air France’s La Premiere first class cabins.
Having earmarked some welcome downtime before you board, head back to the heart of this lounge and soak up its contemporary design.
A light meal before you jet away is probably high on the agenda, and Air France’s Gourmet Table dining area doesn’t disappoint.
Designed in the spirit of a modern Parisian brasserie, it features an open kitchen where the chef prepares tasty hot dishes, with a spread of hot and cold meals ranging from simmering casseroles to salads at the self-serve bistro.
But the standout is the eye-catching Le Balcon bar.
Set against the runways in a unique and welcoming architecture which curves under an immense golden mirrored ceiling, Le Balcon was created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur as an expression of “a bar area where time seems to stand still, in a space suspended between heaven and earth.”
An integrated LED screen set into the parquet floor depicts an image of the sky as if it was a giant window, with the colours gently shifting from daybreak through to dusk.
The central bar is flanked by outlying ‘theatrical box seats’ upholstered in blue velvet and featuring a large sofa, a pedestal table and mod-cons such as AC and USB power sockets.
Of course, you’re at the bar to enjoy a drink as well as be dazzled by its design. From 7p to 9pm Le Balcon serves a cocktail selection created by the head bartender of the Hotel Lancaster in Paris.
One of these bespoke tipples is ‘Un air de Paris’, a cocktail specially created for Air France where champagne sparkles like the Eiffel Tower and Cointreau opens the gates of the Tuileries gardens with its notes of orange and cognac, enhanced by a few drops of lemon.
Each month will also see a ‘destination’ cocktail inspired by the flavours of a legendary city on the Air France network, such as Shanghai, Johannesburg, New York and Tokyo.
Capping off the business end of business travel, Air France has added two large co-working tables with individual AC/USB sockets; a more private ‘Le Club’ social space (below); and ‘Le Petit Salon, a quiet zone “where calm reigns and phones have to be kept on silent.”
The Air France business class lounge at Hall L of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E is open to the airline's own business class passengers along with those of its SkyTeam Alliance partner airlines, Platinum and Gold members of the Air France/KLM Flying Blue loyalty scheme, and their SkyTeam Elite Plus status equivalents.
Qantas will begin codeshare fights with Air France between Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris from July 20, 2018.