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And the Title of the World’s Best Airport Lounge Goes to…

Priority Pass™ members have voted on a top pick within the world’s largest airport lounge network.

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Priority Pass™ members have voted SALA VIP Internacional in Quito the top pick within the world’s largest airport lounge network
Priority Pass™ members have voted SALA VIP Internacional in Quito the top pick within the world’s largest airport lounge network
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Priority Pass, the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world, has awarded “The Global Airport Lounge of the Year” based on votes by 52,000 members across categories such as comfort, service from lounge staff, food and drink, and business facilities. The annual awards showcased winners in different global regions with top marks going to Sala VIP Internacional at Quito International Airport in Ecuador.

It’s not hard to see why Sala VIP Internacional, operated by Corporación Quiport, was named #1 among Priority Pass’ 1,250 lounges. Inside, the 24-hour lounge is kitted out with locally sourced and modern wood furnishings; outside, a sleek terrace offers panoramic views of the city (the sunsets are pretty awesome). Guests have their choice of all things white, red, and rosé from the lounge’s private wine cellar while food presentations include both international and Ecuadorian cuisine, with menus created by noted local Chef Andrés Miño. There’s a beautiful bar and dining area as well as private working spaces, dedicated sleeping areas, a massage room, and showers. Almost every seat has a power outlet, meaning nobody needs to scramble to power up his or her electronics.

“It’s an honor to be named as the global winner of this year’s Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards.” says Andrew O’Brian, president and CEO at Quiport, operator of Sala VIP Internacional. “We’re proud to offer a universal space where passengers can relax and unwind whilst still capturing the special Quito spirit – warmth, colour and great food! Taking in our famous sunsets while surrounded by the jacaranda and jasmine that adorn our terrace is the perfect way to relax before a flight and we’re thrilled that this unique experience, coupled with our excellent customer service, has left a lasting impression on our guests.”

Sala VIP Internacional wasn’t the only winner in this year’s awards. “Some less explored destinations have performed particularly well in this year’s rankings,” said Andy Besant, director of Travel Experiences at Collinson, operator of Priority Pass. Other winners included:
• Primeclass Riga Business Lounge at Riga International Airport, Latvia, winner for the Europe region
• Ahlan Lounge at B at Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates, winner for Africa & Middle East
• Miracle First Class Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, winner for Asia Pacific
• Lounge 19 at Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico, winner for North America

According to Besant, “As intrepid travel continues to rise, we’re noticing increased traffic in lounges at airports that are off the traditional tourist trail and veer from expected flight paths, highlighting the outstanding experiences that are offered in lounges the world over. Priority Pass is committed to offering its Members access to the best airport lounges across the world, and our global network of lounge partners ensures travelers can relax before their flight, improving their journey before it’s even started.”

As a quick refresher, complimentary membership in the Priority Pass network is a core benefit of several elite credit cards. And this membership often entitles the cardholder to bring along guests. Entry is not dependent on the airline flown, just on showing your Priority Pass membership card (and in some cases, your same-day boarding pass). Priority Pass Select membership is complimentary for cardholders of Citi Prestige® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.

See you in Quito!

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 125 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, Private Clubs, and Robb Report.