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The world’s best airports according to Zee Lifestyle readers

World's best airports

Whoever came out with the thought that life was about the journey and not the destination was definitely onto something.

With all the seat sales and the growing number of destinations, traveling has since become accessible to a lot of people, resulting in runway traffic and airport congestion. Long gone are the times when flying was merely about taking off and landing; these days, airports make or break the experience.

Airports have since risen up to the challenge, vastly improving their facilities and amenities, thus becoming destinations in their own right. Select carriers have also taken it upon themselves to offer something up their sleeves exclusive to their passengers. This month, Zee Lifestyle asks its readers about their favorite airports and lounges, and what makes them soar to new heights.

CHANGI AIRPORT

Singapore

CHANGI AIRPORT

“Changi Airport, Singapore has the best duty free shopping! It’s also not insanely large that one would get lost finding his/her boarding gate. Incheon Airport, Korea has lots of dining options and free cultural activities to help while away those long layovers.” – Joanna Cuenco

“Changi Airport has beautiful interiors, soothing ambient lighting, and comfortable seats. It doesn’t hurt that they have leg massagers that you can use for free while waiting for your flight! Narita Airport is definitely the best place to be if you’re looking for duty free shopping. It has the best goodies the Land of the Rising Sun has to offer, at prices that you just can’t help but give into.” – Sherry Ty Corominas

“I get so tired when traveling because I get sick easily, so it’s important for me that the airport is clean and comfortable. Sleep is more important than food options for me. That said, the best sleep I’ve ever gotten was in Changi Airport. They have a nap room and pay lounges, so even if you’re not flying business class you feel that you are.” – Nicole Cambal

“Changi Airport of course! The Utopia of airports. The Airport of airports. The crown jewel of Singapore.” – Regal Oliva

“Singapore Airport because it looks like a mall.” – @warenjeango

INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

South Korea

INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

“Incheon Airport, Korea, because of their free city tours and showers!” – @itsy0boyej

“Incheon International Airport at KAL.” – @lorrainesion

JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

New York

JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

“JFK Airport, Terminal 4 because Shake Shack is EVERYTHING.” – Gee Fojas

AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL

Netherlands

AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL

“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is very convenient for passengers to find their way around, and it has a lot of recreational and leisure facilities. Lastly, coffee shops! A lot of coffee shops to choose from.” – Anton Baldemor

ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Abu Dhabi, UAE

ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

“Etihad Airways – they have a buffet that includes traditional Arab food which I really appreciated. Plus, the business class lounge in Abu Dhabi has a killer view of the tarmac.” – Sam Despi

DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Texas

DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

“Dallas/Fort Worth. As everything is bigger in Texas, I love this airport as it has just about everything. I always have to decide where I want to eat or shop!” – Janine Taylor

ISTANBUL ATATÜRK AIRPORT

Turkey

ISTANBUL ATATÜRK AIRPORT

“The Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is the best one I’ve been in by far. They have a pool table, simulation golf, and a movie theatre with a popcorn machine- among many other things to make your wait a lot more bearable. They say the lounge is bigger than some airports, and that’s probably true.” – Cybill Gayatin-Guynn

ZÜRICH AIRPORT

Switzerland

ZÜRICH AIRPORT

“Zürich Airport is a pristine example of Swiss hospitality and precision. Also, the train plays Alpine sounds. Adorable.” – Cassandra Cuevas

MUNICH AIRPORT

Germany

MUNICH AIRPORT

“Munich Lufthansa Lounge and San Francisco AMEX Centurion Lounge.” – @oging_j

Travel

For Our Next Travel Destination, We Dream About Koh Samui in Thailand

Impressive views of the Gulf of Thailand welcome you at the Arrival Sala

Silent Sanctuaries

Mayenne Carmona discovers the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui is a quiet oasis to recharge and rejuvenate…

What does one expect from a Four Seasons Resort? Everything! Firstly, it will definitely be ranked no less than a five-star hotel or resort. Most importantly, it would not fall short of all your expectations: excellent cuisine, topnotch comfort at your fingertips in a well-appointed villa, courteous staff who offer impeccable service, and every other detail you could possibly need—down to the last cotton bud. After all, a Four Seasons Resort is always designed by a top-rated architectural team and interior designers.

The moment I stepped into the Four Seasons Resort at Koh Samui, I felt all my cares washed away by the soft waves of the bluest sea. The fresh air cleared my sinuses in no time, and the gentle breeze was a much needed caress to a tired mind and body. It was truly paradise regained for me and my friends. We were a motley group of career-oriented people who needed a much-awaited break from work, and this was the perfect choice for us.

Each Villa has a butler to cater to the guests’ every whim. The afternoon we arrived, we requested a sunset dinner by the beach, and much like a genie, our butler whipped up a romantically set candlelit dinner for six. A five-course delicious Thai dinner was prepared by their well-trained chef.

Our days were spent languishing by the beach, having daily massages, attending yoga classes, doing water sports and enjoying every bite of Thai cuisine. Golf carts transported us wherever we wanted to go within the resort. This vacation brought all my senses to another realm, and restored a weary soul to perfection. 

Four Seasons Koh Samui, I look forward to seeing you again!

Koh Samui is the third largest island of Thailand in the scenic Gulf of Siam. It is a 45 minute flight from Bangkok. Sandy beaches, coral reefs, coconut trees and abundant tourist resources make it a popular holiday destination.

For more information on Four Seasons Resort, visit their website at https://www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui/

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s March 2016 Travel Issue, “Silent Sanctuaries” written by our columnist Mayenne Carmona for La Vie En Rose on pages 32-33.)

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Travel

Get Lost in this Not-so-distant Island Safari Paradise

LOST IN PARADISE

Tao Philippines Crusoe-style deserted island camp paradise is perfect for those who understand the luxury of simplicity and disconnection.

by Melo E. Esguerra photography by Scott Sporleder

Just when you think Palawan is fast becoming a second Boracay, where congestion of concrete buildings and human bodies have begun to define the island experience more than the pristine beaches of white powdery sand, the Lostboys of Tao Philippines came up with a new island project that guarantees an escape to paradise. They call the island Camp Ngey Ngey.

The Lostboys have taken over the abandoned resort of Manguengey in Busuanga, a remote island in Palawan. They have kept the ruins from the typhoon and built their signature bamboo Tuka huts around the main beach of the island, which serves as the camp area. Just a short walk away you’ll find jungle trails that lead to three other wild beaches, preserved reefs and windswept cliffs encompassed by crystal blue waters. And on certain days, when the winds are strong, one side of the island becomes a good site for surfing.

 


Eddie Brock, one of the founders of Tao Philippines, explains how this concept of an island safari came about. “When we took over Manguengey Resort, we were stuck with the idea of how to run it. We do not know how to cater to resort guests, the individual choices and needs, and menus,” he admits. “Tao’s expertise is to show travelers something new, something more raw and adventurous. We decided that we will not worry about things we don’t understand, and stick to what we do best. One of the best aspects of a Tao trip is creating an atmosphere of connecting with other travelers, disconnected from digital clot—without the worry of planning, wallets and keeping a status. Five days out in the remoteness with the islanders in control leads to a positive attitude: guards down, inhibition is off and open to meet new friends.”

The camp is accessible through the three day/two night boat safari from Coron, with beach and reef stops en route the camp and back. Guests will be joining other travelers, staying in individual Tuka huts dotted along the beach. There are lounges, a dining and kitchen area, and open hang-out places. Currently, the big mansion from the old resort is being restored into a villa that can accommodate a family or group of friends.

The island can be reserved for big events like weddings, parties and other meaningful gatherings.

In the island, there is no room service, no menus, no WiFi. You will arrive as strangers, you will eat together, swim together, laugh together, drink together, and get to know each other offline. Become part of the magic of Tao, and see what happens!

For more information on how the trip to Camp Ngey Ngey works, log on to www.taophilippines.com

 

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s June 2017 Men’s Issue, “Lost in Paradise” on pages 110-113.)

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Travel

THROWBACK THURSDAY. Our Stylish Voyage on a Boat with Loida and Richard

FOR SAIL

With hosts Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau, we take entertaining to the high seas.

by Shari Quimbo photography Steffen Billhardt

The sky was decidedly gloomy on the Sunday afternoon Loida Montesclaros and Richard Forteau invited a small group of us for a sail, the clouds getting darker as I make my way to Porter’s Marina, where the Blue Planet was docked.

“Richard built the boat himself in Cebu,” Loida explains, going on to share that he was the former honorary French consul in Cebu. “It was built here, and I designed the interiors.”

All that work certainly paid off—Loida and Richard would often sail the boat out to different Philippine destinations such as El Nido, Siargao, Boracay and the Gigantes Islands in Iloilo. These could mean days-long journeys that sometimes meant dealing with some rough seas. Quick day trips, much like the one we were about to embark on, were also a regular past time.

Loida gives me a quick tour of the boat then shows off her tropical spread. With its bright blue and white floral seating, the cabin’s dining area is already a pretty festive site. “I wanted to keep it simple,” she tells me, arranging her fresh fruits around on the banana leaf-covered wooden slabs she was using as serving trays. “And I wanted it to look more local, more tropical. We are on the water, after all.”

The bamboo slats of the dining table were the perfect backdrop to Loida’s spread, which featured tropical fruits alongside an entire roll of lechon belly, fresh lumpia, empanada and steamed shrimp.

The highlight of the table, though, was the chicken liver pate, a dish that Richard makes himself. “Luckily, the French love to cook,” Loida jokes conspiratorially.

Finally, it was time to take the vessel out onto the high seas, and the group makes its way above deck to enjoy the view. The cool sea breeze was a bit stronger than usual, something that had to do with the dark rain clouds looming above us—something that would have deterred any other group, but not this adventurous bunch. Armed with a glass of champagne in one hand and a biscuit smeared with pate on the other, many stand against the railing, admiring the sight of the sky turning orange above the Mactan Channel.

And then it starts to pour. No matter, though—as the rain pounds against the deck, the party finds its way down below. A bottle of wine is opened, and then another, while a second pot of pate is transferred on a plate. Our captain waits until the waves calm before he brings us back ashore.

(This story has already been published in the printed edition of Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s November 2016 issue as one of the Entertaining Features on pages 82-85.)

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