The Istanbul business class lounge at Atatürk Airport is probably one of the most famous lounges in the world, and many people have even proclaimed it to be one of the best.
Most business class lounges are quite run of the mill, so the Istanbul business class lounge really takes the cake when it comes to the perks on offer.
So even if you are a frequent flyer in premium cabins and have visited most lounges around the world, visiting this lounge will still be an eye opening experience if it is your first time.
Istanbul Business Class Lounge
Locating the lounge is easy enough, its on the departure level floor of the airport and occupies 2 levels. You do not have to go through the standard immigration to access the lounge, skip the queues and use the dedicated entrance.
The entrance to the Istanbul business class lounge was totally empty at 9pm on a Sunday. Huge difference compared to the departure gates, which was swamped with people.
We have reached the promised land! You have to go through a dedicated security here, but it is quick and painless.
As you enter the lounge, the high ceiling and white structure gives the whole place a nice relaxed ambiance. Of course, it was relatively empty at this point so there were lots of empty comfy lounges to choose from.
There is a lot to take in at this point. If this lounge was only just this floor, it would have been impressive enough, but with a whole second level as well, truly remarkable stuff.
It is almost overwhelming, looking at the amount of seating areas and different nooks and crannies the lounge has to offer. The elevated stairs are what you would come to expect from a 5 star hotel lobby, and the Turkish Airlines logo features heavily here as the star.
When you walk further into the lounge, it becomes increasingly clear that there is a big dilemma here. Where is the best place to sit? Truly a first world problem..
More seating areas..
There is even a dedicated area for sleeping rooms, but these are not open to everyone. You have to be eligible to access these rooms, meaning you will need to be connecting here for more than 4 hours ahead of a long-haul flight of at least eight hours.
A number of iMacs for work or just general surfing. These are the older, fatter ones, but they still look good.
Looks almost like a nice cosy library, with a pool table should you wish to play a game. This is one of the first things you will see if you came in from the other entrance.
Over on the other side there are lockers to store your hand luggage. It certainly looks better than the normal enclosed lockers, but it was still strange to put your belongings in a see through locker for everyone to see. Also, these fill up quickly so make this your first stop before you go around to explore.
Another insane feature is this movie theatre, with your own self service popcorn! The lounging chairs inside are comfortable enough, and good to relax. Just do not lose track of the time and fall asleep in there. The Istanbul business class lounge does not serve notifications for flights over the speakers so you will have to refer to the numerous departure boards around the lounge for updates on your flights.
Screens everywhere. Pick a seat, get your wireless headphones from the stand to tune in.
A golf simulator, if you are bored and want to pass the time. But there are more interesting things to do in our humble opinion.
Like a quick game of FIFA on the PS4. Or basketball, whichever you prefer.
Just a couple more, for good measure.
There is even a racing track, which looked cool. But it did not seem very popular, most people just walked past it.
There are two pianos in the lounge, one on each floor should you choose to want to indulge in some classical music. At this time of the day, there was no pianist but the self playing function was at work.
The craziest feature of the Istanbul business class lounge is probably this walking massage therapist. You can get a massage wherever you are seated. This particular person was having her massage and eating at the same time.
Looking down at the bottom level.
More TVs to watch at the bottom level.
And even more seating areas.
There is even a section to put your kids.
The toilets are pretty fancy too.
If you need wifi, you will have to scan your boarding pass to get the access code. Prior to this, there were reports that the wifi was slow, but in our time there it was very fast so no complaints at all.
Istanbul business class lounge food
Now on to the food section. There is so much food on offer in this lounge, and everywhere you walk there seems to be a section for food and drink. So despite the size of the lounge, you never seem to have to walk more than a few steps to indulge in a drink or fill your stomach with food. The food is taken care of by the renowned Do & Co, so you can expect a high quality food standard in the lounge. Not to mention, they even have a few made to order stations as well. Truly incredible.
All your juices and water can be found here, there are many of these chilled drinks section spread throughout the lounge.
And not to forget, for the alcoholics.
Grilled meats and vegetables. These were cleared out quickly, so you can always expect to have them hot.
They were really tasty and juicy.
There is even a made to order Risotto section, but this was wrapped up by about midnight.
It was totally crazy that they even had a dedicated Pide chef. Pide is almost like a Turkish pizza, these were made fresh and at times there was even a queue for freshly made hot pide.
There was also a culinary food special, in this instance it was from India with a chicken tikka masala on offer.
There is a ton of cold appetisers displayed as well. Now, onto desserts.
Cake everywhere, there were so many different types to choose from.
And many types of fresh juices and concoctions.
And lots of fruits.
There were even two bagel stations.
You could have a serving of countryside butter from Trabzon with your bagel. This was really nice and creamy.
There was also a section for Turkish desserts. Strangely, there was no Turkish ice cream on offer.
There were many seats near the food counters. Also, the staff here were so quick. There were times when i would walk off to get more food, only to come back to find that the table has already been cleared. Granted, this was not peak hour but it was still impressive.
There is no doubt that the Istanbul business class lounge is truly one of the best. It is well worth your time to layover in Istanbul just for the lounge, the food and the experience is really top notch and adds to your travel experience. Makes you wonder how much better the new lounge will be at the new Turkish airport.