The Leading Hotels of the World introduces hotels with VIP Airport Experiences

To counter the airport hassles which travellers encouter nowadays, several members of Leading Hotels have devised creative ways to offer VIP airport assistance for their guests on arrival and departure, so the Leading experience begins before check-in, and lasts after check-out.

A trip to the Caribbean should be relaxing and carefree, so Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic makes sure that its guests enjoy their island holiday from the minute they land. On arrival, they are welcomed right at the plane by an airport associate with a sign displaying their name, then whisked through the immigration process without having to stand in line, and taken directly to the resort vehicle that awaits them outside. And when, sadly, it’s time to leave, guests are returned to the airport where they can relax in a VIP lounge, complete with free food and beverage services. All of this pampering comes at no charge.

The legendary La Mamounia has established a partnership with Marrakech’s Menara Airport, allowing guests to luxuriate in the La Mamounia experience of elegance from the moment they land until the moment they depart. Designed by Jacques Garcia, and offering the same ambience as the hotel, the 560-square-foot lounge is decorated with plush armchairs in warm tones; beautifully crafted coffee tables; a unique fragrance — created by Olivia Giacobetti exclusively for La Mamounia — filtered through the lounge; and personalized reception to allow guests to fall immediately into the atmosphere of the hotel. Wireless Internet connection, gourmet cuisine and a full team of attentive La Mamounia staff ensure that guests are made to feel special immediately. These services and amenities are offered at no cost.

At Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, the palace experience starts the minute guests step off the plane. Why waste precious time in the notoriously long waiting lines at the French customs, when one could be queuing at the local bakery for freshly baked croissants instead? After being individually met at the gate by a hotel representative, guests are escorted to a VIP-only ‘Express’ desk to clear passport control. They proceed to baggage claim, where the agent takes care of the luggage, before being expedited through customs and escorted to their private limousine. For transfers back to the airport, guests are also invited to use the VIP lane at the tax refund office, to save precious time. Prices for this service start at EUR 310, plus tax.

The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa makes sure that guests requiring extra discretion and assistance are well taken care of. A VIP handler at the airport notifies the hotel as the guest’s plane is about to land. From the hotel, the concierge leaves with a convoy, comprising a lead security vehicle, a middle or “principle” vehicle for the VIP, and a Mercedes microbus with the hotel’s security manager for the luggage. The handler welcomes the clients at the door of the plane to escort them to the front of the line at customs and passport control. The handler then assists them through baggage claim to the arrivals hall, or for clients seeking more privacy, proceeding to an alternative rear exit. Guests are met by the concierge at the convoy for the transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival at the Saxon, they are escorted to their accommodations, where the check-in procedure is completed. As the services are customized to each arrival, costs are available on request.

For the convenience of its guests, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai has arranged a one-point contact for clients at the airport. This hotel representative is equipped to assist them on arrival with baggage and immigration lines, and provide access to private airport waiting lounges. At the end of the stay, the hotel offers pre-check-in for departing flights before guests leave the hotel, escorting them to expedited security checkpoints and providing gourmet snack boxes. In addition, the hotel offers guests a private concierge service, as well as airport check-in and in-room check-out facilities, at no charge. For guests looking to arrive in style, the hotel will be happy to arrange a fee-based transfer via Jaguar.

The legendary Copacabana Palace makes “flying down to Rio” an experience Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers could relate to! Guests are met at the door of the aircraft by a hotel agent bearing a sign with their names. From there, they are guided through customs and immigration, offered assistance in completing all the necessary forms, and go on to baggage claim where the agent retrieves the luggage. The agent will even tend to the bags while the guests engage in some duty free shopping. After leaving the restricted areas of the airport, the agent accompanies the guests to the car where the hotel’s driver awaits to transport them to the hotel. When leaving Rio, an agent welcomes the guests at their departure terminal at the airport, assisting with luggage and check-in, and escorting them through immigration to the departure lounge. The hotel agent waits at the airport until he or she receives confirmation that the guests’ flight has taken off. Services are available in English and Spanish, and cost BRL 350 per person, plus tax. Prices for the car start at BRL 225, plus tax, depending on the guests’ requirements.

Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

The PuLi Hotel and Spa provides elite airport service to guests arriving at Shanghai’s airports which include a private airport waiting lounge where guests can enjoy gourmet snack boxes. An elite agent will wait for guests at the boarding bridge and escort them to security and customs check, as well as pick up the luggage via an express line. The current fee for this service is RMB 600 plus tax.