Luxury Hotels

Sybaritic Single is back in the skies

Despite frequenting private jets, the Sybaritic Single refuses to bid farewell to the luxury of commercial first class air travel. Private jets still rarely get the scale, grandeur and rigorousness of legacy carriers.

While a few airlines were quick to axe their most forward cabins, Qatar Airways unexpectedly brought back half of its A380 fleet, long-haul first class service and re-opened the museum-like Al Safwa First Lounge – despite the record USD 4.1 billion loss reported only a week ago. The lounge itself is worth flying for and being seen at. Free-flowing Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006, full-service spa with an oversized Jacuzzi, a dozen en-suite hotel-grade bedrooms and even a dedicated indulgent dessert room are all back along with artworks on loan from the Museum of Islamic Art scattered around the 9,000 sq.m. lounge.

The private first-class-only duty free still carries the same variety of uninspiring basic luxury items and even an on-site tailor service yet the Sybaritic Single was thrilled to find a replacement for his old iPhone charger cable there – perhaps the least expensive item in the pompous store – and indulged in a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé inside a dedicated cashier “lounge within a shoppe within a lounge” while waiting for his purchase to be recorded and meticulously wrapped.

The only downside? The service has always remained robotic and rusty. With very few passengers ever in the lounge, staff lack confidence and intuition.

A true mausoleum of luxury, Al Safwa First is still one of the most incredible first class lounges on the planet. Some say, prestige over any commercial sense, yet Qatar Airways is so confident in future of premium travel that it even loaned 40 pilots from British Airways for the winter season to keep-up with the rising demand. The Sybaritic Single particularly enjoys the fact its A380 first class product is an elegant open-space cabin with eight seats and not some sort of cubicles called “suites” by the marketing department. The airline may be throwing money out of the window but it is doing it with joy, keeping its ultra-glamorous first class promise.