A South African VIP airport lounge, the Shongololo Lounge at OR Tambo International Airport, has been voted the best lounge in the Africa/Middle East region. The award comes as South Africa’s tourist offerings continue to harvest the world’s top accolades.
Lounge owner Menzies Aviation, which is also responsible for ground handling at 8 airports in South Africa, recently expanded its business in South Africa, by creating the lounge after identifying the need for the provision of world-class luxury lounges in 2009.
Forsyth Black, Menzies Senior Vice-President for Africa, says the announcement that the Menzies Shongololo VIP lounge has won the prestigious Priority Pass award for the 2012 Lounge of the Year in Africa and the Middle East - ahead of hundreds of lounges in the region - is significant. It was one of just 19 awards worldwide out of 40 000 rating submissions in the process of determining the Lounge of the Year.
In addition to the usual business and first class lounge facilities, including TV, free Wi-Fi, Apple iMac workstations, shower suites, drinks and sumptuous buffet, the African-themed lounge also boasts the last word in understated African hospitality.
The lounge design is based around a contemporary African look which creates a relaxed and stylish ambience for premium passengers awaiting their aircraft
Black says what really sets the lounge apart from the rest is its unequalled friendliness and service.
“We have built the entire Menzies business around the quality of our people, and in the luxury lounge sector, customer satisfaction is paramount. Our hospitality team has been hand-picked for their personable nature and customer focus, and dedication to the highest standards.”
Black says that the concept of the Shongololo Lounge was moulded on 'prestige' – a quality that had previously been lacking in the South African airport lounge market.
“We designed a product to cater for this premium end of the lounge market, and it immediately became clear that our approach to improving the airport experience had filled a significant gap in the high-end passenger market.
“It raised the bar in a poorly served market at the time, and immediately attracted much of the premium passenger market, including airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Qantas and Qatar Airways. We are delighted to have the quality of this product, of which we are very proud, recognised by seasoned, discerning travellers from across the globe.”
Shongololo Lounge is available to selected business class passengers, as well as paying guests (access costs R250 per person).