United Airlines opened its brand new Polaris lounge at DC’s Dulles airport in October 2021, welcoming business travellers flying internationally. The lounge offers showers, sleeping pods, food, drinks and plenty of space to work, including private meeting rooms. We took a tour inside … Before Covid-19, many airlines were starting to develop and open more luxury lounges in an effort to attract deep-pocket customers. United Airlines, in particular, unveiled its Polaris product in 2016, which included a new and improved premium cabin offering and a network of luxury airport lounges. Now, as transatlantic demand is expected to skyrocket in 2022, United is hoping to fill its lounges again, especially to countries with relaxed Covid-19 restrictions. The US$41 million facility, which is located near gate C18, was the first Polaris location to open since the pandemic, though the other five have since reopened as well. Why will travel cost more from 2022 – and how does sustainability fit in? On our most recent trip to Washington DC, we were given a tour of the new lounge and were impressed with the modern amenities, ample seating and wide selection of food and drinks. Upon arriving, the high-class feel of the lounge was immediately noticeable due to the marble-clad decor at the entrance. The design makes the space feel warm and welcoming. We checked in with the United employees at the front desk and made our way up the stairs to the main guest area. Customers can also take the lift to the right of the stairs up to the lounge. Inside, United has decorated the space with calming blue and grey colours, as well as incorporated art from local artists. According to United’s manager of corporate communications, Kimberley Gibbs, the art bridges the lounge with Dulles’ home of DC. Has luxury travel returned to Asia? 5 countries reopening their borders United packed a lot into the 21,000-sq-ft facility, including plenty of space to work. There are cubicle-style seats that are private and plush and offer outlets for charging electronics. Also available are phone rooms for business meetings, which are perfect for travellers working remotely or who need a quiet place to talk. For travellers who need to wash up before or after a multi-hour flight, United has installed large bathrooms with standing showers. Fortunately, for travellers who did not pack toiletries in their carry-on bag, United provides everything they need to shower, including hair and body products, towels, deodorant, Q Tips and slippers. Hong Kong’s 5 most unusual staycations – from yoga yacht to stargazing dome The lounge also has regular bathrooms without showers for travellers. The restrooms can be used by any gender. Meanwhile, available to families is a private changing area and nursing pod. For those on a long layover who want to take a nap, there are two sleeping pods available. The beds are long and padded and have a door for privacy. Attendants can provide blankets for sleep, which are kept warm in a special heating machine. United took no short cuts when designing the food and drink offerings in the Polaris lounge, which was the most impressive part to us. Where is Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse superyacht now – and what’s it like? Customers can enjoy food from the buffet or the on-site dining room. The buffet offers a wide selection of food, including charcuterie and sandwiches, hot foods like soup and pasta and salad. Doug Markley of Flik Hospitality, the service provider for Polaris lounges, said the food is rotated every hour to keep it fresh. Moreover, the lounge maintains a set menu across all six locations to keep the products consistent. Also available is the dining room where travellers can sit and request made-to-order meals from the kitchen. Menu items include dishes like a vegetarian ramen bowl made with shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and tofu … … and the Polaris signature burger made with short rib. We tried both during our visit and were impressed with the taste and flavours. It was clear they were made from scratch by professional cooks. How did Covid-19 spark a boom in luxury yacht sales for Benetti? For a quick or simple bite, Polaris also has a snack bar set up with items like soda, coffee and fruit. On my visit to the lounge, I was also given a tour of the kitchen, which is connected to the airside of the terminal. This means that deliveries to the lounge come straight from the ramp rather than having to be carted through the airport, which is more convenient for the lounge and better for customers. The kitchen was huge, with burners to cook hot meals fresh and plenty of refrigerator space to store inventory. According to Markley, all of the food is temperature-controlled. Moreover, the employees all have restaurant or hospitality backgrounds and focus on one job, like bartending, cooking, or serving. As far as liquor is concerned, the Dulles Polaris lounge has pretty much anything you could ask for, including cocktails like the Aperol Spritz as well as draft and bottled beers and local and branded wine. Where to eat in Hong Kong in April, from bakeries to brunch We’ve been to several lounges in the Priority Pass lounge network, which we get through our credit card, and the drinks have always been hit or miss. However, Julian, one of the bartenders, made every cocktail perfectly. Overall, United’s new Polaris lounge was the exact luxury treatment we expected. We enjoyed the food and drinks, particularly the charcuterie offerings, and the overlook of the airfield where travellers can watch planes take off or land. As an aviation enthusiast, there is not a better spot to wait out a long layover. This article originally appeared on Business Insider Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .