Ideally, every long journey would pass through a magical place that catered to your every whim -- as opposed to an outmoded terminal filled with souvenir shops, pint-sized chain-restaurant outposts, and beeping carts driven by men clearly intent on flattening you. To get the luxe experience you deserve, fly British Airways into Heathrow's brand new Terminal 5.
The largest construction project in Europe (even bigger than Silvio Berlusconi's house), T5's a meld of mind-blowing modernity and soul-warming hospitality, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views that stunningly stretch across the countryside, all the way out to the Big Ws (Windsor Castle and Wembley Stadium). Just some of the splendor:
Lounges: T5's six-lounge complex can accommodate up to 2500 guests, and hosts everything from 20-seat cinemas, to champagne bars and wine galleries, to private cabanas equipped with daybeds. Or, visit the Spa's pro massage artists, and pretend that despite the glorious amenities, you're still "feeling a lot of tension".
Dining and Drinking: Dozens of options, from Japanese to African to omelette-stuffed croissants, plus Gordon Ramsay's resto Plane Food, beer pubs, tapas, and Bar V, dizzyingly illuminated by 300 fibre-optic tubes suspended above a sparkling floor. There's also a Krispy Kreme -- London might know haute cuisine, but nobody beats American donuts.
Shopping: Pick up last-minute gifts for both loved ones and "loved" ones, from the likes of Mont Blanc, Harrods, Prada, and Bulgari. Pluck fresh gear from Paul Smith, Ted Baker, and Thomas Pink. And, most importantly, World of Whiskies -- nearly 350 malts whose peaty goodness you'll dribble on Paul Smith, Ted Baker...
Just as impressive are the convenience factors, including 96 check-in kiosks, hyper-convenient connections, and an intelligent baggage system that'll often have your luggage waiting for you, impatiently. Just remember: T5 serves British Airways exclusively, so book through ba.com, or the only thing magical about your terminal will be your fervent desire to disappear from it.