Delta’s $21 million new SkyClub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opens to the public today between Concourses A & B, and at 21,000 square feet, not only is it enormous, but it’s a stunner.
This club supplements and largely supplants Delta’s existing SkyClub in the South Satellite gates at Sea-Tac.
I was invited to the opening preview yesterday, and it’s clear Delta is very proud of this particular SkyClub. And they have every right to be. The new-ish SkyClub at SFO is pretty roundly regarded as wonderful. The new Seattle SkyClub is another league above.
Words won’t do it justice, so I tried to include as many pictures as possible, though of course the uniquely Pacific Northwest mix of gloom with bursts of sunshine doesn’t quite let on just how airy the space is.
It’s a two story SkyClub, although the second story is more of an elevated mezzanine, with the majority of the club opened up to cathedral-style ceilings and a wall of angled windows two stories high. It almost feels like an airport terminal in and of itself, rather than a separate club.
What makes this SkyClub so special?
Well, for one, the spa, which is in partnership with Asanta Spa, allows you to get a massage or facial or other treatment on your layover (at a cost). The club’s shower rooms shoot off from the spa, and I have to say they’re impressive. I don’t doubt that they won’t be replicated in other SkyClubs, but my guess is Delta is attempting to introduce the future of its SkyClubs, and I’m really pleased.
The showers feel elegant, and have individual bottles of Malin + Goetz toiletries, along with Westin-branded towels. It certainly feels more like a hotel bathroom than an airport bathroom, which is always a plus.
The bathrooms are spacious, well designed and elegant, with decorative glass walls that seem to have been designed by an artist. In fact, Delta is quite proud of the art collection in the Delta SkyClub, and while it might not be to everyone’s (read: my) taste, it’s at least a commendable effort.
The Seattle SkyClub has a variety of seating arrangements which are fairly novel, some of which look more inviting than they might actually be, but I have to say that this particular SkyClub has a seat which I’m absolutely obsessed with: it’s basically a land-side version of a business class pod, a leather recliner with an ottoman, a flannel-padded privacy shield, a spacious wood console for drinks, food, and such, and a swing-out desk and tray table for your computer, with integrated outlets. In full disclosure, I wrote these words from the comfort of that seat, and I was fully happy with it.
As for the food and beverage options, it’s typical upgraded SkyClub fare — which is to say, light meals, salads, soups and such — with some local Pacific Northwest offerings, including a to-die-for penne mac and cheese from Beecher’s, a Pike Place Market-based cheese shop here in Seattle. With optional bacon and green onion toppings, I must admit: I gained 5 pounds from my experience here.
Well, I don’t think there’s any argument this is heads-and-tails better than the existing SkyClub at the S-Gates or, for that matter, any of the Alaska Airlines Board Rooms in Seattle. More to the point, this beats the American Express Centurion Studio just a few doors away by a country mile. Prior to my visit to the SkyClub here, I spent about an hour at the Centurion Studio, which was cramped and overcrowded. The food and beverage options were more varied and superior at the SkyClub, and the SkyClub is probably ten times as large.
It’s worth noting American Express is in the process of building out a large, bona fide Centurion Lounge at Sea-Tac more along the lines of their luxe Dallas and Las Vegas clubs, but even then, I’d have a hard time saying the new SkyClub at Sea-Tac wouldn’t be superior.
Between the SkyClub at SFO and the new SkyClub at Sea-Tac, I’m fully on board with and impressed by Delta’s new direction with its lounges. Yes, they may have limited the number of people who can gain entry, but the trade off is a lounge like no other in the United States.
As far as domestic lounges go, I’d put the Seattle SkyClub up against the DFW Centurion Lounge. The Centurion Lounge offers complimentary cocktails and high-end wines, while Delta offers the basics for free with fancier drinks for a fee. Food-wise, it’s a draw, and this space just feels so much more spacious and elegant than any other domestic lounge I’ve seen.