Story and photos by Barbara Angelakis
United Polaris® Lounge and Service
For untold eons intrepid travelers were guided by the North Star, Polaris. While it is not the brightest star in the heavens, Polaris maintains a set position reliably pointing due north and is easily located at the tip of the handle of what we know as the Little Dipper or Ursa Minor (Little Bear), one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky.
United Airlines has just unveiled its new Polaris Lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) referencing one of the most reliable names in the history of travel in order to provide the latest in comfort and technology for its Polaris Service clients. This 27,000 plus square foot facility flows effortlessly into designated service areas designed to offer Polaris travelers, at the beginning or mid-way through their travels, the highest degree of comfort to help speed them on their way. The Lounge is physically located in Terminal C between Gates C102 and C120, and is accessible once you have cleared security.
All services are complementary and include 10 individual high-tech shower and dressing-room suites with high-end amenities; 10 quiet suites for rest and furnished with handsome ergonomic lounges; comfortable work areas with Wi-Fi connectivity throughout; seating areas for individual or group gatherings; buffet stocked with hot and cold menu items and snacks, as well as an impressive full-service dining-room where meals are made to order; and of course a fully stocked bar with signature drinks such as The Paper Plane or the United Polaris Star (see below for recipes)
I was particularly taken with the dining option of table service cooked-to-order meals, with an international menu selection to please multi-national tastes, available prior to boarding so that once on board you can devote yourself to resting/sleeping and arriving at your destination refreshed and ready to face your day for work or play.
Entering into the Polaris Lounge you are greeted by a lighting fixture created by the Brooklyn-based art and design laboratory Richard Clarkson Studio. The ceiling fixture is meant to recreate the 12 zodiac constellations and a helpful placard is made available at the desk to help you locate your sign.
Once registered, guests can proceed into the lounge to take advantage of any of the many complementary services available to the Polaris traveler. The lounge is also made available to Star Alliance member airlines customers traveling First or Business class internationally. And as a courtesy, all First Class Cabin travelers are allowed to invite one guest to join them in the Lounge.
The first United Polaris® Lounge was opened in Chicago to critical acclaim and New York/Newark closely follows the United Polaris® Lounge opening at San Francisco International Airport. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental is next in line to open their United Polaris® Lounge this summer and at Los Angeles International Airport their Polaris will open this fall, making the same high-end services available to all First Class and Business Class International United and Star Alliance travelers.
The Paper Plane Signature Cocktail
¾ oz. Oolong-Steeped Bourbon
¾ oz. Lemon Juice
¾ Amaro Nonino Quintessentia®
¾ oz. Aperol®
¼ oz. Chamomile Honey
Combine ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and double-strain into a coupe. At United Polaris® Lounge a tiny paper plane is used for garnish.
United Polaris Star Signature Cocktail
1 ½ oz. Star Anise-infused Vodka
1 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth
½ oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir gently and strain into a coupe.
1 Star Anise for Garnish
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