A casino, ice skating, golf club and prayer rooms: There’s more to the world’s best airport than ticketing and Louis Vuitton.
As published on CNN Travel
Incheon Airport boasts an impressive résumé, having been selected by the Airports Council International as the world’s best airport in air service quality for six consecutive years from 2005 to 2010, best airport in Asia-Pacific, and best airport with annual passenger traffic between 25 and 40 million.
With six floors, 496,000 square meters of floor space and some of the best duty free shopping on the planet (including the world’s first and only Louis Vuitton airport store) it’s easy to overlook some of Incheon International Airport’s diverse venues.
Next time you’re boarding, arrive a little early to utilize some of the airport’s hidden venues that most passengers don’t even know exist.
1. Spa and Sauna
Pamper yourself before your long flight at Spa on Air, where an hour-long full-body massage costs₩100,000 (or ₩120,000 for 80 minutes). Complete with a sauna, showers, private sleeping rooms, meeting rooms and a snack bar, customers are free to lounge around the facilities as long as they like.
Located on the East side of B1, the spa is open 24 hours. Other services include a back and shoulder massage with muscle relaxation and skin flexibility using aroma oils for (₩60,000 for 30 minutes or ₩80,000 for an hour), foot treatments “to enrich the circulation of blood” (₩40,000 for 30 minutes) and a comprehensive body scrub (₩20,000 for 20 minutes).
The spa also offers complimentary luggage storage.
+82 32 743 7042
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2. Incheon golf club
Though not technically located inside the airport, the Incheon golf club is just a five-minute, free shuttle ride away and is considered part of the airport facilities. Hop on the free shuttle outside the Arrivals Exit 3 (third floor) and get off on the third stop named International Business Complex.
From there you’ll see a tall billboard for the golf course. Walk for about five minutes in that direction, turn right at the billboard and you can’t miss it. The golf club offers three services: an 18-hole golf course, driving range and golfing lessons.
Fees vary depending on your preferences and the day of the week. For one person on a weekday the fee is ₩30,000 for a 9-hole game or ₩60,000 for an 18-hole game. On weekends and holidays, prices are slightly higher starting at ₩48,000 for one person for nine holes and ₩96,000 per person for 18 holes.
Golf cart and caddie fees are separate but also optional. For a nine-hole game a cart will cost you₩28,000 (per team) or ₩56,000 for 18 holes. Caddies are ₩30,000 for 9 holes and ₩60,000 for 18 holes.
If you don’t have enough time for a full game of golf you can just practice your swing at the driving range. The driving range prices are also significantly cheaper, starting at ₩2,000 for 30 minutes on a weekday (₩6,000 for 30 minutes on a weekend).
The driving range also features a fitness center and sauna.
International Business Center; +82 32 743 0025; www.inggolf.co.kr
Another five-minute walk from the golf course (between the golf course and airport) takes you to the Paradise Golden Gate Casino located inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel. From the airport, hop on the same shuttle bus as you would for the golf course and get off on your second stop.
The casino is open 24/7 and includes 50 slot machines, baccarat, roulette, blackjack, Tai Sai, and Caribbean poker. Like most other casinos in South Korea, gambling services are only available to foreign passport holders.
International Business Center; +82 32 745 8800; english.hyattregencyincheon.com/facility/casino.asp
4. Ice Skating
Back at the actual airport itself, lace up your white boots at the Ice Forest ice skating rink, ideal for kids, families, couples and anyone just looking to have some fun.
₩5,000 gets you skates, gloves and a helmet.
Located on B1, the rink is open every day from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
More on CNNGo: Kim Yuna on what it takes to win
5. Gardens galore
These horticulture displays give off a tranquil vibe around the hustle of the airport. Each garden has a distinct theme, from pine trees and flowers to cactus and plants. The majority the gardens are located on the first floor.
Most of the flora are not naturally found in South Korea, so the only place to see them in the country are here in the airport.
On the second floor is the 1,980-square-meter Star Garden, featuring over 150 species of plants. This walk through garden includes plants, herbs, bamboo and ferns, as well as an outdoor balcony with a view that oversees part of the airport.
Access to all the gardens is free of charge and they are always open.
More on CNNGo: Legendary Buddhist flower blooms at a Mapo convenience store
6. Babycare Lounges
The airport hasn’t neglected the difficulties facing pregnant women and parents of newborns and toddlers. A total of four nurseries with 24-hour access are available, two on the third floor and two on the first floor.
These convenience rooms are specifically designed for children up to three years old, as well as pregnant and nursing women, and are equipped with nursing rooms, diaper-changing stations, reclining chairs, washstands, water filters, cribs, couches and a television.
+82 32 741 2426
7. Medical Center
One of the many great aspects of South Korea in general, is its efficient and cost effective health care — and this too is offered right at the airport. Available to both locals and foreigners, the Inha University Hospital (located on B1), provides emergency, dental and general health care services.
A check-up will only cost you ₩20,000 (around US$18), but more specific and elaborate procedures are also available with varying costs.
+82 32 743 3119; www.inha.com./air/index.html
8. Dry cleaning
Are your clothes wrinkled from your luggage and you only have a couple hours to get to your business meeting or cousin’s wedding where you meet with family or colleagues you haven’t seen for a while? Well, there’s no excuse to look shabby with this place doing a roaring trade.
Clean-Up Air, located on the West side of B1, will keep you looking classy for a low price. Dry cleaning services cost ₩3,000 for pants and ₩2,500 for shirts. And don’t worry if you’re in a rush, just let your friendly attendant know and she will be more than happy to accommodate your time crunch.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.–6 p.m. .
+82 32 743 1521
9. Prayer Rooms
Christian, Catholic and Buddhist prayer rooms, located on B1, offer a quiet space for personal and spiritual reflection any time of the day or night.
More on CNNGo: World’s first Louis Vuitton airport store opens at Incheon