If you’re going to get Stuck at the Airport, you’d be lucky to get stuck at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Amenities include a great play area for kids, a top notch art collection, plenty of lounge chairs for napping, an observation deck, free Wi-Fi (for an hour), a library and lots more. You can even get married at the airport.
So I was pleased – but not surprised – to learn that the airport was rolling out something new: an in-airport park filled with greenery and gadgetry.
Here’s the story I wrote about the park for msnbc.com travel.
A new park-like space at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport offers a breath of fresh air for weary travelers.
Airport Park, which opened Wednesday, features a post-security “haven of tranquility” that employs imagery and technology to help set the tone. Photos of famous parks and projections of butterflies adorn the walls. The piped-in sounds of animals, bicycle bells and kids at play create a park-like soundtrack. Wooden picnic tables, chaise lounges, trees and chairs upholstered in “ivy” complete the scene.
Hungry travelers will find food and beverage nearby. Travelers who want to work will find power outlets. Those who want to get some exercise can ride stationary bicycles that generate energy to recharge portable gadgets.
The welcoming indoor/outdoor green spot is the newest addition to the airport, which already invites travelers to spend their dwell time at a casino, a library or at the airport’s branch of the famed Rijksmuseum.
For those who find the indoor park too much of a tease for the real thing, there’s also an outdoor terrace with real greenery and trees, benches, picnic tables, views of the airfield and that much sough-after airport amenity: fresh air.
It’s “a good example of how airports around the world are increasingly upgrading the airport experience in order to become a preferred hub for travelers,” said Raymond Kollau of airlinetrends.com, an Amsterdam-based consumer trends research agency.
Kollau concedes that parks won’t be popping up inside airports everywhere, but said Schiphol’s new park is “relevant and fun.”