I wrote yesterday about the Virgin Money promotion for 5,000 Flying Club miles for opening an ISA.
One of the odder upsides of having an account with Virgin Money (the old Northern Rock) is that it gives you access to their new network of city centre lounges.
This is quite a novel idea. They are, basically, like very pleasant airport lounges. They are more leisure focussed than the Regus business centre lounges I have discussed on here before – you don’t get a piano at Regus! Neither is Regus open at the weekend – the Virgin lounges are open seven days a week.
I went along to the London lounge, situated just off Piccadilly Circus, a couple of days ago. It is in the same building as the Virgin Money offices. Oddly, it is on the first floor – you need to enter the building and take a flight of stairs up. (Visitors to the Virgin Trains lounge at Euston will know the feeling!)
You can visit if you have any sort of account with Virgin Money, although you need to register in advance here. On your first visit, they will (on sight of photo ID and proof of your account) give you an access card. You can bring in guests without problems.
Note that these are NOT bank branches. You cannot undertake banking services even if you want to, and there is absolutely no attempt to sell you anything whilst you are there.
This is main relaxation area. There is a piano (!) behind where I stood, plus some board games! Coffee, tea, soft drinks and biscuits are free and self serve.
This is the ‘library’ bit. In an impressive move, you can take an iPad from the shelf and use it for browsing whilst in the lounge. (There is also free wi-fi for your own devices.) There are 2 Macs as well as you can see, along with newspapers and magazines.
Here is the oddest bit. Here are a pair of fully functioning Virgin Upper Class seats! The clever bit is that the TV monitor has been replaced with an iPad, so you can turn the seat into a bed and surf away to your hearts content!
There are similar Virgin Money lounges in Norwich, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Here are a couple of photographs taken by a reader of the Norwich one. He didn’t mention any Upper Class seats, unfortunately, but as you can see they do have PlayStations!