Relax in a Virgin Upper Class seat in your nearest Virgin Money lounge!

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.

Virgin Money lounge London

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.

Virgin Money lounge London 2

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!

Virgin Money lounge London 3

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!

Virgin Money lounge Norwich 2

and

Virgin Money lounge Norwich

 

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Comments

  1. squills says:

    I can’t see the criteria for getting an access card remaining so easy once Mrs Free Coffee @ Waitrose gets hold of this. Best bet would be to go get an access card ASAP ;-)

    • Yes I was thinking the same. What exactly is the point of these lounges? Amex Plat lounges in airports, I can understand

      • Goodwill gesture. Compared to their entire marketing budget the cost is not huge. They also seem to be in buildings where VM has offices so potentially there for casual client meetings. However, as with all free things, there will be distortion.

        I mean, technically, I could move in each day and write HFP from there!

  2. Raffles says:

    It a bit odd. I can imagine local companies using the London one for casual meetings!

  3. squills says:

    Looks like you could load up one of these http://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/travel-prepaid-card/tell-me-more.jsp with $100 or EUR100 and have near free access. OK you’ll lose a smidge on commission, but these pre-paid cards can possibly come in quite handy on holiday when you don’t want to leave real credit cards hidden in your shoe when you go swimming off the beach.

    OR: ATM withdrawal fee in card currency is $2/€1.50 – so withdraw it all in 1 go sometime in the future?

  4. I didn’t see any Upper Class seats in the Norwich lounge – but the upstairs was closed over the weekend when I visited.
    I have an annual travel insurance policy hence my access – £36 / year. Though there are other free options (savings account with £1 in, so as not to affect your credit score? )
    I was told that each cardholder can bring 2 guests, and that young children don’t count. What age children become guests seems to be at the discretion of the door agent.

  5. I will check this out next time I am close to them. I have Virgin travel insurance and never knew of the perk!

    • There’s a sign up link in Raffles’ original post. I just had to show ID and the insurance certificate card.

  6. Would a ‘Virgin ISA’ qualify as an account/product to gain entry?!

  7. Thanks for alert, Raffles. Having just received my shiny new Virgin credit cards, I applied yesterday (quick/simple process) and within minutes received email saying card was ready! Popped into Piccadilly and got my card and personal tour of the lounge (and quick flight in upper class seat) – pretty impressive and only 3 others there, so hardly crowded.