My review of the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow T2 (with photos)

This is my review of the Plaza Premium lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 2.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

I revealed last weekend that the Plaza Premium lounge in the new Terminal 2 at Heathrow had joined Priority Pass and Lounge Club.  I didn’t know this when I arranged to have a private tour of the facility last week, but the timing could not have been better.

The Plaza Premium lounge is in the main terminal building on the ground floor, so you need to head downstairs after clearing security.  As well as offering paid-for entry (£38 + VAT for 2 hours), it is also being used as a temporary facility for SAS and Turkish Airlines until the Lufthansa lounge opens.

Access is also available to holders of various Asian credit cards (Plaza Premium is a predominantly Asian brand) as well as Airport Angel cardholders.

The lounge is big – bigger than it initially seems, because the spa, bedrooms and shower rooms are hidden in a separate area which requires you to go left instead of right from the reception desk.

The lounge has no natural light so the designers cleverly decided to go with a  low-lit Asian feel rather than using excessive amounts of artificial light.  Whilst I feel a bit strange writing this, it feels almost romantic – which is not something you often say about airport lounges.

This romantic atmosphere is bolstered by the lack of people.  There were never more than 10 guests in the facility at any one time during the two hours I was there.  I expect this to change now that it is accepting Priority Pass.

The bar

… is as good a place to start as any.  Here is a key point to note – you do NOT get unlimited free drinks here.  Depending on how you get in, you will receive vouchers valid for a couple of glasses of whatever.  There is also no champagne available.

This compares unfavourably with United Club in the 2B satellite (also Priority Pass) which has the longest bar in Heathrow and serves unlimited free champagne and has a (free) cocktail menu.  It is also goes against the alcohol policy in pretty much every other UK lounge.

It certainly looks classy though:

Plaza Premium Heathrow bar

Plaza Premium Heathrow bar 2

The lounge area

Here are a couple of general shots of the main lounging and dining area.  There is also an alcove in one corner with a TV.

Plaza Premium Heathrow general

Plaza Premium Heathrow general 2

Plaza Premium Heathrow alcove

It is pretty low on magazines and newspapers – no worse than most third party lounges but only a fraction of what you find in the British Airways lounges in Terminal 5.  They do have a number of computers to use:

Plaza Premium Heathrow computer

…. although wi-fi is troublesome.  It has free wi-fi but the signal does not reach every nook and cranny of the lounge.

The food selection is pretty good.  As well as the pastries and salad in the photo below, there are a number of hot dishes on the buffet as well.  I had some impressive chicken legs with an Asian-style dressing.  There was also a Thai green curry-based soup.  For some reasons, presumably security related, you have to use plastic knives alongside steel spoons and forks.

Plaza Premium Heathrow buffet

Plaza Premium Heathrow buffet 2

The spa, showers and day rooms

The relaxation facilities in Plaza Premium are excellent.  I was very impressed, although you should note that there are additional charges for spa treatments and for the day rooms.

If you need a nap before your next flight, you can relax in these excellent bedrooms.  There is also one with a double bed.

Plaza Premium Heathrow bedroom

Plaza Premium bedroom 2

If you only need a shower, that is not a problem:

Plaza Premium Heathrow shower

And if you have more time to pass, there is the spa:

Plaza Premium Heathrow spa

As you can see, this is an impressive, calm and relaxing lounge to pass an hour or so.  It is NOT a good place to come with a group of friends if you want to make some noise and see how much you can drink before your flight goes.  United Club is the place to go for that.

If you are with your partner and want to spend a couple of hours taking it easy in a quiet, classy and relaxing atmosphere, I would recommend it.

As far as free access goes, American Express Platinum cardholders receive two free Priority Pass cards.  Each gives unlimited access for two people, so a family of four could gain access.  If you pass through Terminal 2 on a regular basis this is a decent deal.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

For occasional access, American Express Gold comes with two free Lounge Club passes every year.  (Amex Gold itself is also free for the first year so this is a route to get free access for a couple if you have a Terminal 2 flight booked.)  Once you have used your two free passes, further visits cost £15 per person – far cheaper than Plaza Premium’s own rate of £38 + VAT.  My full review of Amex Gold is here.

For one off visits, you can prebook tickets at the Lounge Pass website here.

Further Plaza Premium facilities are due to open in Terminal 2 (a landside arrivals lounge) and Terminal 4 (a departures lounge) over the next six months.  Based on what I have seen so far, they should be worth a look.

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Comments

  1. Colin mackinnon says:

    Any idea how much the day beds are?

    • £60 + VAT for 3 hours, £99 + VAT for 6 hours – not a bad deal given that they are effectively proper hotel rooms, albeit without windows

      • Why are prices quoted ex-VAT? How many H4P readers are able to reclaim it?

        • I would imagine quite a few people are consultants and its typical for them to be employed as contractors through their own limited company.

        • That is how PP shows them on its website and at reception, which is why I used that format.

          I was also quietly correcting a mistake I made in my last piece when I said entry was £38 when actually it is £38 plus VAT.

          UK law means that prices must be shown including VAT when selling to the general public so PP may need to revise their marketing.

  2. Do you have to pay extra for the spa?

  3. Is alcohol really that important to people? I would much prefer a better food offering than unlimited grogg on tap.

    • It has a time and place. I don’t drink in the lounges when with my family but I promise you I will be on the champagne for breakfast at Heathrow tomorrow as I am there alone.

      • I understand the logic of a Lounge to relax, eat, drink etc but £38+VAT seems a crazy price!

        £45 of spending in the restaurants in the general areas would be enough to satisfy most people on both food & drink front!

  4. Oh! Matron! says:

    This looks amazing! I love the asian type feel to it also! The restrictive alcohol I don’t see as a problem…

    So, is it a place where you could work? I often have flights to Manchester from LHR with VS, and sometimes leave work early (I can see LHR from where I work) to get through security, continuing to work when I get to LHR. This used to be impossible in T1 as the booming announcements used to be embarrassing when on conf calls

    • There are no announcements, pretty much total silence – which of course can also be a problem if you need to talk on a call! Finding a quiet corner should not be an issue though.

  5. Thanks for the pictures, worth considering if I’m in T2. But I have to say lack of natural light would really put me off spending much time in there, and the pics do make it look a bit dark. Even if they attempt to compensate by having those natural daylight lamps around the place that would make a difference to me.

    • It is dark compared to the terminals, but it doesn’t really feel dark – more homely.

      The lack of knives seems strange, I’m sure I had a metal knife there a few weeks ago.

  6. Sorry slightly off topic, but does anyone rate any of the lounges in T3 which you can access with an Airport Angels card?

    Jeremy

  7. Hi, thanks for the review, I will check if my next flight will be leaving from T2, which I don’t think it’s the case.
    I just got a doubt. With my Amex Plat, will Priority Passes be valid over year two of card membership? and what about the other golden benefits (Accore, Carlson etc)?

    Also, are you aware of some flights leaving from T3 rather than T5 with BA (ier. PRG)?

    • Priority Pass lasts for the life of your Plat card but is cancelled immediately when you cancel Platinum. The hotel cards continue to work for a full year.

      BA’s Terminal 3 flights are a bit of a pain, mainly leisure routes.

  8. Lounge Pass – Had Amex Gold for a couple of years and have never used it. Is it transferable – i.e. can I give the Lounge Pass card to my in-laws to use next week in MAN?

  9. cards aren’t named – you will be fine, plus swiped and never checked x

  10. Thanks guys, yes no names so should be all good.

    T

  11. andy stock says:

    I find the BA lounges in T3 fine, usually quiet in an afternoon.

  12. Terrible experience on Saturday morning in the Plaza Premium T2 lounge. An early Little Red flight, so we were in the lounge at 5:30am, but it took them until 6:00 to finish laying out breakfast. The selection was very strange (Chicken sausages anyone?) with no hot menu selection (a la No1) and no bacon/ pork in the hot buffet. Orange juice very low rent.

    No natural light was a draw back and you have to go back to the reception desk to see the single departure board TV – that just about sums it up.

    I’ve used this lounge chain in Singapore and was impressed. It just doesn’t work in the UK.

    Wouldn’t bother using again, and it was free to me because I used Priority Pass….