My review of the Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (part 1)

This is my review of the Virgin Clubhouse lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Confession time.  The last time I flew Virgin Atlantic Upper Class was 1997 when I was in Johannesburg working on the financing of a toll road.  That is a bit of a poor show given what I do for a living. It is an even poorer show given that I have flown Singapore, BA, Etihad, Qatar, airberlin, Emirates, Turkish, Iberia and various others in premium cabins over the last couple of years.  I even managed to fly Virgin America in First Class.

I decided to head off to New York and give Upper Class another try.  More specifically, Upper Class on the brand new Virgin 787 fleet.  That review is on the way.  First I had to visit the Virgin Clubhouse, generally seen as one of the best airport lounges in the world.

I paid for my own flight using Flying Club miles.  Virgin was not involved in arranging the trip in any way.

Virgin Atlantic has a drive-thru check-in service but I only decided at the last minute to take a taxi.  As I wasn’t booked in, I thought I would save myself any bother from turning up on spec and got the taxi to drop me outside the impressive entrance to the Virgin and Delta area at Heathrow Terminal 3.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

Once inside, there is a dedicated lift for Upper Class passengers – see the sign below.  This gives the impression of dropping you immediately at the Clubhouse.  How wrong could I be?

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

You exit the lift, walk past the drive-thru check-in entrance, and are deposited in what appears to be the general security screening area of Terminal 3, albeit in a dedicated Upper Class lane.  Once I had cleared security, I was forced to take a l-o-n-g walk through the duty free shop and the rest of the terminal before finally arriving at the entrance to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.  It is an impressive entrance, however, with a well designed flight of stairs enticing you up to whatever awaits.

The two women at the entrance were keen to welcome me ‘back’.  Since they would have been in nappies when I was last there, I can only assume my Virgin Flying Club Silver status gave them the impression I fly Virgin more than I do!

This is what awaits you as you walk in.  Whilst I didn’t feel it at the time, looking at the image now it does have a 60’s vibe to the styling.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

Back in 1997, I remember getting my hair cut in the lounge.  For old times sake, I headed off to the right towards the salon and booked myself in for another trim!  I was able to get a slot later in the afternoon.  It is worth noting that only a few treatments in the spa / salon are free these days – a 15-minutes gents trim is one of them.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

Next to the salon is the spa.  This is exceptionally impressive and a bit silly.  It’s got a jacuzzi for crying out loud!  I would have tried it out in the name of journalism but had failed to pack my trunks ….

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

and day beds …..

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

and a sauna …..

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

This is one of the shower suites if you need to freshen up:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

From the spa, I headed to the other side of the lounge.  You pass some of the entertainment features such as the table tennis table:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

and the video game tables:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

and the underwhelming kids playroom:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3

In Part 2 (click here) of this review of the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse, I will look at the rest of the space and the surprisingly impressive meal I had in the restaurant.

If you want to find out more about the Heathrow Clubhouse, the official Virgin web page is here.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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My review of the Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (part 2)
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Comments

  1. Unless something has changed in the last few months the regular T3 fast track line skips the forced walk through the duty free shop but unfortunately the VS only premium line is on the other side and suffers from the forced walk through the shops.

  2. That user guide to the saunas would have made fun reading. Probably a few handy tips about not getting your kit off without using a towel if you’re German :)

  3. Cheshire Pete says:

    We were here in March for our trip to Miami and last year to Rome, both on BA flights, so we felt a bit cheeky, but Virgin have an unwritten rule if you hold their Gold to allow access no matter who you fly with. Even more guilty only earned our free Gold when they were status matching on their now ceased Manchester shuttles !

    Anyhow what a change from the usual BA monotonous lounges. It is a breathe of fresh air, although have to say we spent most of the time sitting at the bar with proper real bar tenders drinking their selection of cocktails!

  4. You mentioned having VS Silver despite not flying them in 10 years. Was that through a status match or some other route?

  5. I may see if I can have a Gent’s trim next time I’m there. My hair is short and I don’t bother with a blow dry, so I don’t see why I should have to pay any more for a haircut.