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.
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?
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.
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.
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 ….
and day beds …..
and a sauna …..
This is one of the shower suites if you need to freshen up:
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:
and the video game tables:
and the underwhelming kids playroom:
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.
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