Review of No 1 Lounge Gatwick South

It is now just over four months until the big terminal switch at Gatwick.  On 25th January 2017, British Airways will move overnight from the North Terminal to the South Terminal.  easyJet will move across to the North Terminal, consolidating their entire operation under one roof for the first time.

British Airways is building a brand new lounge complex in Gatwick South for status and premium passengers.

If you are travelling in economy without BA status, you won’t be getting in.  The good news is that No 1 Lounges opened a brand new facility in Gatwick South in February.  You can get access to this using a Priority Pass (with American Express Platinum or bought outright) or Lounge Club (two free entries with American Express Gold) card.  You can also buy passes directly on the No 1 Lounge website.

Last week I went on holiday to Croatia to spend a week on the gorgeous island of Vis (I will spare you a review of my independent 2* hotel, with a bed so bad I spent one night sleeping on the floor).

Flying Norwegian from Gatwick South to Split, we decided to give the new No 1 Lounge a try.  We bought access for cash and No 1 Lounges was not involved in this review in any way.

The No 1 lounge is located upstairs next to Dixons.  You need to walk along a hallway to reach the reception desk.

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The first thing you notice is the size – this is substantially bigger than the old No 1 Lounge at Gatwick South – and different sitting arrangements.

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The middle bit is the restaurant:

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-dining-area

and next to the table area is the bar where you can order drinks and food.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-bar

There were nuts, apples and cakes for self service.  All other food had to be ordered from a menu at the bar.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-cake-fruit

There were two coffee machines and a good tea selection in the lounge.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-coffee

At the far end of the lounge were very comfy sofas.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-lounge-area

The lounge also has a meeting room where kids under the age of 12 are not allowed.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-meeting-room

This is the TV room.

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The work area in the No 1 lounge has got two desktop Macs:

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-computer

Food

The food menu very good and the dishes were freshly prepared. If you have got enough time, this definitely makes for a great lounge experience. However if you are under time pressure you may find the wait annoying – during busy times you will need to wait 10-15 minutes for your food.

As our flight was delayed (good old Norwegian) we had enough time to try almost the whole menu ……

The spinach and ricotta pasta shell was delicious, but the portion size was more starter than main.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-pasta-dish

…… that’s why I also tried the superfood salad mezze with quinoa. If you like healthy food, this is my recommendation.

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-food-superfood-salad

Here is the full food menu (click to enlarge).

no-1-lounge-gatwick-south-food-menu

Conclusion

The No 1 lounge at Gatwick South is a great way to start your holiday. The atmosphere was very calming and relaxing and the food quality was great.  I think British Airways passengers without lounge access will be pleasantly surprised by what they find here after 25th January.

The only thing that could get annoying when the lounge is busier is the queue at the bar and the time you have to wait for your food to arrive.  In order to make the most of it the lounge, I recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to departure.

You can find out more, and buy entry passes, on the No 1 website here.

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Comments

  1. Planeflyer says:

    I was in there in April and it was ram packed on a Saturday morning (not school holidays) and had the same ambience as the North Terminal. No window seats to be had, no computers available, no sofas….for a single traveller! Plenty of screaming kids too.
    Anika, you got VERY lucky having it so empty. I think this article is misleading, selling this lounge as being “a great way to start your holiday” without a “NB, this lounge is often HORRIBLY busy”.
    I was in there thanks to status flying Air Europa, and WOULD NOT have been happy had I paid. I think these NO.1 lounges have fairly violent peaks and troughs, so predicting busy times isn’t easy, and you probably can’t guarantee an “atmosphere [that is] was very calming and relaxing”.

  2. Arrived at the lounge at 8:30am this morning to be told that is full to capacity already. Only way to get in was via reservation. I asked if there was a wait list I could be put on or a time to come back but this apparently is not possible. Staff on the reception were not particularly helpful but it just seems if your names not down you’re not coming in.

  3. @Adam B I arrived at the lounge at 5.40am this morning and had, word for word, the same experience as you. I have the feeling that something is up as this is the first time ever No 1 Lounge has said it does not have a waiting list despite me highlighting my many experiences to the contrary…

  4. Back to BA lounge at LGW – I will be flying out of there in November, so still North terminal. What’s the score with lounge access there as I’m silver?