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

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This is part two of my review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.   Part 1 of my Virgin Clubhouse review can be found here.

EDIT: You can read a more recent review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 here.

There are four other corners of the Clubhouse lounge that I didn’t cover in part 1.  This is the library which is meant to be a quiet area:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

This is the nearest Virgin gets to a business centre – a handful of laptops in the middle of the room:

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

To the left hand side of the lounge is a flight of stairs.  Go up and you find yourself in a secluded seating area.  I sat here for 20 minutes doing the interview with the Daily Express which appeared recently.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

Take another flight of stairs and you find yourself somewhere very unexpected – a roof terrace!

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

Due to the joys of the Summer 2016 weather it wasn’t somewhere that anyone was choosing to linger but I can imagine it is a pleasant spot to use on a sunny day.

The restaurant

Finally, I want to talk about the restaurant.  This is an open plan area in the lounge, although the layout means that you don’t have people walking past you all the time.  Service was attentive but casual in a typical Virgin style.

The food was excellent.  I was genuinely surprised.  My meal was up there on a par with the Qatar Airways restaurant in their Terminal 4 lounge.

On the day I was there it was offering as starters:

Cauliflower soup with truffle oil

Confit Asian duck bao bun (see below) with spring onion, cucumber and hoisin sauce

Potted salmon with tartar salad on toasted sourdough

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 restaurant

For main courses you could pick from:

Sweet and sour chicken (see below) with jasmine rice and prawn cracker

Pan fried rainbow trout, warm Jersey Royal potato salad and toasted sourdough

The Clubhouse cheese burger with beef tomato, American cheese, red onion, lettuce, gherkin, cocktail sauce and chips (there is also a vegetarian burger option)

Three salads were also on offer.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 restaurant

Finally, for dessert, they had:

Warm doughnut, strawberry jam and clotted ice cream (see below)

Home made gin and tonic and elderflower sorbet with fresh lime

plus fruit salad and ice cream.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 restaurant

There honestly wasn’t a duff note anywhere.  If you heading to the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow, make sure you leave time and stomach space for a full meal.

I haven’t mentioned the bar in this review but, trust me, there is one, it is very long and it seems to stock pretty much anything you could possibly want!

Back in 1997, I remember the lounge having a sound proof room with some very expensive hi-fi equipment in it.  You could put on a CD, crank up the volume and take a seat in a comfy armchair.  That seems to have gone which is a shame.

Conclusion

You can, in general, believe the hype about the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow.  Excellent food, a great bar, lots of space, the novel roof terrace, a free haircut and a sauna and jacuzzi (and a table tennis table) – you need to be pretty churlish not to find fun in that lot.

It could be better, of course.  A few bottles of Krug or Dom Perignon, a better kids playroom, a broader magazine selection, a full buffet for people who don’t have the time or inclination to sit in the restaurant ….. you can always add something else.

Making more of the spa treatments free would also be good, although to be fair Etihad has just gone down the same route and started charging for most of the treatments in its Heathrow lounge.  British Airways still has free ‘mini’ treatments but they are nowhere near as comprehensive as what Virgin offers.

The Virgin Heathrow Clubhouse should definitely be on your airline bucket list.  In a few days I’ll tell you whether I believe that the Upper Class in-flight product should be on your list too ….

You can find out more about the Clubhouse on the Virgin Atlantic website here.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  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.)

Comments (60)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Robert says:

    Nice review.

    Last time I flew VS they had just refurbished the lounge but it wasn’t fully open yet, and looks great now.
    As for the flight itself, well, it was ok, not great and I am no fan of the reverse herringbone seating.

    • Yuff says:

      I flew UC from Manchester and very disappointed with the pre flight check-in, lounge etc at least Heathrow looks much better.
      Also not a fan of the UC seating( or service on our particular flight) on the 747. I wouldn’t rush back to try UC, especially from Manchester.

      • James A says:

        The VS experience from Manchester is entirely different. No lounge (or a poor lounge if/when it reopens) and their worst product (A330) on most routes. Still it’s convenient for those of us up north and plenty of mileage seats are available.

        I expect they will build a clubhouse when the new terminal is finished at MAN.

        • Mr Dee says:

          Think I will take a trip to Heathrow if thats the case at Manchester

      • Will says:

        Flew UC on the 747 and A340 last year. The seats were not to my liking and the on board product was very tacky. The flight attendants were not slick either.

        Style over substance imho.

        I refer to it as Upper Chav class.

  • Boi says:

    Thanks for review. I am now looking forward to our first there in 10 days time…. I had planned for us to arrive at Heathrow at 4pm for our 8pm flight. Now I am thinking of arriving early to get more than 2 hours at the clubhouse.

    You mention they could have better kids play area. Do you think kids would easily get bored? What’s decent time to spend there?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Depends on a lot of things such as their age and what they enjoy. If they like planes they may enjoy the roof terrace (smoking is not allowed up there so it’s reasonably pleasant), unless children are banned from the table tennis table then they could use that (is there still a pool table?).

      To be on the safe side, if you have a tablet it’s a good idea to fill it up with things to do.

  • David says:

    Sampled the clubhouse on the way to NYC in May this year – it was excellent and can’t wait to return. On you first visit three hours is a good period to plan for.
    Don’t forget the revivals lounge on your return.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Seems a fair review. My last visit was 2011 (thanks to the agreement they had with bmi) and I had wondered whether the quality would drop now they were partnered with Delta (and they moved many flights to T3 and allowed Clubhouse access).

    Thanks to Flying Club being the only remotely decent place you can credit East Coast train travel now I have went from zero miles in March 2015 to over 50k now (I travel by train too much!), so I’ll wait until I hit 80k and do an upperclass return to JFK.

    • harry says:

      I’ve had 100K sitting there gathering dust for nearly 20 years now! Recently decided to be more proactive & bring the wife into it – I think she’s nearly up to 20K in just a few weeks but that’s the easy stuff done.

      Any decent tips out there for Virgin miles? We haven’t done any credit cards yet so that will help next time a decent bonus comes around.

      • harry says:

        Haven’t yet converted Tesco —> Virgin, any idea when another 30% bonus might be seen? They seem to come quite regularly.

      • Fenny says:

        E-rewards points convert to Virgin. I have a Virgin black credit card that brings in a fair number and occasionally has a good sign up bonus.

      • Egg says:

        may be a bit late, but a Virgin Money ISA is an easy way to net miles.
        Need to pay in for 6 months & obviously comes with the risks…
        I pay the minimum. 5000 miles + a little more than my investment back

        • Rob says:

          You can get both VS credit cards at the same time so that is 2 bonuses. Amex Gold and Plat points convert 1:1 so that is 20k for getting free Amex Gold.

          3k for first Virgin Wines order.

          • harry says:

            Yep – could use our next Amex Gold for Virgin miles I guess.

            Got the wine, ISAs & eRewards already, so I guess it’s VS credit cards next

  • Frankie says:

    Outdoor terrace looks fab. I’d spend hours wafching the planes & listening to the sounds. I always thought such terraces weren’t allowed due to security issues ( not sure what security issues though). Why don’t more airports or airline lounges have them?

  • Adey says:

    Don’t forget the shoe shine guy…. He’s great!

    Adey

  • Harry says:

    I was in the Virgin arrivals lounge at Heathrow a few months ago off an overnight New York flight. The showers are great, the clothes pressing actually made a difference, the breakfast was fresh and tasty and the staff very helpful. Large selection of reading material as well. There is a small Business Centre just by the entrance. Sorry no pictures.

  • Derek Holdrup says:

    I flew to Detroit last month and used the Virgin wing when I arrived in my private taxi – I live too far away for a free one. From drop off to being through security took at least 10 minutes. A fantastic change from my normal BA Gatwick departures. Just wish I could use Virgin every time I flew to the USA. Not keen on the A330 -300 seating if travelling as a couple though.

    • Lady London says:

      Ah! wish I’d remembered that I could have used the Virgin lounge at Detroit too. instead I used the Delta one which is not bad for an American lounge. But I am sure the Virgin one would have been better.

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