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Review: Terminal 5’s new Priority Pass arrivals lounge, Club Millesime

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This is my review of Club Millesime, the new Priority Pass at Heathrow Terminal 5 inside the Sofitel hotel.

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

EDIT: This lounge is no longer part of Priority Pass.  This review is only of interest if you are planning on staying at Sofitel Heathrow and want to know what the lounge is like.

Sofitel Heathrow Accor

I had a rather surprising arrival from Geneva on Friday.  The plane landed 10 minutes early, parked at an A gate and there was no queue at passport control.  This meant that I was running earlier than expected so I decided to use the time to check out the latest Priority Pass offering.

The news – broken by Head by Points in July – that the executive lounge of the Sofitel hotel at Terminal 5 had joined Priority Pass came as a surprise.  Someone at Priority Pass or the hotel had been thinking creatively.  After all, the British Airways arrivals lounge in Terminal 5 closes in the early afternoon and is only accessible by First Class, Club World and Gold card holders (no guests).

How to get there

If you’ve never walked from the terminal to the Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5, you will find it a little further than anticipated.  That said, it only took me 7 minutes from walking into the arrivals hall to sitting down in the lounge.  This included the time that it took for the hotel to process my Priority Pass card.

In Terminal 5, you exit by the most northern set of doors and take the lift up to Level 1.  You are then sent down a long walkway – longer than it first appears – until you enter the hotel.  You then go down an escalator to the lobby.  Diagonally across from you, by the front door, is the Guest Relations desk.  This is where you need to sign in.

The guy on the desk was polite and insisted on walking me to the lounge entrance, which is just down the corridor.  Priority Pass holders also get access to the showers in the Sofitel spa, although I didn’t check this out.

What’s inside the Sofitel Heathrow lounge?

I arrived at 4.15pm, in the no-mans lands between lunch and dinner.  As you can see, the lounge is a large rectangular space (click on any of the photos to enlarge):

Club Millesime Sofitel Heathrow

…. with lots of seating.  There were only two other guests when I went in.  A jazz soundtrack was playing, a little loudly, in the background.

Club Millesime Sofitel Heathrow

Food consisted of finger sandwiches:

Club Millesime Sofitel Heathrow

….. scones and cakes.  It was almost identical to the British Airways ‘afternoon tea’ I had received an hour earlier in the air, but fresher.

Club Millesime lounge Sofitel Heathrow

There was no alcohol available at this time of the day, but the coffee machine was working just fine and a wide selection of teas were also available.  Someone arrived to start setting out the evening drinks as I was leaving.

Club Millesime priority pass lounge Sofitel Heathrow

As the club lounge for the hotel, I imagine that a decent breakfast is available here in the morning.

There are two computers and a printer for guest use, and a large selection of newspapers and magazines, although the latter are in a holder at floor level and easily missed. 

My only complaint is that I wasn’t offered a code for the wi-fi.  This wasn’t an issue as there was a good 4G phone signal but you wouldn’t want to use this if you were based outside the UK and didn’t have inclusive data roaming.

If you have some time to kill in Terminal 5, it is a perfectly pleasant place to wait.

How to get in

As far as access goes, it is Priority Pass only.  Club Millesime is not a member of Lounge Club or Dragonpass.  It is part of Lounge Key if you have a World Elite MasterCard.  I doubt you can pay on the door either as it would undermine the value of the lounge as an add-on for hotel guests.

You are not asked for a boarding pass, by the way.  There is no reason why hotel guests cannot access the lounge via Priority Pass if they are staying here.

Priority Pass comes free with American Express Platinum.  You receive two cards (one is for your main supplementary cardholder) and each can bring a guest so a family of four can access a lounge for free.  Alternatively, you can buy a Priority Pass here.

HSBC Premier World Elite is the only travel credit card which comes with Lounge Key.

DragonPass cardholders can access the Regus Business Centre in Terminal 5.  This is not a lounge per se, however.  You can get a free cup of coffee but it only has a handful of seats and these are almost all around communal work tables where you are expected to get out your laptop.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (41)

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

  • Mike says:

    LoungeKey also accepted here.

  • Flyoff says:

    I used the lounge as a convenient point to be picked up by a taxi. The taxi I ordered had an allowance of 15 minutes before a parking charge was due.

    I was there around 1 pm. The lounge food consisted only had a bowl of fruit. This was disappointing and I was underwhelmed. Soft drinks and tea/ coffee was available. Some of the other people in the lounge had bought sandwiches in the terminal and we’re eating them in the lounge.

    I could see this lounge being useful during breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks. I would have been disappointed if I had paid £15 for guests. The background music is too loud to try and work.

    I could see that the shower may be attractive if you had just arrived on a flight and didn’t have access to the BA lounge.

  • Dwadda says:

    I’ve used it twice. It’s OK. You can go to the Spa but PP only gets you use of the shower. As others have noted the food and beverage is the same as you would get at a good hotel lounge. It’s on the ground floor, down the side of the hotel and there are NO windows so there is no view. And the toilets are back near reception behind the lifts. It was packed when I arrived during the evening.

    Audi owners (etc) will be pissed off to discover that the best parking at the hotel is reserved for BMW cars! I have never seen that before.

    • VFUK says:

      I went last Sunday for the fourth time in as many weeks as a PP member — and I am also an Accor Plat — and was told by the ESPA SA that PP holders get access to the spa facilities, not just to the showers: she even went away and came back brandishing the ‘rule book’. I mention this as my girlfriend had issues with us trying to use the sauna/jacuzzi/etc. under the pretext of “just using the shower facilities”, i.e. I had no scruples whatsoever with using the sauna or steam room, but my girlfriend did and she even ended up saying to the ESPA lady after being let through that she’d actually like to use the sauna now and could we actually pay to use it (!!) and could it be added to our hotel bill (!!!). I was not amused, frankly, as this made us look like idiots, as much as I may love the missus :o). Anyway, when we left later, the ESPA manageress was very apologetic and reassured us that no bill charge for use of the spa would be added to our hotel bill because PP holders get free use of the SPA facilities, not just the showers. So, from the horse’s mouth.

  • Michael says:

    Is there a limit to ‘unlimited’ PP cards? Could, say, someone who works nearby or a limo driver meeting clients, theoretically use this every day without raising any eyebrows?

    • Rob says:

      This was happening at Plaza Premium in T2 which is why they have started asking for a boarding pass.

      • YL says:

        That is bad news.. The T2 arrival lounge has been very useful for me when waiting family and friends to arrive. I have use the lounge many times in the evening and most of times there was only 1 or 2 people actually.
        On the other hand when I visited Sofitel club lounge last time around 6.30 pm which was during happy hours, it was packed.

        • Simon Schus says:

          BOOOoooOOOoo, this is rubbish news. What are people’s experiences of this? Always denied, always asked for a BP?

          I used to wait for my wife arrive on her flight, and would just sit in the lounge waiting for them before heading to our hotel after she landed (she is terrible with jetlag, it isn’t worth my while to drive her straight home… we just get an airport hotel and she sleeps until she is ready haha). In my case, this doesn’t happen to often anymore but at some stages I was in the lounge once a month. I also distinctly remember having an early morning flight and so got an airport hotel… I headed to the lounge because I was frankly bored of my hotel room, got some dinner and a few drinks. Now that is presumably prohibited. Rubbbissssh.

          It is annoying because:
          – I tend to throw my boarding passes after I collect the luggage and check it is all as intended. I hate carrying little scraps of paper around when travelling.
          – PP stills get paid, so why does it matter to them? The lounge only ever really seemed overcrowded in the morning between 730am and 1030am when most of the morning flights were arriving.

          Anyway, rant over. It is their lounge and they can do what they want haha.

          • Simon Schus says:

            *once a week, not once a month

          • Rob says:

            There are only odd reports of this so it is not necessarily 100% guaranteed you will be asked.

            My feeling is that Priority Pass is finding that some people are buying unlimited passes and then going in 3-4 times per week. If you work at Heathrow you could go in for after-work drinks every night, or a free lunch. Priority Pass starts to lose money once you start to visit more than two lounges per month, assuming you pay £250 for unlimited access. They look at what these people are doing and, if it turns out they are using the same lounge on a very heavy basis, they will have a word.

  • Paddy says:

    I’m going to be flying back from a California Big Holiday trip next September (2017), so just waiting on the return flights to be released. It looks like we’ll probably fly out of Phoenix or San Jose, as they seem to have the best availability for using Avios for 4 people in Club World or First. Our flight will only arrive around 13:30 and the Terminal 5 arrivals lounge closes at 14:00. I don’t have a Priority Pass, so can’t use this lounge. Can anyone suggest where we can go as we will be waiting on a flight to Belfast, as we live in Northern Ireland? Thanks.

    • reds says:

      If you are transiting at T5 from a BA international flight to a domestic leg, you can use the premium lounges in T5 if travelling in Club World/F prior to your domestic leg.
      We used the Concord Room following arrival from HKG in F prior to our domestic leg to BHD.

    • Tim says:

      Hi Paddy, we did the big California trip this summer – awesome by the way!

      I went through the same thought process as we used the free domestic add-on flight to fly to Glasgow and visit family. As the arrivals lounge was due to close shortly before we arrived back from SFO the Executive Club booking agent confirmed that we could use the T5 Galleries Lounge before our onward flight.

      As it turned out the SFO was delayed almost 4 hours so although we were bumped onto a later flight to Glasgow we had no time to use the T5 lounge. We did however have the joy of skipping the boarding que due to the Glasgow leg effectively being a business class ticket.

      As side note, I’m not sure how your onward flight to Belfast was booked but just to warn you that we spent well over an hour at SFO arguing for our baggage to be booked all the way through to Glasgow. Seemed such an obvious thing they should have been able to do but we eventually got the manger down and she signed it off.. bonkers! Anyway, if you get the same hassle just don’t give in… My complaint to the Exec Club is on it’s way.

      Enjoy the trip!

      • harry says:

        ‘Enjoy the trip!’

        I had an annoying ‘uncle’ (in reality cousin) who used to say that when we were kids and stumbled

        Now he is a very popular cousin who takes us all out en famille for blowouts in the local Indian 🙂

  • James says:

    Does anyone know if you can access the lounge as a non hotel guest using your Accor Le Club Platinum membership without PP?

    • Alan says:

      I wouldn’t have thought so, lounge access as an Accor Plat is only if you’re staying in the hotel.

  • fang says:

    Is anyone been denied spa access? Raffles’s review did mention that you only have shower access, but in the Priority Pass website it also claim that you get: Complimentary shower facilities and spa access

    But I recently got denied spa access and Hotel said the information in Priority Pass website was incorrect

  • Chris says:

    This was good timing , I’m flying into Heathrow next week at 1pm with the family and the in laws. I was thinking about using the PP at the Sofitel before transferring to Gatwick but I am now reconsidering my options.

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

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