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Review: the new Club Aspire lounge at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

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This is my review of the new Club Aspire lounge in London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3.

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

Most of the excitement in the airport lounge world this month has been over the excellent new Cathay Pacific First and Business Class lounges in Heathrow Terminal 3.  Here is our Cathay Pacific Heathrow lounge review based on the press preview day.  I also popped in on Thursday morning to take a look for myself – and it is impressive.

My main target on Thursday was elsewhere though.  At the end of October, the unlamented Swissport lounge in Terminal 3 closed.  This was a dog, frankly, as I reviewed here.

Swissport hasn’t even bothered trying to renovate its facility (hopefully No 1 Lounges will expand into the empty space).  Instead, Swissport and Collinson Group have come together to build a new lounge under their Club Aspire brand.

The good news is that this lounge participates in Priority Pass (buy one here, or get two free with American Express Platinum) and Lounge Club (two free one-visit passes come with the free American Express Preferred Rewards Gold).  Many Head for Points readers will therefore be able to get in for free.  You can also buy day passes from Swissport here.

Club Aspire has done a good job with this lounge.  The space is not huge but it has been used more successfully than in the Terminal 5 facility.

Where is the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3?

Club Aspire is on the main lounge ‘drag’ in Terminal 3.  Historically you would have turned right when entering the lounge corridor for the old Swissport facility, as well as BA and No 1 Lounges.  You now turn left, past the Cathay Pacific lounge.  Aspire is on the right, halfway between the Cathay and Emirates lounge pavilions.

Click on any of the pictures to enlarge:

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

As you enter, the bliss spa is to the right (more on that later) and the main lounge on the left.

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

What you have is a large open space with two main central communal tables.  The entrance is on the right at the back.  What isn’t clear from this picture is that the buffet is set a few feet in front of the bar behind it.  (Apologies for the low light but it was 8am when I took these pictures.)

Along the left is some sofa-style seating with a view out to the tarmac:

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

with some more seating to the right.

At the back of the lounge are two separate areas.  There is a ‘Quiet Area’:

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

…. and ‘Rest Pods’, which are free-to-use day beds in a low light area.  There is an amusing disclaimer outside saying that Aspire is not responsible if you fall asleep and miss your flight …..

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

There was a decent breakfast buffet available featuring the usual hot and cold suspects, for example:

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

…. plus cereal, fruit etc.

There is also premium paid food available later in the day which requires 20-30 minutes preparation time.  Dishes include butternut squash and goats cheese risotto (£5.99) and a burger with sweet potato fries (£5.99).  ‘Wine Flight’ tasting selections – three different wines for £10-£13 – are also available.

Talking of drink, there is a full bar but, given the early hour, I didn’t try it out.

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

One final note …. this lounge has LOTS of power sockets.  They are everywhere.

The spa at Club Aspire

….. was not open at 8am.

Review Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

The spa has a range of express 20 minute and luxury 40 minute treatments.  These are mainly priced at £20 and £40 respectively which, given the bliss branding, seems reasonable.

Note that, whilst the lounge has two showers, they are charged at £15 for a 30 minute slot.

Club Aspire Heathrow Terminal 3 on video.

Here is a short video of my Club Aspire visit.  If you can’t see it below, you can watch it via our YouTube channel here.

Conclusion

Aspire has done an excellent job with the Club Aspire lounge in Terminal 3.  As long as it doesn’t get too busy, you will find it a perfectly pleasant place to pass a couple of hours.

The No1 Lounge in Terminal 3 is also very good – and far larger than Club Aspire.  Heathrow, and indeed Gatwick (once the terminal switch chaos is over) passengers are lucky so have so many superior third party lounges available to them.

You can buy passes for the Club Aspire lounge in Terminal 3 here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

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

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

American Express Amex Gold

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

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients 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 £20 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.

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

Comments (23)

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

  • the-very-real-arry says:

    here’s what I posted last night after my visit yesterday – I should add that I asked an old-timer who had moved over from Swissport whether she had any inside gossip on whether No1 would be expanding into the old premises – she knew nothing!

    Strange but good experience. Small/ compact yet fits 120 so would feel compact if full – team told me nobody has been turned away in the last 6/7 weeks

    No self pour

    Brilliant bits such as the sleep pods (yep people sleeping on divans) and the Quiet bit where you can get a personal TV on quietly and a very comfy chair

    in fact virtually all the seating is very comfy so that’s a plus

    limited booze offering but cold Guinness behind the bar

    food good, freshly renewed and judging by what I ate, expertly prepared

    not much in the way of get your own soft drinks either so nothing to filch for the 2 kids I left outside (though I grabbed a couple of newspapers)

    loos bright & shiny as you’d expect – I told the mgress to get my one serviced as it was filthy & she literally hopped to it/ I guess with a spurty water tap it was not surprising to see water all over the place

    only had an hour so 2 G&Ts, 2 Guinness, 1 prosecco (you only get 1 free then £4.95), 1 Moretti beer was all I could squeeze in

    miserable barman who preferred to scuttle into the kitchen between scuttling out if somebody appeared at the bar – maybe an off day so no criticism intended or maybe he fancied the very capable cook – other staff A+

    • Ash says:

      I was literally there last night as well. Very very busy at around 6pm but No 1 was even worse and we turned away event hough we just wanted to go into that glass playroom so our little one canight cry her head off. If it wasnt packed I could see it being very nice. Shame it’s not bigger actually.

  • Andrew Clayfield says:

    Great news. Can you book lounges ahead of time with Priority Pass and/or Lounge Club? I have never made it into the Gatwick lounges because of bookings (they say)…

  • Paul says:

    Paying for food, showers and spa treatments in the lounge you have already paid to access. A lounge visit at LHR could now easily top £100 per person ……… can’t be long before Catch on and enhance their own lounge experience by charging!

    • the-very-real-arry says:

      well my son was Lounge Pass number 3 so in theory £15 – however, people have said that Lounge Pass uses over the 2 free ones often get away without the £15 charge so I thought I’d test that

      given we’ll probably get charged the £15, I thought we’d get a bit of value

      he had a couple of drinks & 2 plates of food

      I had a plate of hot food & 2 G&Ts, 2 Guinness, 1 prosecco (you only get 1 free then £4.95), 1 Moretti beer

      I guess in the airside caffs that would have been about £50-60?

  • signol says:

    Raffles, It looks like your YouTube channel link is broken – it just links to an image…

  • RW says:

    Rob, any idea of who I should contact regarding the BA 18k Avios draw from October? My dad won 18k, was told it could take up to 8 weeks for points to be posted, but there’s still nothing.

  • Andy says:

    Thanks for the review Raffles, I am going to T3 later today currently without lounge access so may try it out! Does anyone know if they have USB sockets at the Aspire lounge?

  • Andy says:

    Looks smart and comfortable. Good to see the draft beer is Moretti which is onexpected of the better keg beers.

  • Anna says:

    First world problem – I have gained 2 Lounge passes via Amex Gold but apparently they expire after 12 months. I already have BA lounge access for my two planned flights for 2017 – is it worth using the passes to try out the Aspire lounge in T3 (between Prague-Heathrow-Manchester flights)? Is it noticeably different from the BA lounge?

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

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