My review of the brand new Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick’s North Terminal

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This is my review of the new Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick’s North Terminal.

The Club Aspire lounge re-opened last month after a refurbishment of the old Aspire lounge.  I think that the only difference between Club Aspire and Aspire is that the former is now partially owned by Priority Pass-owner Collinson.

Gatwick North is, primarily, the easyJet terminal although there are other airlines that use it – WestJet, Emirates, Air Italy etc.  All British Airways flights now depart from Gatwick South.

Club Aspire occupies the bottom level of the Gatwick lounge pavilion.  This is unfortunate, as it means it is two floors below concourse level and has no views from the main area.  There are windows but they are frosted and it isn’t clear what, if anything, is on the other side.

Opposite Club Aspire is the No 1 Lounges Clubrooms, covered here.  At concourse level you have the huge No 1 Lounge Gatwick North, reviewed here, and the smaller My Lounge, reviewed here.

Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum) and Lounge Club (two passes free with the free Amex Gold) are accepted at Club Aspire, No 1 Lounge and My Lounge.  You can buy Club Aspire access for cash via their website here.

Inside the lounge

I don’t remember ever visiting the old Aspire lounge at Gatwick North.

In summary, I’d say that Club Aspire has done the best it can with a fairly dull shoe-box shaped space which has no views.  In some ways, the best thing to say about it is that it is a lot quieter than the No 1 Lounge.

However, if you are a regular traveller then you probably aren’t so bothered about the views, the library and the other novelties of No 1.  If all you want is a smart space for a quiet sit down with a newspaper, a cup of coffee and some breakfast then this will do the trick.

There are four ‘zones’ to the lounge.  This is the rather utilitarian area nearest the entrance and reception, which you can see to the top right:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

There is a decent selection of newspapers and, not shown, an eclectic magazine pile too – although too much appears to be there due to money changing hands rather than editorial quality:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

In the centre of the room is the buffet and, behind it, the bar:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

The breakfast offering was the traditional scrambled egg, sausage, bacon and beans.

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

Yoghurt, fruit, pastries etc were also available:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

It wasn’t a huge selection but it did the job.  No 1 Lounge has a broader offering but the fundamentals are similar between the lounges.  At 6.30am, the bar – unsurprisingly – was not busy.  In theory the lounge is offering prosecco for free for the first two months but this was not mentioned to me, possibly due to the early hour.

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

At the back of the room was a failed attempt to liven up the space with pot plants:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

Tucked away around the corner, this small seating area offers the most privacy and does have an external view:

Review Club Aspire lounge London Gatwick North terminal

What you will see is that there is no dedicated working area.  There are plenty of tables to pop down your laptop but nothing especially designed for working.  The lounge is also a little light on sockets.

Overall, the Club Aspire Gatwick North lounge gets the basics right – plenty of seating, decent-enough food, smart bar, newspaper and magazines – but is desperately lacking in flair. 

It needed an interior designer who wasn’t afraid to inject a little bit extra.  Perhaps some classic aviation posters, perhaps a few antiques to offset the modern furnishings, perhaps something as simple as the aircraft-shaped wine bottle holders they had in the Northern Lights Lounge in Aberdeen reviewed here.  Just …. something.  Something so that, when your friends ask you what the lounge was like, you say “it had a really cool [fill in the blank]”.

Here’s a video of the Club Aspire lounge in Gatwick North

I made a short video (just over a minute) which gives you an overview of the lounge and which you should be able to see below.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear.

 

Conclusion

Aspire has done a decent job with the Club Aspire lounge given the limitations of the space.  As long as it doesn’t get too busy, you will find it a perfectly pleasant place to pass an hour or so.

The No 1 Lounge in Gatwick North is also very good – and far larger than Club Aspire.  For a special treat No 1 is ‘flashier’ but there is a risk that the crowding takes away any feeling of exclusivity.  My Lounge is usually quiet and has its own style of hipster flair.

You can buy passes for the Club Aspire lounge in Gatwick North here.

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Comments

  1. Dean B says:

    Worth noting that if you are have Oneworld status, travelling economy on Qatar Airways through LGW, this is the lounge you get given access to. I was there last week.

  2. Have they renamed the terminals as well ????????‍♂️

  3. Connor says:

    Any idea whether it’s still a good idea to reserve ahead here/at No 1 lounge in the North Terminal now that it’s primarily used by Easyjet?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      you can prebook No. 1

    • Whilst I did have a reservation it was not needed at 7am. There was a queue at 7.30 when I left. I would say 7.30 – 9.30 is peak and worth reserving.

      • Lady London says:

        I have seen people turned away from Gatwick No 1 around 5pm through to about 6.15pm on a Friday quite frequently especially summer or Bank Holiday weekends.

        If it’s important to you I would suggest you consider Rob’s tip of a few days ago, purchase a reservation in the lounge that will also give you Fasttrack for about the same price as either ?

  4. Iberia are backing out on this promo. Look,at livefromalounge.

    • Not really, Iberia stated to someone who’s address was Thailand that they didn’t qualify for the promo, which is in accordance with Ts n Cs.

    • No they’re not. They are enforcing the rules.

  5. As long as Pickles and the others have passports to confirm their ID you’ll all be fine ????

  6. Archie Bob says:

    How about a mention of what alcohol is available? Even some pictures of the firidges/wines/spirits would be useful. For some it’s the key differentiator between lounges – obviously not important to the author though. Please Rob – don’t forget us early morning airport drinkers next time you do a review!

    • As someone who is tucking into a latte at No 1 Lounge at Gatwick North every Monday at 5:30am I can confirm that many of my fellow travellers are having bubbles, half pints of Estrella or even the occasional Gin and Tonic – more and more it seems as the summer progresses. Maybe I’ll check out Aspire next week to compare.

      • I wouldn’t bother, if there is room in No 1 Lounge stay there. Aspire, is as Rob described it, and lacks any sort of atmosphere. I didn’t rate the food or drink offerings that much either.

        • That breakfast buffet, although not high quality, looks like you can get something substantial rather than the world’s smallest bacon sandwich in No.1

        • No 1 does a buffet now too – or at least has for the last few weeks, both for breakfast and lunch. No more swapping a menu for one choice!

      • Lady London says:

        Same here, seen that a lot. I guess it’s Gatwick living up to its reputation of being a holiday airport… am sure it’s the same at Stansted.

    • I agree. When flying out of Heathrow Terminal 3 with Oneworld status, I actually really like the American Airlines lounge as it’s quiet and has self serve alcohol. The beer selection is Carlsberg and Bud though,

  7. Why ‘failed’? It’s – using BA lingo – “actually quite nice”. You are so quick in delivering your judgements sometimes…

    • I think an hour in the place is long enough 🙂 It is just a bit dull. You may love or hate My Lounge but at least people have a firm opinion on it.

  8. Kevin says:

    Was in the Plaza Premium in Heathrow Terminal 5 the other day at lunchtime. I thought the food was good and they had World Cup cupcakes!

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