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My review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow

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This is my mini review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

I have a confession to make. To this day I’ve never flown with Virgin Atlantic and the only Clubhouse I’d ever visited before was the Arrivals Lounge at Terminal 3 for a press event.   Whilst I’m yet to get on a Virgin Atlantic plane, I can tick off the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow now as I got access as part of my Delta One flight to Atlanta last week.

Rob wrote a two-part review about the lounge two years ago which you can find here and here.  He had a few hours in the lounge and was able to experience a full meal due to his afternoon flight.

My flight was at 12:30 pm which meant that I was in the lounge for breakfast.  Due to lengthy check-in and security delays I had less time than I planned, so I recommend reading Rob’s older articles alongside mine, especially if you want to know more about what the restaurant serves.

Review Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3
As the Virgin Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow is generally regarded as one of the top five Business Class lounges in the world I decided to get to the airport early enough to check out the spa and restaurant and look at the different areas.  I ended up being a little disappointed as you will see.

Unfortunately the check in process stole about 40 minutes of my time. There were about six open Virgin / Delta premium check in counters, each with their own queue. I waited in one of them, just to be told when it was my turn that the counter was closing and I had to join one of the other queues – at the back.

I made my way to the next line. Once it was my turn I was asked if I was flying Virgin or Delta. I said Delta and was told that I had to do some sort of security check and answer a couple of questions before they would accept my suitcase.   I made my way towards the middle of the check in hall, handed over my passport and had to answer a number of questions (what visa am I travelling on, where am I staying, how long, and so on).  I got a sticker on my passport and walked back to the check in counter ….

Once I was finally checked in and had dropped off my bags I walked to the lift which is located next to the check in counters. The lift took me up to the Upper Class security – where they were experiencing delays due to a passenger arguing with staff about his bag with liquids.  This appears to be an increasing problem with US flights, because passengers with TSA pre-check no longer need to unpack liquids when leaving the US …. but they do on the return.  It seemed that asking this passengers to step out of the queue to let other people go ahead was too difficult.

Anyway, after a long walk through the Duty Free shop and another lift ride I finally made it to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse – but with only about 90 minutes left until my flight.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

Rob told me that the spa gets booked up quickly and as the lounge was very busy, I walked down to the far right end of the lounge and booked a head massage.  This is one of the complimentary treatments – the majority of the spa menu requires payment, either in cash or miles.

The free treatments at Heathrow are:

Creative dry style female hair treatment (15 minutes)

Fringe trim (ladies only) (15 minutes)

Beard trim (15 minutes)

Neck tidy (men only) (15 minutes)

File and buff for hands and nails (15 minutes)

Express Radiant You facial (15 minutes)

Head massage (15 minutes)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

I got an appointment 20 minutes later which meant I didn’t have enough time for a sit down breakfast in the restaurant.  I went to the buffet counter instead and it was very impressive to my continental tastes. They had various different bread types to choose from and a large selection of fish, cheese and cold cuts.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

I sat at the long table opposite the breakfast counter facing the long bar at the far back.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

After my head massage I had a look around the lounge.  It is a very large space with plants and glass walls acting as room dividers to create the feeling of separate areas.

Opposite the entrance was a table with a small selection of magazines and newspapers. To the right was one sitting area and the spa, at the far back was the bar and behind it a number of small sitting areas with views over the airport.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

and

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

Towards the far left of the lounge were more sitting areas including a TV area.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

and

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

I didn’t take a picture of the restaurant as it was very busy but Rob covered it in-depth in his review.  As I was there in the morning I couldn’t sample the new afternoon tea service which was introduced this year.

It’s worth noting that there is table service throughout the whole lounge and there were breakfast menus available on every table. I personally preferred the bread, fish and cheese option and only ordered a fruit salad from the menu.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

The lounge also has a small mezzanine level with seats, sofas and a pool table. This area was very bright unlike the rest of the lounge which was rather dark.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

From the mezzanine level I walked up more stairs and found myself on the outdoor terrace. It was a gorgeous day and it would have been fun to have a drink up here, but I guess I was too early as the bar wasn’t open yet.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Heathrow T3 review

I also took some video footage that I edited into a short video clip.

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

Conclusion

I enjoyed the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge. The breakfast was very good and I got a free head massage. It was very busy until around 11am but I still managed to get a small sitting area with a swing by the windows.

That said, it was not the life-changing experience that many flyers seem to rave about. And I doubt it was the loss of the jacuzzi in the last refurbishment that made the difference!

Part of the problem is that the lounge is substantially busier now than it was historically.  Delta began to give its customers access and then then consolidated all of its Heathrow flights, previously split across two terminals, in Terminal 3.

It’s a shame I didn’t get to experience lunch, afternoon tea or dinner in the restaurant as I believe this is one of the things that makes this lounge special.  There are fewer ways to make the breakfast experience stand out.

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow is definitely one of the better lounges and worth a visit but if you want peace and quiet it won’t be everything you hoped for.  If you have the choice, I think that it’s better to book a flight in the afternoon when you can visit the restaurant and the lounge is hopefully not as busy as when I visited.

To make the most of the lounge I suggest arriving at the lounge two to three hours before your flight and to book a spa treatment as soon as you walk in. And if you’re flying with Delta, remember to do the pre check stuff before queuing at the check in desk …..

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

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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.)

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Comments

  1. Does anybody know if you are allowed to smoke on that outside terrace?

    • You can see the sign in Anika’s video. It’s no smoking – but ostensibly no eating or drinking either, which makes the appearance of the bar (pleasantly) surprising!

      • Colin JE says:

        That bar upstairs has been there for ages but I’ve never seen it staffed. Last time I was there (admittedly a couple of years) it was a Grey Goose vodka bar.

  2. Colin JE says:

    Anika, thanks for the review. It’s still my favourite lounge. I’ve only managed to get in by upgrading a PE ticket to Upper (can’t afford a full price Upper ticket). I’m really intrigued how you got in the lounge on a PE ticket. Do tell please?

    Sounds like check-in was a nightmare. If you ever have a chance to fly Upper and arrive in a taxi or limo do try the Upper Wing. It’s a brilliant arrival experience.

    • Delta One is J

    • If flying PE, ask at the reception if you can access Clubhouse – I have done this in the past for £60. As far as I understand, they won’t even entertain the request if flying economy, however PE you may have a chance. Bear in mind this was pre-Delta and it definitely depends on how busy the clubhouse is when you ask.

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