This is our review of the new No 1 Lounge at Edinburgh Airport, which opened in early 2019.
This article is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK. You see all of the reviews here.
Earlier this year No 1 closed that lounge and opened a new site, a short walk from the old one. Rob tried to review it last week but was turned away ‘because we’re full’ at 2.30pm on a Sunday. Luckily reader David came to our rescue, had a look at it and sent us this review.
Whilst it hasn’t been officially announced yet, No 1 will also be opening a premium Clubrooms space later this year. This should take some pressure off the main lounge and make it easier to get in at peak times.
Getting to the new No 1 Lounge
The old lounge was located by Gate 10. To reach the new lounge you need to continue walking past the old space, which is currently being renovated, and into the new section of the terminal which is by Gates 13 to 16. Walk up to the Brewdog bar and you will find the stairs and a lift to take you up to the lounge.
The first thing I noticed upon entry was that the new lounge is a much more open space compared to the former location.
I was at the lounge at 4.30am and it was very quiet with just one group in front of me. I was granted access with with my Priority Pass, something which can be tricky during busier times as Rob found out.
I received a menu with a number of hot breakfast items that can be ordered from the bar. As hot food is limited to one item per person, you need to give the menu back when ordering your food to ensure you don’t sneak in a 2nd order! This is the same system as No 1 used in the old lounge. Breakfast items include a poached egg bowl, beans on toast, jam and toast, bacon rolls and fish finger wraps.
The other noticeable aspects were the departure board to the right just after the desk and the soft music playing in the background during the stay which was very pleasant.
The No 1 Lounge bar
Once you have stepped in and passed the newspapers, the lounge opens out further onto some sort of stage with a bar located on the left.
The biggest change is the beer available on draught. Instead of Peroni the bar now serves Estrella Damm. In addition you can get the local Belhaven Best. The cider on tap is Stowford Press.
There were plenty of spirits available including a small selection of whiskies with blends and single malts. There were also a couple of red and white wine options and one rosè. Champagne was available for an additional charge of £6 per flute.
Opposite the bar was a long blue padded bench. There were electrical sockets underneath most seats and some velvet-like upholstered chairs.
The biggest change for this lounge is that it has windows across the whole rear wall.
During sunlight hours this will allow plenty of natural light into the lounge. The views are not very impressive as you will mostly see air bridges from gates 11 to 13!
Here is a picture taken during the day, sent in by Fraser, another reader, which shows it when the sun is out (click to enlarge):
No 1 Lounge food
Straight ahead of the desk was a ramp for wheelchair access to the lower level, and to the right was a buffet section. I was in the lounge for breakfast and found a great selection of croissants, muffins, cereals and porridge.
The drinks available were apple, orange and cranberry juice, plus a soft drinks fountain with the usual Coca-Cola products.
There were also two coffee machines and a selection of teas.
Behind the buffet was a more formal dining area where the tables were preset with cutlery in napkins. You don’t have to eat in this area although for lunch or dinner it could be a welcome change from the more relaxed seating.
The lighting installation was modern and well designed to give an uplifting feel in the lounge. The decor was smart with the brown, beige and green seating offset by dark wooden flooring. The lower level had a grey carpet which gave the area a more homely feel.
On the lower level were additional seating options with a large variety of chairs. There was something for everyone from low back chairs to leather sofas as well as another one of the blue padded benches from upstairs (though much smaller) plus a few lounger type chairs in the style of the Arne Jacobsen Egg.
It’s worth mentioning that this seating areas around the windows had fewer electrical sockets than elsewhere in case you needed to charge your electronics.
There were also two workstations, one opposite the window and the other one, which was a smaller bench with bar stools, at the base of the ramp.
One of the main issues with the previous lounge location was the need to go outside to use a toilet. This isn’t an issue with the new lounge as there are three sets of loos located within the lounge including an accessible one. All are individual cubicles with L’Occitane Verbena hand-wash and an automatic hand dryer under the mirror next to the automatic taps.
Those of you who have visited the old Edinburgh lounge will find that the new No 1 Lounge is a marked improvement.
Service was as attentive as ever, and as a regular in both this and the Aspire lounges at Edinburgh Airport, I would certainly have a preference towards No 1. This is due to the additional space and the greater variety of food and drink.
How to get in to the No 1 Lounge at Edinburgh
The No 1 Lounge is open from 4.30am until 9pm, seven days a week.
You can book for cash via the No 1 Lounges website here. It costs £28 if booked online, which is a £7 saving on the door price.
You may also use a Priority Pass (included with the The Platinum Card from American Express or buy one here), a Lounge Club card (two free passes with ‘free for a year’ American Express Preferred Rewards Gold) or Dragonpass to enter as well, though at busier times of the day you are not guaranteed entry. If you want to be 100% certain of getting in, you can pay £5 on this page of the No 1 website to guarantee entry – and as an extra bonus you will get fast track security too.
You can find out more on this page of the No 1 Lounges website.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge 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.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
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.