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Our review of the new No1 Lounge at Edinburgh Airport

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This is our review of the new No1 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.

EDIT: This lounge was permanently closed in 2021 after No1 Lounges went into administration.  It is possible it will reopen at some point under new management but you cannot use it at present.

In 2017 Rob visited three lounges at Edinburgh airport in one day, including the old No1 Lounge.  He liked it but preferred the Aspire lounge.

Earlier this year No1 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, No1 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 No1 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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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 No1 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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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 Edinburgh

No1 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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

and

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

and

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

The drinks available were apple, orange and cranberry juice, plus a soft drinks fountain with the usual Coca-Cola products.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

Lower Level

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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

No 1 lounge edinburgh review

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.

Conclusion

Those of you who have visited the old Edinburgh lounge will find that the new No1 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 No1 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 No1 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 No1 Lounges website.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (October 2021)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points 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. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 a special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  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 (25)

  • Gerry says:

    Great review. Was in lounge mid afternoon a couple of times in March and found seating by windows easily. Food and drink good and staff were great.
    I believe the lounge may be extended soon, with a library area opening adjacent to the bar and the dining area being extended.
    It should also be noted that the lounge is busier before Emirates (& I think Qatar) flights as this is their lounge of choice.

  • Shoestring says:

    Nice review.

    HfP too tight to reserve entry for £5? 🙂

    • MikeL says:

      😂Tbh I wouldn’t pay it either. “We’re full, you can’t get in” “oh, I see, you’ve paid your £5, just walk straight in sir” they’re either full or they’re not….Ryanair syndrome !

      • Rob says:

        Priority Pass pay them nicely and if you have a business with high fixed costs and low marginal costs, as they do, you can be certain they are letting in as many as they can.

      • flyforfun says:

        Happened to me several times at Heathrow T3. The one time I bought a pass there was when my other half was travelling with me and I wanted to make sure we got it. Of course there was no problems.

        Paid at Gatwick as well for the fast track and glass of bubbly (not offered any more). Didn’t use fast track as there were no lines at the other gates. The bubbly was ok.

    • Rob says:

      X 4 people, and we are a ‘two Gold’ family so we could all get in the BA lounge anyway.

      In all seriousness, I never expected an issue at 2.30 on a Sunday.

  • Martin says:

    Yes it is the Qatar preferred lounge although if you are in business or have status with BA you can use the BA lounge. BA announces when the plane is ready to depart as well.

  • sayling says:

    I wish they would add an open patio to airport lounges when they redevelop them, for smokers to indulge in their filthy habit

    • Rob says:

      MyLounge in Gatwick South is the place for you.

      • sayling says:

        Oooh… cheers, Rob.

        It’s remarkably difficult to find details of any hotels, let alone airports/ lounges, that indulge my dirty, dirty habit

        • Rob says:

          For clarity …. whilst it has an outdoor terrace – I have been on it – I can’t confirm you can smoke on it.

        • Ben says:

          The Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow also has a patio – Again I cant confirm if you are able to smoke there

        • johnny_c-l says:

          I was at MyLounge South a few weeks back and people were smoking on the patio, think it is permitted but at the very least the staff are fine with it.

  • Malcolm says:

    I’ve visited this lounge a couple of times since it opened and it’s certainly a nicer space than the old one. The first time I visited was also a Sunday afternoon and it was heaving – no free seats and service was all over the place with not enough staff. The second time (on a Monday afternoon) was much better – very quiet and much more relaxing with great service.

    I suppose it’s personal preference but I prefer the Aspire lounge it’s (usually) quiet and I like the fact you can serve yourself when it comes to hot food. They also offer pints of lager and not just half glasses and the staff at extremely friendly. Having said that it could do with a refresh.

    • MikeL says:

      Agree re the Aspire lounge. Visited it three times in the past year….self service much better

    • Alan says:

      Agree Aspire hot food options often decent (esp the recent chicken & chorizo paella). I normally drop in there to collect my Aspire Rewards points, have some hot food and then retire to the BA lounge next door to await my flight! No 1 Lounge is now quite a trek cf previously so don’t use it as much.

    • Fraser says:

      Aspire lounge wins for cooked breakfast but otherwise I prefer No.1. Staff actually offered me two glasses of beer at a time since they didn’t have pint glasses 😂

      Having Priority Pass means I’ve not been in the new Brewdog bar yet, with their “pray for delay” sign – even though I was delayed nearly two hours last week.

      It certainly helps to have the two lounges at opposite ends of the terminal post-expansion. Flying from the “cheap gates” 26/28 etc. you’ll probably be 5 minutes closer in No.1 than Aspire.

      • the_real_a says:

        Lol that did make me laugh – i was thrown out of the No1 lounge on the dot of 3 hours after a delay!

        • Alan says:

          Wow, how did they track you down and know when you’d entered? Never imagined they care that much!

        • the_real_a says:

          Apparently it shows up on their system, i didn’t feel i had made myself stand out in anyway. I was also refused a “2nd swipe” of the priority pass which i thought was petty.

      • MrHandBaggageOnly says:

        The Brewdog bar is brilliant. The only downside is you have to pay for your food and drinks, but well worth it! 🙂

  • Calum says:

    Thanks David – nice review.

    I agree the new lounge is more spacious and light than the old lounge, although I always quite liked the old No.1 lounge.

    If I have a bit of time I’d always head to the No.1 lounge but if tight for time then I find the aspire lounge better and easier to grab a quick bite to eat as well as being more centrally located (at least for the gates BA tend to use).

    Also to note that both the Aspire and No.1 lounge accept Lounge Key, even though No.1 don’t seem to mention it.

  • Dale says:

    I agree with some commenters – the lounge certainly has a much nicer aspect and is roomier, but just the same old crappy Number 1 food options. There’s not much in it but the Aspire lounge has generally better food, and bags of crisps that you can stick in your bag, unoffically 🙂

    • Shoestring says:

      Food options in No1 always seem pretty good to me (T3), & the menu changes regularly.

      But more importantly, doesn’t No1 do pretty well on booze?

      • Alan says:

        Only get one choice with No 1 though, then have to hand menu back in. Not sure if any massive difference in the booze between them and Aspire?

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