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Luxury in Luton? We review the new premium Clubrooms lounge at Luton Airport

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This is our review of the new Clubrooms lounge at Luton Airport.

It is part of our, nearly complete, collection of UK airport lounge reviews.  You can find them all here.

When I heard that Clubrooms, the ‘premium’ brand of No 1 Lounges, was opening at Luton Airport, I knew I would have to go and see it.

The lounge situation at Luton Airport is not great, to put it mildly.  The only lounge, before Clubrooms opened, was Aspire (website here).  Anika reviewed the Aspire lounge at Luton Airport here shortly after it had been refurbished.

Aspire gets very busy, however.  Recent reader reports suggest that it has started to limit access to Priority Pass and Lounge Club holders because of deals it has done with airlines for their premium passengers and strong direct cash bookings.

There was clearly a gap in the market for something else, which Clubrooms wants to fill.

The Clubrooms business model has been tweaked since the original one opened in Gatwick South.  At that point, it was genuinely a series of separate rooms, hence the name, with families or small groups being able to book one outright.

Today, a Clubrooms lounge is laid out like any other airport lounge.  The difference is the extra money poured in to decoration and general ambience and, by virtue of high pricing, the lack of other guests.

You can find out more about the lounge, and book it, on its website here.

Getting to the Luton Airport Clubrooms lounge

Having not been to Luton Airport in 15+ years, apart from a visit to the private jet terminal, I was amazed by the changes.  Getting there was surprisingly easy, with the train from Blackfriars and the bus trip to the terminal itself taking just under 55 minutes in total.  Once the shuttle train between the terminal and station opens it should be even quicker.

The Clubrooms lounge is tucked away in a corner.  You need to walk all of the way through the restuarant and shopping area, past the Aspire lounge which is on the mezzanine.

Eventually you get to the entrance, pictured above, and you get this very positive first impression:

It was a smaller space than I imagined, with around 40 seats.  The website quotes a capacity of 65 but I think you’d be getting pretty cozy on the seating in such a scenario.

Immediately to your left and right as you go in are two smaller rooms, in a rather dull style, so they can technically claim that the ‘Clubrooms’ concept is still valid:

Virtually of the seating is in the main area.  There is a decent mix – one long communal table, a few sofas and numerous tables with different capacity.

The decor was very classy.   A lot of money seems to have been spent here, and I was impressed.  What really added to the environment was the jazz soundtrack they had on the go.

There is only one window in a corner which looks outwards, towards a few parked aircraft.  Weirdly, I think the lounge would have been better without it – the sight of a couple of easyJet planes somehow ruined the classy atmosphere.

Food and drink at the Luton Clubrooms lounge

Given that Clubrooms is a ‘premium’ product, with a premium price, you may assume that unlimited free food and drink is included.  You would be wrong.

There is a small table containing self-service pastries, cereals, fruit salad pots and yoghurt and granola pots:

On entering, you are given a menu listing various more substantial food options.  You are allowed to order one item free of charge – your menu is taken away after ordering, and without a menu you are not allowed to order anything else.

The breakfast options were:

  • Full English, including toast and rosti
  • Bacon roll (with a gluten free option)
  • Sausage sub
  • Full Vegetarian English
  • Smashed avocado on toast
  • Soft eggs on toast
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Eggs Florentine

I didn’t see the lunchtime menu because of the time I was there.  However, a reader sent me a copy which you can open as a PDF by clicking here.

To be honest, I wanted a bacon sandwich.  This was not exactly going to stretch the kitchen, however, so for review purposes I ordered Eggs Benedict.  Good grief.

It was a bad sign when I saw that it came with pulled pork.  This was a new one on me.  My server, however, then told me that ‘we don’t have any poached eggs’ and would I like fried eggs on it instead?

Obviously intrigued, I asked for more details. It seems that there is no naked flame cooking allowed in the kitchen.  Everything is bought in, but the pre-poached poached eggs had run out.  The pre-fried fried eggs were available, however, and could be reheated for me.

The end result was bizarre.  Eggs Benedict, made with pulled pork and reheated fried eggs.  Not surprisingly, as the picture below shows, the kitchen had drowned it in sauce to disguise the look and taste:

Don’t let this put you off though.  Stick with a bacon sandwich (presumably made from pre-fried reheated bacon) and I’m sure you’ll be fine.

In terms of drink, I think you can have unlimited quantities of wine (the menu features four whites, four reds, two roses and two sparkling wines), beer (a decent mix including Meantime and Brewdog), tea, coffee and soft drinks.  Champagne is extra, however, at £9 per glass or £20 per person for ‘all you can drink’.  I’m not sure if the spirits behind the bar are all included and at 7am I wasn’t in the mood to ask.

Overall, however ….

Despite this, there is a lot to like about the Clubrooms at Luton Airport.  I loved the decor and the soundtrack.  Someone had found a lot of old photographs of the airport which had been attractively framed in one corner:

The magazine and newspaper selection was decent:

There are loos inside the lounge (unisex) so you don’t need to go out into the terminal.  You won’t find yourself short of plugs or sockets.

There were never more than 10 people in the lounge during the 90 minutes I was there, and six of those were in one group.

How to get in

You CAN get into the Clubrooms lounge using Priority Pass (free with American Express Platinum, or buy one here) or Lounge Club (two free passes with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold).  There is a supplement of £10 per person, however.

As the Aspire lounge is free with Priority Pass or Lounge Club, you need to decide how much you value peace and quiet ….

Note that children under 5 are not allowed in the lounge.

If you are paying cash, you can book via the No 1 Lounge website here.

However, compare pricing via their special Virgin Atlantic booking page here which comes with a slug of Virgin Flying Club miles.  Pricing via Virgin varies based on whether there is a promotion running – I paid £25 but it is now back up to £35.

All in all, Eggs Benedict not withstanding, I thought the Luton Airport Clubrooms lounge was a good effort and a pleasant break from the crowds.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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

Comments (47)

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

  • Justin says:

    “No naked flame” cooking is usual in most airports, I think I remember that TGI Fridays at LHR T3 had to have a special permit and additional fire safety features installed. However, this doesn’t excuse the point that you don’t need gas or naked flames to poach, boil or even fry an egg. Most restaurants will be using induction. This is just another poor excuse for pre made and reheated food that customers are being asked to pay a premium for.

    • Chuck says:

      +1 pure laziness …

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Haha, this was my first thought too – has the electric hob not reached Luton yet?

      I dread to think of the rest of the food if throwing an egg into hot water for a few minutes is beyond their abilities.

    • riku2 says:

      I had trouble understanding the “naked flames” bit at first. I live in Finland and NOBODY has gas piped to their house, everyone is using electricity for cooking and frying pans work equally well on an electric hob compared to a gas one.

  • Paul74 says:

    I visited the Clubroom Lounge at Gatwick once, in 2016 when BA was temporarily using it.
    I probably wouldn’t use one again. I’d rather have a buffet to which I can help myself (same applies to drinks). Table service can be unreliable; if I’m only making a c30 minute or shorter visit, that’s too much of a risk.

  • SG says:

    Can we just clarify that if you have used your free Amex Gold Lounge Club passes you will be charged £20 at Clubrooms or £30?

  • r* says:

    Its just not worth paying to go there when they limit you to one bacon roll as it feels like a total con. Plus one bacon roll isnt enough to eat, might as well go sit in a restaurant for an hour as it would cost less and give a proper breakfast imo, unless youre just going thru drinks.

    • Shoestring says:

      with Priority Pass it’s just £10 to get in, you wouldn’t get much for that elsewhere in the terminal, let alone unlimited alcoholic drinks and the free spread of food + a la carte item

      and an oasis of calm, comfort & wifi

      all for £10

      sure, I personally wouldn’t pay £30 (Lounge Club) or £35 (Virgin) – but £24.50 on the Groupon deal sounds sort of OK if you have a couple of hours to drink & eat away

  • memesweeper says:

    … Lounge Key have this available, at a £ 10 supplement.

  • john says:

    > I’ve no idea what is available at other times of the day

    They have both an AM and PM menu on their website.

  • Mary says:

    Many students and staff at the University of Bedfordshire which is based in Luton use the airport to travel between home and work/study.

    But no Dragon Pass?

    What was the Wifi like?

  • Lady London says:

    Pretty sure the older lounge at Luton is scheduled to close October? For about 3 months for refurb.

    So Clubrooms and their higher cost, may be the only game in town for lounges at Luton quite shortly.

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

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