This article was produced in partnership with Priority Pass and a version recently appeared on the Priority Pass blog. All opinions are our own.
This is our review of the Marco Polo Club lounge at Venice Marco Polo Airport.
(Venetians are clearly very proud of the Mediaeval explorer …. evidently there are no other famous Venetians worth naming things after!)
I was surprised to find out that pre-covid, Marco Polo Airport was the fourth busiest airport in Italy after Rome, Milan and Bergamo. It is now edged out by Catania and Naples. It is about 1/4 the size of Gatwick, making it about as big as Birmingham Airport.
With such a volume of passengers you’d expect to find a handful of lounges, particularly with airlines such as Emirates, United Airlines, Air Canada and other long-haul operators flying here. That is not the case. Instead, you’ll find the airport-operated Marco Polo Club as the only lounge available.
The Marco Polo Club is used by virtually every airline here, including British Airways. If you don’t get access via status or a business class ticket then you can also use a Priority Pass lounge club card or pay the €30 fee on the door.
Where is the Marco Polo Club lounge in Venice Airport?
Despite recently being the fourth busiest airport in Italy, Marco Polo is still relatively compact. Once you exit security and duty free, head around the central section, past passport control and towards a set of escalators:
Take them to the first floor and you’ll find a discreet corridor leading to the lounge reception:
Inside the Marco Polo Club in Venice
The lounge was last refurbished and extended in 2017 so it is still relatively new. It is bigger than you think – quite possibly as big as the British Airways Galleries lounge in T5B at Heathrow.
In the centre is a big open space with sofa seating on the left and a dining area on the right:
As you can see, there are floor-to-ceiling windows across its entire length. To the left, you also have a row of smart booths designed for working / taking calls, which is where I sat as I needed to get some work done.
Opposite the dining area you have a small buffet – more on that below – as well as the bar. Keep walking and you’ll find one of two circular rooms that are a bit darker and cosier than the rest. These were virtually empty during my visit – people clearly prefer sitting by the window or in the light, airy areas.
You also have a ‘media room’ with eight armchairs and eight TVs. This was also empty during my visit.
Finally, on the far right hand side, you have something a bit more unusual – a wintergarden! This was filled with some lush planting:
There is also an outdoor terrace with views across the airport, the lagoon and all the way towards Venice proper. Smoking is not allowed. You can even see St Mark’s campanile, which is pretty cool.
Finally, on the opposite side of the lounge, there is what appears to be an overflow space, again with a range of seating:
Overall, this is a pleasant, spacious lounge although it does get busy at peak times. It is modern and well designed and features a fair amount of plug sockets throughout.
Food and drink in the Marco Polo Club lounge
The food and drink option is less impressive. There is a small buffet featuring a range of snacks such as sandwiches, focacia, deep-fried canneloni and various filo pastry items.
It is all very carby – more of a bar menu than anything else.
For dessert, you have some small brownie bites and other mini bites:
There is also a staffed bar to dish out soft, hot and alcoholic drinks. This feels a bit stingy, particularly as you have to ask each time for a soft drink. It would be better to be able to help yourself.
In terms of alcohol, there is a basic range of Italian wines including prosecco. When it comes to soft drinks, you have the usual choice plus a fairly extensive number of juices including peach, pear, pineapple and blueberry.
Overall, I was impressed by the Marco Polo Club lounge. I particularly liked the space which is light, airy and well designed if a little on the traditional side.
Whilst it was busy when I arrived, it started to get quieter towards 6pm.
It would’ve been nice to have a slightly more extensive and perhaps healthy option of snacks, as well as self-service soft-drinks – don’t expect to eat a proper meal here before your flight.
You can find out more about the lounge on the Priority Pass website here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2023)
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 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey 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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.