Well to start, the Gatwick Clubhouse is focused on leisure and family travelers, with most flight leaving in the morning to exotic destinations; indeed when we there, we saw flights board to Orlando, Las Vegas, Barbados and Kingston, Jamaica. Thus, this is the least business-focused, most celebration-oriented lounge, with the spaces for enjoying a huge breakfast, playing with your children, indulging in a massage or rocking out in their Guitar Hero corner.
Totally. Guitar Hero. There's a whole semi-closed off nook for "Free Bird" encores, complete with bean bag chairs for a small audience. And the gaming technology continues, since they've smartly installed a Wii Sports area; perhaps the new way to combat the threat of deep-vein thrombosis? These popular spots are located just far enough away from the dining and bar areas to not disturb, and they've got their own seating area just in case the rest of your traveling party aren't into a rousing game of Wii Tennis, but don't want to be too far away from you. And from here, parents can see into the soundproofed glass kids play room, with interactive magnetic walls, a flatscreen TV with kids shows on loop, and cute little Eames elephants as furniture.
For adults (or those who prefer to do more chilling than playing before a flight), there's of course the main seating area along the floor-to-ceiling glass windows which face out at the Virgin gates and the runway, but also a shagadelic lounge for zoning out, an area for working that comes complete with laptops plugged in and ready to go (free wifi in the Clubhouse!), and of course the Cowshed Spa.
The Spa is their favorite space, admitted Joe and Jerry, since Virgin punched holes in the ceiling for skylights and installed a giant rock as space divider, versus a boring wall. 15-minute treatments in the Cowshed Spamanicures, massages, shaves, waxings...are free for Clubhouse guests, and their using the natural Cowshed products also favored by the posh Soho House hotel/members' club chain. Thanksfully, Virgin has done away with the need to make an appointment in advance, so we saw a couple passengers taking advantage of the manicures before popping off to Orlando or wherever.
We'll let the images in the gallery above speak for the rest of the space, but can we recommend the English Breakfast tea? Also, if you're fortunate enough to be flying Upper Class, to hold a Virgin Flying Club Gold card, or if you've purchased club access with your Virgin Holiday, then you've seriously got to make use of the spa. Hello, free spa! This is perhaps the one place at Gatwick that'll help you forget about the constant weather delays that Gatwick loves so much.
· Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK Airport [Jaunted]
· Virgin Atlantic coverage [Jaunted]