We legit had a Virgin Atlantic flight out of LHR that day, so this wasn't one of our hanging out at the airport dates, but we kinda wish we could have
lived spent the night there.
For starters, the lounge is after security, and if you're flying Upper Class on Virgin, you get to chillax with the complimentary limo ride to the airport's special Upper Class entrance, check-in and express security lane. Their promise is 10 minutes from limo to lounge. It took us 7 minutes. In the lounge, you'll first encounter a complimentary show shine (if you want) and the coat check and baggage room, which frees you from having to keep track of your winter coat and carry-on bags while you explore the giant lounge.
Seriously, folks. The Clubhouse is giant; there's technically three levels! You've got the whole main floor, plus a very quiet and sunny mezzanine sitting area (which can be closed off for VIP privacy), and then up from there to the outdoor deck with primo views over the airport and runways. According to Lisa, one of the Clubhouse concierges who'll book you a private jet lest you need one to continue your journey, the most popular space in the entire area would be the sunken lounge seating, which is populated with irresistible Eames leather lounge chairs and neatly snuggled between the bar, the Cowshed Spa and the dining area, yet within easy view of the departures board.
After grabbing an Aviation cocktail at the bar (Creme Violette, Bombay Gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice), we mainly stuck to the quieter area all along the windows, which once was their smoking section but is now just super hip with hanging bubble chairs and buttery soft leather sofas. It was afternoon tea time, and you best believe that Virgin Atlantic adheres to that tradition with a Clubhouse version of tea, including mini sandwiches, teacakes and sconeseven clotted cream!
Aside from the stunning modern design, we were extremely impressed with those not-so-little Virgin extras: the hot tub (with tanning bed!), the pool table nook with old school arcade game tables, the giant multiple screen area for showing sports games or movies, the business center with more Eames chairs and cubicles ready for last-minute work, and a giant wood table dedicated solely to the browsing of coffeetable books, and the fresh deli-style counter, which will whip up a smoothie and sandwich for the passengers who aren't all about having the full sit-down meal in the lounge's dining area (which really reminds us of MoMA's award-winning restaurant, The Modern).
Due to the awesomeness (and complimentary nature) of the Heathrow Clubhouse, it's not the easiest place to access. You've got to either purchase Upper Class seats on a flight, hold Virgin Flying Club Gold status, or purchase lounge access as an add-on to your Virgin Vacations package. That said, we did overhear a man on his phone in the lounge, saying how he had been upgraded. So there's that chance too, if you've got luck on your side.
It's just too bad that the Clubhouse is for those heading on flights only; we wouldn't mind hanging out here daily.
· Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London's Gatwick Airport [Jaunted]
· Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK Airport [Jaunted]
· Virgin Atlantic coverage [Jaunted]