The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3 has the reputation of being one of the best Airport Lounges in the world, so I couldn’t resist giving it a try on my last trip out of Heathrow to San Fransisco in Virgin Upper Class a week ago (August 2016).
Virgin has done well with this lounge. It is reached via a lift with a sofa in it (what fun!), and although it is not intimate, chic, or exclusive, it is the most futuristic and colorful lounge I have experienced. There are loads of comfy seating, a cinema, a bar offering an extensive array of drinks (see pictures below), dining areas, and even a garden! There is also a super pool table with arcade games and a library. The lighting is funky, and the pillars connecting to the ceiling reminded me of backlit mushrooms. In fact, the whole lounge with its curvy walls and backlit detailing would fit nicely into a 70’s space-age movie set.
Food is offered in the sit-down restaurant area with an excellent and large menu and a “deli” buffet, which in the mornings consists of yogurts, cereals, bread, cheeses, and smoked fish.
In addition to all the usual lounge facilities is a Bumble & Bumble Spa, where you can grab a quick complimentary treatment such as a 15 minute back & shoulder massage, manicure, or even a haircut. My tip for this lounge would be to try and book a spa treatment as you arrive, as they can get booked up, and if you have a quick turnaround, this is a nice freebie that is worth taking advantage of.
Disadvantages of booking upper class on Virgin are that although the Clubhouse is super, to get to the lounge are that you still have to go through the general security area, the duty-free shopping area, and the bleak hallways of Terminal 3 before you reach the Clubhouse.
It is also worth noting that this is a busy lounge, and if you are trying to avoid pre-flight stresses and want to find a quiet corner of the airport, this isn’t the lounge for you. It is fun, busy, funky, and stylish. It is absolutely worth a visit, and the food and drink offering along with the spa extras are excellent. But the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lacks the sophistication of the British Airways lounges such as the superb Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room. It is worth noting that booking Virgin Upper Class is equivalent to booking British Airways Club World. British Airways Club World passengers only get access to the Galleries Club Lounges at London Heathrow and not the First Lounge and Concorde room. These Galleries lounges are huge, pleasant with decent buffet food. They have everything you need but are not noteworthy and can be busy with the entire fleets worth of Club World and Club Europe passengers coming and going. This makes the Clubhouse a more appealing offering for those traveling on equivalent Business Class flights.
Even though I was impressed by the Virgin Clubhouse in Terminal 3, I would always choose to fly out of Heathrow from the magnificent Terminal 5 (which only exclusively serves British Airways) over the depressing Terminal 3.
Virgin Atlantic features in my top Business Class airlines and I compare which is better overall; British Airways Club World vs. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class including the Galleries Lounges vs. Virgin’s Clubhouses.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse features in my best Airport Lounges At London Heathrow.