Review: Best Airline Lounge At Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport GRU


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The main airport in Sao Paulo is Guarulhos Airport GRU. It is the country’s second-busiest international airport. Below, I outline the very best Priority Pass lounges at Sao Paulo airport and the best non-Priority Pass airline lounges too.

There are four departure terminals at Sao Paulo airport, but they are only connected landside, so the lounge you can access is dictated by the terminal you are flying out of. You cannot use the airside lounges in any other terminals. The best lounges can be found in Terminal 3 in International Departures. Most Star Alliance and OneWorld flights arrive and depart from Terminal 3. Some international flights depart from Terminal 2, but the lounges in Terminal 2 are fairly poor by comparison.

Free Airport Lounge Access

If you have not paid for Business Class or First Class, you can still access lounges at Sao Paulo airport for a fee or for free if you have a Priority Pass. Get an unlimited Priority Pass with the Amex Platinum card, or you can also access most Priority Pass lounges for free using the free American Express Gold with its two free Lounge Club passes. To get extra referral points and advice on these free-lounge-access cards and more, have a read of our best credit cards for luxury travel.

1. American Airlines Admirals Club, Terminal 3

American Airlines Admirals Club is located in Terminal 3, Airside, on the 3rd Floor. You can access this lounge if you are a OneWorld Emerald or Sapphire passenger flying on a Oneworld airline like Qatar Airways, British Airways, etc., or if you are a First or Business Class Passenger on a OneWorld airline, or if you are an Admirals Club member. This is not a Priority Pass lounge.

This lounge is super smart with pine walls and pine and cream comfy seating. There is lots of muted lighting, and there are trendy lamps, so the lounge feels very relaxing. Objet d’art is placed next to mirrors, also designed in creams, which is a nice touch, and there are plenty of sofa seats around tables, as well as red bench seats and cafe seats by the buffet area.

There is plenty of wine (and plenty of variety in the wines) along with spirits, beers, and loads of soft drinks in cans and bottled water available. Food-wise, expect a better offering than your average Admirals Club with loads of pastries, buns, soups, hot food including penne, rice, chicken in spinach sauce, and hot veggies along with snacks. There’s also cut fruit and pastry custard flan things with fruit on top for dessert.

All in all, this lounge feels luxurious, with good quality food that will fill you up. It is one of the best airline lounges at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport.

2. American Express Lounge, Terminal 3

Oh my goodness, we love an American Express airport lounge. Check out our review of the fantastic American Express lounge at Hong Kong airport.

In fact, for this lounge, you don’t need an American Express Platinum or Centurion card. It is a member of both Priority Pass and LoungePass. It is the lounge used by Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air France, KLM, and Alitalia Business Class passengers. It is definitely one of the very best airport lounges at Sao Paulo Airport.

This lounge is intimate and stylish, with wooden partitions and little groups of chairs. The disadvantage of this lounge is that it doesn’t have any windows (not that the views from any lounge at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport are any good!).

The lounge has a huge variety of seating, from high tables and stools to more comfortable sofa seats. Interestingly, if you do have a Centurion card or are flying First Class, you can access a more intimate VIP area with à la carte dining.

In the main lounge, you can help yourself to a variety of good wines, or you can order beer, spirits, and cocktails at an appealing bar. There is quite an extensive cocktail list to choose from.

The food here is truly excellent too (for an airport lounge) with fresh rolls and condiments, vegetable soups, filled fresh rolls (cheese and ham, etc.), cold cuts and cheeses, a delicious hot chicken and vegetable dish with hot rice, cold veggies, and salad, and a nice array of desserts too. There is also a Vegan food section and a lot of whole fruit, soft drinks in cans and bottles of water.

3. Star Alliance Lounge, Terminal 3

The Star Alliance Lounge is located at Terminal 3, airside. You can access this lounge if you are flying First or Business Class on any Star Alliance carrier or if you have a Star Alliance Gold card while traveling on a Star Alliance carrier. This Sao Paulo Lounge is also a Priority Pass lounge. Star Alliance airlines include Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Lufthansa, South African TAP Air Portugal, and United.

This lounge is super stylish with dark wood walls, loads of seating options, including a sleep room, and interesting lighting, big drop lamps that hang over many of the sofa seats. This gives the Star Alliance lounge a really nice feel. The room is nicely designed with wooden floors, double-height ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the interior of the airport.

It is a fairly busy lounge and reminds me of the British Airways Business Class lounges at London Heathrow. The food is good, too, with a big buffet area containing soups, salad, veggies, sandwiches, snacks, bread, and warm bowls of more substantial food. Desserts are apple crumble, cookies, and pots of sweet food. Drinks are all the usual cans of soft drinks, bottled water, coffee machine, wine, champagne, and spirits.

There are also bathrooms and showers within the lounge. This is a great lounge if you get the chance to visit it.

4. Sala VIP LATAM Lounge, Terminal 3

Sala VIP LATAM Lounge is located in Terminal 3, just a few steps away from the Admirals Club. LATAM’s hub is at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport so this lounge is big and crowded. You can access this lounge if you are a OneWorld Emerald or Sapphire passenger flying on a OneWorld airline like Qatar Airways, British Airways, etc, or if you are a First or Business Class Passenger on a OneWorld airline, or if you are an Admirals Club member. This is also a Priority Pass lounge.

This lounge has the best airport views out onto the tarmac. It is better than the American Airlines Admirals Club and better than the windowless American Express lounge, but there is some metalwork between the lounge and the windows, possibly the top of a corridor below, so it is difficult to get a view of anything much from the lounge. Don’t pick this lounge specifically for the view aspect of its features. The view is distant and partially blocked.

The lounge doesn’t look half as nice as the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge, the Star Alliance lounge, or the American Express lounge either. It has greyish seating with a big bar and buffet but it feels less intimate and relaxing and more like a big aircraft hanger.

There is self-serve beer on tap, some wines, and sparkling wine (rather than Champagne), and you can order spirit mixes from the bar, and a bartender will prepare them for you. The downside of this is that there tends to be quite a queue at the bar, so you may have to wait to get served.

The food here is good, but the pure volume of passengers going through this lounge means that, like a swarm of locusts, there isn’t much left towards the end of each food session.

5. Executive VIP Lounge, Terminal 3

The Executive VIP Lounge at GRU Airport is located in Terminal 3, airside. It is a contract lounge rather than an airline lounge, and these are usually worse than the airline lounges. The Executive VIP Lounge is not a bad lounge, but it is worse than the airline lounges outlined above and lacks any particular style. It is one big room with a variety of seating.

It has views onto the tarmac, but to see them, you are looking over some unattractive and intrusive roof paraphernalia that gets in the way of the view.

In terms of dining, this lounge has a fairly poor array of food, with pre-prepared sandwiches and buns sealed in plastic, pre-prepared cups of soup again sealed in plastic, salads, you’ve guessed it, in plastic containers. This lounge is not environmentally friendly. There are also muffins and pastries, cans of soda, limited spirits, beer and wine, small plastic cups of desserts and nuts, and pretzels for snacking.

While this lounge is far from horrible, I think it’s probably best described as pleasant with adequate rather than generous food.

6. GOL Premium Lounge International, Terminal 2

If you are flying out of Terminal 2 you may consider the GOL Premium Lounge International. This lounge is for GOL, Delta, Air France, and KLM premium and elite passengers departing for international destinations. There’s an alternative GOL Premium Lounge for domestic passengers.

This lounge is not great. It’s ugly, busy, and has limited food with unappealing salads and fruit salads in plastic pots, rolls in plastic, buns, and a bowl of unusual-colored soup. The drinks are canned sodas and bottled water, and the toilets are fairly foul and dated. This lounge is not worth paying for. Some would argue it is not even worth visiting for free…

Since writing this review, the lounge has closed. We do not know whether it will reopen.

7. GOL Domestic Lounge International, Terminal 2

We have not reviewed this airport lounge.

8. Villa GRU, Terminal 2, Landside

We have not reviewed this airport lounge.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.