Lounge Review: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse & Upper Class Wing | London Heathrow
Wrapping up our siblings trip to Italy and the UK, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class would be our method for costing the Atlantic via Atlanta. While this wasn’t my first flight in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, it would be my first time originating at London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. This would finally be my opportunity to experience the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and Upper Class Wing!
The only other Virgin Atlantic lounge I’ve experienced is the Revivals Lounge at London Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic always impresses me with their in-flight product so this was my chance to experience one of their departure lounges.
Upper Class Wing
Access to the Upper Class Wing is restricted to those traveling in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic flights. service. Certain ticket fare classes include a complimentary car service with your ticket. Virgin Atlantic encourages you to arrange a chauffeur drop-off through the airline directly but I opted to spend less and book directly with another third-party chauffeur service. Since we were traveling on award tickets, complimentary chauffeur service was not included. The downside to booking your own car service is that some drivers are not familiar with the Upper Class Wing location. Our driver was a bit confused with how to reach the Upper Class Wing.
Locating the Upper Class Wing Drop-Off
Our driver was a bit confused with how to reach the Upper Class Wing. Be prepared to give very specific instructions to your driver if they aren’t familiar with the Upper Class Wing. Direct the driver to keep left and look for a ramp on the left-hand side with a sign directing to the “Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Wing”. The ramp is located just before the main Terminal 3 drop-off area. There will be a bollard and gate with a voice box and the drive will need to provide your name to the staff to be permitted access.
Our driver brought us to the front door at the Upper Class Wing driveway and two Virgin Atlantic staff members greeted our car. We didn’t have any luggage to check but if you do on your visit, they will collect and tag your bags for your at the car. Once inside the Upper Class Wing, our boarding passes were awaiting us at the front check-in desk. The staff was incredibly friendly.
We were directed down the immediate hallway to the private security change, a fantastic amenity in the Upper Class Wing. My sister and I were the only two passengers in all of the Upper Class Wing as well as the private security channel. Security was incredibly quick and dare I say, more courteous than the usual Heathrow staff 🙂
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
After cleairing security, we headed towards the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse which is located among the cluster of airline lounges in the center of London Heathrow’s Terminal 3. It’s is about a 5 minute walk from the private security channel to the Clubhouse. Located in lounge section “H”, we took the elevator up to the foyer of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. Access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is currently limited to passengers traveling in Upper Class and Virgin Atlantic Gold elite passengers.
There was no wait to check-in to the lounge and the staff was very friendly. The folks up front gave us a quick overview of the lounge and we checked our roller bags with the storage desk. The lounge itself is massive. We were departing during peak morning transatlantic departure hours in the morning but the lounge was not overly crowded. I’d say the lounge was about a third full.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is stylish as expected, in total Virgin Atlantic fashion. Lot’s of red, white, dark woods, modern furniture, and mood lighting. The staff throughout was cheerful and fashionable. I’m not sure if you can tell but I’m a big fan of Virgin Atlantic’s branding.
The lounge has two main seating types: bistro seating which more restaurant-like seating and the main seating area which is more lounge-like. Both feature on-demand dining and drink service, Both are comfortable and it just depends on your preferred comfort type. A large bar extends through the lounge near the spa and salon. There are power outlets throughout the lounge and the WiFi service was very good.
We had about two hours to pass in the lounge as we left for Heathrow quite early on purpose. I wanted to secure spa or salon services so we headed to the spa desk first. The spa staff was friendly and to my surprise, there were quite few services available. Many times, airline lounges are so busy that there are very limited spa services available.
My sister wanted a wash, blow dry, and style which was available right away. There was a charge of £25. I booked a facial myself which was available about 30 minutes later and was a complimentary service. The spa menu is quite diverse from hair salon to spa services with many complimentary options along with some for a nominal charge.
My sister was really happy with her salon services and I loved my Dr. Hauschka men’s facial. The facilaist was so sweet and fun to chat with. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Spa is far superior to the British Airways Elemis spa, far and above!
After our spa and salon services, my sister and had a cocktail (or two). The signature “Virgin Redhead” which is not a virgin cocktail by the way, was my sister’s favorite. We noshed on a few breakfast items from the lounge menu including the smoked salmon with a poached egg. It was a tad overcooked but still tasty. In the bistro area, there’s a buffet where you can grab small snacks like pastries, cheeses and fruit.
For a bit of TV or natural light, there’s an upstairs lounge that offers natural light and a few TVs, One small disappointment is the lack of a good tarmac view from the lounge. There are fairly large windows throughout the lounge but the view is mostly obstructed by utility buildings outside. There is a an outdoor terrace on the roof where on can catch some fresh air and it’s the best spot for plane spotting.
After a solid two hours in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, it was time to head to our departure gate. We gathered our bags and made our way for the 10 minute walk to the gate for our flight to Atlanta. The staff wished us well on our way.
It’s no secret that the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse more than impressed me. I had high exceptions for this lounge and they were more than met. The lounge is spacious, incredibly stylish, and clean. The food and drinks are wonderful and the staff from the front desk to the spa to dining were all a delight. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is so comfortable, you may not want to leave. Just don’t miss your flight 🙂