Lounge Review

My Favorite Airport Lounge: the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow (REVIEW)

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


A recent mileage run to London gave me the opportunity to visit my favorite airport lounge: the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow Airport. The food is great, cocktails delicious, and service fantastic inside a fun atmosphere with plenty of seating.

Certain Delta flyers receive complimentary access and can take advantage of this amazing club.

This was my second time visiting the LHR Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse — and I already can’t wait for my third.

Gaining Access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR

Travel credit cards won’t score you admission to the Virgin Clubhouse. But all is not lost.

Select Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines passengers may enter. 

  • Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers (with same-day tickets)
  • Delta One passengers (with same-day tickets)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members (with same-day tickets)
  • Delta Diamond and Platinum Medallion members traveling on a same-day Delta or Virgin Atlantic nonstop transatlantic flight between the U.K. and North America, regardless of fare class. Plus, you can bring a guest! Make sure to bring your Medallion membership card to show proof of status, just in case.

So DMs and PMs taking the Virgin Atlantic mileage runs should be able to spend a some time in the Clubhouse.

Where is the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR?

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is located inside Terminal 3.

The Door A entrance to Terminal 3, where Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, and the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge are located, is seen at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Adjacent right of the Sky Priority check-in desk is an elevator (lift) designated for invited guests.

An elevator/lift for invited guests of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge is seen at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Signage in Terminal 3 check-in area directs guests to the invited guests elevator/lift and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

This elevator takes you to a private security screening area separate from the general security cluster.

You’ll likely be sped through security in about five minutes. As the woman in front of me learned, this isn’t the US and Heathrow security doesn’t care if you have PreCheck. You must remove anything bigger than a cell phone (tablets and laptops) and any liquids and sprays must fit into a small bag.

From there, follow the “Lounges” signs. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is located in lounge space “H.”

Signage in Terminal 3 directs guests to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Signage in Terminal 3 directs guests to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

After about five-ish minutes, you’ll hang a left and see this sign. Signage outside an elevator/lift directs guests to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Take the elevator/lift to the second floor.

There’s a sofa inside the elevator in case you need a take a load off during the brief ride.

A sofa couch is seen inside the elevator/lift to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Take a left out of the elevators and you’ll see this sexy beast:

A model of the Virgin Galactic space craft is seen outside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge entrance at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Proceed to the check-in area and present your boarding pass to one of the friendly agents working the door.

Walk into the enormous lounge and enjoy!

Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR

A sunken seating area is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

This place is massive. You’ll find pretty much any chair and setting for your needs, where it be lounging by yourself, visiting with friends, dining, or working.

The customer service staff announces when Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines flights begin boarding. Just a heads-up that your Fly Delta app while probably say your flight is boarding about a half-hour before it actually does — so don’t hurry off to your gate.

Suspended chairs are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The bar and adjacent seating area are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

 

Cafe seating is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Booth seating is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Virgin Atlantic aircraft are seen from inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

 

There’s also an outdoor patio and games room. You can literally spend hours having fun here.

There are eight private restrooms: four for men, and four for women. (Although the place is so darn big there could be more I didn’t find)

A view inside a private men's restroom is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Food and Beverage at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR

Arrive hungry. And thirsty.

Plenty of food and beverages await you inside the Clubhouse.

There’s a staffed buffet with cheeses and smoked meats.

Charcuterie meats, assorted cheeses, and salmon/lox are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

There’s also cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt.

Cereal, oatmeal, and toppings are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Cottage cheese, yogurt, and toppings seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

And the usual selection of fruits you’ll find at most airport lounges.

Fruit such as apples, bananas, and oranges are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The Clubhouse’s ham (buried under the bread) and Swiss cheese could be the best I’ve ever tasted.

Charcuterie, jelly, and bread are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

A friendly, prompt table staff serves food and drinks you can order off a menu. All of it is complimentary and you can order as much as you want (within reason, I guess).

I’ve visited only during breakfast hours — but was darn tempted to miss my flight and stay for lunch. 🙂

Here’s what a friend and I enjoyed during my visits.

A traditional English breakfast is served at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Traditional English breakfast (“a proper fry-up!” according to my friend Tim)

 

Eggs Benedict breakfast is served at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Eggs Benedict (Hollandaise on the side, by request)
Eggs Royale (salmon Benedict) breakfast is served at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Eggs Royale (salmon Benedict)
Eggs Florentine breakfast is served at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Eggs Florentine

When I asked if there’s a specialty drink I should try, the served asked, “Well, sir, do you fancy a Virgin Redhead?”

There’s just no good way to answer that question. The staff seems to take special delight in asking guests if they do, in fact, want a Virgin Redhead.

A Virgin Redhead, it turns out, is the Clubhouse’s signature cocktail.A Virgin Redhead signature cocktail is seen at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

It’s very strong. The drink packs punches of sweet and tart. It consists of:

Bombay Sapphire Gin
Fresh lemon juice
Cassis
Framboise
Raspberry puree
Simple syrup

Here’s a look at the menu:

The cover of the Dine / Drink (food and beverage) Menu is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The introduction to the food and beverage menu is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The breakfast and lunch & dinner menu are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The Mile High Tea menu and Young Flyers children menu is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The beverage menu is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The cocktail menu is seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

There’s sort of a “porch” area behind the bar. It’s slightly quieter than the rest of the lounge and offers some decent planespotting.

Seating and a Virgin Redhead signature cocktail are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

American Airlines planes are seen from inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Ironically, you get awesome views of American Airlines planes — from inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse!

Pamper Yourself at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR!

Desperately need a haircut before departing London? Want to get a massage or other treatment while waiting for your flight? The Clubhouse has sort of a pop-up spa and an Aveda salon on-premises.

Guests receive hairstyling services at the Aveda salon inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The spa and massage cubicles are seen inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Services may be paid by money (via credit or debit card only) or Flying Club miles.

Here’s a look at the menu:

A gentleman's grooming menu is seen at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

A massage menu is seen at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge's spa at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

A treatment menu is seen at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge's spa at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

A treatment menu is seen at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounge's spa at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Sad To Leave

I was excited for my LHR to ATL flight because it gave me another opportunity to review Delta’s new Main Cabin international experience. But I was bummed to leave the Virgin Clubhouse. This honestly is a “destination lounge.”

Get to Heathrow hours early before your flight — simply to enjoy the Clubhouse.

— Chris


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

16 Comments

  1. Great review, Chris!

    I’m on a JNB mileage run now, and I had the pleasure of being blown away by both the LAX and LHR clubs yesterday. These are my favorite clubs by far! There seems to be attention to every detail – from food and beverage, to lighting, to the interesting curvy architecture of the ceiling, to the variety of seating choices. I even experienced the background mood music to be uplifting.

    I’ll arrive at JNB early for my return so I can check out the Clubhouse there. And, I’m actually regretting my short layovers at LHR and LAX because they might not allow return visits.

    Rob W

  2. Perfect timing! Flying out of LHR this Sunday and I’ve never been there. The menu for the spa is especially helpful. Thanks!

  3. I was there for the first time recently when in London for business – also got to fly upper class on the A350-1000 on one of the first flights.

    The club absolutely blew me away. The service is second to none. And the food and atmosphere is amazing. I can’t wait to go back!!!

  4. Great review. It’s my favorite lounge too. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO is also my favorite lounge at SFO.

  5. Chris,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve enjoyed the clubhouse on several occasions, and it is truly a special experience.
    On my first visit, I was completely taken aback.
    I was expecting a Delta Skyclub experience, and two Eggs Benedict later I was ready to hangout for a while.

  6. Chuck Lowenstein Reply

    For those of us who need it, seeing that they have a separate Kosher menu, with choices for breakfast and then for Lunch/Dinner, makes this an automatic favorite stop.

    • @Chuck Lowenstein: What a wonderful excuse for me to take a return trip soon and snap pictures of the kosher menu! 🙂

  7. I’m doing a mileage run ATL->LHR->HKG->LHR->ATL and am currently enjoying this lounge. Key points:
    – you get a separate security line which dumps you right to the lounge – very nice.
    – a great selection of food and drink options
    – very attentive staff
    – diverse seating options from casual seating, sofas, small work areas and even chaise lounges in the giant TV Room
    – a great “vibe”
    – busy but not oversubscribed like the US Delta Clubs

    Delta should consider this model. The current Delta oversubscription model is not much better than a public cafeteria.

  8. Update: 2 day stay in Johannesburg was great. Gautrain to Sandton was nice. Did a one-day safari at Pilanesberg, and saw a lot of animals. food in J’burg is cheap and excellent. I’d highly recommend JNB via Virgin Atlantic for a mileage run if it’s still around.

    Unfortunately, just found out that Delta Elite are granted entry to US and Great Britain Clubhouses only. Not a problem, though. The Bidvest lounge is fine – access via PriorityPass, from AmEx Platinum..

  9. Barry Graham Reply

    For me the best part of this lounge is the kosher meal service. I also got this at the arrivals lounge there.

  10. I have been to that lounge several times and agree it is one of the best out there. Couple things to add. If you are flying Delta One and arriving at Heathrow by taxi or private car you can take a separate gate entrance and you get to an amazing Virgin Clubhouse check in area totally separate from the main terminal check in. It feels like arriving at a 5 star hotel lobby and once the car stops you are greeted by a Virgin agent that asks for your passport and invites you to wait on a nice couch while they take care of your luggage, boarding pass, etc.. Once all is done they escort you through a private security line and then you are on your way to the lounge. Again, no need to even enter the terminal for check in. As for the lounge, I was allowed to bring my two kids when I was traveling with wife and kids. My wife was my guest and they charged a very small fee for my kids to access the lounge.

  11. BRETT A MINZNER Reply

    @chris Usually in LHR alone (or wife only) on business flying in J. Will be there Summer 2020 with wife & kids and flying in Y. Can I pay to get the whole family in and what are the current (realise prices may increase) currently if Yes to the purchase?

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