How a lot are you able to pack into an hour at Virgin Atlantic’s London Clubhouse?

This is not the article I used to be supposed to write down.

I ought to have had a leisurely six-hour layover at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) to discover its numerous facilities. As a substitute, I had simply over an hour to spare between flights because of, properly, the state of journey nowadays.

With valuable seconds ticking away, I made a beeline to Virgin Atlantic’s tony Clubhouse lounge to see simply how a lot enjoyment I may squeeze out of an hour there as a substitute.

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Seems, quite a bit. A lot, the truth is, that I did not even thoughts lacking out on the whole lot else I might had deliberate. This is how I a lot I packed into an hour at Virgin Atlantic’s London Clubhouse.

The plan

A Virgin Atlantic airplane at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR). CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

My authentic plan was to spend a pleasant, lengthy six-hour layover in London experiencing as most of the issues accessible at this large airport as potential (or no less than to discover a few of what Terminal 3 has to supply).

The changes to my grand plan began with a notification after reserving that my flights had been hit with a schedule change. I used to be initially purported to arrive in London from Tel Aviv at 10:25 a.m. and depart London on a 4 p.m. flight, however the airline modified it to a 2:25 p.m. departure as a substitute. That minimize my layover to 4 hours. Nonetheless loads of time.

Associated: The last word Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership information

Sadly, whereas in Israel, I heard from the airline once more that my flight to London could be delayed by virtually an hour.

The delayed flight notification I obtained from Virgin Atlantic. VIRGIN ATLANTIC

That would go away me simply three hours in London to get by way of immigration and safety and revel in a while within the lounge.

Then we ended up touchdown in London about an hour and a half late. Sadly, by the point I may get off the airplane, I solely had about two hours complete to get by way of safety and hit the lounge. That two hours became simply over an hour within the lounge, however I made essentially the most of it.

The lounge

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

The Virgin Clubhouse is without doubt one of the nicest lounges I’ve loved in all my years of journey. You enter through a pair of grand marble and glass staircases in London Heathrow’s Terminal 3.

There are pleasant lounge workers to examine you in on the prime of the steps. As soon as inside, there’s a gorgeous view of the principle bar and the encompassing seating areas.

The unbelievable number of locations to lounge features a quiet zone (an space they name the Clubhouse Retreat), a sunken front room, a extra personal sitting space the place you’ll be able to watch TV, a restaurant the place you’ll be able to have a restaurant-style sit-down meal, and several other different cozy locations to park your self.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

You possibly can order meals and drinks from a QR code menu wherever you sit down. My favourite spot is in a semi-enclosed alcove space behind the bar with views of the tarmac. This lounge even has a deli the place you will get meals made to order.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

There’s additionally, after all, that vast bar that varieties a centerpiece of this big area. You possibly can order off the menu on the seating areas across the bar known as the Brasserie, or you’ll be able to order on the bar from one of many cheerful bartenders.

A few of the many choices on the lunch and dinner menus embrace baked Suya rooster wings, a salmon poke bowl, Fortunate Saint Beer battered fish and chips, cauliflower and potato masala, freshwater crayfish macaroni and cheese and a berry pudding for dessert.

One of many issues the Virgin Clubhouse was once well-known for was a small salon the place you may get a haircut between flights. Sadly, the pandemic ended that function, and it has been changed by three Peloton stationary bikes the place you’ll be able to work out with views of the tarmac (extra on that in a second).

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

There additionally was once a spa within the lounge, however that has been changed by extra seating.

I actually preferred the upstairs loft space with a pool desk and some spots to sit down and sip.

I loved seeing the mannequin of one of many two present Virgin Voyages ships. This can be a mockup of the Scarlet Girl (serving the Caribbean).

Virgin’s Scarlet Girl mannequin ship within the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

My favourite factor is an out of doors terrace one other degree up from the loft area the place you are able to do planespotting or simply sit and soak up some air.

Associated: A overview of Virgin Atlantic’s Higher Class Suite on the A350 from London to New York

Facilities I attempted out

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

I might heard in regards to the Virgin Clubhouse for years, however 2022 was lastly the yr to expertise it for myself (twice). I received to go to first on my outbound journey to Tel Aviv after which once more on the return. So by the point of my second, go to, I had a plan in place to race round and see how a lot I may do throughout my brief layover.

First, I zipped across the lounge filming and taking footage, which took about quarter-hour. Then I grabbed a drink on the bar on the way in which to examine in with the service desk for a bathe. There was no look forward to a bathe, and so they informed me I may do a fast exercise and are available again each time I wished. You can too join a bathe forward of time.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse service desk in London. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

I grabbed a Peloton bike and I had the small semi-enclosed room to myself. I could not log in to my Peloton account on the machines, however I did handle to get in a fast 15-minute bike session anyway. There are a couple of free weights, too, if you wish to jazz up your exercise.

After my exercise and a fast examine on the desk, I headed to the bathe space. I did not need to spend too lengthy there, although, since I additionally wished to get a chunk and see what the eating service on the lounge was all about.

I ordered a rooster Caesar salad and cauliflower soup at a seating space close to the showers so the meals could be prepared by the point I used to be achieved. The wait employees laughed once I informed them my plans, and so they even let me pick a spot to dine the place they’d ship the meals when it was prepared.

The bathe rooms are small, however get the job achieved. The water strain is sweet. Despite the fact that they’re normally simply respectable however not particular loos, I at all times assume it is a deal with to get a bathe at an airport, and I like the Ren and Aveda merchandise Virgin makes use of in its Clubhouses.

I took a quick bathe. In truth, it was so fast that the meals nonetheless wasn’t prepared once I received out, although my attentive waiter, Juan, had a Coke Zero ready for me at my desk.

When the meals did come, the soup was a bit bland, however tasted wholesome. The rooster Caesar was scrumptious. Despite the fact that the anchovies had been prominently positioned, they did not overwhelm the salad.

The Web wasn’t nice however was adequate to allow me to work and add a Speedtest screenshot.

Web velocity check. OOKLA

Though I simply had an hour, I used to be capable of take a gallery’s price of photographs, get in a exercise, have a refreshing bathe, gas up with a pleasant meal and even get to some correspondence and writing. That is greater than I normally do in an hour at residence! (If solely I might be this productive all over the place.)

Backside line

View from the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is a lounge beloved by Flying Membership members and aviation fanatics alike — and after a few visits, I now perceive why. Whereas a few of its extra well-known facilities just like the spa and salon are unavailable, no less than for now, there’s nonetheless a lot to like.

Stylish design, good meals, pleasant service, and loads of different enjoyable issues to distract you imply you might be unlikely to ever get bored on this lounge whether or not you’ve simply an hour like I did or can keep all day.

Subsequent time, I hope to go for a bit longer and perhaps discover a bit extra of Terminal 3 too. Perhaps there’ll even be time for a nap.

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