Prior to my Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK, I had the chance to try out the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
The Clubhouse is Virgin Atlantic’s flagship airport lounge, widely regarded as among the world’s best, and I was teeming with excitement to experience it for myself.
My flight was set to depart at 8pm, so I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 3 via London’s new Elizabeth Line train at around 5pm, eager to spend a couple of hours indulging in the Clubhouse and everything that it offers.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Access
Since I arrived to Heathrow by public transport, I didn’t get to use the Upper Class Wing, which is an exclusive drop-off facility for eligible Virgin Atlantic or Delta business class passengers arriving by car.
Instead, I completed my check-in at the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class counters at Terminal 3, before being shown to an elevator that brought me up to the dedicated security checkpoint.
I had to scan my boarding pass at an entry kiosk to gain access to the private security checkpoint. However, after a couple of failed attempts, I had to speak with an agent through the intercom and was eventually let through after confirming my flight and seat number.
I then arrived at the dedicated security checkpoint which, fortunately, had very little foot traffic. I was through in no time and headed to the Clubhouse, ready to enjoy my time in the lounge.
From the Upper Class security checkpoint, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is still a bit of a walk away, via the duty free shops. When you arrive, you’ll find the entrance situated up a staircase or an elevator from the concourse level.
As a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passenger, I was granted access to the lounge with my boarding pass. In addition to travelling on Upper Class, this Clubhouse in London is also accessible to passengers with elite status with select other airlines and a number of other passengers.
Those who qualify for entry are also allowed to bring in one guest, except for those entering as Delta One passengers or as Singapore Airlines elite members. The guest must be travelling on the same day and from the same terminal on an international flight operated by Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, Air France or KLM.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Seating
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offers a wide array of seating options: high-top bar stools, hanging chairs, loungers in a nap area, couches equipped with charging stations and cup holders, dining chairs accompanying tables, banquettes, and more comfortable chairs with foot rests, just to name a few.
The lounge was decked out in hardwood, with natural light shining in through the surrounding windows onto the many plants and trees.
Immediately upon entry, there is a giant floor space filled with a host of seating options, which eventually leads to a full bar at the far side of the lounge.
One of the tables by the entrance has a variety of newspapers to choose from, should you wish to catch up on current events during your stay.
To the left are a few dining areas to choose from, with additional quiet areas nestled behind them. This area also features high-top marble workstations with an ample amount of power outlets.
Around the corner from here was a TV viewing area with individual chairs and recliners.
To the right of the central floor, there is another seating area with fun decorations, such as hanging glass chairs. This carpeted area with grey, blue, and red seating options would be a great place for those looking to do some reading and relaxing.
In addition, there are quiet areas designed for those looking to nap. The quiet area was decorated with plant wallpaper and the words “checked out” spelled out with lights.
Behind the bar, there is a row of varied seating types, all overlooking the tarmac. This seemed to be a very popular place to sit, as it offered some of the best views on the ground floor of the Clubhouse.
I posted up at one of the work stations, left my personal belongings, and began to roam the lounge to enjoy its various facilities, which even included a small fitness centre.
One element that caught my eye was a staircase leading to an upper level. Here, I discovered even more seating options surrounding a pool table that makes up the recreation area.
Teeming with natural sunlight, this recreation room seemed like an amazing space for those travelling with friends, as there was plenty of room to play pool and loiter about.
Whether you arrive at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse tired, hungry, or in the mood for work or play, there is no shortage of lounging options available to suit your specific needs.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Dining
Given the plethora of seating options, it’s easy to find a place to sit down and eat.
The lounge offers a light buffet spread consisting of salads, fruits, charcuterie, and baked goods.
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However, the main dining experience is done through an à la carte menu, which can be accessed by scanning a QR code at each table.
After you’ve placed your order, the food and drinks are delivered right to your table, wherever you choose to sit in the expansive space.
There was quite an impressive range of items on offer, including some Asian-inspired delicacies, which I opted to order. The Singapore-style laksa and the poke bowl were scrumptious.
I was very impressed by the dining options in the Clubhouse, and I almost regret not arriving earlier to give myself more time in this lounge and enjoy even more food.
I most definitely would’ve ordered more dishes if I had the time, as the two meal choices I tried were excellent in taste and quality.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Bar
The bar, located in the back of the lounge, was huge. Aside from seating at the bar, the area had some tables, chairs, and couches, making it a great place to relax with a drink.
The bar had pretty much anything you might fancy on offer, including free-flowing Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
In true Virgin Atlantic style, the talented bartender stationed here poured my glass of Champagne with a great deal of pizzazz and panache.
I sat here and sipped on my glass of Laurent-Perrier for a few moments as part of my tour of the lounge.
After drinking half a glass, I decided to finish it at the best spot in the entire Clubhouse: the rooftop garden.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Rooftop Garden
Aside from ample seating, fantastic food, and exquisite drinks, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow has a number of other features that make it unique.
The highlight is most certainly the rooftop garden, which is a must-see for all of my fellow planespotters and aviation enthusiasts.
The garden is accessed via staircase from the upper level of the lounge (where the pool table is located).
I could hardly believe that I could sit outside in the sunshine enjoying a glass of Champagne while waiting for my flight to depart.
What really set this rooftop garden apart, though, were the views.
Situated above the bustling airport’s apron, you’re treated to spectacular views of the planes taxiing around the tarmac.
Furthermore, you have views of both of Heathrow’s runways, providing an amazing spectacle of planes – with airlines ranging from Kenya Airways to SAS, British Airways to KLM – landing and taking off at full speed.
I spent a lot of time up here, sipping my drink and watching planes take off and land. It was an absolutely thrilling way to pass the time.
As my flight’s departure time drew nigh, I regretted not allowing more time for the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, as I could have easily spent many more hours up here on the rooftop garden taking in the views.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Fitness Centre
Another unique feature of this particular lounge is the small fitness centre. Across my many lounge visits, the only other lounge where I’ve seen something similar was the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge.
The fitness centre at this Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse consisted of three Peloton bikes. While certainly not a full-scaled facility, it was still a fairly innovative use of lounge space.
I also appreciated that the bikes had sweeping views of the airport tarmac outside, which would make for quite a motivational view for a Peloton session.
If I had more time, I would have loved to have broken a sweat by going for a spin here on one of the Peloton bikes – followed, naturally, by a shower, meal, and a drink at the bar.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London – Other Facilities
The restrooms in the lounge were tucked away in one corner of the lounge, made up of a number of enclosed stalls. Within each stall was a toilet and dark black sink, as well as towels for drying your hands.
The Clubhouse also has a few spacious shower suites available, which would certainly be welcomed if you’re hitting up the Peloton bikes in the fitness centre. Showers can be reserved via the same QR code system that’s used for ordering food and drinks to your table.
In the past, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London had offered a full-service spa, which even included free hairstyling, nail care, and a hot tub. However, these facilities have been closed since the lounge’s post-pandemic reopening as of 2021, and appear unlikely to return in the future.
As I went to catch my flight, I knew that this memorable experience in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse would stay with me for a long time. Despite my already high expectations going in, the time I spent in the Clubhouse certainly lived up to the hype.
With top-quality food and drink, a wide range of activity options, ample workspaces and nap areas, and especially a unique rooftop terrace from which you can watch Heathrow’s wide range of airlines coming and going, I’d put the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse up there as one of my favourite business class lounges around the world.
I’d definitely be excited to revisit the Clubhouse one day. Next time, I’d make sure to allow for more time to try out even more food options, break a sweat on one of the Peloton bikes, and most importantly, spend as much time as I could watching the planes from the terrace.