Review: No.1 Lounge London Heathrow T3 (Priority Pass)


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Joanna and I found ourselves visiting the No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 on account of two things – we were flying on an airline which with which neither of us has status (Virgin Atlantic) and I have a Priority Pass membership which gives me and at least ten guests complimentary access (I love my Chase Sapphire Reserve card!)

The No.1 lounge is located one level above the British Airways lounges at Heathrow T3 and can be accessed via elevator or stairs.

At the top of the stairs (I never have the patience to wait for the elevator) the lounge entrance is straight ahead….

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

…and while on this occasion we only had two people ahead of us waiting to get in I have seen this lounge with considerably longer lines.

The issue is that a lot of people are entering courtesy of Priority Pass memberships and that involves a lounge agent swiping a membership card before asking the guest to sign a receipt that the swiped card generates – it’s very much like a credit card transaction – now imagine 10 people all needing to do that.

It can be slow.

Access

The lounge is open between 04:30 and 22:30 daily

  • If you have Priority Pass membership you can access the lounge according to whatever level membership you have.
  • Certain airlines will offer their passengers access (Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Finnair are all airlines I’ve seen offer access to the No.1 Lounge…but there are others)
  • Adults (12 years old and over) can book online for £36 or pay £40 on the door (if there is room)*
  • Children (2 – 12 years old) can book online for £16 or pay £18 on the door (if there is room)*
  • Lounge Club members do not have access to this lounge

*Prices correct at the time of writing

The No. 1 Lounge

Once you’re through the door and checked-in this is the view that greets you:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

On the right is a row of comfortable armchairs and tables (seen below from the opposite angle)…..

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

While on the left is a pretty nice bar:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

At the near end of the bar is where you’ll see the champagne on display (this isn’t self-pour and it isn’t complimentary)…..

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

…while at the far end of the bar is where the food and drinks area is located together with an ordering station for a la carte dining and bench-style seating (with a few individual tables and chairs).

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

We were visiting the lounge in the morning so breakfast was being served. This included:

A selection of fruit

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Cheese and fruit salad

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Crackers (for the cheese) and a selection of pastries

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Cereals and juices

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Muffins

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Yoghurt, granola and various toppings

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

There was a selection of sodas and water under the food counter while, to one side, there was a choice of teas….

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

….as well a pair of coffee machines which were so busy that I never got a chance to photograph them.

As I mentioned earlier, the lounge also offers complimentary a la carte dining and, while it’s not exactly big portions they serve, as far as I can work out there’s nothing to stop you going back for more.

Here’s the lounge food and drink menu (including champagne pricing):

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 – Menu (click to enlarge)

I’m a fan of the lounge’s Kedgeree and this is what that looks like when it’s brought to your table:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

I can honestly say that I’ve never had a bad poached egg in this lounge – if there’s one they consistently do well it’s poached eggs.

At the end of the food area and next top the coffee machines there are a few seats which overlook the airport apron (from here you get the same view as guests in the British Airways First Class lounge below…only here you’re higher up).

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

To the right of the food area the lounge extends further….but this is a section that always appears full and a little chaotic whenever I’m visiting.

This is a view from the food & dining area:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

And this is a view of the same area from the other end:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

I think there’s a workstation area in the middle of all of that mess but, with the number of people who were milling around here throughout my visit, the lost city of the Incas could be in there and I wouldn’t have seen it properly!

So far I’ve described two sides of the lounge…so now we come to the center.

The center of the lounge is a strange mix of small private-club-style areas with comfortable chairs, sofas and the occasional big-screen TV…..

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

…while next to it is a children’s play room…..

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

….and a travel spa:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

I didn’t get a chance to try out the spa but I did get a copy of the spa menu in case anyone is interested:

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 – Spa Menu (click to enlarge)

None of the services are complimentary so be sure to bring a credit card if you’re planning on getting a treatment.

At the back of the lounge is another, separate, sitting area similar to the centre of the lounge but, on this visit, it was reserved for some airline’s First Class guests (I can’t remember which airline it was).

No.1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The lounge also offers shower facilities but as I had showered at home less than 2 hours beforehand, and as the was a line ahead of me, I gave those a miss.

Thoughts

The food offering is pretty good, prosecco is complimentary, the seating is comfortable and the staff are friendly (mostly – I’ve spotted one or two miserable individuals but you get those in most lounges).

The only negatives are the occasional overcrowding and the occasional long lines to get in.If you can look past the overcrowding that sometimes occurs this is a very solid independent lounge and much better than a lot of domestic lounges you’ll find in the US or independent lounges you’ll find in Europe.

As a place to spend some time before a flight it’s not bad at all.

More lounge reviews available, arranged by city, on the Traveling For Miles lounge review page

Up next: A review of the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Cabin on the A330.

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