After having used the Sky Team lounge before my trip to Australia, sadly there’s just no going back anymore when it comes to flying out of Heathrow. I must admit that in a foreign country I quite enjoy wandering around the airport to get some last minute snacks & gifts – however, there’s no need for that in Heathrow.
This is a very busy airport and as such no matter where you sit in the main terminal, there are kids crying or screaming, people are rushing about, bumping in to you and it is just in general nothing short of chaotic… A little glimpse of sanity and peace is exactly what the doctor ordered in such a situation!
This is the first hurdle in your way when you are trying to reach this peaceful break… and to be honest its a tiny hurdle! After you go through security (where this time they were very thorough!) turn left. Just keep heading straight on for a couple of minutes (past the smoking area – I believe the only one left in a Heathrow terminal, and with the world of duty free on your left), until you reach a left turn for a number of lounges. It is sign posted at that point to go straight ahead.
This particular lounge is on the next floor up, so there is either an elevator just opposite you or a staircase on the right.
Once you arrive, you need to have your ticket ready along with your boarding pass and passport, but from there on its a quick and easy process.
Compared to the Sky Team lounge, this one feels a little less open plan, yet at the same has a much more executive aura about it! There are a lot of light colours mixed with dark woods and marble to make it feel more like the foyer to a high end office building. I think the business traveller is definately more the market they are trying to capture… It does however certainly feel more like a premium lounge.
None of the above are a bad thing, by any stretch of the imagination, however where the Sky Team lounge feel more like yoga relaxation, this one feels more like sitting in an armchair with a whiskey and cigar type of relaxation (a more sophisticated way to relax, is I suppose a good way to describe it).
As you enter, you go to the right and in to a large room with a separated area on the left, nice big windows overlooking some of the planes straight ahead, and the food service area on your right.
I didn’t see any of their other services and amenities, however when you first come in there is also another entrance to the left, and I can only assume that those amenities (such as showers or a private room with a flat bed) are in that direction.
Food, drink, and amenities
The food isn’t quite as plentiful as it was at the Sky Team lounge, however (and I was here for breakfast by the way, which is served until about 11:00am), there is certainly enough choice for even most discerning pallet, and the quality of the food here was, in my opinion better than that at Sky Team (even though the food over there is also delicious and well prepared). The tikka chicken here is delicious and I think I probably had the best hash browns ever here.
For breakfast they cover just about every base! You can put together a simple, yet posh, fry-up, have come cereals, go for the continental breakfast experience, get some stir fried noodles down you, or just settle for some fruit… Of course, other than fruit and cereals, I had to go for a bit of everything – for the greater good of writing this for you of course!
As for drinks, there is a large chiller with soft drinks, juice and water were available and there is also a self service coffee machine. I was here for breakfast so had no intention of having an alcoholic drink, so can’t comment on that sadly, however as you come in the bar is to your left.
Finally the amenities. The only one I took advantage of was the free wifi – in fact I am online in the lounge right now as I write this. The wifi is refreshingly fast, even more so than most hotels and if I remember rightly the Sky Team lounge too – however this lounge is much quieter than the other. If you have things to do and want to charge your electronics at the same time, many of the seats have sockets by them, or there is a business center area with much more suitably laid out tables & chairs for working. However, perhaps you forgot your ipad or want internet on a bigger screen, there are a few screen which you can use to browse the internet as you come in on the right.
Who can use this lounge?
The Sky Team lounge is limited to only partner airlines and costs £30, whereas the Premium Plaza lounge does come in at £5 more – however, it is terminal 4’s first independent lounge, which means that anyone flying out of terminal 4 has access to be able to use it!
Now is it worth paying for, especially the extra fiver? I would, without hesitation say that yes, for the peace and quiet, paying for an airport lounge is well worth the extra cash – especially if you plan on eating and / or drinking at the airport anyway. I would highly recommend this lounge – it really is well run and immaculately kept… However it is probably more suited to an older generation or the business traveller. My own personal preference would see me probably going back to Sky Team next time – purely because it feels a little more modern, with a little more to do as part of the price you pay.