New No 1 Traveller lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3: is it worth it?

By John Walton, August 12 2011
New No 1 Traveller lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3: is it worth it?

It's not often we see an independent airport lounge that's worthy of your time. But the No 1 Traveller lounge in London Heathrow is in the same terminal as Qantas', British Airways' and Virgin Atlantic's long-haul flights to and from London.

After its grand opening on 11 August, it's got a few things that only the very best airport lounges offer.

The lounge has the usual showers, buffet, drinks and wi-fi, but it's head and shoulders above the rest with decent food, a travel spa offering massage, hair, nails and facials, plus private cabin style bedrooms if all you fancy is a good bit of sleep while waiting for your connection.

(The bedrooms are still under construction, but are planned to be ready by the end of September.)

Located after security (down to the left of the duty free shop near gates 13-22), the lounge is on the floor above the main departures level, accessible by lift or stairs.

It's open from 0430 to 2230 every day, and offers a buffet plus a freshly prepared bistro menu. (You're officially limited to one bistro dish per entry, but you can pay for more if you're especially ravenous.) Wine, beer and spirits are complimentary, but you can pay up for champagne and cocktails.

Business travellers will be pleased to know that there's a separate area for small children, and for larger children (and grown-ups who fancy working off some steam) there's table football and a pool table, plus a TV with PS3 console.

There's also a ten-seater cinema if you haven't had enough movie time on your flight.

The basic lounge entry of £25 (A$39) if booked in advance (£30 without) might seem steep if you're departing in business class or are a high-tier frequent flyer on one of the airlines with a decent lounge in Terminal 3, but with the terminal having lost none of its reputation for being an absolute zoo at peak times, it could be a welcome respite for travellers who need to get some work done.

No 1 is also a member of the Priority Pass global lounge network -- and Priority Pass members also get a ten percent discount on anything from the spa.

Rates for spa services are remarkably competitive with London prices, with a 15-minutes shoulder massage coming in at £15 (A$24), a men's haircut at £20 (A$32) and a long hair ladies' cut at £35 (A$55). (Full list, .pdf file)

The spa services -- including the hairstylist -- are an interesting offering given that the excellent Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is in the same terminal, and available to any Velocity Gold member too.

Qantas Frequent Flyers and other oneworld alliance members can, of course, use the British Airways Galleries lounges in Terminal 3.

Book online and save £5 on entry.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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