This weekend, I’m treating my husband to a birthday weekend in Italy. I’ve used AVIOS for our flights to Turin in Club Class and have booked the luxury Park Hotel Billia in the foothills of the alps using hotels.com. As we are flying from Gatwick, we are getting our first taste of the British Airways Lounge Gatwick South. This turns out to be a real treat, but is this the best lounge in the airport?
Initial impressions ★★★★★
Initial impressions of the lounge are that it is bright and airy with panoramic views out to the runway. Other lounges at the airport, such as No. 1 Traveller next door, have similiar views. However, the seating is in varying shades of brown and pink, with Alice in wonderland style high chairs, deep brown leather chairs and high tables for eating. It feels more like a boutique hotel, than an airport business lounge. Plush fabrics, vibrant colours and partitioned private seating areas create an aura of refined elegance. This compares favourably with other paid lounges we have experienced, where plastic chairs seem more the norm.
There are two separate food areas, thus avoiding a big rush to one central island, and amazingly, there’s self serve champagne in the drinks cabinet. Even in other British Airways lounges, I’ve only ever got champagne on request, and in paid lounges, champagne usually costs extra.
We arrive whilst breakfast service is still being served and enjoy hot croissants, fruit, cereal and porridge. Shortly after our arrival, the lunch service commences and includes pastas, quiches and salads. All food is self-service so there is no need to join long queues to place a food order.
There are big screen TVs placed throughout the lounge, which is just as well as I’m desperate to see the speed skating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Whilst that turns out to be a British disaster, the free flowing champagne offers some consolation.
For kids, there’s a soft play area and for older children, there’s table football, some arcade games and access to computers. I’m convinced the room is soundproofed as I can barely hear a peep! Now that is a welcome alternative to other lounges where misbehaving children really can ruin your enjoyment.
For business travellers, there’s a dedicated working area with plenty of plug sockets and desks.
What I like most about this lounge however, is how it is much more relaxed than at other lounges, including the British Airways lounge at Heathrow. We might simply be lucky with our timing, but it feels more spacious, more stress free and considerably easier to get a seat. I’m hoping I don’t have to wait long for my next flight from Gatwick.
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