On our recent trip to the States, we called into the Club Aspire Lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to check out how the lounge is operating since the Pandemic and take a look at the current offering to see how it holds up against the competition. There are a few lounges you can look at when Visiting Terminal 3 so we want to make sure you make the right choice.
Our Club Aspire Club Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 Review takes you through what is on offer inside this lounge, what food and drinks are available, what the facilities are like, and asks is the Club Aspire Lounge at Heathrow Worth It? We compare it to similar level lounges too so you can make the best choice.
Choosing the Club Aspire Lounge?
The main rival for the Club Aspire is the No1 Lounge at Heathrwas Terminal 3. A quick check of the various reviews on sites such as trip advisor paints a pretty shocking picture over at the No1 Lounge, and a fairly rosy one for the Club Aspire. We never pay too much heed to these sorts of reviews, one of the reasons we try and put together our own more objective reviews, but such a stark difference is concerning.
Last time we headed to Heathrow we decided not to risk it and headed straight to the Club Aspire, only to find it closed. So we hit the No1 lounge instead and could find no rational basis for the poor reviews. This is why we often all but ignore these reviews, but surely there is some truth in them?
We think it’s mainly as the No1 operates as an overflow lounge. When The Airline’s own lounges are full they send passengers off to this lounge. These are business class passengers used to a VERY high standard that neither f these lounges meet. But most people using these lounges are the more down-to-earth customers who just want to get away from the hustle of the terminals and just have some nice food and drink before boarding their flight.
Both these lounges meet these needs perfectly and we would happily recommend either to most travelers, considering the low entry price they provide great value and provided that much-needed escape from the madness.
Which to choose? Well, both have their charms and weakness so we hope our reviews help you decide what is most important to you.
Booking the Club Aspire Lounge
We were using our Priority Pass and as such did not need to book the lounge, the Priority pass is great for frequent travelers but if you want to just book the lounge you can do so either directly or through our preferred site Holiday Extras for around £30-35 depending on availability.
You can always just try walking up as availability does vary throughout the day, but it’s always possible that it will sell out and you will be turned away.
The Lounges are located behind the shops on the way to the gates. This makes them really handy for late boarding so you can saunter out of the lounge and straight onto the flight. Rather than queueing up for the unnecessary boarding bun fight!
Club Aspire Lounge Area
The first impression of the lounge was it was really small. There is the main seating area that has several seating options from coffee tables and chairs, dining-style tables, and comfy seats by the windows. Then on top of this, there are two “quiet” areas at the back. These contain booths and are more suited to business use or people wanting a little less noise.
Decour is reasonable and fairly nondescript. It uses fairly dark tones and feels less modern and more homely than the No1 Lounge. The views are pretty poor. They look out on a cul de sac and offers very little view of the Air Operations. But then you have to be pretty lucky to bag a window seat regardless, although we did.
There are power outlets all over the lounge, every seat seems to offer an array of power, so if you are looking to knock out a couple of hours of work or just top up your phone battery for the long flight there is plenty of power on offer.
There are also showers available but these were not the highest of standards. Well used but essentially clean and acceptable. If this is a layover as part of a long multi-leg flight, then a quick shower can feel like the best thing in the world!
There was an issue with the toilet facilities in that there were only 4 toilets. These are individual Uni-Sex Cubicles but with the number of people using the lounge, there was often a queue. This was compounded when one went “down”. The team was on it really fast, but it meant only 3 cubicles for a whole lounge and 2 of these are Shower/toilet combo’s so usage can be extended if someone is showering.
It’s a small snag but no one likes queuing for the loo.
We were really impressed with the food options and can see why the lounge seems to score higher on this front. It was still fairly limited but there were definitely more choices than at No1.
We visited at Breakfast and there was a large Buffet. Bacon, Eggs, Beans, Tomato, Tater Tots, Bread rolls, and Large plump Cumberland sausages made up the hot station. While there was a range of Pastries and muffins along with Yoghurts, fruit, and cereals on the cold station. It was everything you would expect from a basic breakfast buffet and it was all well cooked and hot.
While we were there a few items ran dry and they were fairly quickly replenished.
The Drinks selection and availability is often the deciding factor in a lounge. The fasted way to get your money’s worth is with a few cheeky beverages.
The drinks are a mixed picture and could be enough to clinch it for the No1 Lounge. Unfortunately, the headline news is the Lack of Sparkling wine! Most of us love to toast our trips off with a nice glass of Fizz but you are out of luck here! No Champagne, Prosecco, or even cava or English sparkling. Prosecco and Champagne are available to purchase, but after paying for a lounge with inclusive drinks you don’t want to have to pay for a glass of Fizz!
Aside from that then the drinks selection was pretty good. The lounge runs a bar rather than help yourself drinks, but this means beer is on draft and there is a good range of wines and spirits on offer. The Lager is Birra Moretti, one of my favorite branded lagers. and there were several wines of each color. There was also a good range of spirits, and they were happy to make up classic cocktails. We enjoyed bloody Marys and Mimosa along with the wine and beer with a stiff measure of bourbon just before the flight.
There really are big savings to be made if you are planning a few pre-flight drinks, but you are not going to get that pre-holiday fizz that many are looking for without paying extra, which really is a shame.
There are of course plenty of soft drinks available. There are several self-serve coffee machines and Juice and water is available from fountains with other drinks to order.
Is the Club Aspire Lounge Heathrow Worth it?
It does not take long out in the main terminals bars and restaurants to rack up £35 if you are planning on a boozy start to your trip. So on that basis, the lounge is definitely good value. But if your trip is a bit Dryer and you are just looking for a bite to eat then £35 is pretty steep in terms of what you actually get in food and drink. Although unlimited free coffee is almost as valuable as free alcohol!
But there is more to a lounge than JUST the food and drink on offer. A lounge offers more space, comfier seats, less noise, and a much more relaxed and civilized start to your trip. You can access a lounge up to 3 hours before your flight and that means you have a long time to really relax, enjoy the amenities and pick away at your heart’s content to the food and drink options.
It really is the only way to travel and we have a hard time visiting airports that do not offer a lounge we can use(Looking at you LAX).
The CLub Aspire lounge is never going to compete with the ultra-high-end business class suites offered by the airlines or the even fancier First-Class lounges, but there are not meant to and are priced accordingly. What you get for your money is more personal space, more comfort, and more relaxation. Remember you are bout to be couped up in a metal tube with 300 people for many hours in a tiny chair after being headed through an airport like cattle. It’s once to have your own space to unwind and relax
However, we do need to compare this to the No1 Lounge which comes in at a similar price point and service level.
For us, there is not much about the Club Aspire Lounge we rate above the No1. The food is better, but it’s a marginal call and both offer very similar food options and quality. Drinks are definitely in No1’s favor. The beer choice is better and the fact that there are several sparkling wine choices really beats down the Aspire lounge.
Finally, the overall look and feel of the No1 lounge are better. The Space, the runway view, and the overall decor, it is just a nicer place to be.
However t’s a close call and we are happy with either choice. As we have access to both on our Priority Pass, then we can pick and choose either, and we would head to the No1 as the first choice, but not be too disheartened if it was full or closed for some reason. If we were paying then we would let the price decide, although they are usually the same (see below) and in which case again er would take the No1 as the preferred choice.
Very different to how the Tripadvisor Reviews would have you think.
Where to Book the Club Aspire Lounge Heathrow
Our go-to site for Lounge booking is Holiday Extras, this is a great site for booking things like Lounges, car parking, and Airport Hotels, those little extras that you think of after booking your trip. Their prices are normally unbeatable and the Club Aspire Lounge comes in at around £30-$35 per person depending on current discounts and surge pricing.
If you are a more regular flyer then consider the Priority Pass that gets you in for £20 per person or free depending on your membership level, a real bargain, but you do need to visit a few lounges a year to make it worthwhile.
Have Your Say
Let us know your thoughts on the Club Aspire Lounge? Did you enjoy your visit to this lounge, have you visited any other T3 lounges to compare? How did you find the food, the drinks, and the service? Whatever your thoughts on the Club Aspire lounge just fire away in the comments and any questions feel free to ask in the comments as well.