Lounge check: No1 Gatwick – North Terminal

Background No.1 Traveller launched its first lounge at Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal in 2009, followed by two facilities at Stansted (by gates 16 and 49). This second Gatwick lounge opened in May this year, and is located at Gatwick’s North Terminal.

The brand is also set to open its first Heathrow facility at Terminal 3 in August, complete with bedrooms with ensuite showers and on-demand movies (see online news March 25).

The group also offers chauffeur-driven airport transfers to and from Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, with examples prices including £100 from Stansted to the City of London, and £75 from Gatwick to Brighton.

Where is it? Behind the WHSmith store to the left after security, in what is referred to as the Lounge Pavillion. No.1 Gatwick – North Terminal is located on the same floor as the Duty Free shops, with Servisair, Emirates and BA Club / First lounges are also located in this area.

Facilities The North Terminal lounge is the largest of the No.1 Traveller facilities so far, at some 10,000 square feet, in part because it is the first of the group’s lounges to feature a travel spa (more details below).

As guests enter the lounge there is a chaise longue next to the reception desk, with the travel spa opposite. Lounge décor is bright, with white marble-effect flooring, and a modern colour scheme including a mixture of purple and cream furniture, wood panelling, and wallpaper depicting shelves full of books. There are reminders of travel throughout the lounge, including purposely piled up empty suitcases in different colours and styles.

Past reception there is a business centre with four PCs, several desks with power sockets, a selection of newspapers and magazines, and two meeting rooms, one of which is glassed walled and features a large wooden table, flatscreen TV and fridges with soft drinks. These rooms can be booked in advance or on arrival, at a cost of £12.50.

Wifi internet access is available free of charge throughout the lounge. I did not use this, but my travelling partner said that he found the initial sign on process a little tricky due to the formatting of the page on his iPhone, but that once logged on it worked fine.

Following a corridor round to the left there is a games room on the right hand side, with a closed off TV area featuring a Playstation games console. Opposite this there is a bank of Apple Mac computers, and past this is a room with a purple pool table and a flatscreen TV.

We played a few games – the table is of good quality, although of the four cues in the rack only one had a tip, and there was no chalk – slightly disappointing given the lounge had only been open a few weeks.

Toilets are located past the games area off to the left (although not signposted) – showers are available but on a paid-for basis (a fairly steep £10 considering the initial entry charge for the lounge) in the Travel Spa.

The lounge then opens up to reveal several seating areas – one close to the self-service buffet, and a larger one past this by the windows, looking out onto the airport. Here there are a choice of comfy-looking leather sofas, as well as single armchairs positioned by the windows.

To the left is the main dining and bar area, with seating designed to feel like an outdoor café terrace. From here guests can order hot food choices, as well as coffees / tea and alcoholic drinks.

There are several departure boards in the lounge, but note that flights are not called by staff.

Food and drink All No.1 Traveller lounges offer complimentary food and drink, including tea, coffee, soft drinks, wines, beers and spirits. The only exception is champagne and “tailor-made cocktails” which are available for an extra charge.

In this particular lounge there is a self-service buffet counter by the lounge area, which when I visited was offering cereals, fresh fruit salad, fruit juices, and glasses of what looked like muesli and yoghurt.

In addition food can be ordered from the tables in the bar area, with a breakfast choice including eggs benedict (which ordered and which arrived promptly, with the egg yolk nicely runny), eggs Florentine, bacon rolls and vegetarian omelette rolls.

The daytime menu is available from 1100-2200, with example dishes including soup of the day, house salad with beetroot and goat’s cheese, pizza, warmed chicken Caesar pitta, pork pies served with piccalilli and vegetable chips, and broad bean and goat’s cheese tartlet.

The Travel Spa Spa treatments range from 15 to 55 minutes, and include massages (from £15), manicures (from £18), facials (from £18), and hair treatments (from £20). There is also a choice of a 15-minute fish pedicure for £15, and showers are available for £10.

Who can use it? Entry to the lounge costs £20 per person when booked in advance online, or £10 for children aged 2-11 years. Each booking is valid for a three-hour stay, although this can be extended at a cost of £5 per hour. There is also the option to upgrade to a visit including a glass of champagne or choice of cocktail for £25.

No.1 Traveller has also partnered with Delta, allowing free entry to the carrier’s BusinessElite passengers, and those with Skymiles Medallion and SkyTeam Elite Plus tier membership.

Opening hours 0400 – 2200 daily

Verdict Modern, bright, and with good facilities for both business and leisure travellers, and plenty to keep both adults and children occupied, the lounge is a welcome addition to the No.1 Traveller portfolio.

Contact no1traveller.com

Mark Caswell

For a comprehensive online guide to Gatwick airport, with details on hotels, lounges, meeting options, parking, dining, shopping, and future developments see the July / August 2011 issue of Business Traveller.

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  • I used this lounge the other week, using my Priority Pass, attracted by the look of it, in preference to the Servisair lounge on the floor below.

    Within minutes of entering, I was prepared to go to the Servisair lounge and use another of my ten annual visits on my Priority Pass, rather than spend any more time in this place.

    The decor, as you can see, is great, and the idea of ordering free hot food at your table is great – no other lounge that I know of outside First Class lounges provides this.

    But, my dear, the people! They were the ghastliest, fattest, chavviest, most awful people you would ever imagine……One extremely fat couple took up two entire sofas and simply ate non-stop.

    And they all let they children run around at will, screaming.

    I told a friend about it a few days later and he told me it’s because people on low budget airlines such as easyjet are offered it as an add-on extra.

    I would have found it more ‘relaxing’ to have sat in the Wetherspoons pub in the terminal, and a lot cheaper as each use of my PP costs $27.50.

    Never again. I will avoid it like the plague and use the Servisair lounge instead next time I fly from the Gatwick North Terminal.

  • David Short – you are an out and out snob, and to speak of others in that manner shows what a narrow minded unpleasant individual you are. Frankly you should have gone to the Servisair lounge – you know, the one that also allows children and those who have paid their well earnt money to go into – irrespective of what size, colour or creed they are.

    I don’t have children, but I do have a tolerance for those around me who are also entitled to breath and eat whatever they wish, especially when they have paid for that privilege, without bigots looking down their nose. Please, if you are by any chance intending to fly from Gatwick on the 5th January, the day we pair of paying passengers and No.1 lounge customers, take your attitude over to the Servisair lounge.

    Thank you Business Traveller for your review on the No.1 lounge, we look forward to our visit.

  • We used the, newly opened in May 2011, No.1 Lounge at Gatwick North last week and found it to be excellent value for money and would highly recommend this lounge to all travelling from the north terminal in the future. Entry to the lounge is along the corridor to the left of WH Smith.

    It was spotlessly clean, with comfortable chairs, sofa’s plus swivel chairs and tables in front of the huge windows so you can watch the comings and goings on the runway. There are also two specific dining areas if you want to sit at the table to eat as opposed to the sofa’s etc. It was fairly busy but still very peaceful with no children running amok (no children in there during our visit at all). Very smart decor in relaxing colours.

    There is a bar where you can order alcoholic drinks and your cooked food (bacon sandwiches, Eggs Benedict etc) and it is brought to your table freshly prepared by one of the many members of staff who constantly move around cleaning, replenishing and removing your used crockery. We found the staff very helpful. Ample in the way of cereal, fresh fruit salad, various croissants and individual glasses of fruit with a yoghurt topping and granola. There were juices, tea and coffee (coffee was excellent), baskets of fruit, biscuits crisps – I’m sure there were other items that I may not have noticed. There are under-counter fridges with various soft drinks and bottled water. There is a cinema room, snooker room and a spa for anyone wishing to spoil themselves before flying. The bathrooms, again, were immaculately clean.

    Give it a try….I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  • I am sure the lounges are very good , but on my recent trip through I was refused
    entry to both with a rude retort “we are full ” try again in an Hour ! by which time
    i was on the flight .

    Very Disappointing.

  • Tried to use no. 1 lounge at Gatwick today and full AGAIN
    Why am I paying for a Priority pass card when I cannot use it
    This is an out and out con!

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