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Aspire Lounge and Spa: Paid for lounge in LHR T5 - Information, photographs, reviews

Aspire Lounge and Spa: Paid for lounge in LHR T5 - Information, photographs, reviews

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Old Aug 3, 15, 6:51 am
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Aspire Lounge and Spa: Paid for lounge in LHR T5 - Information, photographs, reviews

Aspire Lounge and Spa Heathrow Terminal 5



Key Facts

Opening hours: 05 hrs to 23 hrs 7 days a week

Accepted cards: Priority Pass and Aspire's own card (£260 for annual membership). Lounge Angel is not currently accepted nor are the other lounge pass schemes.
Payment via the website: £35 to £40 per adult, depending on demand, £30 per child 2 to 17 year, under 2 = free. Walk up paid for admission at reception is also allowed subject to capacity for £40. The lounge is open for walk in business, but advance bookings are currently only being taken for 1 September 2015 onwards.
At busy times, prebooked Aspire bookings will take precedence. Usual Priority Pass rules apply for guesting (ie you may be billed £15 for guests by PP), you can use this lounge irrespective of your class of travel, but they do scan your boarding pass. 3 hour maximum stay, but they will probably turn a blind eye if a delay is announced and the lounge isn't too busy. However if you arrive more than 4 hours before your scheduled flight time they will ask for an additional payment or for you to return later on. There is a smart casual dress code. Baseball caps, football, rugby and vest style tops are forbidden, however cargo and other smart shorts and trackies are allowed. I doubt this will be strictly enforced.

Website:
http://www.executivelounges.com/loun...irport-lounge#

Facilities in brief:
Comfortable seating
Work benches and tables, approx 16 places
Rest pods x 6
Tea / coffee
Soft drinks
Sandwiches and light snacks - crisps, nuts, croissants, scones in the afternoon
Hot food - some free, premium products are chargeable (e.g. lamb shank @ £7)
Alcohol - wine and spirits: mostly complementary, including Prosecco but some premium items need to be paid for
Showers - £20 for 30 minutes on top of Priority Pass admission.
Spa facilities - £20 for 20 minutes, £40 for 40 minutes (available without lounge access, not included in Priority Pass entry).
Wifi (also BA's wifi is widely available!).
Newspapers and magazines
Good views over the main apron and runway.

Main seating area. At the corner looking northwards, the staircase is the Flounge emergency exit.


Two sets of workbench areas, not the high table version on the far left, which also has plenty of power connections


Looking towards the building corner, the silver tower is the a/c unit, so the coolest spot in the lounge


The bar area. The red wine and spirit area. The beer (lager) is Birra Moretti on draught




Entrance area to the pods


Pod, showing TV screen at a non glamourous angle. There is a front curtain for more privacy when sleeping.


Food counter area, bar on the left


Cheese on the right, croissants and pastries on the left


Entrance area to the shower suites and Bliss Spa


Power set-up: UK, Euro and USB charger 2.1A ≈5V (plenty of provision, including by the comfortable seating areas)


Location: South east corner of the main departure floor, main building A gates, airside T5. Follow the signs for Gate A18.



Food menu

Food and Drink Menu - taken from their website, I only saw a fraction of this offering during their soft launch phase. Complementary except where priced.
http://www.executivelounges.com/loun...irport-lounge#

Breakfast
Available from opening to 11:00am

The Aspire Breakfast Roll
Choose a fresh crusty roll and fill it with
Cumberland Sausage, Crispy Back Bacon, Scrambled Egg

Organic Yoghurts
Strawberry,Raspberry, Apricot, Natural

Deluxe Granola

Fresh Fruit Salad
Juicy apple, orange, grape, melon and pineapple

Selection of Cereals

Freshly baked Danish pastries
====
Available from 11:00am until close

Afternoon Tea for One or Two
Help yourself to one of our two-tiered platters or create your own from:
Sandwiches, Pork Pies, Scotch Eggs, Victoria Sponge Cake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake

Sandwiches: Tuna Mayonnaise & Cucumber, Cheese & Onion, Egg Mayonnaise, Prawn Mayonnaise, Ham, Cheese & Pickle
Quiche Lorraine
Hot Miniature Pies: Beef and Ale, Chicken and Tarragon
Soup of the Day
Pasta of the Day
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel

British Cheese Board
Cornish Brie,Blue Stilton, Red Leicester, Cheddar

Fresh Salads
Mediterranean Pasta, Moroccan Couscous, Leaf Salad, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Sliced Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced Wiltshire Ham

Sweet Treats
Scones, clotted cream and jam, Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Victoria Sandwich Cake, Double Chocolate Muffin, Chocolate Muffin, Blueberry Muffin

Gluten Free Treats
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread, Flapjack, Chocolate Brownie

Hand Cooked Crisps
Sea Salted, Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt, Red Leicester & Onion

PREMIUM MEALS
Steak & Guinness Pie - £6.99
Cheese & Onion Pie - £6.99
Fish Finger Sandwich - £6.99
Maple and Barbecue Glazed Salmon Fillet - £6.99
Welsh Lamb Shank - £9.99
Mushroom & Dolcelatte Risotto - £9.99

Complimentary Soft Drinks
Still / Sparkling Water
Tonic / Slimline Tonic Water
Ginger Ale
Bitter Ale
Soda Water
Orange Juice, Apple, Pineapple Juice, Cranberry Juice drink, Grapefruit, Tomato Juice
Speciality Teas
Freshly Brewed Coffee

Please order at the bar:
Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Lemonade

Complimentary Alcoholic Drinks Order at the bar:
Draught Birra Moretti (tap)
London Pride Ale, Guinness, Continental Lagers (bottles)
Cambio 7 Sauvignon Blanc
Conti Rossi Pinot Grigio

Argento Malbec Rosť

Saam Pinotage
El Collectivo Malbec

Coni Neri Prosecco

Gordons Gin
Belvedere Vodka
Martell VS Cognac
Dows Ruby Port
Barcardi White Rum
Martini Rosso
Martini Extra Dry
Baileys Irish Cream

EXCLUSIVE Spey Whisky - 12 year old single malt
Chairmans Choice single malt

Available to Purchase Order at the bar:
Perrier-JouŽt Grand Brut Champagne - £34.99

ICONIC COCKTAILS
Mai Tai - £5.99
Cosmopolitan - £5.99
Elderflower Collins - £5.99
Espresso Martini - £5.99

WINE FLIGHTS (3 tasting glasses)
Sensational Sauvignon Blanc - £10.00
The French Affair - £10.00 (3 French whites)
Brave New World - £10.00 (3 Red from the New World)
The Jet Set - £10.00 (3 "iconic reds")

Food and drink items are subject to seasonal variation and may differ from booking date to travel date

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Aug 6, 15 at 3:05 am
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Old Aug 3, 15, 6:52 am
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Housekeeping note

I've taken the liberty of splitting off this information and review based thread from the previous thread here. Much of the comments there were about the lead up to the lounge's opening, and now assumes less relevance since the Aspire Lounge and Spa in Heathrow Terminal 5 is now open for business.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...en-lhr-t5.html

Note that there are also some previously posted photographs on Raffles' Head For Points website.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Aug 3, 15 at 7:39 am
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Old Aug 3, 15, 6:53 am
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Lounge review

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Aspire Lounge in T5, which open on Thursday 30 July 2015.

It has about 80 seats, a shower suite, a spa area a comfortable seating area, 2 workbenches (one high, one low), bar and food area, and a set of rest pods. The seating capacity looks to me to be 80 to be comfortably full, so quite small compared to the BA set of lounges. It has a particularly good aspect on the corner of the building and it's hard not to be distracted by the airport's operations though the big glass windows.

Currently the lounge is in a soft opening mode, so at the moment there is no hot food, that starts tomorrow, and the shower suites are not yet in service. Over the next week or so the remaining facilities will be launched - the manager was keen to stress they wanted to do it right even if it takes a bit of time. One staff member is a well known and personable former Concorde Room staff member, he offered to keep a mug behind the bar for me!

The seating area and bar are in the corner of the lounge, the work benches overlook the eastern side under the Flounge terrace, with the pods on the end towards gate 17. The spa and shower suite are between the front entrance and the main seating area.

So for your money you get comfortable seating, a range of hot and cold snacks, wifi, soft and alcoholic drinks. There are a range of premium add-ons available. So showers are £20 for a 30 minute session, spa treatments at £20 for 20 minutes.

For food, hot food such as pasta dishes, buffet snacks, mini pies will be included in the entry, but premium product such as lamb shank will cost extra, around £7 a dish. This is in line with other Aspire lounges.

Cold food, freely available, includes crisps, nuts, biscuits, cakes, croissants, cheese and crackers, scones with Roddas cream. Sandwiches available in include cheese and ham, tuna mayonnaise, smoked salmon. I have to say BaxterStorey's sarnies have the edge here in terms of variety and flavour.

It's a similar situation with drinks. There's a bar (so no free flow alcohol as in the BA lounges), and items such as beer, pinot grigio, prosecco are included in the entry fee. Champagne and other premium wines will attract a charge, in the £8 to £12 area.

The Bliss spa treatments include a full body (clothed) fujitsu massage and facials at £20 for 20 minutes, items such as nail treatment are on their way too.

The pods shown in the photo above are a curtained off day bed arrangement, with TV and a small worksurface, plus power. These are currently free when available - if they become popular this may become a premium service in due course, but a final decision hasn't been taken on that.on

Some Plus Points:
- Comfortable, modern seating, has its own air conditioning tower so the area nearest to it is particularly cool
- Great views
- Plenty of power, range of working environment
- Offers day bed, unlike BA's lounges
- Better and more comprehensive spa facilities and probably easier to get, for a fee
- An alternative to those who like lounges but have no way to get BA status.
- Provides an option for BAEC members with families travelling together.

Some Negatives:
- Expensive on several layers, and tries to eek out as much additional margin that it can find
- Doesn't offer much extra to Silver card holders, not a massive step up from the Club lounges
- Fairly limited food and drink offering, in line with other UK Aspire lounges. However Moretti lager is on draught and Prosecco served free from the bar
- No centrally provided PCs (these are surprisingly popular features of the BA lounges)
- No WCs inside the lounge.

I didn't get the see the shower suite, it will be open later this week.

In summary, this is pitched above the Galleries Club level, but below Flounge / CCR. Hot food is available but it's fairly limited in range and some items are chargeable. The alcohol isn't free flow, but is readily available. There is a high staffing quotient so the place will be keep tidy and customer focused. So for someone without status and not travelling Club or above, or just wanting a change of scenery, this is very valuable addition to T5's range of services. Because of the cost, restricted facilities and size constraints I doubt BA will be too worried about any impact on Silver cardholders however.

[Disclaimer: this was a freebie]

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Aug 6, 15 at 4:47 am
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Old Aug 3, 15, 6:58 am
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I visited today, very quiet but clean and smart, lots of staff milling around. Took the guy at the front desk a few minutes to work out how to process my entry with just my priority pass number as I haven't has a card for ages. Someone showed him how to do it so it seems like they're still very much in training mode. Spa only doing facials and massages for now but more stuff to be introduced soon. They didn't have a price list for me to take away. Had an Earl Grey tea and then left for GC. I was also there for free so wasn't too bothered about staying any longer than that, just wanted to see it.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:01 am
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Looks pretty standard to me. Are there any Aspire plus facilities enclosed within?

With it being located in T5, and having a wealth of premium facilities anyway, I don't see any need for the inclusion of such a product.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:10 am
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I bet you those power outlets work.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
I bet you those power outlets work.
They do indeed, as do the USB sockets.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by TyneTraveller View Post
Looks pretty standard to me. Are there any Aspire plus facilities enclosed within?

With it being located in T5, and having a wealth of premium facilities anyway, I don't see any need for the inclusion of such a product.
Isn't it the case that the majority of BA customers don't have access to lounge facilities?
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by TyneTraveller View Post
With it being located in T5, and having a wealth of premium facilities anyway, I don't see any need for the inclusion of such a product.
How about Priority Pass members traveling in Y and without BAEC status? My wife and I could even take two guests for free. Sounds pretty good to me.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:57 am
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Looks good, but as discussed in the other thread, I suspect it will get full very quickly if the seating capacity is only 80. I can see a lot of PP holders being turned away on busy days.

One question for c-w-s - is the £20 shower charge in addition to the entry charge / PP / Aspire card entitlement, or is it for those just wanting a shower without use of the lounge? It sounds like the former from your description, which makes it a very steep price indeed!
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post

One question for c-w-s - is the £20 shower charge in addition to the entry charge / PP / Aspire card entitlement, or is it for those just wanting a shower without use of the lounge? It sounds like the former from your description, which makes it a very steep price indeed!
I was wondering that as well. Paying £40 for the lounge, then £20 on top for a shower seems very expensive. Even on it's own, charging £20 for a shower seems quite pricey. Still, excellent that there is now a choice of lounges in T5 (and T4!).
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
I suspect it will get full very quickly if the seating capacity is only 80. I can see a lot of PP holders being turned away on busy days.
For sure ideally they need two of these lounges in T5. As Aspire lounges go it looks ok. Certainly an improvement on LGW.

A company called Holiday Extras are trying to get a negotiated rate on this lounge so that will put more strain on the space.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
One question for c-w-s - is the £20 shower charge in addition to the entry charge / PP / Aspire card entitlement, or is it for those ju
It is an extra charge to use the shower suite. So £60 for entry plus shower. It's not going to be difficult to spend £100 here, if wanting a shower, some champagne and a full hot meal. I will finish this review in a few hours time. Incidentally, there are no toilets inside the lounge, but the airport's facilities are close by.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:34 am
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£40 to get in, £20 for a shower and £10 for anything proper to eat Crazy.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:36 am
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I also visited this afternoon, using Priority Pass. It wasn't particularly busy (about 20 people). Seats seem quite comfy but quite close together. The cold food (sandwiches, crisps, nuts etc) was enough to keep me going until I get to Stockholm later.

The wifi wasn't working for me, I could connect to it and enter the password but was not being allocated an IP address, so suspect some tuning may be required still.

The lady in front of me paid for a massage but not lounge access, so it seems you may be able to book the showers or spa treatments stand alone.
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