LHR: London Heathrow Emirates Lounge

 

Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge
The vast London Heathrow Emirates Lounge is either a haven of peace in the busy Terminal 3, or a packed den of freeloaders, munching through the booze for just 60 quid entrance, depending on your point of view. However, with Dubai now the second most popular international destination out of Heathrow, the LHR Emirates lounge always gets a lot of traffic.

It wasn't always this way. The LHR Emirates Lounge was refurbished during a 4 month renovation a couple of years back, and at the time became an upmarket and peaceful enclave. However, now with seven flights to Dubai a day, plus Emirates taking pay-per-entry on the door, it can get very busy indeed, with the only quiet time between 9 and 11am.

The Emirates Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3 is located in Lounge Area E on departure level of Terminal 3 - head out to the lounge access corridor turn left, around the back of the pilots restaurant, all they way along the corridor (there is a small sign to help you here) to the small entrance on the ground floor, which looks rather like a small box dumped by the gate.

Emirates lounge London Heathrow
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

This isn't the lounge - it's the reception desk - here you can take the stairs or the lifts up to the top floor, which has a very long, narrow shape, however the good news is that means it has a great view of most of the airport's apron, but in the winter sun shines in to every part of the lounge in the morning, making for a light bright experience.

The lounge renovation was certainly welcome, as the Emirates lounge at LHR previously was rather dull, to say the least. Now, the seats are comfy and clean. However it is still up a depressing corridor, and there is no children's play area.

After you enter, the quieter lounge area is on the left, past the bathrooms and showers, where there is a small secondary bar and a lot more comfortable seating. Most passengers head right, to the dining area and the main bar. In the far right-hand corner is an area with square chairs and ottomans overlooking the main runway to the south, and it's one of the best spots at Terminal 3.

Here on the right is the main dining area, which is large, but there are lots of small tables packed closely together, and banquettes by the back wall. You almost feel you are hemmed in your small Emirates seat already. When two A380s leave back to back in the late afternoon, this place gets very busy indeed.

Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

Parts of the Emirates London Lounge are divided into a variety of spaces. There are groups of two seats for couples or twos, and four seats for families and small groups, while a few areas accommodateg much larger groups, or a collection of socially-minded travellers. All seats in the Emirates lounge are close to power sockets, of a UK type, but there are no USB sockets.

If the lounge is busy, around the back (left as you go in) is a small corridor that was once the Business Centre. Now it has more seats, and is quite welcoming.

Don't miss the artwork in the Emirates lounge. Not only does the Arabic art on the wall welcome you to Dubai already, there are many notable horse sculptures.

Finally, when the time comes to exit the lounge and get on a plane, don't make the mistake of actually leaving it! The LHR Emirates Lounge is the only lounge at Heathrow which has boarding direct from the lounge, rather than the gate, using Gate 7, which is Emirates usual gate of choice. With an A380 full of passengers, the queue at the gate can be long - a good half hour long - so it makes sense to wait here. There are actually two gates you can board at, with doors marked A and B at each end of the lounge, but most of the time you board from door A, which goes straight through to the upper deck of the A380 at Gate 7. Make sure you remember this - the lounge staff will never tell you this, and many passengers actually exit the lounge and join the huge queues of economy.

Food

The food in the London Heathrow Emirates Lounge is really good, and indeed generally better than the British Airways Galleries First lounge just next door. There are even menus on the tables and above the refectory (alas, spelling is not a strong point of the lounge).
Emirates lounge London Heathrow
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

Most of the serving dishes in the London Emirates Lounge are smaller than at many other lounge buffets, such as next door in BA, which means the staff replenish them more often as opposed to simply cooking one big batch of food and leaving it out. This really does help to keep the food fresher.

There is a cold buffet as you might expect, with everything from cold cuts or ham and salami to salmon. There is always a great hummus dip and tabbouleh. Everything is served on small plates, which mean you could have two or three starters rather than a main meal, and this is one of the key features of the lounge.

Check out the cheese plate - it is more than just a plate. There are tasting notes on labels on the cheeses, with a good selection of half a dozen, including a decent blue and aged cheese.

Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

Dessert are another strong point of the lounge, with Tiramisu and that quintessentially British dessert Eton Mess, often making an appearance.

Hot food items are in dishes and tureens on the worktop, with some curries including a Chicken Tikka Masala, crispy fried cod and hot meat pies with mushy peas. Indeed, the kitchen often works hard to provide British comfort food.

Bar

There is a good free walk up bar in the Emirates London Lounge, with two self-serve beverage zones - one in the 'quiet end' at the far left, and the other in the main dining area nearby the food.

Each offers a reasonable range of spirits and liqueurs, plus juice and soft drinks from the fridges below.

Red and white wines are also available, along with bottles of Verve Clicquot Champagne. It's good to have this freely available in what is in effect just a business class lounge.

Business Facilities

Emirates lounge London Heathrow
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge
There is a decent Business Centre in the Emirates London Heathrow Lounge, which is to the left as you enter the lounge, with computers and a printer. Alas, it is no longer in it's own space, but is simply put in the main part of the lounge.

There are four computers all with fast internet access.

There are also work chairs with UK style mains power sockets, just in front of the business centre.

There is free wifi, and the speed isOK but not startling.

There are two large newspapers and magazine racks, which are amazingly well stocked, with everything from all the UK's newspapers of the day, Aussie papers (generally two days behind Australia) and even obscure magazines like Country Life.

Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

Bathrooms

There is just one single shower room located inside each bathroom, with bath products by Timeless Spa. There are often queues for this, so you'll need to get into the queue as soon as you get to the lounge.

Bathrooms are small, and not remarkable.

Note that there is no actual spa here, unlike Dubai.

Access

The Emirates London Heathrow Lounge used to be famous as the one lounge everyone in economy tried to blag their way into - now these passengers can just buy their way in on the door for US$100 (which converts to around £66GBP) when travelling with Emirates, or on an Emirates codeshare flight operated by Qantas.

Of course there is free access to Emirates first class and business class passengers. Qantas first class and business class guests are also welcome, although Qantas does operate its own brand new lounge at London Heathrow Airport.

Emirates lounge London Heathrow
Emirates London Lounge Heathrow Business Class Lounge

Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO cardholders flying with Emirates or Qantas get access, as do Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge members travelling with Emirates or Qantas, although as Qantas now has it's own lounge at London Heathrow airport, you'll often be directed here.

Video Walkthrough of the Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Video Highlights of the Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
Emirates London Heathrow Lounge
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