As frequent flyers, on a short hop to Europe or exploring the far East and West of the Globe, we’re always in search of a bargain to travel in style! The joy of travelling should start from getting to the airport, and we got hooked on the trappings of business class travel and everything that comes with it; lounges, lie-flat beds, food & wine, and free-flowing champagne! We’ve come to realise that traveling in style doesn’t have to break the bank.

Neither of us are millionaires and we’re continually looking to achieve our flying dreams by spending as little cash as we can. Be it a seat sale or miles redemption for reward flights, we tend to let our wallets tell us where we’re going next rather than having a fixed agenda...

So, if you’re looking for flight & accommodation reviews, flight deals, and budget luxury travel tips & tricks then you have come to the right place. Welcome to BoardingGroup.One

No1 Lounge Gatwick North

The No1 Lounge at Gatwick North Terminal is one the many lounges that you can pay to access. There are two terminals at Gatwick Airport (North and South). Both North and South terminals have multiple lounges you can use. At the North Terminal you can choose from four different lounges at varying price points (No1 Lounge, MyLounge, Club Aspire and Clubrooms).

With so many different options, it’s sometimes hard to choose which lounge to use, or even if you should pay to use a lounge at all. Paying to use a lounge really depends on what we’re looking for before you fly. We’re usually keen on a space to have food and drinks. We have also paid to use a lounge to have somewhere quiet to sit and do some work. Some might just be looking for a quiet place to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal.

Priced at £40 per person (on the door) or £32 if you book online, the No1 Lounge is on the premium end of the lounges at the airport. It is designed for the everyday traveller and it offers a fully tended bar, food, sports lounge, quiet library area and panoramic views of the runway.

Don’t forget that you can get £5 off if you refer a friend, so it’s worth booking it indiviaully if you’re travelling as a pair. There are cheaper options at the airport. My Lounge, which is next to the No1 Lounge Gatwick North Terminal, albeit smaller, could be a good option for you if you want to spend a little less money (£30 on the door / £24 online). The lounge is open from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm. During early or late hours sections of the lounge is closed.

The lounges at Gatwick Airport North Terminal
The lounges at Gatwick Airport North Terminal

In this review:

Locating the lounge

All the airport lounges at Gatwick North Terminal are located towards the departure gates. The lounges are clearly signposted and next to each other, which makes them easy to locate. Get all your shopping down before heading to the lounges, as you won’t have to go back and forth once you’ve settled in the lounge with a drink.

Gatwick North Terminal
Gatwick Airport North Terminal signage to the lounge

Reception

Our flight was departing from Gatwick to the Canaries at 7:30 am, meaning we were one of the first guests to arrive at the lounge. We visited the lounge at the crack of dawn while most people were still asleep. Naturally, there were no queues when we arrived. We were greeted with a cheery “Good Morning!” by the receptionist, and her sprightliness and friendliness was commendable at that time in the morning! We talked about the lounge and how busy it got, while she checked our documents before ushering us through. It was hassle free, quick and easy.

Score: 70%

Comfort

The No1 Lounge at Gatwick North Terminal was well designed, the marble walls conveyed opulence and luxury. It’s spacious and the multiple seating areas within the lounge enhanced the level of comfort. We walked around the lounge to find a place to sit and thought overall it was a nicely presented. The lounge was divided into four areas; a dining area with restaurant style table and chairs; a sofa seating area facing the runway; a quiet area, called the Library, designated for adults (12 years and above); and a buffet area.

For workers, there were high-tables next to the buffet so it might get a little noisy during busy periods. So we would recommend to use the Library if you wanted somewhere quiet instead. The lounge looked fresh, like it had recently been refurbished. The quiet “Library” was a nice touch, as no one wants lots of rowdy shouting before a flight. The key feature of the lounge is the central bar, stocked with a large range of alcoholic spirits ranging from premium vodkas to whiskeys.

Score: 70%

People traffic

The main seating area in the No1 Lounge at Gatwick North Terminal

Unsurprisingly, at 6 am in the morning, the lounge was quiet and multiple areas were still closed. However, even at that time most of the tables and chairs in the main area were already taken. This is especially true for the window areas facing the runway. The receptionist noted that the lounge can get very very busy between 8:00 – 11:30/12:00 in the morning, so be wary of when you’re intending to be there. A busy lounge can ruin the whole lounge experience.

Score: 70%

Food Options

A buffet breakfast was on offer when we used the lounge, it included items for a full English (sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, potatoes and bacon), cereals, fruit, pastries, yoghurt and porridge. There’s a wide range of options available, however, we thought that quality of the food was sub-standard. The bacon did not look like bacon and seemed undercooked and the sausages were overcooked. As the food is all laid out, it’s useful if you’re in a hurry and want a quick bite before you fly. However, for the amount of money you have to pay to use the lounge, we did not think it represented good value for money.

The buffet area was also cramped and quite a few people were concentrated around the hot buffet. It felt crowded, and because multiple people were gathered around the sauces, someone broke a whole jar of tomato sauce, resulting in what looked like a murder scene! Given it wasn’t peak hours, we wondered what it would be like at peak times, and whether you had to try dodging people to get to the food? Ultimately, the breakfast served was OK but not worth the £40 to use the lounge.

Score: 50%

Beverage Options

No1 Lounge Island Bar

There was a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on offer. So if you’re on a group holiday, it’s not a bad way to start with a few cocktails! The No1 Lounge at Gatwick North terminal had a full-service bar. It was stocked with most spirits you’d expect at a bar! Cocktails were also made by request, the challenge would be to ask for a cocktail that the bartenders can’t make! As it was really early in the morning, we asked the barman for a Bloody Mary’s, which was delivered to our table and tasted delicious. Prosecco was on offer if you fancied a glass of sparkling wine before your flight. The only challenge we see here is how quickly you can get your drinks made. During busy hours, you’re limited by how many people are serving behind the bar.

Hot drinks were also available and there were multiple coffee machines around the lounge. If you intend to knock a few drinks back before you fly, then £40 would be worth paying!

Score: 70%

Toilets and Showers

The toilets were spacious, clean and tidy. The private cubicles, kitted out with lovely smelling L’occintane soap and moisturiser, was a nice touch. Unlike the No1 Lounge at Heathrow T3, there wasn’t a shower or spa available to passengers.

Score: 60%

WiFi, Power & Productivity

Library area for relaxing and working
Library area for relaxing and working

Impressive WiFi speeds at the No1 Lounge! With download speeds reaching nearly 100 Mpbs ( 91↓ Mpbs 37↑ Mpbs) we downloaded lots of films on Netflix to keep us entertained on the flight. The lounge is built for, well, lounging and as a result, there weren’t many work areas. There were a couple of high-tables next to the buffet area, which isn’t an ideal place to work, given the noise. The Library also had high-tables with charge points making it a suitable space to work.

Score: 70%

Little Extras

We thought the quiet room (for people aged 12+ and above) was a nice touch. If you’ve travelled from Gatwick Airport before, you’d know that the main terminal can get super busy and choatic. Having a quite space to sit down and chill can do wonders for our mental wellbeing. As it wasn’t busy when we visited the lounge, it was quiet anyway. It would be interesting to see if the staff manage the noise levels in the library, in case a group of rowdy passengers were using the space.

Score: 40%

BG1 Verdict

If we were to compare the lounges with the restaurant and bar options available at the North Terminal, we think paying to use the lounge does not represent good value for money. If you’re travelling as a pair, £80 can go a long way inside the main terminal building. There are multiple bar and restaurant options ranging from Pret A Manger, Wagamama’s, a Weatherspoon’s and even a Shake Shack. Visit the Gatwick Airport website for full details of the restaurant on offer. Although, it’s a great place to relax and chill, the No1 Lounge is expensive. So you need to work out if you’re willing to spend £40 just for a quiet place to chill. The only way to get the full £40 is to drink… A LOT of cocktails… just don’t miss your flight!

Total: 63%

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