We recently used ‘The House’ Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4 in London, which is the home of Etihad Airways (and other airlines) and wanted to share our experience with you.
We’ve heard good things about the lounge so we were excited about trying it. The Lounge is a partnership between Etihad Airways and No.1 Lounges, after Etihad gave up running its own lounge in 2018. It’s no doubt part of their cost-cutting strategy. But does this mean diminished quality?
Access to The House is complimentary for Etihad Airways Residence, Business and First class passengers.
You can also pay for entry – it costs £40 if you book online and £50 at the door. If you refer a friend you will also both get £5 off, when booking through the No.1 Lounges website. The lounge also accepts Priority Pass on a no guarantee “space available” basis. This means no pre-booking is allowed and you’ll be admitted if there’s space. You can guarantee entry with a Priority Pass if you paid a £5 fee.
So, is it worth paying to use the lounge? Read on to find out!
Heathrow Terminal 4 was initially built to serve passengers travelling on a business trip, hence why the departure gates are all so close the airport lounges. It was also once the home of British Airways, before their move to Terminal 5. After a £200m refurbishment, it is now home to international airlines like Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Etihad Airways. All of these airlines have great lounges there. Even after the refurbishment, the dining options at T4 is poor, making the paid lounges more valuable!
The House lounge is located opposite gate 10, which is on the right-hand side after security. As you approach the House, you’re met with a stylish entrance and you’re greeted by the lovely staff at the reception. There was no queue at the lounge when we arrived, so we got through pretty quick after showing our pre-paid lounge confirmation. Even though I was supposed to arrive an hour later, the staff didn’t mind and allowed me through.
The reception was great, as unprompted, the staff talked us through all the features of their lounge. We thought this was a really nice touch, as most of the time they say hello and you’re sent on your way.
Entry to the lounge was fast and efficient and we were sat in the restaurant with our first glass of wine in less than 10 minutes.
Score: 8/10 (The only way they would’ve got a 10 is if they brought us a drink at reception!).
The House Lounge is a well designed space with the use of crisp white table linen and stylish furniture, it gives it a contemporary luxury feeling. There is a formal dining room and multiple seating areas. It’s a very comfortable lounge and we have no qualms spending a couple of hours here.
The number of people in the House Lounge fluctuates around the Etihad flight times (at 3pm and 8:45pm to Abu Dhabi). Etihad Airways flies the A380 out of London, which has the whole top deck catered to premium passengers. A full premium cabin will see a large influx of passengers in the lounge. As it is an open lounge, you will also get people with Priority Passes or people that have paid to use the lounge. When we visited the lounge, we saw the number of people come and go, but the number of passengers was manageable and it never felt crowded. This might be why the airline is not making any money – not enough premium passengers!
If you’ve flown out of London Heathrow Terminal 4, you’ll agree that dining and drinking options are limited. We found the dining room with buffet and a la carte food options a great place to stop before your flight. Service at the restaurant was a little bit slow but it reflects the calm and tranquil nature of the lounge.
The selection of spirit and wine on offer was impressive. To top it off there was a full serviced bar where you can request drinks like Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. Have you heard of the Bloody Mary challenge? We always go to a lounge and see if all the ingredients are present to make one… and in this case it did! As we still had work to do at the lounge we didn’t really make full use of all the beverages on offer. However, if you want to start your holiday with a nice couple drinks, we would recommend the lounge for you!
Toilets and Showers
There are showers in the lounge, which are pristine and clean. Perfect for those hot summer’s day when you’re in desperate need for a shower before your flight. Toilets are equally stylish and clean.
WiFi, Power & Productivity
One of the main reasons we paid to use the lounge was to have a quiet place to work before our flight. We found the lounge to be an excellent place for productivity. The WiFi was stable and there were multiple sofa areas with charge points for your convenience.
The only down side was the absence of a separate work friendly space. There wasn’t anywhere private to take conference calls. We were sat in the corner hoping that we didn’t disturb other passengers. There was also lingering music playing in the background, which you couldn’t seem to escape. The background beats felt at odds with the calm tranquility of the lounge.
The restaurant is a great feature of the lounge. The dining options in Terminal 4 are limited, so having a premium restaurant and full-service bar makes The House Lounge Terminal 4 well worth it. There’s the added bonus that everyone can access the lounge, either with a Priority Pass or by paying £40.
The lounge’s tranquil and calm environment was an added bonus. It was a perfect space for socialising. However, it’s not a place to come if you want to watch the planes fly in and out.
If you’re thinking about whether it’s worth paying for The House Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4, don’t hesitate, it’s worth paying the £40. If you’re travelling as a pair, we would recommend booking individually, as you and your friend get £5 off when you book on the website. For us, it’s a great place to have a meal and a couple of beverages before our flight, made better by the fact that there is no where good to eat at Terminal 4. However, just be weary of when Etihad flights depart, as the lounge traffic fluctuates with time of the Abu Dhabi flights.
Have you been to the lounge before? What did you think? Comment below, as we would love to hear what you think.
Total: 58/70 (82%)