Qatar Airways Premium Lounge, London Heathrow

Qatar Airways Premium Lounge, London Heathrow (LHR), Terminal 4

Impression

Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in Terminal 4 at London Heathrow opened in January 2012 and is Qatar Airways’ first custom lounge outside their hub in Doha, Qatar. The lounge has, according to Qatar Airways, a design that is based on and resembles a boutique hotel or private member’s club and even the staff in the lounge are mostly from the hotel and restaurant industry.

The lounge is opposite gate 6 and the gates commonly used for KLM departures. The entrance is discreetly located at the end of a long corridor, but there are clear signs to follow. The lounge has no traditional reception desk, instead you go directly into what is called the Palm Court, which is like a hotel lobby full of Arabic palm trees, where boarding cards are checked by an assistant and any requests are noted on an ipad. On the whole, the service and the hospitality is very elegant, but also understated. The general attitude in the lounge more clearly resembles the attitude you would find at a hotel rather than than an airport lounge. For example, when it is time to board, no announcements are made and the screens in the lounge are somewhat discreetly placed, therefore, the staff personally inform the guests in a peaceful and hushed fashion in order to allow the guest to finish what they are doing and to make their way to the gate with minimal stress.

The lounge is not very big but still boats an impressive number of sections, such as a brasserie, a martini bar, a business centre, and a spa area with shower rooms. The walls of the lounge are adorned with Arabic calligraphy and there are also influences from the Mediterranean, like the blue tiles found in the seating areas and the real olive trees in the restaurant section. The lounge is oblong in shape and has large panoramic windows with views of the apron from the restaurant section and the various seating areas.

Access is given to passengers travelling with Qatar Airways or One World in business class or first class, however, not to those with a One World Sapphire or Emerald card if travelling in economy class, these passengers are referred to another lounge.

Eating and Drinking

The food and drink is clearly a highlight and is so good that it’s worth coming early to the lounge just for this. At the far end of the lounge is the brasserie with an a la carte menu, the Delicatessen (which also has a pastry counter,) and a Martini Bar. Here you are welcomed by the head waiter (during the test visit it was a very knowledgeable Italian steward who was in charge of the restaurant,) and you enjoy your food at the beautifully set tables.

An extensive a la carte menu is offered, with a range of options that are cooked to order, for example, there are burgers, satay, pasta, salads and light dishes. It is possible to order several dishes if you wish. The drink list is also extensive, with an excellent range of wines and four impressive vintage champagnes. Everything is served to order to the tables by the head waiter or one of his assistants.

Right in the middle of restaurant is the deli counter which offers canapés, a cold buffet, and various cheeses. There is also a pastry counter with tarts, pastries, cakes and chocolates. The staff help you to pick what you want and your plate is then served to your table. You can also order coffee and other drinks, including cocktails and spirits, from the staff.

Drinks can also be ordered from the seating areas in other parts of the lounge. There are several assistants who regularly pass through the lounge to help with this.

Facilities

There is a business centre with a number of computers and printers, as well as free Wifi throughout the lounge. The password to log on is provided by the staff. There are also power sockets near most seats in the lounge.

Showers and toilets are in a separate section. The showers have heated floors and large mirrors. The inspiration for this, according to Qatar Airways, is also derived from the hotel experience.

Summary

A wonderful lounge with a very attractive hotel-like design. Great service and fantastic food and drink in the à la carte restaurant, with no less than four vintage champagnes. The lounge is well worth getting early to the airport for.

 

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