Review: No1 Lounge Gatwick Airport South Terminal

The No1 Lounge Gatwick South is located on the top floor of the main terminal area. It took me about five minutes to find the lounge, as its entrance was a small door between two stores.

Once I made it through the short hallway, I arrived in a much nicer lobby area, where a lounge attendant was seated behind a No1 Lounge desk. All Norwegian premium passengers receive free access to the lounge, although you can also buy a pass for £28 (or for only about £20 for Norwegian Reward members – more on that in another post).

The lounge isn’t big and the lounge attendants outside made that clear. There was a long line of people who wanted to purchase access, but they were all rejected. Apparently they were fully booked for the rest of the day – and I arrived at 9:30am.

There was a temporary entrance since they’re busy expanding, so the entryway is not the most glamorous at the moment. However, upon entering the actual lounge, the interior becomes impressive. There are sleek dark wood finishes throughout and nice seating arrangements all around.

No1 Lounge Interior 1 No1 Lounge Interior 2

Despite its size, the lounge itself feels airy and open. There is one room with 99% of the facilities, lined by large panoramic windows across the walls. To the left as you enter, there are restrooms and as you continue, there is a reading room on the righthand side. Apart from that, the lounge was contained in the central rectangular room, which was packed.

No1 Lounge reading room.
No1 Lounge reading room.

No1 Lounge Gatwick South

No1 Lounge Gatwick South Magazines
There were plenty of free magazines.
No1 Lounge Gatwick South Computers
Two iMacs were also available for use.

There was a bar in the center of the room, which was also where all the a la carte items could be ordered. While I didn’t drink anything from the bar, it seemed each guest could get one free alcoholic drink. Champagne came at an additional charge.

Note the bar in the center of the lounge.
Note the bar in the center of the lounge.

Couches with tables lined the walls, while there was more work-friendly seating in the center surrounding the bar.

 

Virtually all the seats were taken, though the most in-demand seats were three high top chairs in the far right corner. They were situated in front of a desk with power outlets, peering out over the tarmac and runway.

No1 Lounge desk No1 Lounge View 1
No1 Lounge view 2

Such an awesome view!
Such an awesome view!

The view is probably the single best aspect of the lounge, setting it apart from a lot of other airline lounges that all too often block their tarmac views.

I was intrigued by the people in the lounge, since they certainly weren’t your typical grumpy business men. Gatwick no doubt attracts a different crowd, which was apparent since most people seemed to be here in large groups – and many were quite young. They were almost all British and holiday bound.

Food wise, the spreads were not too impressive. There was a small section with fruit and cereal in the center, which was replaced by finger cakes and miscellaneous other bites. There were also two drink stations and coffee machines on opposite ends of the lounge.

No1 Lounge buffet No1 Lounge buffet 2 No1 Lounge buffet 3 No1 Lounge buffet 5 No1 Lounge buffet 4
No1 Lounge drinks

No1 Lounge champagne

Nonetheless, the food was far from disappointing. In fact, the a la carte menu was extensive.

No1 Lounge a la carte No1 Lounge a la carte 2

Theoretically, there was meant to be one item per guest, although I ordered one from the breakfast menu, one from the lunch menu and another upon my return to the lounge following our delay. Given that I spent a total of six hours in there, I certainly didn’t overeat. I’m curious about how they enforce the “one dish per person” policy, or what exactly the policy states, since I saw several people order seconds without a problem.

For breakfast, I ordered the eggs florentine, which was decently sized and tasted great. The quality was on par with the a la carte food at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse!

Eggs florentine.
Eggs florentine.

From the lunch menu, I ordered the superfood salad per my friend’s recommendation. It was outrageously good – thankfully the portion was also generous.

So delicious!
So delicious!

Upon returning again around 5:00pm, I ordered a fish finger burger, which was decent.

Fish finger burger and pasta shell.
Fish finger burger and pasta shell.

The free wifi was fast and simple to use, although I was disconnected a few times and had to log back in.

The final aspect that impressed me about this lounge apart was the service. As opposed to having airline employees, the No1 Lounge has dedicated employees who are incredible. They came by every few minutes to pick up dishes and ask how I was doing. Their composure was consistent and meticulous. I was treated as I’d expect to be treated at an intimate, upscale restaurant, and the service really left a positive impression on me.

Bottom Line

Despite being overcrowded, and slightly more lively than your typical lounge, the No1 impressed me. The a la carte menu was relatively extensive and the food was delicious. The view was also an avgeek-dream, while the service was thoughtful and attentive. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to visit the No1 Lounge Gatwick South again, especially if I had a long layover and could take advantage of the generous Norwegian Reward discount.

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Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more.
    I fly KEF-LON-KEF several times a year, and this lounge is the reason I try to fly out of LGW instead of LHR, as they contract with this lounge.
    In contrast, at LHR they use the Air Lingus Gold, which tends to be empty, but the food selection is limited to soup and crackers.
    The layout of the No1 lounge is a little strange though, and there are a few “hidden” areas which are not overcrowded, although the center section often feels very crowded. So finding a quiet corner isn’t that challenging.

  2. It should also be mentioned that Priority Pass will get you into this club as well as the No 1 club in the North LGW terminal as well.

  3. They’ll rarely let you in with priority pass unless you prebook, either for £5 or £7.50 including a glass of champagne.

  4. Garuda Indonesia also used this lounge for the LGW-AMS-CGK flight. They also provide curb-to-plane airport escorts service for first class that is very helpful.

  5. I agree about the need to prebook with priority pass (or any other lounge access program). It’s quite unusual these days for them not to refuse access to PP.

    As noted in a previous reply, it’s unlimited free alcohol, not just 1 drink free. Not sure where the 1 drink limit idea would have come from!

  6. London Gatwick tends to be for holiday destination flights, that’s why there are not that many businessmen. And as mentioned earlier, drinks are not limited for one, it’s just champagne which is limited.

    While I only went in once, I did not have a problem getting in with a Priority Pass. However, I can imagine that is dependent on the time of day. Mines was like 9am.

    They have this regular PP thing which is putting reserved signs on half the tables. When we were there, nobody went to those reserved table. We were there about 2 hours total.

  7. Priority Card member, You will experience total humiliation. You can not wait in line for vacant capacity even there are no line or book on line for seat. We were even told the card is useless

  8. I am flying Premium Economy on Norwegian Malaga to LGW and then five hours later LGW-FLL.
    No. 1’s website says that you are allowed to stay three hours. Do they enforce this strictly? We are getting there at 9:40 am in time for breakfast and will be there through the lunch service. Do they really limit what you eat there?
    The latest reports have mostly been horrible.
    Should we think about doing something else during that 5 hour layover?

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