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London Heathrow Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 4 Review

The Plaza Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4 is a really good example of a 3rd party lounge. It is a classy and bright space with good quality food, lots of seating and separate bar area. It is a great place to kick back before your flight

What I liked

  • Large space
  • Large windows and lots of natural light.
  • Cook to order items available
  • Breakfast buffet was decent
  • Large bar area, separate to main lounge
  • Well designed space

What can be improved

  • They could cook the buffet with more flavour

Heathrow Terminal 4 Lounges

Heathrow terminal 4 has a number of excellent lounges, including the Etihad Lounge, Gulf Air Lounge and Skyteam Lounge. There is a lot of competition and the Heathrow Plaza Premium Lounge, T4 holds up well.

I got access to the lounge through my Priority Pass. The alternative in the Terminal is the Skyteam Lounge, which can also be accessed through Priority Pass.

The space

Although the lounge is not as big as the Skyteam Lounge, I really liked the space. On the right side of the entrance, is the main lounge area with buffet, floor to ceiling windows and lots of seating. On the left hand side of the entrance is the segregated bar area.

There was a range of seating in the main area including restaurant style table and chairs, lounge chairs, and large square table.

As is common with many Plaza Premium Lounges around the world, they had put a lot of effort into the decoration of the lounge – which I appreciate. I really enjoyed the decoration in the lounge and thought it was very classy. They made use of exposed wood flooring and a lot of grey seating. The highlight was the large square table with a designer tree in the centre of it – check out the photo in the above slideshow.

Design is something I really appreciate – I put a lot of effort into the design of this site, and I hope you like it! The great thing about airline lounges, is that you get taken away from the madness of the terminal building and can enjoy a little piece of luxury. A well designed lounge helps to enhance that feeling of luxury.

The food

I was there at 6.30am, during the breakfast service. The main area of the lounge has a buffet counter to one side. The buffet contained standard English breakfast items. In addition, there was a small menu with cook to order items.

The lounge had the following items:

  • cooked to order eggs and veggie sausages
  • Sausages
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Baked Beans
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Poha (Indian dish – flattened rice)
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Cereals
  • Teas and coffees


I had some cooked to order veggie sausages, mushrooms and roast potatoes. I enjoyed the veggie sausages, but the other items from the buffet were lacking in flavour. I would say that it was the equivalent to the breakfast at a 4* hotel. This is pretty good for a contract lounge

The drinks

The lounge has a separate bar area, and it is really rather classy. There is no natural light in the bar area - they have some nice mood lighting and wooden flooring to create an upmarket feel. As it was 7am, I decided against a drink (those days are long gone!), but I did take a look around and snap some photos.

I also took photos of the drinks menu, which contained premium spirits that were chargeable. I assume that all other items (beers, house spirits etc.) were complimentary.

Business model of contract lounges

Unlike airline lounges, you don't need to be traveling in business class or have airline status to access the Heathrow Plaza Premium Lounge, T4. You can pay for entry, but most people will use a priority pass membership to come in. Each time you use the lounge, priority pass will reimburse the lounge a set fee.

Historically, contract lounges have had a bad reputation. Often these lounges are in the darkest corner of the terminal - think food in a packet and cheep beer. There is a reason for this. Airlines invest in their lounges to drive business to their premium cabins. However, as contract lounges have a fixed payment structure, there is not a lot of incentive for them to invest large sums into them.

This trend has changed in recent years, and places like London Heathrow now have a number of good options. Heathrow has a large number of travellers who have high expectations. Also, most terminals have more than 1 contract lounge. This combination has driven up the standard of contract lounges at the airport.

Conclusion

The Heathrow Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 4 is an excellent contract lounge. It is large and bright, with good food, charming decor and lots of seating. It is not a destination lounge, but is a great place to spend an hour or two before your flight.

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