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December 7, 2009updated Feb 07, 2013

Virgin Atlantic Launches New Gatwick Clubhouse

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines, today unveiled exactly what premium leisure travelers have been waiting for – a new Clubhouse at Gatwick featuring a luxurious Cowshed Spa. The new Clubhouse, which is over 8,500 square feet in total, has re-opened after a complete refurbishment. The lounge has been created by London-based architectural practice FDArchitecture in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic in-house design team. 

The airline’s new Clubhouse creates a fresh, welcoming feel for Upper Class and Flying Club Gold Card passengers and is a great place to relax before a flight. 

With seating for 130 passengers, the Clubhouse offers a choice of areas that cater to different needs. Whether passengers want to read a newspaper, watch aircraft, settle down to brunch, have a treatment in the Cowshed Spa or hide away or catch up with the internet before they jet off, the new lounge has it all. 

Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said:

”The new Gatwick Clubhouse has to be the ultimate pre-flight experience for Upper Class and Gold Card customers. Our award-winning Clubhouses have always led the industry by offering luxury and innovation, and now we have introduced some of the best elements of our flagship Heathrow Clubhouse, such as the luxurious Cowshed Spa, at Gatwick.” Joe Ferry, Head of Design at Virgin Atlantic added:

”Virgin Atlantic’s new-look Clubhouse brings it up to the latest design standards that are synonymous with our multi-award winning products, service and interiors. This generation of Clubhouse has been designed with service design and architectural design working in harmony to produce the best possible customer experience.” 

The new Clubhouse also continues to support Virgin Atlantic’s sustainability targets. The Clubhouse uses generous expanses of FSC timber flooring to wind through and connect the magnificent facilities on offer to passengers. The 100% woolen carpets are specified with low chemical emissions, enhancing the cleanliness of the Clubhouse environment whilst providing an extremely durable finish and a site waste management program has reduced construction waste on site by some 40% through considered prefabrication of much of the furniture, fixtures and fittings. 


Concierge and Reception: Entrance to the Clubhouse is now through a new, light, private corridor leading directly to a welcoming reception and concierge area. Passengers simply register with reception and then walk on through into the lounge. Adjacent to the new entrance are shoeshine, coat and baggage areas where passengers can unburden themselves of bags and buggies. There are also facilities to charge mobile phones, iPods and Blackberries in this area, with a concierge team on hand to manage all passengers’ needs. 

The Restaurant & Lounge: Leather-clad timber Eames dining chairs provide classic comfort within the waiter-serviced restaurant, or passengers can relax in the main lounge in the luxurious upholstery of the new banquette seating. A comfortable selection of Turtle lounge chairs by Pearson Lloyd and Roberto Romanello’s Delta chairs cluster around Fritz Hansen tables providing flexibility for groups of all sizes. Finishes and furniture are contemporary in shades of chocolate, tans and taupe with ‘lipstick elements’ of Virgin red. 

At The Bar passengers can enjoy a refreshing drink at the beautiful oak and granite-clad bar whilst enjoying the comfort of the Harry Bertoia Wire bar stools. A backdrop of fret-cut Alucobond panels flow from the Bar throughout the Clubhouse. 

The addition of the Cowshed Spa and Internal Rock Garden provides a beautiful new focal point for the Clubhouse. With its porcelain slates, natural stone mosaic floors and black glass mosaic tiled walls, passengers will instantly feel like they have entered a haven of tranquility and luxury in the Cowshed Spa. Sitting alongside is a new internal rock garden, which is flooded with natural daylight and lined with vintage Cole & Son naturally themed wallpaper all providing an oasis of calm for travelers. Cowshed also offers a variety of treatments to passengers, whether it’s a gentle massage, a luxurious manicure or pedicure, all using Cowshed’s acclaimed 100% natural products, or more traditional showering facilities. 
Passengers can again enjoy the comfort of the sophisticated choice of furniture, whether it be Harry Bertoia’s Wire chairs at the nail bar, or relaxing in George Nelson’s Coconut chairs, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chairs and Willi Guhl’s Loop chairs in the Garden. 

The new Entertainment Lounge and Business Area offers passengers the luxury of woolen aubergine carpets and silver fabric lined walls. An opportunity to relax in Oscar chairs, and Kab chairs by Karim Rashid, whilst catching up on last minute emails or surfing the net in the Internet Forest. Younger passengers can enjoy gaming in the Wii and Guitar Hero areas whilst perching on Morph’s Ten Degree stools. 

The Family Lounge is flooded with natural light and provides the perfect area to relax in Delta chairs whilst toddlers play and learn nearby in a dedicated Playground. The brightly decorated room has a selection of toys and games, including classic Eames elephants and a wishing tree for younger children, and TV with dedicated children’s channels showing throughout the day. 

In The Snug passengers can enjoy the opportunity to catch up on the latest TV, news or movies in our flexible Snug, boasting a smoked black mirror wall cladding, naturally inspired movable woven screens, and a gallery of inspirational artwork curated by jottaContemporary, who identify young and emerging artists from the creative community, 
Travelers can relax in the Mini George chairs designed by Stefano Gallizioli, whilst the flexible screens allow them to change the environment to their requirements if they require more privacy. 
Jeremy Brown, Senior Design Manager, commented:

”The design of the Gatwick Clubhouse perfectly captures Virgin Atlantic’s ethos; it’s sophisticated, stylish, and fun. A challenging brief has been answered by providing the relaxation of a Sunday morning, whether it’s a secluded, luxurious area to relax and enjoy the wonderful service and views, or a haven of tranquility to allow our passengers to be pampered before boarding their flight. We know our customers will have a unique and memorable experience.”

The Clubhouse is nothing without great service. Virgin Atlantic has defined waiter points at the bar and by the Snug area. The whole environment comes together with staff to create a Sunday morning every day of a week.

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