Arrivals Lounges are a pretty new concept to me.  I used the Virgin ‘Revivals’ Lounge at Heathrow late last year and thought it was a great idea.

With my shiny new Priority Pass in hand, I noticed there was an arrivals lounge at JNB Johannesburg, called the ‘ses’fikile lounge’.  Even though I’d slept on board my 10.5 hour flight from London Heathrow, I had hours to kill before my hotel would let me check in and I knew the chance to freshen up would be very welcome.

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I just loved the ‘welcome’ floor in JNB, which runs past the luggage carousels!

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To be honest, finding the lounge is the challenge.  I did ask at the Information Desk after customs but the woman there had never heard of it.  Luckily, she called over a colleague and she knew it was near the Virgin Mobile ladies!  And there was a sign, down a side alley.  If you don’t keep your eyes WIDE open for it, you’ll be out through the sliding doors into arrivals and unable to get back in!

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The receptionist was waiting to welcome me at the door – I assume they have a camera in the lift up to the Arrivals Lounge floor (SAS is in the same location).  She assumed right away (correctly!) that I’d want a shower and she checked me in quickly.  With Priority Pass, it’s easy because there is an electronic card that the receptionist simply swipes.

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The receptionist showed me to the shower rooms and allocated me a space.  It was clean and had fresh towels.  I noticed the shower gel colour didn’t match the stated ‘flavour’!  However, it was just fine!

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There is a large sink, toilet, female hygiene unit, hair dryer and washing products.  There’s also a chair and hooks for your clothes.  Unlike the Virgin Revivals, there is no ironing service! But who ever had that anywhere else?!

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The shower was just perfect and there was lots of pressure and warm water.

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Refreshed and freshly changed, it was back into the lounge to explore what was on offer.  There was a good coffee machine with lots of options, both espresso/machiatto style drinks or latte/cappucino options.

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There are ample cold drinks in small cans.  Can’t complain – it had everything I like and lots of options I’d never seen before.

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As this was early morning, I wasn’t interested in alcohol, but you can see all the spirit bottles and wine. There’s beer in the fridge. There were quite a few bowls of nachos/Doritos and crisps, as well as sandwiches, salads, biscuits and cakes.

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Some warm breakfast options were on offer like these warm potatoes with a sauce. There was no ‘tag’ stating what it was, but it kind of looked like a sweet chilli sauce.

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All in all, a pretty good arrivals lounge.  Free wifi (code not offered at check-in, so make sure to ask) was reasonably fast – good enough for email and mild browsing.  The seating was comfortable and other clients seemed to be both international visitors and South African visitors.

Overall verdict: 8 out of 10

 

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