My route to the Clubrooms Lounge at Birmingham Airport was via an upgrade to my Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.
The airport was pretty busy at check-in and the airline had a special offer available for £200 to upgrade. Sometimes you feel it’s worth it and this was one of those days, right at the end of a very busy work week. A lounge sounded like a stress free solution…
No 1 Lounge
The lounge on offer with Turkish Airlines is the No 1 Lounge. This brand has an *okay* reputation. People get annoyed that they overbook the lounge (any of us can book ahead for a particular times lot) and then they can’t get in or have to queue to get a space. This was the case in Birmingham. Some earlier flights were delayed and people who were already in the lounge, were staying there. I wouldn’t have liked to have been the staff member handling some very irate customers. However, I spent half an hour in the queue before learning that they would try to get me into the Clubrooms (owned by the same company instead).
Clubrooms Lounge in Birmingham Airport
By contrast with No 1 Lounges, the Clubrooms was an oasis of luxurious calm. At least, the perception that Clubrooms sells is luxury via its wood-lined entrance hall with all of its fashion literature.
To be fair, the layout and design of the space is quite nice. The duck egg panelling and walnut accents give off a certain faux glamour, but it’s always the people who make a place. Here, they were not unfriendly but clearly had been run off their feet all day and swerved new entrants.
In my end of the Clubrooms, there was a guy on his own and two friends enjoying a drink. There were a few more people in another room. I couldn’t quite work out why staff were showing little interest, until they announced that everything would be closing in half an hour. They’d had a long day, I’m sure.
The room below is what sells the Clubrooms. It is comfortable and brightly lit, looking out over the apron.
Clubrooms: Food & Drink
There is an included menu and, in the short time remaining, I decided to go for a chicken salad and a gin & tonic.
The glass for my drink was certainly heavy and attractive, but there was barely a drop of gin in it and, despite the bubbles, the tonic was flat. Yes, that’s how much was in the glass. Not off to a punchy start.
The chicken salad was definitely a better option. The chicken was not freshly cooked However, the cheese quality was good and I enjoyed something light for a late lunch. Well, if light includes lashings of dressing (I like that!).
If I wasn’t getting access to the Clubrooms as part of Business Class, would I go there? Honestly, probably not. Access costs *from* £40 per person if you book online in advance and you can pay on arrival. The value of most lounges lies in the ability to get away from a busy airport for an hour or two before your flight. I got 30 minutes and pretty questionable service. And if you want to stock up on a couple of drinks, your £40 will go a long way in any other bar at the airport, plus you’ll have access to a wider selection of meals.
Visit the Clubrooms
- Go through the main shopping area towards Gates 40-55, Clubrooms is opposite WH Smith.