Featuring at number nine on my recent top ten lounges list was the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge at London Heathrow. As I was there reasonably early on a Saturday morning and it was virtually empty, I decided to grab a few pics in order to write a more in depth review. My access on this occasion was granted by having Star Alliance Gold status and departing on a Swiss flight to Geneva.
Located in the B satellite of T2, entry is more or less at the top of the escalator between some shops as you enter the satellite, and the entrance is shared with the Air Canada lounge. It’s clearly signposted right from when you clear security which is handy – you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been in an airport and I’ve had to google where the lounge was. Or in the case of Rome Fiumicino on one occasion, I even had to ask!!
Once through this entryway, it’s an elevator up one level. Once you exit, it’s ether left for the Air Canada lounge or right for Singapore Airlines.
Upon entry, there’s a podium which does the usual boarding pass check. To the left of this is a relatively recent addition to the lounge, the First Class section. The Business Class and Star Gold passengers are directed to the right however. As you enter, there’s a small area which used to be reserved for First Class, however since the new area opened I’m not sure if its a free for all or not. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone in there, even when the rest of the lounge is busy.
A corridor past the kitchen area brings you to the first part of the lounge, where the buffet and eating area is.
Immediately as you enter, there’s a podium with cold items. In the morning, it consists of cheese, croissants, cold cuts, fruit etc. In the afternoon there are sandwiches and desserts in this area.
Next to this is where you’ll find the drinks – a couple of fridges with at least six varieties of bottled beer/lager, as well as a wide selection of soft drinks and mixers. In addition there’s also a coffee machine and a Twinings tea stand with a good selection of teas to choose from.
Along the back wall, there is a hot buffet. Served up in the morning is a mostly Western selection of sausages, bacon, beans etc and a couple of Asian options. On previous visits, I recall the food from both the hot and cold buffet being quite tasty.
As you head through, there’s a further podium with a selection of fresh juices and pastries. In the afternoon, these are swapped out for cookies, popcorn, brownies, pretzels etc. and a freezer serving Singapore Sling flavoured ice cream.
The remainder of this area is taken up with plenty of tables and chairs for eating.
Continuing along the corridor area will take you to the main area of the lounge.
As you enter there is a bar on the left, which in the afternoon will serve up some great cocktails. However, on this occasion as it was just past 6am, I didn’t indulge. This is where you’ll find the spirits, wines and champagne too. Theres also Tiger Beer on tap along with a selection of pretzels and nuts in jars to snack on. Finally, there’s also a comments book on the bar. One downside I’ve found on previous visits is that the bar area isn’t always manned, however the staff seem pretty good at keeping an eye on things, so if they see someone waiting they will be along to assist within a minute or two.
In the central area of the lounge is eight to ten work pods which somewhat resemble a first or business class suite onboard a plane. These include a single seat, and a work desk complete with a selection of power points and individual reading lamps – again, modelled after what you would find onboard.
The airline has been quite smart with the use of partitioning in this lounge. Despite it being a reasonably small area, they have managed to separate the work pods from the general lounge area with an open wooden structure – enough to partition the area but not completely closed off to make any of the areas feel claustrophobic. The main lounge area where most people spend their time consists of a number of arm chairs, each with a table next to them complete with power points.
Along one side of this lounge area are floor to ceiling windows, offering reasonable views of the T2 ramp area, with high backed chairs and tables. There are powepoints in the floor at these seats, but from personal experience, don’t! Let’s just say the cleaners appear to be unaware of these powerpoints, so who knows what’s festering down there. I don’t wish to find out!
Along the back wall, there’s a small Childs play area and a coffee machine, fridge and a few snacks – handy if you don’t walk the twenty metres or so back to the dining area.
Along the final wall is a library area complete with a selection of newspapers and magazines.
Behind this area are the washrooms and showers. I can’t comment on the showers as I’ve never used them in this lounge, and the washrooms are your standard washroom. Nothing particularly special really.
In conclusion, if the lounge is empty, then its a great space to spend an hour or two waiting for your flight. Whilst not offering any a la carte options (to be fair, not many business lounges do), the selection on the buffet is more than adequate. From visiting this lounge on a semi regular basis over the last few years, I’ve found the afternoon selection on the buffet does tend to change on a fairly regular basis so it wont get too repetitive for frequent visitors. The seating is comfortable and there are plenty of power points around, which is essential these days. Also of note is that there are plenty of TV’s dotted around featuring the rolling news channels, all on mute so as to create a relaxing atmosphere. The one addition I found lacking though was and sort of business area, or at least a conspicuous one. Maybe that’s what the mystery room as you enter is intended for, who knows? There is a single desk with a PC, printer and phone at the far end.