Review | Starting your holiday in style with Aspire Airport Lounges
Holidays abroad are obviously extremely fun – sunshine, no work and a chance to make some fantastic memories. There is also some incredible stresses leading up to it too, there’s the packing, making sure all your work commitments have been completed, getting to the airport on time as well as the stress and busyness of the airport… Well the latter doesn’t have to be like that.
Aspire Airport Lounges provide executive style lounges, across many of the UKs airports (as well as overseas) and have been around for 25 years now. Their premise is rather than battle the hustle and bustle of a busy airport terminal, their lounges allow you to work, relax with family and friends or enjoy some much needed quiet time in their lounges.
All of the lounges come with complimentary food and drinks (include wines, beers and spirits) as well as snacks, newspapers as well as many other extras dependant on airport, all set within their contemporary surroundings, typically away from the main terminal rush.
We were luckily enough to be offered access to their Manchester Airport Terminal 1 lounge for our recent holiday to the canary islands. Being prime holiday season the airport was manic and having two young children, the worry is keeping them both close whilst also carrying 4 hand luggage bags. Luckily, having just got through security and past the main duty free shop, the lounge is accessed easily and included several flight information screens which meant we knew when to make our way to our gate and maximise the time spent in the lounge.
Having been greeted by the meet and greet desk and our credentials checked (they don’t let anyone in, although you can pay on the door if there is capacity) we were informed of certain areas within the lounge, the food and drink arrangements and also the WiFi code should we wish to use the compliemtary internet.
In terms of the lounge itself, its split into three sections, on one end, there is an adults only section but equally on the other end is a family section with booths (inclusive of personal TVs), tablets and the obvious window seating. In the middle area is more seating as well as bar, and self service buffet area.
Although the lounge was busy it wasn’t overly and we did find that a few tables needed clearing which redistricted where we could seat initially however these were soon cleared. Food wise there was a salad / meat buffet to allow you to make up your own fresh salads or sandwiches and there was also a small hot buffet of pasta and soup. I would say I would have expected maybe a little more choice with the food but that could be because both children aren’t massive fans of salad and pesto pasta and therefore resorted to the treats such as biscuits for their food fix.
Drinks wise there are multiple hot drinks machines located across the lounge as well as the bar area which serves everything from fruit juices, soft drinks through to alcohol… although there was a little reminder of your responsibilities not to drink too much in preparation for your flights 😉
Typically the lounges are priced around £20-£30 per person and although I feel it is a little steep for family, you also need to remember that the money does give you that peace and quiet away from the main airport chaos as well as access to complimentary hot/cold food and drinks. I do remember the previously year spending £30+ on fast food as well as a couple of drinks so you’re already up to £50 there.
Would we use it again? I probably would, particularly if flying in peak season, as its a great way to kick off your holiday whilst ensuring you steer clear of crazy airport environment and ensure you can relax before you get on the plane rather than afterwards.
For more information on where Aspire Lounges operate, what they provide and also prices, check out the executivelounges.com website whereby booking direct now only guarantees the cheapest prices but also if your flight is delayed, you are welcome to use as long as required.
Until next time
NB: We were provided with complimentary access to the Aspire Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 1 in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.