Spending time in an airport lounge is pretty common for most frequent fliers. Now for the first time, the public is getting a glimpse of the most exclusive lounge in the world in a new documentary on BBC 5.
Known as the Windsor Suites, the lounge at London’s Heathrow airport (LHR) is reserved for the Royal Family — and those with enough pocket change to make a reservation. A three-hour stay in the lounge will set you back $5,055 for you and up to three guests.
So you’ve cleaned out the couch cushions and made your reservation at the Windsor Suites, what can you expect to find? Well, non-royals will be chauffeured to the airport in a BMW 7 series and taken directly to the suites via a private access road at LHR. Once there, you will be greeted by a doorman — complete with bowler hat — and escorted to your suite.
Once in your suite, you can summon your private butler and take advantage of the unlimited supply of Dom Pérignon or make a selection from the extensive wine list, which you can pair with a three-course menu from Jason Atherton, the chef behind London’s Michelin-starred restaurants Pollen Street Social and Maze. While your butler is fetching the champagne and canapés, you can enjoy the art — which is regularly rotated — that adorns the walls from artists such as Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon.
A personal flight liaison will help you with all of that pesky business of checking in and dealing with customs and security, all of which is all handled in suite, because who really wants to have to stand in line?
Another huge benefit for those who might have been in the UK dropping serious cash on the high street is that you can get your VAT refund done right in your suite. At 20%, if your luggage now includes shopping bags from Burberry, Gucci or Harrods of London, you’re most likely going to want that money back, which is refundable to non-UK residents.
Once you’ve dined on Michelin-quality food, consumed your weight in Dom, had a staff member deal with customs and checking you in for your flight, and refunded your 20% back on all of your purchases while in the UK, it will be time to take yet another chauffeured 7 series over to your plane. Here again you will be escorted to your aircraft and board before any other passengers to get settled in before your flight.
While most of us are just happy to have access to a lounge where we can have some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal, if you were ever lucky enough to spend time in one of the 14 Windsor suites, it’s a sure bet it would be hard to go back to your “regular” lounge life.
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