Review: GVK International Business Class Lounge West Wing Mumbai

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Mumbai’s lounge setup for its international flights is an interesting one. Rather than airlines having their own lounges, or alliances having their own Lounges, the airport operator GVK operates a giant lounge for all premium passengers. So there are two business class lounges, both excellent, though one better than the other, and a first-class section inside the better business class lounge. The lounge I visited last year was the GVK Business Class Lounge East Wing, which I consider to be the inferior, but still excellent business class lounge. This lounge I’m reviewing now is the west wing section.

You will be given a card like below which tells you which lounge you use.

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lounge invitation
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lounge invitation

Some airlines pay the standard amount to send their elite passengers to the East wing lounge, whereas other airlines pay more to send their elite passengers to the west wing lounge (this review). When I mean “elite passengers” I mean all first/business class passengers, and whatever tier of elite status with the airline that grants lounge access.

Now the lounge you have access to depends entirely on which your airline chooses, but here are the general access rules for both:

  • All First and Business Class passengers on any airline
  • Star Alliance Gold Members when traveling on a Star Alliance Airline (+1 guest)
  • OneWorld Sapphire/Emerald Members when traveling on a OneWorld airline (+1 guest)
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members prior to a Skyteam flight (+1 guest)
  • Certain elite members of other non-alliance airlines (e.g. Skywards Gold & Platinum members prior to EK flights)

Upon having your boarding pass scanned and your GVK invitation checked, you are admitted into the lounge, which is on the same.

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lounge entrance

On display as you enter are the awards The GVK Lounges have won over the years. I wouldn’t give them the title of “world’s leading airport lounge” but they certainly are up there. I consider GVK’s lounge to be the world’s best contract lounge, but there are several airline operated lounges that I’d have above GVK. Regardless, lets see what makes this lounge spectacular.

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awards

As you walk in, you are in a very intricately decorated, but homely room with sofas, couches, and coffee tables.

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sofas

There are several sections like this each being partitioned off. I’d say these are best to use if you are traveling in a family or group. For one person to occupy the space is a little inefficient because for one, once one couch in a section is taken, people usually won’t occupy any other seat in that section and then other areas become crowded.

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seating

Each of these did have power ports on the tables between the couches.

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couches

There was also a departure board with newspapers in the corner. The GVK lounges are silent lounges, so do be sure to pay attention to your departure time as there are no announcements.

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departure time

Along the window in the main room were individual seats facing the window.

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seats along window

 

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more seats along with window

This lounge also has a restaurant section for first-class passengers (I don’t know if One World Emeralds also have access to this) and it was a sectioned off area from the rest of the lounge. This is a lounge review for another time.

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First Class section

The buffet section for the lounge was in a beautifully partitioned room right next to the first-class section.

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buffet

There were some seats in the buffet section as well. I’d like to add a quick note that the lounge was definitely crowded, but this time is peak time of day with a lot of night flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Zurich, etc and many of these destinations on multiple airlines.

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seats

There were 2 islands of chilled food and one island of hot foods. Lets check it out!

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desserts
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desserts
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desserts
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cheeses
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utensils
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savory dishes
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savory dishes
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savory dishes

Another counter on the side had papad on it

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papad

 

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bread

Now let’s check out the hot food.

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soup

 

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hot food
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hot food
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hot food

There were some local Indian dishes and some international dishes and they were mostly decent.

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naan

 

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hot dishes

 

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hot dishes

 

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hot dishes

 

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hot dishes

Now let’s take a look at the second chilled food island.

The yellow blocks are called dhokla and it’s a typical Indian dish made of rice batter and chickpeas.

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chilled dishes

 

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chilled dishes

This below is Batata dahi puri. Dahi is an Indian yogurt (similar taste to Greek yogurt) which is covering the full dish and then puri is a thin Indian bread made of wheat flour and deep fried. Batata is Hindi/Marathi for potato and that’s the stuffing of each puri.

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chilled foods
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fruits

 

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watermelon
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snacks

Here’s another look at the first class dining section from the buffet.

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first class dining

There was an open fridge with drinks and juices.

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drinks

Then there was a hot drinks machine right next to it.

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drinks

Overall, the food selections and variety was fantastic, but inconsistent in quality. Some things were great, while others were just ok.

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lounge

Now let’s check out the other side from the buffet and main seating area.

First things first, like the main room, there’s plenty of individual seats along the window facing the tarmac.

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seating

There was also a stunningly decorated bar.

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bar

There was a small table with water bottles and chips.

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snacks

There were also some peanuts. No thank you. If I wanted peanuts, I would’ve flown Southwest.

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peanuts

Separated by a nice divider was a quieter seating area. All of these seats had power port access and a side lamp.

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seating

Finally the last room had more seating and this room was also decently crowded.

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seats

And this was my lounging seat for the time I was in the lounge.

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seat

There was also a massaging session you can set up. I believe you can have 15 minutes free though don’t quote me on that.

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massage section

Let’s have a look at the bathrooms.

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bathroom

In short, they were clean, well maintained, and shiny!

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toilets

And for whatever reason a chair would be needed…

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chair

And just to sum it up, I sampled small portions of a lot of dishes to see how each compared.

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food

Honestly, the GVK lounges are truly excellent and top class. The “Inferior” east wing lounge was great too, but this one is marginally and visibly better as can be seen by the decor, and other things like the services offered. Overall, I still think The GVK Lounges in Mumbai are the best contract lounges in the world until I s

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