Booking The Trip: A (slightly crazier) Southeast Asian Path to India
Review: P.F Changs LAX (Priority Pass Restaurant)
Review: EVA Air 777-300ER Premium Economy Class Los Angeles to Taipei
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Taipei Terminal 2 Zone A
Review: UNI Air A321-200 Economy Class Taipei to Seoul Incheon
Review: The Millenium Seoul Hilton
Trip Photos: A Day and a Half in Seoul
Review: Korean Air First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Review: Korean Air 777-300ER Kosmos Suites First Class Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
Review: Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa
Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok
Review: Miracle Business Class Lounge Concourse G Bangkok
Review: Malaysia Airlines 737-800 Business Class Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
Review: Malaysia Airlines Satellite Golden Business Class Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Review: Kuala Lumpur A330-300 Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
Review: SpiceJet 737-900ER SpiceMax Pune to Goa
Review: Air India A321-200 Economy Class Goa to Mumbai
Review: Air India A320Neo Economy Class Mumbai to Bengaluru
Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Bengaluru to Mumbai
Review: GVK International Business Class Lounge West Wing Mumbai
Review: Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Mumbai to Singapore
Review: Crowne Plaza Hotel Singapore
Trip Photos: 8 hours in Singapore
Review: Singapore Airlines A380-800 NEW Business Class Singapore to Hong Kong
Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Review: United Club Lounge Hong Kong
Review: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong
Review: Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong
Review: EVA Air A330-300 Premium Laurel Class Hong Kong to Taipei
Review: EVA Air 777-300ER Premium Economy Class Taipei to Los Angeles
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Los Angeles to Taipei
YOUTUBE: UNI Air: Taipei to Seoul Incheon
YOUTUBE: Korean Air: Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: SpiceJet: Pune to Goa
YOUTUBE: Air India: Goa to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Mumbai to Bengaluru
YOUTUBE: Air India: Bengaluru to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Mumbai to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Singapore to Hong Kong
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Hong Kong to Taipei
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Taipei to Los Angeles
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.
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.
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.
As you walk in, you are in a very intricately decorated, but homely room with sofas, couches, and coffee tables.
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.
Each of these did have power ports on the tables between the 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.
Along the window in the main room were individual seats facing the 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.
The buffet section for the lounge was in a beautifully partitioned room right next to the first-class section.
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.
There were 2 islands of chilled food and one island of hot foods. Lets check it out!
Another counter on the side had papad on it
Now let’s check out the hot food.
There were some local Indian dishes and some international dishes and they were mostly decent.
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.
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.
Here’s another look at the first class dining section from the buffet.
There was an open fridge with drinks and juices.
Then there was a hot drinks machine right next to it.
Overall, the food selections and variety was fantastic, but inconsistent in quality. Some things were great, while others were just ok.
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.
There was also a stunningly decorated bar.
There was a small table with water bottles and chips.
There were also some peanuts. No thank you. If I wanted peanuts, I would’ve flown Southwest.
Separated by a nice divider was a quieter seating area. All of these seats had power port access and a side lamp.
Finally the last room had more seating and this room was also decently crowded.
And this was my lounging seat for the time I was in the lounge.
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.
Let’s have a look at the bathrooms.
In short, they were clean, well maintained, and shiny!
And for whatever reason a chair would be needed…
And just to sum it up, I sampled small portions of a lot of dishes to see how each compared.
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