I have been meaning to post this lounge review for a while now. I got a chance to experience the service and amenities at GVK Business lounge in Mumbai on a recent trip to India. While the new-ish (inaugurated in 2014) GVK lounges in Mumbai are a big hit among business and leisure travellers alike, I could not look past the general inconsistencies and the dated furniture on display.
GVK Lounge Mumbai – Location and access
The GVK lounge is located in Mumbai’s International airport terminal T2. It is a common luxury (for all airlines) lounge that caters to First and Business class passengers, spanning across 30,000 sq.ft over two levels (level 4 and level 3). Level 4 is dedicated to First Class passengers while the business class section of the lounge is located in level 3, which has dedicated elevators inside the lounge. Since the lounge serves passengers of all airlines, a lounge invitation is generally required as you enter.
Mumbai International airport T2 has a dedicated security and immigration section for First and Business passengers. This dedicated section is located to the extreme right end of the terminal as you walk through the main doors. Can be very handy if you in a time crunch, the terminal can be very busy depending on the time of day.
Important to note that the lounge has a restriction, allows entry only un to 4 hours prior to departure. If your flight is more than 4 hours out, expect to spend some time in the general section before you are given entry.
Once in the lounge I accessed the elevators to the left of the check-in desk and arrived at the Business Class section of the lounge, located in level 3.
GVK Business Lounge – Setup and Seating
The architecture of the lounge was elegant and eye catching. The business class lounge is spread across the floor with several different styles of seating, albeit dirty and in desperate need of an uplift.
Although a unique setting in that passengers from all airlines access the same lounge, it can make for a very busy lounge depending on the time. I arrived to a pretty busy lounge and also found several people sprawling themselves (sleeping, feet up) on the longer sections of the couch. Pictured below, is one such example. Almost every long section of the couch was taken by a passenger.
A closer inspection of the leather couches revealed the grime and dirt collected dated look. It was a norm rather than an exception, all tan coloured couches showed the heavy use and grime. Yuck.
GVK Business Lounge – Bars and Food
The business class lounge boasts of two bar counters serving a full array of drinks and a great selection of hot/cold food options. The primary bar with the big tv screen has a sports bar ambiance, and serves a good mix of beer and liquor options.
The secondary bar is located further inside the lounge and caters to a more eclectic and pricier menu with hand mixed cocktails, single malt options and a better selection of Champagne. I could be wrong, but the menu at this bar could be an additional fee service.
The food spread in the lounge was impressive with several traditional and continental options available. The staff too was diligent in keeping on top of the temperature and refill of the sections.
GVK Lounge Mumbai – Overall thoughts
It is a neat concept to have a common lounge for all airlines but can mean high traffic volumes and a need to have a tighter control on cleanliness and upkeep of furniture and upholstery in general. While I was well fed and the staff interactions were positive, I feel like the lounge failed in its primary duty – to offer clean place to relax and work. The grime on couches was a major put-off and so were the people that treated the lounge like their personal bedroom, sprawling across long sofa sections.
I came out of the lounge indifferent to the experience and was confused by the overly positive reviews I had read by fellow travellers. My honest opinion is that the lounge looks grand and beautiful on first glance, but has several hygiene issues when you start inspecting the details.
Oh well, at least I had a nice ride on CX business class to look forward to. BOM-HKG Cathay Business Class review, if you are interested.