A Taste of the Far East: Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2
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To The Point
If you’re a premium passenger flying on a Star Alliance member airline out of Heathrow’s Terminal 2, then I would definitely recommend considering the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge as an option for your pre flight relaxation and degustation. Pros: The lounge is quite empty at times which aren’t close to a Singapore Airlines departure and the food and drink options are pretty great. Cons: The views are spoiled by construction right outside the window and the walk from the B Gate Terminal is quite long.
Singapore Airlines has long been known for the quality of its service and food in flight, but is that reputation borne out on the ground? As part of my lounge marathon to review as many airport lounges as possible in a week, I visited Singapore’s SilverKris Lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
The SilverKris Lounge is open from 5:30am to 10pm. It isn’t publicised anywhere, but as a business-class passenger on Swiss, a Star Alliance Carrier in Terminal 2, I had access to the United, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines lounges.
The main departure hall area of Terminal 2 can be disorienting and for about five minutes the signs had me going in circles until I realised I was on my second lap. Once I got my bearings, I headed to the B gates, a bit of a schlep if your flight is leaving from the A gates.
The SilverKris Lounge really does feel like the gateway to Singapore. The subtle, contemporary Asian decor and the aromas of Asian dishes give you the feeling that you’re somewhere in the Far East before you have even arrived.
Singapore operates four daily flights (two in the morning and two in the evening) from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi Airport. Two of the flights are operated by A380s which can have up to as many as 98 premium-cabin seats, but the lounge is set up to accommodate the numbers. The first section is a large dining area which feels like a restaurant — complete with place mats. It’s a vast improvement on many other airport lounges I’ve visited where there is no real definition between places to eat and places to relax. The only thing missing is an à la carte menu and waiter service.
As I was in the lounge at a time of day when there are no Singapore Airlines flights scheduled, the lounge was pretty empty.
Most seating areas sported comfy-looking leather armchairs in clusters, almost always located next to power outlets with UK and USB compatibility — except the seats by the windows.
The furnishings and the lounge itself were in very good condition. There was only one seat with a tiny stain.
What I really liked about this lounge were the private pod-style work stations which are a lot more comfortable than most other dedicated business areas within lounges. Each pod had more power outlets than you could know what do with and even a little reading light.
On leaving the lounge I noticed a another room apart from the main lounge which nobody seemed to have discovered. I suspect it’s an overflow space if the main lounge is overcrowded. It was pretty basic and had no natural light, but there were drinks and snacks available so you wouldn’t have to go into the main room.
Tucked away in a small corner of the main lounge was this play area for kids. Not a completely separate room as most lounges seem to offer, but the gesture is better than nothing.
The one failing of this lounge right now, especially for AvGeeks, is the absence of runway and apron views because of construction going on directly in front of the windows. It won’t be forever, but for now, don’t count on good planespotting.
The Wi-Fi speed in the lounge was excellent — download at 22.3mbps and upload at 4.58mbps.
The washrooms were clean and tidy, but they aren’t private rooms, which is commonplace in many airport lounges, especially those that are airline-owned.
There are five showers, none of which required reservations. The one I popped my head into smelled freshly cleaned and there were amenities already in the room despite the sign stating that they were available on request.
As tablets and e-readers become ever more popular, newspaper and magazine stands are becoming more of an afterthought in lounges but the SilverKris had an excellent selection and the display felt almost like a mini-library.
Food and Beverage
There are plenty of options for a pre-flight meal in the SilverKris Lounge. As you would expect, there is a distinctly Asian theme, along with a British twist in the form of Shepherd’s Pie and sandwiches. The cold dishes and salads looked fresh and delicious. The food serving area was immaculate and the staff could be seen frequently checking temperatures and keeping the buffet stocked at all times. An à la carte menu would be a great addition, setting the lounge apart from its competitors in the terminal.
There were several fridges stocked with soft drinks and probably the greatest number of beer options that I have ever seen in a lounge. There are six bottled offerings as well as Tiger on draft. As the beer tap was self-service, I helped myself and got mistaken for a barman by a couple of other guests who ordered pints from me — I obliged, just for the look on their faces when they saw me sit down “on the job” with my own pint.
Besides the self-service beer tap, there was a generous selection of spirits available. You could even shake up your own cocktails thanks to the mixology equipment provided. For wine, there were white and red choices — and even rosé, which I don’t recall seeing often in lounges and perfect for summer.
My experience in the SilverKris Lounge was excellent from start to finish. Even if you’re not flying in the premium cabins on Singapore Airlines, the lounge is a great option if you’re traveling on a first- or business-class ticket on another Star Alliance member from Terminal 2. The Lufthansa lounge especially can be very busy at times, so if you plan your visit to the SilverKris at a time when there is no Singapore Airlines flight scheduled, you’ll probably have a more relaxing experience. But make sure you leave enough time to get back to your gate. If you’re flying Lufthansa, for example, you’re likely to be leaving from the B Gates.