Virgin Clubhouse Johannesburg is one of only a handful of Clubhouses Virgin Atlantic has across the world. Virgin Clubhouses with its crowning jewel in Heathrow have long known to be some of the best Business Lounges in the world. So how does it’s only lounge in Africa fare as an outstation?
Location & Access
Virgin Atlantic flies daily from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). You will find the lounge a short walk past security just past the Out of Africa souvenir shop and take some stairs up to the mezzanine level..
I had my own personal escort from check-in right through into the lounge, as I was flying back in Lufthansa First Class, it’s a flight I have not reviewed yet, but you can read my other Lufthansa First Class flight here.
How to Access Virgin Clubhouse
Virgin Atlantic has strict entry policies into it’s lounges, especially for Heathrow. Here however, you can enter if you meet one of the following:
- Flying Upper Class with Virgin or Business with Delta Airlines on the day + guest
- — OR —
- Hold Flying Club Gold Status + a guest traveling with Virgin Atlantic
- Hold SkyTeam Elite Plus status travelling on Virgin Atlantic or Delta + a guest traveling on an international flight operated by a SkyTeam carrier
- Hold Virgin Australia Velocity Club Gold, Platinum, and The Club card holders traveling on Virgin Atlantic
- Hold Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold, Solitaire PPS Club and PPS Club members traveling on Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Clubhouse Johannesburg Setup
Given the limited number of passengers eligible to access, the lounge is on the compact size. There is a nice entry and reception with some of the same wall props you will find in Heathrow. Sadly forgot to take a picture of it!
You then enter into a rectangular room with parquet floor running throughout the space..
With a splash or Virgin Red accented by earthy tones, it sure feels like a Clubhouse, if on a more muted end of the scale..
You will find a staffed bar at other end of the lounge and the chef kitchen where you can watch your dishes being prepared just on the corner…
There are various comfortable chairs where you can choose to sit with most having access to a small side table too..
As soon as I sat down, I had waiting staff come to greet me and offer me a drink and the menu for today!
The mezzanine level is relatively small too kitted out with just a few sofa chairs. Which is perfect for a family to have their own little space..
Right under the mezzanine level you also have what could potentially be another dining space for a family with a couple more chairs..
The formal dining area however is lined up against the left side wall all with singular tables…
In my 2 hour stay, there was only about 7/8 other passengers using the lounge with almost as many staff!
Virgin Clubhouse Johannesburg Food & Drink
The service in this Clubhouse is more or less what you can find in other Clubhouses, except it felt somewhat more intimate and special given the staff and guest ratio at the time of my visit!
You can enjoy complimentary cocktails, local South African wines and beverages together with freshly prepared meals from an a la carte menu. This lounge also offers proper fresh coffee made by a barista
I first enjoyed a couple of drink where I sat, and when I was suitably peckish moved to the formal dining area for a late lunch.
There were many things I liked on the menu. To start I ordered the Halloumi Beetroot Salad..
The starter arrived within 15 minutes and as you can see was beautifully presented. The halloumi was perfectly grilled and the citrus puree on the rocket salad was great!
For the main, I chose what appears to be a classic/favourite here the Ostrich Fillet!
This was only my second time eating Ostrich and it was very distinct, it was rich and had a ever so nutty flavour. I really enjoyed the polenta too.
South Africa is a great place to try different meats like Kudo and Ostrich, Springbok, impala are all regional specialities. You might be surprised to know that Ostrich meat has lower fat and higher protein than chicken!
After this, I was really tempted to order some of the other things that looked exciting on the menu like the Clubhouse Plant Burger, Arancini or Jerk baked Chicken Wings, but I was afraid I would ruin my appetite for my First Class dinner onboard Lufthansa!
Virgin Clubhouse Johannesburg Showers
The lounge has decent restroom and showers are also available. I did not need a shower after my late hotel checkout and thus forgot to take any pictures of it.
Views Out to Rest Of O.R Tambo
After my meal, I went back and sat by the window..
With the lounge located in a mezzanine level you have some view of the terminal below as well as outside the tarmac.. and I enjoyed watching a few aircrafts come and go including a Turkish A350 and British Airways 777
There was also some very soothing about the music they were playing that I felt so relaxed. It’s rare I have that!
This Virgin Clubhouse is a little sanctuary within the hustle of O.R Tambo airport. It is true to brand offering service that you can expect in a high end restaurant. I was impressed with my visit but not entirely surprised as it is generally considered to be one of the best lounges in Johannesburg airport.
I cannot comment on what it might be like just before an actual Virgin Atlantic flight as presumably that would have 30-40 eligible customers at that point but even so I cannot imagine your experience would change too much as there are plenty of staff here to handle this.
The lounge was managed by the Plaza Premium group during my visit in 2022 but I understand they have many Club houses are now transitioning to being managed by Sodexo. I’m unsure at this point if this might change here too or not.