One of the highlights of my recent trip to Delhi was the visit to the Vistara Lounge, which the airline has inaugurated as of March 2016 in Delhi’s Terminal 3. Delhi is the hub airport for Vistara, so it made sense for them to open their own lounge, which could reflect on the personality of the airline as well, rather than depend on other airport lounges only to be able to service their elite and premium cabin customers.
I went to the airport much ahead of time, sensing traffic troubles in Delhi due to the rains, as well as excited to be able to use the lounge the first time as a Gold member of Club Vistara. I usually end up taking a lot of Mumbai – Delhi flights on Vistara, but this time, I had to make sure I did a Delhi – Mumbai as well, to ensure I could try out the lounge. At check-in, my Boarding Pass stated that I was invited to use the Vistara Lounge at Gate 41. Voila!
The lounge, as we mentioned before, is at Gate 41, unlike most other lounges which are in the central concourse of the airport’s Terminal (adjacent to the food court, and above the shopping area). It is about a 5 minute walk post security to arrive at the lounge, which can be characterized with its purple look all over.
Once I arrived, there was no one manning the reception at the point of time. So we just walked in looking for the attendant. No trace of him/her, so we proceeded to pick a place. The lounge has lots of common seating area, apart from which, there are also 3 private seating areas, one of which was closed, with a reserved sign inside. Trust that is not the normal use of this lounge. Next to it, was a shot at making a library/reading room. There were some books, and there were couches. There was also a small compartment with two loungers overlooking the tarmac. Just in case you want to see runway ops and be an #avgeek like me. Or, maybe you want to catch a nap.
The lounge was not covered all the way through the top, just like the American Express Lounge at Terminal 3. So, the effect of the not so great air-conditioning from the terminal was wearing off the effect of some air-conditioning units installed by the Vistara team inside. The lounge has a capacity of about 70 people, inclusive all the seating places. We settled ourselves in the reading room. The attendant met us a while later, and took our boarding passes to scan us in at the reception.
There is a good eye for detail. Most seats designed are for the solo traveller, and they have charging points along with USB ports on most of them.
We were offered drinks as soon as we settled in. I went with a cappuccino. It was strong and made very nicely. The lounge was mostly empty, and the maximum number of people on a Sunday evening at about 6 pm we saw there were 5-6, which should be a different number on Monday morning however when everyone rushes to work.
We walked around the lounge a bit later. There is seating with the view of the apron, even though the view is obstructed a bit. The airline has installed a big bar on one corner, with a very nice and stunning view of the planes behind. However, it turns out they did not have the licenses to serve alcohol just yet. So, only mocktails in case someone wanted.
There is also an intention to serve up a lot of whiskey and wine, and the lounge will have the Malt Circle at some point of time. However, right now they only had Glenlivet 12 Years adorning the walls. One wonders if there will be an assortment, with some Hibiki, Yamazaki, Amrut, Glenfidich and other well-regarded whiskeys being added to the wall or not.
For those who choose to be seated at the bar, there will be some sort of an entertainment screen perhaps. This is already installed on all the seats at the bar but we could not see it in action.
There are also high tables organised, very curiously, in a solo format. Perhaps the assumption is that the solo travellers would like to be all by themselves working on the high-tables, or munch while working?
The freezer was full of soft drinks from Pepsico, and yoghurts and dairy based products as well. We had the opportunity to sample the evening snacks, while 07:30 pm onwards the service was changed to dinner.
The snackbar consisted of salads, fruits & some cold sandwiches, besides some soup and hot canapes such as Chicken Tikka
For dinner, there was a small but very nice assortment of food towards entrees, with all the food being Indian. There was Rice, Chicken curry, Paneer Do Pyaza, Chole Masala and Stuffed Parantha. We tried a few things since it was already pretty late and we did not want to wait till 1030 pm for dinner on the plane. All the food was very tasty and very fresh, which is a good thing as compared to some of the other places where they feed you whatever they want since the food keeps rolling anyway (and they hope you don’t notice the quality!)
If you need to use business facilities, you could also do that, there is a small business centre with a couple of computers and a printer tucked in a corner.
In terms of service, the people at the lounge were courteous to say the least. However, with the place being largely empty, they did leave us to ourselves most of the time, and only approached to help us when we walked towards the F&B corner which had the bar and the dining. I would imagine them to be on their toes on another day when they are a full house.
Access to the lounge is only available to Vistara’s Business class flyers, and Club Vistara Gold tier members.
We also made a video, just in case you’d like a 360 degree experience of the lounge.
I had fairly high expectations from the lounge. I expected it to be an Indian translation of one of Singapore Airlines’ lounges at their home airport Changi, given the pedigree of the carrier. So, I kept looking for things that would make me say mindblowing. That did not happen really, but I think to be fair to Vistara, this is a very good lounge. Very business like, very functional and you’d be taken care of very well. That is all that counts.
How has been your experience at this new Vistara Lounge?