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Mumbai Terminal 2’s GVK Lounge has been named the best in the world, and not without reason



Mumbai airport’s Terminal 2, already a favourite with fliers, has been praised for its aesthetics and architecture that bring together the finest in India’s art and culture. Now there’s even more reason to cheer as the airport’s GVK Lounge has been named the best in the world (in the first-class category) at the recently held World Travel Awards in Morocco.

It beat other nominees Etihad Airways’ First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi, Lufthansa First Class Lounges in Frankfurt, and Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai T3 — winner for two years in a row — to grab the top spot. Earlier, the GVK Lounge had won the award for Asia’s best airport lounge. Again, it unseated a regular winner to get the prize. Singapore Airport’s KrisFlyer Gold Lounge bagged the title for three consecutive years but lost out to the extravagant GVK Lounge.

Two levels of fun

The two-level lounge entertains as many as 1,500 passengers every day. The upper level, accessible only to first-class passengers, narrates class in a gold-theme decor. The larger lower level, targeted at business-class passengers, has the spirit of the Mumbai local as its running theme. 

It does not end there. Right from relaxing spa services, premium bar counters, lavish food to a concierge service that allows a passenger to book a cab in New York or deliver flowers in Tokyo — the GVK Lounge offers comfort with panache.

The a la carte menu in the first-class section is global and extensive.

The buffet spread is also quite lavish. Passengers can browse and shop from the duty-free collection, while sipping a cappuccino at the lounge.

“The best part about the GVK Lounge is the complimentary foot massage. Now, I come in an hour early for my flight just to spend some time at the lounge,” said Rahul Shrivastava, a Mumbai-based media professional and a frequent traveller. 

When lounge-operator TFS bid for it over a year ago, GVK wanted to construct a lounge to accommodate 500 to 600 passengers. However, confident of a higher demand and footfall, TFS invested a whopping ₹70 crore by roping in ace fashion designer Sandeep Khosla and acclaimed architect Alfaz Miller. The lounge is already running at its full capacity.

“We had planned to introduce the second lounge at the Mumbai International Airport after three years based on the initial projections by GVK. We are already running full capacity in just one year and thus we'll be opening it in April,” said Gaurav Dewan, Chief Operating Officer and Business Head at TFS. The lounge has been so successful that TFS is now being roped in by airports at Abu Dhabi, Oman, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong to build something of a similar calibre and league.  The lounge has been a blessing in disguise for GVK, the airport operator, as it now doesn’t need to build separate lounges for different airlines at the space-crunched Mumbai T2. When a passenger flying business or first-class of any airline checks-in at the Mumbai T2 terminal, she’s given a coupon for the lounge with a map for directions. The coupon entitles her to a complimentary foot spa, unlimited food and wifi. 

“When you have a common-user lounge, only one operator spends money in setting it up. Otherwise, the airport will have to provide space for multiple lounges. Smaller airlines would have been pushed to spend a lot of money to build their lounges,” Dewan said.

Published on December 29, 2015

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