GVK Lounge Review: Where Comfort Meets Class
From luxurious interiors to world-class services to wide eating options, here’s why we find ourselves wanting to return soon to the GVK lounge
If Leaving on a jet plane is your favourite soundtrack and the airport your second home, the time you spend at the airport and whole experience ought to match up to the thrill of travelling.
Mumbai’s Terminal 2 (T2) or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is one such airport that makes things exciting for your travel, right from the get-go. We took a tour of the uber luxe GVK Business and First Class Lounge, managed by Travel Food Services Performa, that beckons weary passengers into its plush confines to unwind, before jet-setting across the world.
The Look and Feel
Exclusively reserved for First and Business Class passengers of all airlines, the GVK lounge is designed by fashion designer Sandeep Khosla and acclaimed architect Alfaz Miller. The lounge sports an Indian theme with the quintessential dancing peacocks as the leitmotif on the ceiling, akin to the international airport. Skillfully designed with hand-crafted intricate jali screens, contemporary chandeliers and cultural displays such as the signature glass peacock installation, the lounge wears a regal vibe. A closer look at the distinctive interiors of the GVK lounge will reveal that the aesthetics are carefully designed to resonate with India’s rich cultural heritage and ethos—brought together by a seamless amalgamation of architecture, design and state-of-the-art facilities. The GVK Lounge boasts of a long list of awards ranging from World's Leading Airport Lounge - First Class 2017 to Asia's Leading Airport Lounge 2017. “GVK Lounge by TFS is also India's first common use lounge—with over 40 airlines that operate through Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (both international and domestic), almost 99 per cent of them have association with us,” informs GV Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, GVK Lounge by Travel Food Services.
Of World-class Facilities
While airport waits can often be endless and boring, entry into such an exclusive lounge is your getaway to some indulgent pampering to ease your travel woes. In addition to the swanky lounge space being replete with luxury spas, shower and business facilities, premium dining, concierge and free WiFi services, you also get an amazing view where you can spend your time gazing at numerous big and small planes taking flight on the tarmac.
Divided into three categories: First, Premium and Business Class, the First and Premium Class lounges are located on level 4, and the Business Class lounge is on level 3. The level 4 lounge shines with a gilded décor theme, while the lounge on level 3 follows a silver theme. The Premium Class has ample room for seating, from individual chairs to more group-centric options. The comfortable furniture, artsy lighting and a modern, minimalist aesthetic is what gives this lounge some serious cred. Strategically designed with a fine blend of geometry, pattern and form that adds to the tactile and visual appeal of the space, it boasts of an inimitable touch of grandeur that is at par with some of the best international airport lounges.
Wining and Dining
The wide and elaborate gourmet dining service caters to the global traveller and sets you off on a gastronomical journey. Rajesh Shetty, Executive Chef, GVK Lounge by Travel Food Services says, “We serve over 5000 guests a day and in order to cater to everyone’s needs, we tend to treat our kitchen as the ‘Guest Kitchen’ where if the guest places a certain request, we make it happen, provided we have the ingredients.”
Whet your appetite with food ranging from Indian to global at their dedicated dining area which serves buffet as well as à la carte menu. The buffet platter offers street-food favourites such as Mumbai chaat to some delicious global specials like the Singaporean Laksa. To indulge your sweet tooth, head to the dessert section in the buffet, which is strictly a no-entry zone for all diet-watchers. But, if you are like me, who skips the main course and straight dives into desserts, you are sure to be spoilt for choice. Chef Shetty informs us that they serve a wide range of desserts ranging from some popular Indian mithais including, jalebis, gulab jamuns, malpuas, rabdi to international treats such as panacotta, mousse, chocolate cakes, fruit tarts and more,” which means no one leaves disappointed. While they don’t specifically have a kid-friendly menu, chef Shetty tells us that they do quite a few pastas and pizzas for fussy kids. What more, to treat food lovers with global palates, the menu changes twice during the day, offering an array of cuisines. If you are a frequent flyer who happens to travel every month and a regular at the lounge, be sure to be treated to an all-new menu every month to keep things interesting.
We recommend the Beet and Feta cheese salad with a carrot tahini and pomegranate molasses that makes for a good appetiser. The Lobster Thermidor consisting of a creamy and buttery mashed potato, tropical vegetables and lobster meat filling that’s stuffed into a lobster shell is another must-have! However, don’t miss out on the Roast Lamb. Served alongside shepherd’s pie with lamb meat, mutton seekh kebab and plum chutney, the lamb was cooked to perfection, crusty on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. For the weight watchers, there is a wide variety of detox juices too; we tried the watermelon and ginger flavoured one and were not disappointed.
And because it’s never too early (or late) for a drink, head to the bar where you can choose from some of the best whiskies. From The Singleton, Glenkinchie, Chivas Regal, J & B Rare, and Ballantine Finest and many more. If are in the mood to pop the bubbly, there’s always a Moët on offer for special occasions. The bar also serves some of the best vinos of the world—Jacob’s Creek, GH Mumm Cordon, Chianti Classics, Beaujolais Villages, Woodbridge and Cloudy Bay to name a few.
Designed on the philosophy to provide maximum comfort and attention to detail, you can also work out of their business centre or catch up on your regular reading in the relaxation zone. To soothe your body and mind before you take off, you can make use of the full-body massage facilities at the hands of professionals from some of the world-class spa chains. The lounge also offers a 30-minute complimentary foot spa for their patrons to complete the experience.
So, the next time you’re travelling via the Mumbai International Airport, stop and save yourself from the hustle and bustle of the airport in this calm oasis at the GVK lounge.
Photographs and Video by Sohail Joshi
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