My visit to the GVK Lounge (East) took place last month, when I returned from Mumbai to London with Oman Air, just as coronavirus began disrupting world travel!
About the GVK Lounge, Mumbai
There are actually two GVK lounges, East and West, in the international terminal at Mumbai airport.
From what I discovered online, the West facility is a more premium lounge, offering a-la-carte dining and better facilities for first class passengers.
Oman Air uses the the East lounge, near gate 45, for its business class passengers, so I headed there after security and immigration, passing through some shops as I went.
GVK Lounge East opening hours and access
The lounge is open 24 hours a day, though it was pretty quiet when I visited at 2.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon (Mumbai airport gets particularly busy later in the evening).
It can be accessed by first and business class passengers (though do check if you can get into the superior West lounge), though not by Priority Pass holders.
Lounge layout and services
The lounge is stylish and bright, and definitely a notch up from the standard of most contract lounges you’ll find in most places around the world.
There were multiple seating areas and, with just a handful of other passengers in the lounge, there were no worries about finding a place to sit!
There was also a spa area, though nobody seemed to be manning it during my visit.
Those who need to work will find high top tables with a nice view of the airport, and readily available power outlets.
The lounge remained spotlessly clean, as there were multiple cleaning staff working at any given time.
There was a bar, with alcoholic drinks served free of charge, though I didn’t have the time on my visit.
Wi-fi was a bit of a pain, as it was accessed with a code which unfortunately never came by SMS, so I had to use my data.
GVK Lounge East food and beverage
There was a substantial buffet, with a wide selection of items, and it was also possible to have some dishes, such as samosa chat, plated individually and brought to your seat by a waiter.
The buffet was stocked with sandwiches, filled croissants, salad and dips, vegetables and olives.
Hot items included seafood stew, chicken curry, mutton rice, stir fried vegetables, Indian breads and papadum, vegetable lasagne, roasted garlic and cheese potatoes, Singapore noodles, dal palak and aloo methi.
Those with a sweet tooth were well catered for with gulab jamun and a selection of mini-desserts, as well as cubed cheese.
You could also grab a soft drink from a large chiller.
The staff were friendly and it was nice to see a lounge employee helping an elderly lady to plate up her meal, following her around the buffet and checking what she wanted.
GVK Lounge East bathrooms
The bathroom smelt like a spa when you entered and, like the rest of the lounge, was spotlessly clean, thanks to ever-present washroom attendants.
Staff would hold open the bathroom doors for you, and I had no complaints about the toilet facilities.
I wasn't able to stay too long at the GVK Lounge East, due to the the length of time it took to complete security and immigration.
For my purposes it was perfect, as I only used the lounge for a quick pitstop. The lounge and the bathrooms were spotlessly clean, and the food was fine. All in all, I was pretty impressed.
When my flight opened for boarding, I was proactively approached by a lounge staff member and urged to head to my gate, so my visit was even shorter than if I had been left to my own devices.
How do you feel about the GVK Lounge East at Mumbai airport?