Review: Aspire Lounge O.R Tambo Johannesburg

There is no lack of good airport lounges within South Africa, especially the O.R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. We realised this during our trip to the country earlier this year.

Aspire Lounges is a network of executive lounges operated out of the U.K. They have been in operation for over 25 years and have lounges across the world in major airports.

The Aspire Lounge in O.R Tambo Airport Johannesburg is located after Immigration, along the way to Gates 7-30.

We visited the lounge when we were travelling between Johannesburg, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana for a quick breakfast bite. Visiting lounges prior to our flights has slowly become the default way of travel for us.

As Capital One Venture X holders, we enjoy free priority pass access to lounges around the world. This is one of the best perks of credit cards that 10x-ed our travel experience since we started travelling.

Aspire Lounge Johannesburg: Environment

The Lounge is huge by normal lounge standards. There is plenty of tables and lounge sofas available for guests to hang around during their transit.

We really liked the diversity of seats available. There are even private booths for guests who need to get work done can sit in.

Aspire Lounge Johannesburg: Food

The main selling point of lounges for us will always be the food. Imagine being able to have a good satisfying meal right before your long flight, all for free.

In this regard, the Aspire Lounge sits comfortably in the mid-tier range of lounges when compared to full-fledged lounges like the SATS Premier Lounge in Changi Airport.

It only offers grab-and-go food and non of them were warm cooked. We suspect it might be the timing of our visit as we visited right when the lounge just opened.

We did see empty food warmers available, so those might be offered later in the day. However, based on our own experience, we’d have to knock several points off here.

In terms of the food choice available, they are fairly standard. You’ll find Cheese-and-Tomato sandwiches, spongecakes and some canapes.

Unfortunately during our visit, the staff were still setting up the coffee machines, so there was no coffee available. This was a bummer as I always made sure to grab a cup of coffee wherever possible.

Aspire Lounge Johannesburg: Toilet and Shower facilities

The Aspire Lounge in the O.R Tambo airport has quite an extensive shower facility set up. If you’re transiting from a long flight, this lounge will definitely make you feel fresh for the next leg of your journey.

There are plenty of shower cubicles available, so it’s unlikely guests will ever need to queue to use them (unlike our experience at the Silverkris Lounge).

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Aspire Lounge in O.R Tambo Airport is a good enough pitstop for your travels if you ever find yourself in the city.

It might not be one of the best lounges you’ve ever visited nor the most luxurious. However, it can definitely help you kill a couple of hours before your next flight out.

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