Emirates Lounge, Sydney Airport. The most beautiful centre piece in the world
Emirates may not provide pyjamas in business class but they do provide limousine transfers to the airport.
Our trip started with booking our limousine (care of Emirates) to the airport. This was easily done online and confirmed by phone a day or so before our flight. The only surprise being: we had to use half-hour increments to determine how much before your flight we were collected. We wanted to go at 4 pm but had to settle for 3:50 pm (our flight left at 7:20 pm). As it turned out – needlessly reinforcing stereotypes about gay men – we were not quite ready when our driver George arrived. It was obviously not the first time George had met passengers who had spent too much time discussing which sandals to take for what occasion. His patient manner put us at ease, and he provided a smooth trip to Sydney Airport.
Getting there – the shopping tour of the airport
The Emirates Lounge is located below Gate 57 at Sydney International Airport. That means you have to go right through all of the major shopping mall aspects of the airport, and then take a kilometre of travellators past fast food outlets to the boonies of Sydney airport to reach the lounge. Or at least that’s what it feels like.
Just when you think you have escaped the shopping mall, there is a whole new vista.
We eventually arrived at the lift, which creaked its way down a floor, only to come to a precipitous slowdown about 30cm from the floor level. It then inched (centimetered?) its way down. Almost directly opposite was the entrance to the lounge.
I was ready for a full faux wood attack. Instead, I go this:
Quite tasteful. The reception area was to the left. We checked in and were informed that flight announcements are made in the lounge. The lounge as you can see below has views of the tarmac and a clear entrance path along with clocks showing international time.
Business centre to the right, with a few ‘booths’ with computers, and an Emirates departures and arrivals screen.
The lounge decor looks a little dated, more 80’s or 90’s Alan Bond (for Australian who remember our disgraced tycoon, or who went to Level 41 Restaurant in Sydney). But it is perfectly comfortable, with basically two wings, showers, drinks, hot and cold food, and a TV viewing area. It’s showing its age, but is spacious and comfortable.
TV viewing area is to the right beyond (at the centre of the image above), and to the right of the water feature is the entrance to the food and drink area.
The hot food selection included chicken, lamb, salmon, pasta, curries, and vegetables.
Those little loin of lamb chops on the left of this image were delicious, as was the chicken. Topped off with a couple of roast potatoes, made a fine pre-departure snack.
There was also a cold starter and desert section. Unfortunately it was very popular, and I couldn’t get a clear shot of it. Sorry.
To the right of the hot food section was the drinks selection including Moet NV champagne.
. . . and a range of self-serve spirits, mixers and accompaniments.
Below is a view to the left of the entrance which also featured some fine apron viewing, and seemed a bit more private than the section to the right of the entrance. The lounge was not busy – fine by me.
Seating area to the left, with another drinks station at the far end. Toilets and showers and entrance on the left of the above image.
We chose a section to the right by the window, centring on an apron view – unfortunately in construction mode.
The bathroom section featured toilets and showers divided by sex. They looked spacious, comfortable, clean and well maintained.
Hand basins, with real towelling hand towels!
Do I like this lounge better than Qantas International Business?
Yes. The design isn’t as schmick – but the food selection is better, the seating more comfortable, and it has an apron view – whereas Qantas mainly looks over rooftops. It was also, on my visit much less busy than the Qantas Business lounge.
Obviously, for a first class lounge, the Qantas one wins hands down, but for business, I would much prefer this Emirates lounge to Qantas.