Qantas Melbourne Business Lounge – my first time [updated]
Now a separate lounge, rather than a lounge-within-a-lounge (that’s my memory of the dark clubby feel of the previous Melbourne Business Lounge). The new Business Lounge now monopolises views of the apron, leaving the Club Lounge without any (I suspect – I didn’t inspect).
This is a proper lounge. It feels spacious, new, well designed, and welcoming.
It has distinct separate sections, which are in the main, fit for purpose.
After taking the escalator up, you can turn right into the Club, or left into the Business Lounge. There is a welcome/check-in desk at the entrance, and a small desk and seating area behind it – suitable for short use – dashing in to recharge, or print something or kill a short amount of time.
Then there is the main check-in area, followed by a series of zones to the left and right.
The lounge is divided into various zones designed for particular purposes. These include dining, sit-up bar-style desk areas (no traditional booth style desk areas – more’s the pity), dining areas, dining banquets, lots of single set-up lounge chairs, and groups of chairs, not to mention comfy chairs pointing towards the apron view.
I love the colour and pile of this grey carpet – used for everywhere except high traffic areas, where stone/tile is used. Unfortunately, it shows every spill and crumb, which can make the area look untidy and unkempt unless staff are whizzing around with the stick Dyson.
My one complaing is the size of some of the side tables. Those tiny black marble things above, are a pain. The literally can’t fin any more than a cup or a glass. Try putting a coffee cup, and plate of food, and your phone down, and something will fall off. Larger tables please.
There are a lot of large expanses of white painted wall, which contrast with those islands of dark woodwork. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but these white walls, look a little stark and could do with some dressing with art, or installations, or textures – without losing the light feel they create. (so I think I am a designer now – oh, right, I am)
I like the little brass up-lights along the back of the banquets.
I am a little surprised by the lack of work areas. There is that space at the front of the lounge (no pictures, it was chokers when I was visiting), but other than that – if you don’t want to sit bar style on a stool, there is precious little.
I ended up finding a sweet spot by setting up on one of those tables against the banquette you can see towards the back of the above picture. The tables are perfect to work at, and the seating is comfortable, allowing you to spread out with your stuff. The problem is – no power points on the banquette side of the divider. But there are power points on the other side. I threaded my power cord through the foliage, and worked happily for an hour.
The food area has two distinct sub-zones – one for hot food and dessert, and one for salads, and build your own sandwiches, as well as a third ‘kitchen’ zone – bridging the other two – that was serving made-to-order beef brisket in broth with gai-lan (Chinese broccoli).
The hot options included pasta and two rice dishes, while the salad table had 4 different salads.
Seating was varied, from communal bench, to banquette, to freestanding table. Or you could even take something back to your lounge chair.
The bar area is rightly just about in the middle of the space. It had a barista on duty all the time I was there, and alcoholic beverages seemed to appear around 2:30 pm – although I suspect you could request before then.
As well as the bar, there is a separate coffee machine and tea stand further into the lounge.
I arrived at the lounge at about 1:30 pm, and it was about 25% full. It soon filled up to more like 80% seating capacity by 3 pm.
. . . and finally the toilets
And of course, after all that coffee and drinks at the bar, a lad needs the bathroom. These put Sydney’s crappy falling-apart-chrome-coming-off-the-fittings-bowed-tile-walls-missing-toilet-seat-stalls to shame! Talk about shiny new marble. These facilities might be small, but in comparison are perfectly formed. There are also a couple of showers, which I didn’t get to look in.
2PAXfly take out
This is a good lounge. It has the new Qantas lounge aesthetic lead by David Coan. The lounge is light and airy in contrast to its former clubby, dark wood feel. Food options are good and varied, and furnishings and ambience make it a place to relax and recharge.
Not so much with the working though. I know they are not attractive, but I like the work stations you see in the Adelaide lounge, and they are my preferred seating when I am busy and need to get stuff done, rather than relaxing with a drink.
Sydney lounges – you now look even more tired and emotional and overdue for refurbishment.