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Qantas: Singapore First Lounge opens officially

Qantas: Singapore First Lounge opens officially

Well, we have been promised this particular lounge for a while. It had a soft opening a week or so ago, and now its official opening yesterday 2 December.

There’s not a lot of news here, but there are actual images (rather than renders) of the 1,000 sqm of First Lounge, which has a capacity of 240 travellers at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

“Since our A380 flights have returned to Singapore, we’ve seen an increase in demand for premium travel which has also translated to an increase in the number of travellers enjoying our lounge hospitality.”

Alan Joyce Qantas Group CEO

Design

The lounge design is by Qantas’s Australian designer David Caon, in collaboration with two other design firms.

I have some reservations about David Caon’s taste, to be honest, and they are best summarised by his choice of the following material:

Terrazzo in bathrooms and walkways at the Qantas First Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

This is in contrast to the marble used elsewhere in the Changi lounge, and used in some other first-class facilities, especially those designed by Marc Newson – Qantas’s previous head of design.

Detail in the marble tiling in the bathrooms Marc Newson designed for Sydney First Class Lounge

I’m also not a big fan of the plantation-like dividers, but other than those two things, I think the design, although I would argue, not as innovative as Marc Newson, certainly does bring the lounges closer to a contemporary standard and colour palette.

Dining area – love the chairs, not sure about those plantation shutters

To me, the design isn’t quite as cohesive as the old First Lounge designs as seen in Sydney.

“This is our fourth Qantas First Lounge, and each time we build an entire new lounge facility from scratch, we speak to our frequent flyers to get a better understanding of how customers like to spend their time in the lounge and tailor it accordingly. Our customers told us their key priorities when travelling through or from Singapore is space to relax and do some last-minute work, a quick shower, and a meal before departure so they can maximise their sleep onboard.”

Alan Joyce
Lounge entrance

I’m not sure about those gold/brass accents on the counters and light fittings. Is it my aversion to the style of the 1980s, or do I just find that finish, which should be luxe, just shout’s ‘cheap’? In the renderings, the metal looked more rose gold or copper – not that I’m sure either of those choices would avoid the ‘cheap’ epithet.

“We wanted customers to feel a sense of calming luxury as soon as they walk in to the First Lounge, so we combined some of the classic Qantas First Lounge design features, such as the prominent marble and oak seen in the Sydney First Lounge, and added an authentic Singaporean twist featuring plenty of greenery.”

David Caon

Although not a fan of every element of this lounge, I think ‘calming luxury’ is a good description of how it feels.

Coconut and Mango sorbet with toasted coconut flakes ?

The Food

In a mega foodie city like Singapore, the menu selection was always going to be important. The menu below demonstrates that there is plenty of choices – with some of Neil Perry’s (Qantas Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service) signature Qantas lounge dishes:

Yep, the salt and pepper squid is there.

Salt and Pepper Squid – all-round favourite

But they have added what is apparently proving to be a new favourite, and even from this photo, I can see why – the Crayfish Laksa. Sooo Singapore:

Who doesn’t like Laksa – with Crayfish!

“Customers visit the First Lounge at different stages of their trip, so we included items like poached eggs with mushrooms and salsa verde on sourdough and First Lounge classics like the chicken club sandwich with salt and pepper squid, intended to cater to our customers and their taste buds regardless of where they are on their journey.”

Neil Perry
The Barramundi?

The lounge will have an open kitchen serving a seasonal menu influenced by the flavours of Singapore. The bar will serve the usual alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, along with some special cocktails, including a Mojito featuring Singaporean Calamansi fruit.

Spa? Views?

No, no spa. But they do have showers in the lounge. No views as far as I can tell, although they do have some faux ‘Skylights’ to give you an impression of contact with the outside. Mind you, I always think transiting through these lounges is kind of zombie space and time – so its probably good that contact with the reality of the outside world is kept to a minimum!

‘Private’ seating area. Check out the spikes and platforms on those shoes.

2PAXfly Takeout

Not sure when I will have the opportunity to visit this lounge in the near future, but it sure sounds like a positive addition to the Qantas First Lounge network across the world, which includes Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Los Angeles. The first lounge joins the existing Qantas Business lounge at Changi, and in total the two lounges provide seating for around 800 patrons.

Well done Qantas. Now if you could just turn your attention to renewing the now disgusting Club lounge, and showing-its-age, and inadequately bathroomed Business lounges in Sydney.

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