Select Page

Lounge Review: Virgin, Melbourne’s The Club

Lounge Review: Virgin, Melbourne’s The Club

This was probably my one and only time visiting The Club – Virgin’s previously invite-only politicians and heads of big business lounge space at Melbourne Airport. During my visit, The Club was being used as Virgin Australia’s main lounge while the usual frequent flyer space is being upgraded. The refreshed lounge is due to open ‘within weeks’.

Since my visit, Virgin has also opened a temporary lounge – to fulfil increasing demand.

a glass door with a purple sign in front of it
The old Virgin Lounge at Melbourne Airport – to re-open refurbished in a few weeks


A lot has happened to Virgin Australia during COVID-19. It went into administration, got bought for AU$3.5 billion, changed management, and re-launched itself as a ‘mid-level’ airline as opposed to a budget or full service airline.

It’s still sorting a lot of stuff out, including what to do with its lounges, and most especially what to do with its invitation only facilities ‘The Club’. Reportedly, its even going out to ‘The Club’ membership to ask them what they value about their exclusive facilties.

a group of people in a building
Virgin Australia check-in at Adelaide Airport

At the Airport

Virgin Australia lounges at Terminal 3, Melbourne Domestic Airport are located down the escalators from check-in and to the left before security. The old closed lounge is to the right of the corridor above, with The Club at the end of the corridor to the left.

a room with a door and a sign
Its a bit of a walk, and some of the new facilities behind that white wall to the left of the image are now open.

If you are arriving on a flight into Terminal 3, then you will have to exit next to security, and turn right to access the corridor to either the ‘old’ Virgin Lounge or further along the corridor to the left to access The Club. Through the door, you go, and upstairs to be greeted by the formal entrance desks.

a sign at a reception
COVID safe counters

There are copious check-in QR codes and hand sanitiser stations in this wood and leather lined and marble floored, usually invitation-only inner sanctum.

a sign with qr code on it
a screen on a wall
I love a leather padded wall
a ceiling with lights and a wood ceiling


I love the design of this lounge. The signature diamond motif was developed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer architects in 2011, and is displayed in the Sydney and Melbourne lounges. I think the interpretation of the design in the Melbourne The Club lounge, shows the concept off at its best. All that wood and leather, custom made timber light fittings and the curved walls that create private cocooning spaces. I think it’s sensational.

The lounge has no windows, other than that opening to the sky, but it still gives a remarkable sense of light and space.

a woman sitting in a room with chairs and tables
Seating around a main thoroughfare, with more private spaces to the left and right
a man standing in a lobby
Curved walls and pods help with privacy

I like a well supported back in a chair, so I was a little sceptical about these laid back bottom huggers, but they were remarkably comfortable. The majority of spaces were set up for singles and couples, as befits a usually exclusive lounge.

a group of people sitting in chairs in a room
Virgin Australia’s The Club, Melbourne 2021


All the curves make it difficult to fathom the shape of the lounge.

The food service and bar area can be seen at the back centre of the image above. With COVID-19 restrictions, all service was table service. For more information see ‘Food & Drink’ below.

The bathrooms are located off the foyer to the right of the reception desks.

a blue rectangular card with a qr code on it

Food & Drink

Due to COVID restrictions, everything was ordered via QR code phone app and delivered to your table.

I was obviously a little anxious about my connecting flight on to Sydney, since I managed to not actually complete my order (or take a photo of it), and when I rectified this and my sandwich and drink arrived, it was almost time to exit the lounge, head through security again, and wait for my flight at Gate 7.

a screenshot of a food menu
a screenshot of a menu
Menu screens
a screenshot of a phone

As you can see, they had run out of chicken sandwiches, so I went, like a schoolboy for the Tasty Cheese and Tomato. I got a couple of bites in before the flight was called.

It’s a mystery how I managed to stuff up this order, since I had experienced exactly the same type of service in the newly opened Virgin Adelaide Lounge a couple of hours previously.

a room with mirrors
Bathroom foyer


The bathrooms were accessed from a corridor behind the reception area via a foyer. It makes for a very private (in this case mirrored) experience.

a bathroom with a mirror and a sink

These bathrooms are beautifully appointed, each offering toilet, change and shower facilities, with these beautiful diamond-shaped tile walls, and crushed fabric ‘smoked’ mirrors, wood frames and marble floors.

a shower with a wood door

As in Adelaide, the hand wash is from Hunter Lab, with a pleasant tangerine, grapefruit and rum aroma.


The WiFi signal was good, and that’s not bad considering that the lounge was relatively full.


I spent somewhere between a half and 3/4 of an hour in the lounge, so I didn’t really get to explore all the sections of the lounge. Aesthetically, the lounge was lovely, and the seating I chose surprisingly comfortable. All that wood and leather panelling on the walls and dividers together with the high paterned ceilings makes the lounge surprisingly quiet.

I love table service in a lounge, so despite my misfire on the ordering it was very comfortable and enjoyable, although short stay.


I headed down the main arm of Terminal 3, and on to gate 7 to be treated by this less than helpful signage.

a woman wearing a mask at a desk
Melbourne Airport, you need to fix this signage in Terminal 3, Gate 7

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

I love the feel and design of the Melbourn Virgin Australia, The Club lounge. The design is wonderful, giving a clubby, contemporary but not stuffy feel to the lounge. I hope that Virgin doesn’t decide to add some of what I consider the slightly tacky ‘mid-range’ design aspects of the new Adelaide lounge, which is now to be their ‘brand look’ for the refurbishment of other lounges.

a sign on a wall
The slightly tacky goodbye not to passengers at the Adelaide Virgin Australia Lounge

At one stage, it was rumoured that the Club lounges would be closed. I hope that’s not the case, and this lounge is preserved. I’m glad I got a chance to experience it.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!