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QANTAS: Singapore First Lounge – WOW! First impressions

QANTAS: Singapore First Lounge – WOW! First impressions

Returning from my recent trip to Singapore and Malaysia, I had the fantastic pleasure of spending a few hours in the Qantas Singapore First Lounge at Changi Terminal 1. OK, this is only my third Qantas First Lounge, a title reserved for the airline’s top international lounges. (I’m ignoring the Auckland First Lounge for these purposes, because it doesn’t count on somany levels!) The others are the original Marc Newson designed First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. This lounge is much more in the language of the current Qantas design head, David Caon. It’s a win for me!

I’ll deliver a longer review when I write the trip report, but here are my initial impressions.

a restaurant with tables and chairs
The dining section of the Singapore Qantas First Lounge [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The Design

This lounge looks fantastic. Way better than the renders of publicity photos. It has the usual variety of zones from lounge, to work areas to its focus which is the restaurant area. That’s where we spent our time. First with a three-course meal, and then catching up with friends returning from Thailand and on to Sydney but on a different flight to ours.

We changed to a larger table when they arrived at the suggestion of the staff, who were totally proactive in every way.

a room with a couch and a plant
Lounge area, Qantas First Lounge, Singapore [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The Service

Our arrival was soon after the lounge opened, so there were minimal guests. The staff took their time to chat, make drink and food suggestions and generally chew the fat about our travels. Obviously, staff were busier as the lounge filled towards our flight time, but still, staff took the time to interact. They were always suggesting another drink or a dessert to follow our main meal, or a cocktail to follow.

There was no sense of being rushed. There was always someone on hand if we had a request. The service was totally anticipatory.

It made the service provided at the two other lounges in Australia pale in comparison.

a plate of food with sauce
Salt and Pepper Squid, but with thinner batter, and more succulent squid [Schuetx/2PAXfly]
a bowl of soup with chopsticks
Signature Crayfish Laksa. Very satisfying, but could have been even more spicy [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The Food and Beverage

This I think was the same, or very similar to what you will find in Australia. It felt like it might have more of an Asian focus, and one of the champagnes available was a Tattinger Rosé, which I am unsure if they offer in Australia.

Other than that, the menu was of a similar format with a range of small plates, larger main courses and desserts, always including plant-based options. The drinks included some signature cocktails and non-alcoholic options, along with the wine list. As in Australia, Champagne options were not listed on the menu. But unlike Australia, where it sometimes feels like you need to ask 20 questions to find out what is on offer, here the options were volunteered.

I drank the Tattinger Rosé – more glasses than I should and had a Non-Stormy – a ginger-tasting non-alcoholic option featuring Lyle’s spiced rum. Delicious.

a bathroom with a sink and mirrors
Men’s toilet stalls. Singapore Qantas First Lounge [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Of the three Qantas First lounges I have visited, this is the most spectacular. The David Caon design is a decade or more progression from the Marc Newson design language. Although arguably not as clean in concept and execution, this lounge offers a much more contemporary aesthetic and its use of matt pale wood finishes, touches of marble and a quieter palette, knocks some of the distinctive edges of the Newson design. High gloss burgandy cabinetry finishes and hexagonal deep brown carpet are gone. Instead, it has deep greys, honey leather, and beige matt wood screens and edging, with marble table tops and marble terrazzo high-traffic floors.

But the most outstanding is the service and food. The menu is similar if not the same as in other First lounges, but to my palette, the staples like salt and pepper squid are just better in quality, with a thinner batter. The service was much more attentive and interactive than either in Sydney or Melbourne, even when the lounge was near capacity towards the end of our visit.

There is no airport or runway view here, but that aside, it beats Melbourne and Sydney hands down in my opinion.

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