SIN: Singapore Terminal 1 - Qantas Lounge
Qantas no longer maintains both a First and a Business Class lounge at Singapore, which were joint lounges with British Airways. Instead, BA and Qantas have done the splits: now that Qantas no longer fly onwards from Singapore to London, Qantas has its own Business Class lounge at Singapore. Qantas have revamped their lounge and the lounge opening times have also changed to suit the late-evening flight departure times, with the lounge opening at 2pm.
When you are through imigration (but not security - that is done at the gate) head up the escalator by the electronics shop, then at the top you can turn left, over the bridge, and then straight on to the Singapore Qantasclub.
The brand new Qantas Club in Singapore is a joy to use. Indeed, so popular is it, that many British Airways passengers on stopover flights also use this lounge, rather than the BA lounge next door. It really is that good. From the large cocktail bar to the cook to order noodle bar with a Neil Perry Rockpool menu, comfy seats and new computers, it really is the bee's knees.
Mind you, the old lounge was still pretty good - it was revamped in 2004 by the Australian-based architectural and interior design firm, Woods Bagot. But the new lounge is much much cooler. Vibrant and spacious, elegant and luxurious. It is genuinely a nice place to be.
The lounge is vast, with seating for 400, and overlooks the main pleb check in / landside area. It has what is described as a fresh, new, innovative design, featuring contemporary and stylish furniture and fittings.
Once you are past the main entrance - with the wooden wall with Qantas logo - you can either go left or right, or stick at the base of the Y where there is the cocktail bar. If you go right, you enter the dining area, walking past first the buffet salad area, then the cook to order section, with two huge tiled top dining areas. There are also seats at the side here with are slightly more comfortable.
The other 'wing' of the Y in the Singapore Qantasclub is designed as a relaxation space. It is decked with lots of comfortable lounge chairs, in scores of styles. The main variants are however are black or white felt cross-hatched chairs which are very comfortable.
Right in the middle of the relaxation wing is the 'long table'. Designed for those working on a laptop there are power sockets under the table. At the far end there is a vast 80 inch flat screen TV, and also a small children's area (although there aren't many toys or anything much here).
FoodIt is the food that the Singapore Qantasclub is becoming famous for, and mainly the live cooking station inspired by Asia's lively hawker centres. Here there are two main noodle options - on the menu on the table - but the staff can come up with plenty more. Neil Perry (Qantas' consulting chef) has had a hand in the more European menus, which are based on his Rockpool eateries, and the Sydney and Melbourne Spice Temple restaurants which are based around regional flavours.
In the Qantasclub Singapore other food includes items from the Sydney lounge such as the mini-burgers, club sandwiches, and famous salt & pepper calamari. Occasionally in the evening waiters carry trays of these items around the lounge.
The salad and buffet bar isn't bad either, with lots of decent greens, good cheeses, and some other hot dishes such as chicken and pork.
BarThe Qantasclub Singapore cocktail bar is a delight. The bar is really very good indeed if you are into cocktails or beer, but less so for wine. There are two main bar areas: on the left is the large bar, under the usual Qantas white globe lights, while on the left is a smaller mini bar with a few spirits, beer and wine.
The cocktail menu is vast, with 40 or so spirits on offer, four types of white and red wine, and three beers on draft: Tiger, Heiniken, and Erdinger wheat beer from Germany. They are all served by a barman alas - nothing is self-serve at the cocktail bar.
Compared to Singapore Airlines’ lacklustre Spirit Collection, Qantas have done this very well indeed. In the large bar there are no less than 15 spirits on a shelf, although you do have to ask the barman to mix a cocktail for you. From Baileys to Bacardi, it is all there for you.
Beer is in the fridge, and here it isn’t perhaps quite so good, with only Tiger, Carlsberg, Singa or Heiniken. Craft beers, or cider, or even a London Pride, are nowhere to be seen.
Wine is kept near to the food, with three decent whites, three very good reds, and a rather non-descript bubbly.
There is a separate smaller bar area, on the left hand of the Y. Here are the same wines in a small trough. There is beer in the small fridge above the worktop, and a subsection of the spirits.
Business FacilitiesBusiness s facilities are first class, with 6 private workstations (on the left hand side of the lounge). Here there are also printing, photocopying, and fax facilities.
Thankfully all of the really old PCs running IE6 have been replaced.
There is free wifi (talk to reception for settings) but it is very slow: not quite dial up, but it does really suffer late in the evening when everyone is trying to use it. The other problem with using your own computer is that there are no decent workstations to sit at: the only option is to sit at the window, on a wobbly stool, which gets uncomfortable after a few hours.
There are data ports are located throughout the lounge at the other seats. At the back of the lounge is what is called the Entertainment zones, featuring large television screens.
There is a very good selection of magazines and newspapers, both from the UK and Australia, with most of the UK’s daily papers. Newspapers are on a rack by the door.
BathroomsThere are new bathrooms facilities, with 20 private shower suites and a paging system to let you know when they are available.
Amenities are in the showers, however the showers themselves have only a spray hose, rather than a proper overhead system.
There are complementary packs of Payot skincare products and DIY manicure kits - although these come at a premium when the BA flight gets in.
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