CBR: Canberra Qantas Business Class Lounge
NEWS: The new Business Class taco bar is open
The Qantas Business Class Lounge Canberra is easy to find in the modern new airport - it is half way along the side of the terminal used by Qantas, located between Gates 10 and 11, and then up the stairs (or the escalator). At the top there is a roundel, around which are self-service check-in kiosks, and the entry to Canberra new Qantas Club on one side and the Business Class lounge on the other. The Qantas Canberra Chairman's Lounge is through the door marked Private - you need a special invite to get into this inner sanctum reserved for politicians; the Business Class lounge is where the Platinums go, which generally means upper level civil servants, and the Qantas Canberra lounge can get very busy just after 4pm on a Thursday, when Parliament rises, but half-empty at other times.
There is a large front desk, usually with at least two people checking cards, and then as you enter you see the large open, light and airy design, with a capacity of capacity for 248 business-class passengers. The Canberra business class lounge brings together everything from Qantas' new domestic lounge design and decor, including the island dining area across from the servery which now includes a taco bar and Caesar salad station.
There are large floor to ceiling windows: alas the view is of the taxi rank and opposite Virgin terminal, rather than the snowy mountains of the Qantas club.
The Qantas Business Class Lounge Canberra has three main seating areas: on the right of the entrance is of course the bar and food server, while in front of that is the main seating area, stuffed with exceptionally comfortable David Caon chairs, with a diamond pattern and wooden arms. There is a further seating area behind the entrance desk, and then two more long thin racks of chairs, before at the far left is the computer area beside the toilet block.
Most people choose to sit by the entrance, and if you go further in and on the left, there are generally plenty of seats.
FoodIt is the food which sets the Business Class lounge well above the Qantas Club. The menu is by Neil Perry, and includes on the main buffet bar both a taco station, and a Caesar salad station, where staff will mix these up to your specifications.
There is also hot food at lunch and dinner times, with a tub of rice and another tub of hot 'gloop' to put on it; chicken one day, pork the next, and so on. There is always hot soup.
The Qantas Business Class Lounge Canberra salad bar is worthy of note; it is well above expectations, and better than at the Sydney or Melbourne hubs. Bread and bakery items are supplied fresh from local Canberra outlet Grumpy's Bakery.
There is an eating area opposite the buffet, on the big white bench, and if you sit here at breakfast time, or 5pm-7pm, there is waiter service.
BarThe bar in the Canberra Qantas Business Class Lounge is equally superb, and has an 'island drinking' bench directly opposite it, which can be a very sociable area late in the afternoon when Parliament is in session.
There is the usual wine-trough with three whites and three red wines, plus a decent Aussie sparkler. There are three beers on draft (Heineken, James Squire and Hahn Dry), and loads of beer bottles behind the bar - alas for these you have to ask the bar staff, and indeed you have to ask them for spirits too.
There is a second drinks area for coffee behind the entrance: there are jars here with snacks with everything from shortbread to liquorice.
Business FacilitiesBusiness facilities in the Qantas Business Class Lounge Canberra are as you would expect good. The main Computer area is to the left of the entrance, with eight iMacs, which can also run Windows, and which are linked to a couple of laser printers, which also act as photocopiers.
There is of course free wifi, however power sockets can be hard to come by; there is a rack of them under the white lift-up cover on the main island benches.
If you want a magazine, you've come to the right place - the Canberra Qantas Business Class Lounge has loads of them, on a vast rack. There are also piles of the usual national newspapers. However the rack is hidden - it's behind the second screen, behind the entrance, facing the window.
BathroomsToilets are in the lounge, and very good they look too, however you have to leave the lounge to head for the showers. There are three, outside in the lounge's reception area.
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