CBR: Canberra Qantas Club
The Canberra Qantas Club is half way along the side of the terminal used by Qantas, located just beside Gate 10 and then up the stairs (or the escalator), and easy to find in the modern new airport. At the top of the stairs there is a circular area, with several self-service check-in kiosks, and the entry to Canberra new Qantas Club on one side and the Business Class lounge on the other.
There is a large front desk, but it is some way away from the main entrance, and it may seem as if you can just wander in. You can't; the staff pounce on people wandering in.
From the front desk, there is a wide sweeping view over the main areas of the lounge, and the light airy design, through to the far windows with a view of the two runways and the distant snowy mountains. The view is far better than in the Qantas Business Lounge, although the lounge can get very busy just after 4pm on a Thursday, when Parliament rises, and the view is obscured by suits. Mind you, it is half-empty at other times.
As you walk in to the Qantas Club Canberra, turn left and there is the food area under in a strange wooden lined box of an area, and then beyond that there is a long low white stone bar: the bar area is quite good, but lacks the vertical drinking areas of the Business Class lounge, and instead there are just high tables with wire frame stools.
Behind the entrance is the main seating area, with plenty of the classic low Qantas armchairs, and at the far end a long black leather bench. Beyond this is a more formal area with higher backed chairs, in regimented rows.
Behind the leather bench wall, is the main viewing area of the lounge with five seating segments, all with tightly packed rows of chairs, all overlooking the runway: this is probably the most pleasant area of the Canberra Qantas Club, and indeed the most busy.
FoodThe food and drinks serving area in the Qantas Club Canberra runs along one wall of the lounge, with the food area in an odd small wooden panelled box.
There is the classic salad with ham and cheese area, plus a separate side fridge with dips and cold cuts from the deli.
Rolls and bread come straight from the local Canberra outlet Grumpy's Bakery, and there are some treats such as cupcakes from the Madhouse Bakery.
BarThe bar is good in the Canberra Qantasclub but lacks a little soul. Instead its all white marble benchtops, hewn from the quarries of corporate Qantas. There are four beers on draft, and plenty of beers in bottles from behind the bar.
Wine is in the classic three whites and three reds in the trough, plus a sparking wine on demand: indeed, the bar staff will wander around to passengers loitering near the bar who need a top up.
Spirits and mixers again have to be requested from the bar staff.
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 the lounge's reception area.
Business FacilitiesComputers are good, with ten iMacs at the far end of the lounge, with the Qantas classic interface which can also run Windows, and which are linked to a laser printer / photocopiers on the bench at the back.
There is of course free wifi; the password is on little plastic display units.
On the big white workstation bench there are power and internet ports concealed under the central flap.
Magazines are good the Canberra Qantasclub has a vast rack by the computers. There are also piles of the usual national newspapers underneath the newspapers.
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