CBR: Canberra Virgin Australia The Lounge
You find the lounge opposite gate 3, and up the stairs or escalator – follow the signs for International flights, but instead of turning right at the top for immigration, turn left, and left again for the Virgin Canberra lounge, where there is a cast reception desk.
The lounge itself is like a isosceles triangle, with the shorter leg being the window side, and the point being by the reception desk – and here also is the hidden swipe card door for powerbrokers and politicians; Virgin Australia’s invitation-only The Club lounge.
The lounge seems big – and often very empty – with seats for 320. This is half what Qantas offer in the ‘East’ wing of the new terminal, but can be empty except on Thursdays when Parliament rises; after 4pm in here then, can get very busy.
The Canberra Virgin Australia lounge is all about the panoramic view over the tarmac, with amazing floor to ceiling views, although if you prefer to keep away from them, near the entrance there is a comfortable area with hanging curtains and loungey type chairs.
As you go in, the food area then the bar is on the right hand side, with the famous Virgin snaking workbenches, while on the left is almost a maze of high benches and bar stools. Next up there are three long white benches. These have USB sockets to charge tablets or mobiles, beside the normal Australian power sockets.
Beyond this there are acres of seats, with a large square area on the right, with regimented rows of seats, and a smaller but similar area on the left, separated by – guess what – yet another rack of wavy benches in the middle with newspapers and magazines.
Beside the windows in the Canberra Virgin Australia lounge are a line of 1+1 seats, with tables inbetween – these always come at a premium.
BarThe bar is good in the Canberra Virgin Australia lounge, with two beers on draft: both types of Peroni. There are bottles of beer – everything tom Fat Yak to VB – behind the bar. There is soft drinks machine too.
Wine is in the glass fronted refrigerated trough, with three types of white – you can serve yourself these; for anything else you need to ask the barstaff, which include spirits, of which there is an OK but not comprehensive selection.
FoodThere is no hot food in the Canberra Virgin Australia lounge; instead you have to make do with a salad bar, but this is better than most Virgin lounges, with quite a decent setup of ham, cheese, and pasta dishes.
There is however a way of getting hot food if you want it – the famous Virgin Australia toasted sandwich machine. Take some bread, pop in ham cheese and pineapple if you want it, and away you go.
There is also hot soup in the evenings.
Business FacilitiesBusiness facilities are really poor in the Canberra Virgin Australia lounge.
There are just two laptops for communal use, and no printer.
There is however free fast wifi.
Newspapers and magazines are pretty poor in the lounge: there is just Time, M2, and Traveller magazine, with the regular national and Canberra newspapers. All the magazines have stickers on saying they must not be removed from the lounge.
AccessVirgin Australia offer a daypass for a two hour lounge access for AU$65, or $420 for a year.
Business Class on Virgin Australia, and Virgin Velocity Gold & Platinum, have free access.
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