MEL: Melbourne Qantasclub Domestic Lounge
It is also half the lounge it once was, and is now only the third biggest in the country (Canberra is much larger), thanks to a large part of the lounge being taken over by the new Business Class lounge. Indeed, this 'lounge within a lounge' is vastly better (and indeed) newer than the Melbourne Qantas Club which was last refitted way back in the late 90s.
There is a superb view from half of the lounge of the main gates Qantas uses, along with the runway, and indeed distant views of the hills north of Melbourne. The lounge can get noisy at times, mainly due to the number of travellers in the lounge.
Entry is right in the middle of the terminal – right after security, and up the vast escalator, with a small reception desk at the top as you double back on yourself. From here, there is a large seating area on the right, then as you walk past the newspaper stands, the food area is right ahead of you. There are some long bench type tables here – rather like ones you might find in a student hall of residence. There is a large TV here too – normally on Sky News.
Curve left, and there is an area overlooking the main check in area. This is the most quiet area. Beside this, there is the small in-lounge shop with books and magazines: remember, this is the Qantas Club, and you have to pay for such things.
Left again, and there is a small bar – the only one in the Melbourne Qantas Club - with wobbly stools in front of it, then an area with the soft drinks machine and coffee, and then in the far corner, beside the exit, are two long benches and the business centre.
The Melbourne Qantas Club is fine, and is certainly calm and relaxing; an OK lounge, but considering the top notch facilities in some other Australian airports, somehow manages to be a bit underwhelming.
FoodFood is good in the Melbourne Qantas Club. Indeed, it is marginally better sometimes than in the Business Class lounge through the wall!
There is the usual large fridge with salad items, including a good pasta and often a decent mushroom salad. There are normally 2 types of ham, and cheese.
Hot soup is always available.
There are also two hot tubs with rice and a gloop of some variable meat: a label on the tub says what it is.
BarThe bar in the Qantas Club Melbourne is one of the poorest 'mainline’ lounge bars on the Qantas network. Not because of the wine – which is OK – but because of the slightly down at heel feel of the bar area. Indeed, around the bar the wood panelling is starting to peel and it all has seen better days. Certainly the small circular tables opposite the bar area have a daggy RSL type atmosphere, and you’ll feel like a heel hanging around these with your cheap glass of VB.
The bar itself has the usual Qantas array of three wines in a trough, and three reds above it. These are self-serve.
There is beer, but only in bottles – Melbourne hasn’t got draft at the moment.
Spirits are made up by the barman.
There are three juice containers to the left of the bar, and soft drinks on a fountain.
Business FacilitiesBusiness facilities are a little basic in the Melbourne Qantas Club. There are five banks of rows of 4 iMacs (which also run windows) making 20 computers in total. They are a little slow, and also very out of the way – right by the exit, down the arm of the lounge on the inner wall and right at the far end.
There is a laser printer and photocopier on the far bench.
Wifi in the lounge is free, although not particularly fast.
There are newspapers and magazines in the lounge, but not that many of them; while there is a pile of all the Melbourne local papers, the magazines consist of B2B, Qantas mag – and that’s about it. If you have access to the Business Class lounge, magazines are much better in there. Alternatively there is the in-lounge shop, called Voyage, with lots of magazines and books: but, of course, you have to pay for it.
BathroomsThere are showers in the lounge, and shower kits are available from reception.
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