SYD: Sydney International Qantas Qantasclub
To find the lounge, once through security walk up the stairs beside the change counter next to the Oyster bar, then left all the way along the shelf like balcony: the lounge entrance is at the far end, with normally at least three lounge dragons carefully vetting anyone who tries to come in. There isn’t the easy ‘wave your card and you’re in’ routine that there is in the domestic Qantas clubs at the Qantas international business lounge Sydney.
The lounge itself is very long and narrow, split up by screens made out of wooden slats, with the usual Qantas striped carpet and dull assortment of chairs. TVs are screwed to some of the vertical screens, which show Sky News (or occasionally ABC News 24). The view is however spectacular throughout most of the lounge, with amazing views of the runways and even distant views of Sydney’s CBD. Alas, there is bland lift music playing the lounge most of the time, with few places to escape from it.
The entrance in the middle of the lounge, which extends long and thin to the left and right, while right in front of you is the bar area with nibbles and multiple wine coolers. As you go left there is plenty of seating against the windows, and small triangular shaped areas that are the food area, another bar, yet more seats, and at the end a family area, with a kids playroom. This is a quiet area, and where you can find five loungers if you want a sleep. If you walk the other way there is a coffee bar, another bar, and finally computers at the far end.
FoodThe food offerings are a step above the domestic lounge, but of a similar style. The delights of the First lounge are absent, but there is still an OK buffet, with several hot options generally including curry and chicken done various different ways. There is also a very good salad selection many different types of dips and spreads. These generally include a very good mushroom and beetroot salad, or pumpkin and goat cheese spread.
There is even dessert, with chocolate brownies and cheesecake. Before the main rush of flights leaves the wait staff often come around with nibbles, such as meat balls or canapés. These are generally at 3.30pm and 6pm. There is one other food delight in the lounge: the new gelato station, right opposite the main entrance. Some of the flavours are amazing.
BarThe bar is equally good, and of course there are no restrictions on opening hours at the Qantas Club lounge Sydney International. If you are a wine drinker, the long white bar should be your port of call, with three whites in coolers in the table top plus a sparkling, while reds are on the table top.
The bar top is set out for dining, but few people do. The other two self serve bars have a delight rarely found in airline lounges: cider in draft! It is Magners, along with Cascade and Stella Artois. There is more sparkling wine, along with three whites and three reds, while in the fridge are bottles of beer (VB & Tooeys) and a soft drink fountain with Coke. Plenty of jugs of juice are also on the worktop.
There is a barrista station in the lounge, however the hours are a bit variable. It is only open until 9.30am most days, and then again from 4pm. This is a bit odd, as many international passengers will have majorly skewed body clocks, but you can of course make a cup of coffee yourself.
Business FacilitiesThere are very good Business facilities in the Sydney Qantas International Business Class lounge. On the extreme right hand side of the lounge there are ten iMac computers that run both Mac OS and Windows, with decent laminated instructions at each computer incase you’ve never used a Mac before. The computers are very fast. The view from here has to be one of the best from any workstation at an airport, with sweeping views of the apron.
Indeed, this almost seems like a waste, as many people keep their eyes on the screen, while they are wobbling on the ergonomic low stools which make sitting on a computer here a bit of a pain. There is also a printer and photocopier at the back of the lounge. There is free Wifi in the lounge – select Telstra, and then click in the Qantas Logo. It’s very fast. There are power points in the main seating areas, but they can be a bit hard to come by: they are on the window side of the low polished stone walls.
There is a magazine rack next to one of the triangles, with the SMH, Australian and Financial Review, but with a poor selection of magazines. There’s Business Traveller there, and a few other good financial mags, but that’s about it for entertainment, and all the decent magazines have large stickers saying they shouldn’t be removed from the lounge.
BathroomsFinally, there are showers in the recently remodelled bathrooms, which are a wonder to behold. They really are very good, full of arty basins and designer taps.
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