SYD: Sydney Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Business Class Lounge
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NEWS: The new Singapore Airlines lounge in Sydney has opened, revealing the new look of all the SilverKris lounges worldwide. The design concept, called 'a home away from home' will be rolled out at the Singapore's Terminal 3 hub, the new London LHR T2, and Hong Kong as part of a $80USD million make-over.
The brand new Singapore Airlines Sydney Lounge is a delight, both in Business and First Class. Opened fully early in 2014, it is a world away from its previous world-weary incarnation, with new chairs, and vastly enlarged dining area, and racks of more seats on the Business side, while the First section now has a real differentiation and is clearly a 'level up' from Business, rather than being an identical copy, as was before.
The Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge in Sydney is up the stairs (or via the escalators or lift) on the far side of the terminal, on the same upper corridor as the Air New Zealand lounge (which is actually a better bet if you want a much larger lounge, rather than the small SQ offerings).
The Singapore Airlines lounge Sydney was designed by Singapore-based architectural and interior design firm ONG&ONG as a showcase of the new Silver Kris style, with 'a home away from home' design concept, featuring Singapore art, with dividers to give distinct personal spaces designed and modelled after elements of a home. And in action it really works, it really does.
The Sydney Singapore Airlines lounge is split into two, with First on the right, and Business Class on the left past the reception desk. In front of this desk is a batik design screen customised for Singapore Airlines, giving a distinctly recognisable nod to the airline's heritage; it certainly gets attention.
Right by reception there is a small annexe adjacent to the entry, designed for late running passengers to grab a quick tea or coffee and some light nibbles such as biscuits or nuts. Then as you walk around into the main business class lounge area itself, ahead of you are the 'work' chairs, to the left is the kitchen area, and ahead is the large block of the lounge itself. Dining tables are in a type of corridor on the right, half way down on the right are the bathrooms, while at the window if you turn right there is the famous Sydney SQ 'Shelf' which gives good dining or laptop seats while enjoying the fabulous view of Sydney airport apron and the runway itself towards Botany Bay.
In the main seating area there are two main areas to sit: you can either sit on the banks of rather dull grey armchairs, with small coffee tables between them, or you can sit on the famous Singapore Airlines 'productivity pods', which have a small enclosed space with a seat, a desk, and high walls.
Along the side wall of the lounge there are the dining tables: oddly, many people prefer not to sit here, mainly due to the long extended sofa type seating along one side. Instead many passengers sit on the 'dining shelf' beside the kitchen, which gives a high overall view of the lounge itself.
FoodThe food area resembles a well-stocked high end kitchen, and is a vast improvement on the old 'food bar' in the old Singapore Airlines Sydney lounge.
There is vast island bench, with heated lamps over the hot food on one half of the bench, with cold food on the other half. And what a lot of food there is too!
Food changes according to time of day. For the first two flights of the day, it's mainly breakfast, with bacon, sausages, and beans. For the latter two flights, from 10am onwards, there is lunch, with just a slight nod towards breakfast with cereal boxes left out.
Lunch in the Sydney Silver Kris lounge is amazing, with a vast number of hot dishes, and it features iconic dishes from Singapore such as mee siam and laksa. There are hot meat pies, as you would expect, chicken wings, a curry and rice, and a bowl of noodles. There is also a tray of cold antipasti (IE: plural of anti-pasto, in other words a fine selection), with cold cuts of ham and salmon, dried tomatoes and mushrooms with pesto, several types of cheese, and other Italian delicacies.
There's hot soup too, fruit, biscuits and nuts.
BarThe bar in the Singapore Airlines Sydney lounge is great – a vast well stocked fridge, with plenty of free pour wine, beer and spirits. The bar opens at 5.30am (yes, am) for those who have been up all night before the early morning flight, and never closes.
On the top shelf are bottles of beer, with a fine selection of Peroni, Tiger beer, Crown lager, Coopers, James Boag's (lager and light), and Heineken.
On the shelf below are bottles of mixers, including pre-mixed bloody mary, juice, and bottles of water.
Spirits are on the left of the worktop, and here the selection is pretty basic, with just Baileys, Black Label, Jack Daniels, Grey Goose, Campari, and VSOP.
Wine is great, with three types of white and three of red; Aussie wines dominate as you might expect, with a couple of Sauvignon Blancs and a Chardonnay. There is also a bottle of Aussie sparkling wine, but much better is the real French Chandon champagne.
BathroomsThere are bathrooms and showers in the lounge, with the main problem being there being only one stall in the gents, and two in the ladies. The bathrooms are however new swish and modern, and with a tray of toothbrushes, razors and combs.
Business FacilitiesBusiness facilities are poor in the lounge: there is free Wifi, but no computers. The old business centre got the axe in the 2014 rebuild, mainly because everyone seems to bring their own tablets nowadays.
A few – very few – newspapers are on the podium by the reception desk. There is also a small and relatively Spartan magazine rack beside the kitchen.
There are two TVs on the wall of the main lounge: one is generally on Sky news, and the other on ABC News 24.
AccessAccess to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Sydney lounge is heavily restricted: generally you will need a ticket on Singapore Airlines itself. The staff will permit access if you have a Star Alliance ticket and Star Gold access, but you need to know the rules on this and quote them to the staff before they will let you in, instead referring you to the Air New Zealand lounge around the corner.
Access is particularly difficult if you have a United Airlines First Class ticket and you'd like to get into the First Class side: technically this is permitted under Star Alliance rules, but often the 'only if there is space' rule is used to prevent you actually getting in.
From the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Sydney lounge there is a great view of the airport runway, and of gates 57 and 58 which Singapore commonly use. At Sydney, unlike Singapore, final call really means that, but thankfully in the lounge the staff come around and do personal 'last calls' for when it is time for passengers to get on board.
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