The Qantas First Lounge – First Class Everything
The Qantas First Lounge is considered one of the best lounges in the world. It certainly lives up to its reputation with great facilities, use of space, an innovative design, restaurant quality dining, a day spa, and superb runway views.
Did we mention the top notch service by a very well trained staff from the Sofitel Hotel, who really make every person feel special. This Qantas First lounge is truly an experience and one we recommend you spend more than a few hours in before your flight if you can, just to experience all it has to offer.
The lounge is one level above the main concourse via an escalator. Signs will point to both the business and first class lounges. Directly at the top of the escalator is the frosted glass entry to the First Lounge where a waiting staff member will check your boarding pass for entry.
This lounge is for Qantas First Class passengers, as well as Oneworld Emerald (Qantas Platinum and above) cardholders. As you enter you walk along a curved corridor with a living wall of plants on your left and windows on your right. This brings you to another escalator that takes you up to the lounge proper.
A Personal Welcome
You will have your boarding pass checked again and be welcomed to the lounge by name. At this point remember to ask the reception staff about the availability for massages from the day spa. They do fill up early and on this visit I was unlucky not to get one.
First Class passengers flying Qantas do get a phone call the day before flying, so they can book in to the spa in advance. Otherwise, the earlier you arrive, the better your chances are of really enjoying this lounge experience.
Seats With a View
Once you pass reception the lounge stretches right and left. To the right you will find a series of seating areas, with many facing the large windows and the fantastic view over the apron and active runway.
This is a great spot to sit if you want to enjoy the view, with good seating options and small tables. Waiter service is provided in this area.
Further along to the right are a couple of private meeting rooms/offices that can be used by individuals or small groups. They are available on a first come basis and are very well set up. They have a computer, printer and work area as well as a couch and sitting area. They also have a phone so are a great place if you have work to do before your flight.
It’s not uncommon to see Australian politicians hard at work here. On the morning I was here a young mother was using one to nurse and feed her baby, another excellent use for this semi-private space. The door into these rooms is frosted glass, so they aren’t completely private.
Further along the lounge you will see an old fashioned clapper style departure board . It is one way that Qantas tips its hat to history, which is lovely to see.
Around from where the board is located is the library. This is a lovely quiet end of the lounge that does not get much use. Great for reading, quiet work, or to just get away from the crowds, although I never find this Qantas First lounge crowded. Another element of it’s serious appeal.
Silver Service Dining
Walking back past reception in the opposite direction, you will find two absolute stand out features of this lounge. First, you will see the dining room. Really it’s a series of three smaller dining rooms with tables for two, many facing the windows.
This is truly an amazing spot to spend some time in the lounge. Breakfast is served until 11am, then the all day menu is available. The menu changes with the seasons and today I had the pleasure of trying the spring menu.
To start my lunch off I had the not-to-be-missed Salt and Pepper Squid. Always incredible, and fresh, served with aioli and dipping oil. Simply divine!
For mains I tried the Pork Meatballs served with spinach and rice. Even though it was a little spicy it was a lovely meal, five-star restaurant quality.
For dessert you cannot go past their signature dish – the deconstructed pavlova. Melt in your mouth flavours and a truly Australian way to finish a meal!
The Important Bits – The Wine!
This Qantas First lounge has an extensive wine list with specialty wines often available. It’s always worthwhile to ask at the bar about what’s on offer the day you’re there. There is usually an open red in a carafe, as well as a wide range of whites, reds, roses, and four different champagnes on offer.
The bar staff are well trained and very friendly. I opted for the Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne, which was delicate and refreshing. This Champagne has true fruity fragrances and hints of vanilla, creating a beautiful balance.
The Day Spa
At the far end of the lounge is the entry to the day spa. This is a sanctuary, well away from the business of the airport, and one really feels they are at some exclusive health club.
Individual treatment rooms all have living plant walls and a variety of treatments are available. Bookings can be made at the lounge reception on arrival, or at any time throughout your stay. However, the earlier the better so you aren’t disappointed!
Expert Traveller Recommends…
This is truly a lounge you want to arrive at early to enjoy it to the maximum. It’s not uncommon for people to arrive 4 or 5 hours ahead of their departure time to enjoy all this lounge has to offer.
Remember to ask about a spa booking on arrival and to make sure you have time to sit down to a restaurant quality meal in the dining room.
We highly recommend this outstanding lounge. Qantas also has a First Lounge in Melbourne, which is also worth visiting.