Rohit

Qantas operates 4 First Class Lounges, two in Australia and two overseas. You will find these lounges in:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Singapore
  • Los Angeles

As the name suggests, these are some of the finest lounges in Qantas’ lounge network. In-fact I would rate the Sydney lounge in the Top 10 lounges in the world. I have reviewed the Sydney and Singapore lounge previously which you can check out over here and here. I will be in LA in few months time so expect a review to follow.

I recently flew out of Melbourne and stopped by the Qantas First lounge to spend some time there.

Location

The Qantas First Lounge in Melbourne is located in the International Departures section of the Terminal. Once you have cleared Immigration, just follow the signs directing you to the lounge. Along the way, you will pass through duty-free shops, numerous cafes and other retail stores.


Lounge Signage, Melbourne Airport


Retail Shops, Melbourne Airport

The lounge is located 1 level up from the Concourse, there are escalators and lifts to bring you up. As you get to the top of the escalator, you will notice the Marhaba lounge on the right and the Qantas First lounge on the left.


Marhaba Lounge, Melbourne Airport


Qantas First Lounge, Melbourne Airport

Qantas First Lounge Melbourne

As you enter, the reception is to the right. The wall opposite from the reception is covered in heavy foliage, similar to the Sydney lounge.


Reception, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Green Wall, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

I scanned the digital boarding pass on my Qantas app under the scanner and proceeded to the main part of the lounge. As you come in, there is a solitary semi-private booth on the left.


Booth Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Booth Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

Although it wouldn’t be very comfortable, there are power outlets and USB Ports should you want to use this space to do some work.


Booth Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

If not, behind the booth tucked away in the corner there is a small enclosure with office-style desks, outlets and printers which would be ideal for those wanting to get some work done prior to their flight.


Work Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Work Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Work Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

If your work or business is too precious to be conducted in open, fret not. There are couple of private meeting rooms adjacent to the booths that you can hire to seal the deal, away from the prying eyes of all and sundry.


Private Meeting Room, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Private Meeting Room, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

Coming to the main seating area of the lounge, there are multiple open spaces with comfortable recliner chairs and leather sofas on the left.


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

The floor to ceiling windows let in oceans of natural light as well as offer ample views of the runway, apron and planes.


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

Then on the right, you have more of those semi-private booths with library style set-up. Each of these booths have four plush leather chairs and two centre tables. The shelves are stacked with all kinds of books for you to peruse, if that’s your thing.


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Seating, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

The bright red colour scheme is not exactly pleasing on eyes, but does exude some retro charm.

The dining area is located on the far end of the corridor and is comfortably the most in-demand space of the facility. There are close to two dozen tables and chairs orderly laid-out for the diners, some near the windows others nearer to the centre.


Dining Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Dining Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Dining Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Dining Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Dining Area, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

It was nice to see the bar and the kitchen located in close proximity from the dining area where you could watch the bartender and the chefs ply their craft in full public view.


Bar & Kitchen, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

As the window tables were mostly set up for party of four, I took one of the smaller tables set back from the window but with great views nevertheless. The All-Day menu was presented by one of the many roving wait-staff dressed in crisp white coats.


All Day Dining Menu, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

Even though I had been flying and visiting other lounges for most of the day, I was saving my appetite for this moment. I kicked things off with a glass of bubbly, a plate of roast pork bao and a bowl of crunchy, golden-fried chips, yum 😋


Champagne, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Pork Bao, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Hot Chips, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

For the mains, I ordered the Korean Chicken and the crowd favourite Salt & Pepper Squids. All washed down with Jet Setter, a sweet and heady concoction of vodka, elderflower, gingered apple and dill.


Korean Fried Chicken, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Salt & Pepper Squids, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Jet Setter, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

Everything was delicious and cooked to a very high standard. That said, there’s a strange sense of sameness creeping into Qantas First Dining Menu. Just from my previous visits over the months, it seems like hardly anything has changed. It’s fine to retain cult dishes like the salt & pepper squid, but would be nice if Qantas refreshed the menu a little more frequently.

Fully satiated from my meal, I sat down and did some work for about half an hour. At this point, there was 15 minutes remaining before my flight started boarding. So I quickly went and checked out other lounge facilities.

Male and Female Toilets are located closer to the main entrance. Everything looked spick and span. Besides all the usual stuff, here you will also find 4 spacious bathroom suites, complete with their own WC, sink and mirrors.


Bathroom, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Bathroom, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Bathroom, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

The lounge also offers private shower suites and a spa service, both located nearer to the Private Meeting Rooms.


Shower & Spa, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport


Shower Suite, Qantas First Lounge Melbourne Airport

As you can imagine, spa treatments are very popular and it is difficult to get a slot unless you get to the lounge well ahead of your flight. I inquired about making an appointment but unfortunately there was nothing available in time for me.

The staff advised me that the Spa service was operating at half the capacity after reopening from the Covid closure. So it is expected that over the coming months there will be additional booking slots made available to guests, as Qantas brings more resources onboard.

In Conclusion

Qantas First Lounge at Melbourne offers a very good pre-flight experience for its guests. There’s lots of sitting space, sumptuous food and great tarmac views. If you manage to snag a booking at the Spa, that could elevate your experience to the next level.

While not quite in the same league as its Sydney counter-part, it is more than respectable in every sense. If you are flying out of Melbourne and have access to the lounge, head straight-in without even considering other options. Having said that, both Sydney and Melbourne Lounges are getting a little dated and could do with a facelift.

The good news is that Qantas is cognisant of this fact and have elaborate lounge refresh plans it has committed to implementing over the next 2-4 years. The Sydney and Melbourne facilities are the crown jewels in Qantas’ lounge network, so every penny spent in keeping them at lofty heights is money well spent.

Have you visited the Qantas First Lounge at Melbourne? Leave a comment below.

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