On the 2nd December, just over 2 weeks away, we will see the grand opening of the new Qantas first class lounge in Singapore’s Changi International Airport. The lounge follows a wave of ground and inflight product improvements that are helping positioning the carrier as a true luxury, design-led proposition.
In the meantime, select passengers – specifically Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer members – will be able to enjoy a special “sneak preview” invitation to visit the new Qantas First lounge ahead of its official opening. The lounge feels more luxury fashion boutique meets Michelin-starred restaurant, but that’s thanks to the luxurious design aesthetic of Qantas’ resident designer David Caon.
Swathes of wood, marble and brass tie the lounge together with a relaxing, modern and very chic design palette. The lounge itself is large, spanning over 1000 square metres and can seat up to 240 customers, which will be welcome news to the many OneWorld carriers that fly to Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The lounge has a similar concept to Cathay Pacific’s where a central corridor connects the zones, which range from comfortable seating through to a la carte dining tables and sit-up bars. There’s no lack of amenities though, with USB and charging ports located throughout the lounge. There are also the more discreet but still essential services like wireless printing, Wi-Fi and TV screens for customers to stay charged and connected.
The lounge features two bars, one traditional cocktail bar, and another bar in the dining zone, allowing passengers to select their environ depending on mood. The cocktail bar will serve French champagne, seasonal spritzes, unique cocktails inspired by Singapore, like a Calamansi Mojito – made from the local Calamansi fruit, Singaporean & Australian beer – and a variety of Australian wine.
Meanwhile the elegant and refined dining zone will feature a selection of seasonal dishes with an Asian twist from Qantas’ synonymous Neil Perry Rockpool menu.
Being an important connecting hub for Qantas, with over 50 direct flights a day to and from Changi, there is a real need for shower suites to cater for passengers. Qantas sadly opted against showers onboard their A380s which fly to Changi, instead opting for a new social lounge area also designed by David Caon. Therefore ten, beautifully appointed showers are ideal to freshen up before a passengers next leg.
Of course we’re impressed. There’s a quiet sophistication to Qantas’ lounges, which always have a sense of light, which are both warm and hospitable. Singapore’s First Class lounge is no exception. The quiet elegance doesn’t reflect the need for a gimmick-led approach, such as spas, grand water features or impressive views. It instead makes the passenger feel like they are in a friends home where they are made to feel welcome, put their feet up and relax (albeit with a cold glass of fine French Champagne), similar to the approach of Cathay’s First Class lounge in Hong Kong.