Qantas opens all-new Melbourne domestic business class lounge

Qantas opens all-new Melbourne domestic business class lounge

Qantas has opened its all-new Melbourne Domestic Business Lounge, with business class passengers and Platinum-grade frequent flyers set to enjoy a smart and spacious upgrade to the previously tired and cramped quarters.

The lounge is styled as a 'supper club' with Qantas citing dark tones and sophisticated finishes – including Nero Marquina marble from Northern Spain, natural timber floors, brass and black metal fittings and custom brass lighting – "to symbolise the chic, urban feel of Melbourne."

A focal point of the new business lounge is a centrally-located bar serving beer wine and spirits along with barista-pulled coffee, with a cocktail hour between 5pm and 6pm.

This has a sophisticated Italian vibe which is perfectly in keeping with that trendy Melbourne-esque feeling, and it's easy to imagine how popular and buzzing this will be of a Friday evening.

As with its siblings in Brisbane and Perth, the Melbourne business lounge will have its own unique dining option in the form of a Spice Bar serving freshly-made noodles and Asian street food – although that won't open until the lounge overhaul is completed in early November. (Qantas' Perth business lounge has become famous for its pizzas, which Brisbane has a Mexican Cantina).

The Spice Bar will serve up the likes of sichuan eggplant with rice and stir fried gai lan, beef brisket noodle soup with salted chili and bok choy, and char sui pork with rice and stir fried choy sum.

The refit also sees a more spacious buffet area for hot and cold dishes, also with an emphasis on Asian dishes including fried rice, noodles and Asian greens. A more open design makes it easier to browse and plate up the dishes, with plenty of areas to sit and enjoy your meal

As with the other new-look domestic business lounges there's also a 'Quench' hydration station with hot teas and cool drinks.

We're pleased to report there are plenty of AC and USB sockets within easy reach of most fixed furniture and along parts of the walls for charging laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The new Melbourne Business Lounge occupies the entire northern span of Qantas' domestic lounge precinct, taking over the space, full-height windows and views previously allocated to the Qantas Club.

The windows add to the sense of a light airy design which opens up the lounge compared to the old space, a large part of which was located away from the windows.

That's enhanced by the a skylight which used to be within the footprint of the former Qantas Club but now lets light flood down into the centre of the business lounge.

There are several of these circular benches which create a communal seating arrangement, with a hub-and-spoke design where travellers resting on the padded bench can chat to those sitting either side or across the small coffee tables.

We also liked these workstations, which have a higher bench on one side and – not seen from this angle – a lower bench on the other side.

And at long last, the business lounge finally gets its own dedicated entry, with passengers turning left when they reach the top of the escalators instead of being routed through the middle of the Qantas Club.

This is still the first stage of the lounge's redevelopment, with more seating to be added by early November.

A larger Qantas Club is also on the way

This will not only reduce through-traffic and congestion at the Qantas Club but allow the Qantas Club to expand into part of the former business lounge.

That's expected to lift Qantas Club capacity to around 530 seats – 10% more than the old Qantas Club – and alleviate the current over-crowding which has seen Gold-grade frequent flyers and Qantas Club members unable to guest fellow travellers into the lounge during peak hours (5am-9am and 3pm-7pm).

Those guest access restrictions remain in place until November.

At the same time, the wall adjacent to the Qantas Club bar will pushed back to reveal windows facing into the terminal.

This work is expected to be finished in November, marking the completion of the Qantas Club and Business Lounge make-over.

Up next on Qantas' lounge to-do list is a Cinderella-like transformation of its Sydney International Business Lounge, which will be designed by David Caon and feature a Rockpool 'dining concept'

Read more: What do you want from Qantas' new Sydney business class lounge?

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

19 comments

  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    23 Aug, 2018 09:02 am

    This is exciting news. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow 😍
    No member give thanks

  • Nick Corrigan

    NickCorr

    23 Aug, 2018 10:59 am

    Any word on the International basement lounge?
    Member who gave thanks

    Boeing-Tragic

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    23 Aug, 2018 12:18 pm

    lol the dungeon
    No member give thanks

  • RK

    Ryan K

    23 Aug, 2018 05:26 pm

    Wrong lounge. This is about the domestic lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    23 Aug, 2018 01:45 pm

    The international lounge isn't in the list in another AUSBT article posted today. So presumably it'll be in the next batch of lounge refreshes or two after that list is done.

    I'm sure QF hasn't forgotten it but they're not going to redo every lounge at the same time.
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    23 Aug, 2018 03:05 pm

    "At the same time, the wall adjacent to the Qantas Club bar will pushed back to reveal windows facing into the terminal." Hardly an exciting development for Qantas Club and Gold FFs. Whilst the new Business Lounge looks good, the revamped Qantas Club is distinctly ordinary.
    No member give thanks

  • levelnine

    levelnine

    24 Aug, 2018 05:16 pm

    Exactly. The light and airy Qantas Club is long gone. A distinct downgrade for QC and Gold FFs.
    No member give thanks

  • Tim Davies

    Boeing-Tragic

    25 Aug, 2018 11:21 am

    Ah-ha! That explains why I've been seeing QC members in Virgin's MEL lounge a lot more lately.
    No member give thanks

  • Brett Segal

    NQflyer

    23 Aug, 2018 09:26 pm

    Asian food sounds good. I wish they would switch around the themes in the different lounges. I am particularly over the repatitive fare in the Brisbane Business Lounge.
    Member who gave thanks

    Ataylor1

  • Elizabeth

    VintageDom

    24 Aug, 2018 03:45 pm

    I've often thought that this would be a great idea - especially for those that regularly use the same lounge. Hopefully someone at Qantas is paying attention.
    No member give thanks

  • Ataylor1

    Ataylor1

    27 Aug, 2018 10:51 am

    Couldn't agree more NQflyer. The BNE business (domestic) food is really quite bland and never-changing. As a regular visitor some other improvements/suggestions for that afformentioned lounge include:

    - install self-serve coffee machine to avoid having to que for possibly quite some time for barista coffee
    - the printer has not worked since the lounge opened
    - quality of Shiraz is generally quite poor, although the wine of the month lately was a ripper
    - it can be difficult to get access to power and USB even at moderately busy times

    Having said that the staff are generally fantastic and overall a good lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • John Leslie

    monoccular

    24 Aug, 2018 05:50 pm

    Looking forward to using it on Sunday.
    Will be great to have more of an outlook, though in a year or two when I will almost certainly no longer be platinum will be ‘condemned’ to the windowless standard lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • mrmaxwell

    mrmaxwell

    24 Aug, 2018 06:28 pm

    Melbourne being Australia’s second largest metropolis which includes the fourth busiest route in the world but Qantas can only manage a 10% increase in seating?? An upgrade was long overdue me thinks the additional 10% was hobbled up years ago...
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    24 Aug, 2018 06:57 pm

    How would you suggest it be dealt with? QF can only work with the space available. Unless they put an extra level above the current lounges, there is no room to expand them.
    No member give thanks

  • 2A

    2A

    25 Aug, 2018 09:55 am

    I was in there c. 1830-1939 last night. It was a complete mess - chairs (some new, some from the old lounge) scattered everywhere. Food inconveniently in the corner although it looks as though this will change. I never thought I would say it but the BNE lounge is far superior. RC
    No member give thanks

  • Nixon

    Nixon

    25 Aug, 2018 05:46 pm

    Qantas is a fail.... Switched over from Virgin Platinum and incredibly dissapoittned even flying business class and using Australian domestic lounges. They are terrible......
    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    26 Aug, 2018 06:26 pm

    You can get over pizzas and Mexican very quickly, both being subsistence foods, and the rest is the usual fare. You get soup, and what might as well be soup, in the hot dish. You couldn't get beetroot in the Melbourne business lounge until recently--had to go into the Club lounge for that. The catering in any Qantas lounge, except International first class, is sooooooo predictable. No amount of ambience, if that means anything, will compensate for very ordinary catering. Went into Emirates lounge at Sydney international once and the catering was much better than the business lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    27 Aug, 2018 08:18 am

    "what might as well be soup, in the hot dish"...glad i'm not the only one who thinks this
    No member give thanks

  • Wendy Cohen

    WendyC

    4 Dec, 2018 03:11 pm

    First visit is quite underwhelming. New carpet pilling badly, too much food on floor and power points all quite low, so no dignity for ladies plugging in power cords. Most amazingly the two meat, hot food options from Spice Bar and bay marie were pork. What about Jewish and Muslim guests or those, like me, who choose not to eat pork? Pig products in other food offerings too. I get the Asian market but sheesh! Eggplant from Spice Bar tasty, but overcooked. Wine quality quite good.

    Overall looks nice but scratch the surface and I'm not sure it's up to par.
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 Jun, 2019 07:40 am

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