Business class travellers and high-ranking frequent flyers enjoy access to some great lounges at Sydney Airport's international terminal. Here are T1's top five business class lounges.
1. Etihad Airways Premium Lounge
As a single lounge shared by first class and business class passengers, the Etihad Airways Premium lounge edges out the rest of the pack.
Winning touches include a full a la carte menu at the in-lounge restaurant where seasonal dishes include mussel chowder, truffle parmesan souffle, braised beef cheeks, grilled ocean trout and duck leg tagine.
If you're rather a light bite, the self-serve buffet area boasts a range of lighter snacks, salads and Tapas-style mezze dishes.
... but there's no reason you can't pick and choose from both, before moving to the bar for a pre-flight tipple or two.
Of course, Etihad's staples of Arabic coffee and dates also make an appearance.
Parents and kid-free flyers alike will appreciate the children's playroom, too.
Etihad's Sydney business class lounge doesn't boast the up-to-date styling of its stunning Melbourne sibling, but it's easily the 'best in class' at Sydney Airport.
2. Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
One of Sydney Airport's two Star Alliances lounges, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge has an elegant and pared-back contemporary 'residential' theme rather than a slickly high-tech high-touch look.
It offers a much wider range of Western and Asian dishes, with tastes of Singapore such as laksa and mee siam...
... although we recommend ducking into the nearby Air New Zealand lounge for an excellent barista-pulled coffee.
If you need to get some work done before your flight, or just want a little more of your own space than the regular seating provides, a series of high-walled booths provide privacy along with room for your laptop and handy AC/USB sockets.
3. Air New Zealand Lounge
Next door to SQ's SilverKris lounge is is Sydney's other Star Alliance lounge.
The AirNZ lounge is larger than its neighbour but gets much busier because most Star Alliance airlines – including United, Thai and Air Canada – direct their business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyer here, as does Virgin Australia for its trans-Tasman flights.
A sprawling open plan design affords plenty of natural light and great views, with a tended bar and a 'food theatre' station where chefs prepare daily specials (albeit with a limited range) to go with the hot and cold dishes available at the buffet.
Like the best lounges these days there's a variety of seating areas: some casual and relaxing, others for solo or couple dining, plus longer benches, a 'business zone' and quiet zone.
And AC/USB sockets are everywhere and built into everything, from laptop benches to cocktail tables.
4. Emirates Lounge
The Emirates Lounge doesn't wow you with cutting-edge design – and given the airline's propensity for bling, that could be a good thing.
What does surprise travellers is the variety and quality of food and drink on offer.
There may be no a la carte dining room but the buffet is among the best you'll find in any airport lounge, and constantly re-stocked with a tasty selection of individually-played international dishes, accompanied by expected wines, spirits and Veuve Clicquot champagne.
5. SkyTeam Lounge
The SkyTeam lounge serves alliance airlines including China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines.
Although spacious, there's a clear delineation of different 'zones' for relaxing and working...
.... with a decent spread of food...
... complemented by a self-serve bar.
Honourable mention: American Express Lounge
The American Express Lounge is Sydney Airport's only private, non-airline lounge, and we're crossing our fingers for more to open their doors in Australia's other major airports.
Access is limited to selected American Express card-holders: a handful of premium cards give you unlimited yearly entry, others provide two free visits per year (and $55 per entry thereafter). The full list can be found at www.goodgoing.com.au.
This compact lounge is ideal for travellers who are travelling in premium economy or economy and lack the frequent flyer status to use that airline's lounge.
There's a pleasing spread of food and snacks, with barista-pulled coffee and drinks at the bar.
While it can get quite busy during peak travel periods – at which point some guests are redirected to the adjacent SkyTeam lounge – there's still an air of exclusivity in this cosy and well-appointed nook.
Not-so-honourable mention: Qantas International Business Lounge
This is Qantas' busiest lounge at Australia's busiest airport, and the wear and tear of a decade of heavy traffic is sadly showing (note however that it's the same age as the upstairs Qantas first class lounge, which looks as good as the day it was opened).
Some parts of the equation seek to more than balance things out: there's a great spread of food at the buffet...
... plus little touches like the fresh juice station and even some gelato made in the lounge's own kitchen.
Nor can the service from attentive staff be faulted. But bearing in mind that this is Qantas' flagship business class lounge, business travellers could be forgiven for expecting a bit better.
What's your pick of Sydney Airport's best business class lounges?