Melbourne has two Oneworld business class lounges in the airport, the Qantas Business Lounge and the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge. Most passengers transiting in Melbourne probably wonder which oneworld lounge to spend time in. I had this very same thought in my head so when I was flying back to Singapore on Qantas business class, I decided to check out the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge alongside the Qantas Lounge.
The lounge is located at Level 1, one floor below the gates and within the same level as the Qantas Business Lounge and other business class lounges. Designed by Foster + Partners, the decor is more in keeping with the traditional Cathay Pacific lounge look prior to the transition to the newer design in other venues such as The Pier in Hong Kong International Airport.
There are two seating sections and passengers enter via a small living space replete with plenty of armchairs. There’s plenty of seats here, no doubt but also a noticeable lack of vacant spaces. Here, one can also find some PC stations for passengers to surf or print important documents.
A second room which functions as a dining space has a couple of dining tables as well as a communal counter top table setup. Frosted glass panels reveal the hallway outside though there is a lack of windows with a genuine view of the outdoors.
The buffet spread is simple and is a far cry from the made-to-order dishes that you can find in the newly refurbished Cathay Pacific lounges around the world. At the time of my visit, I could see some simple dimsum items, a couple of sandwiches, cookies, nuts and simple pastries.
In terms of drinks, one could find the usual suspects – softdrinks, juices, beer, wine and some hard liquor. For some caffeine fix, there are Nespresso coffee capsules as well as the Australian brand, T2 tea for passengers to drink.
The Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Melbourne has one shower room and I requested to see it. Passengers need to obtain the key from the front desk. The shower room is spacious, marbled and the only disappointment is the toiletries brand being used. While Cathay Pacific uses Aesop elsewhere, in the lounge in Melbourne, they use a brand called Savile Row which I must admit I’ve never heard of (as a toiletries brand, at least).
Overall, the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Melbourne has got to be one of the airline’s most low key lounges worldwide. It does the job as a holding area for passengers with a couple of refreshments onsite – nothing more. If you are thinking whether the Qantas Business Lounge is better or the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge, I would personally opt for the former if only for the artisanal coffee and made-to-order dishes.
Opening hours: Daily, 04:45-14:00 & 20:30-23:20