I’ll start by saying it. The Qantas Singapore Lounge at Changi Terminal 1 has got to be the one of the best airport lounges in Singapore. It opened back in April 2013 and boasts of bells and whistles such as live cooking stations, freshly-brewed barista coffee as well as a cocktail bar for guests waiting for their flight.
The lounge is spread across multiple sections including 2 sitting areas with armchairs (of various types and colors) interspersed with counter seating for those looking to get some work done. In order to get access to power outlets, make sure to choose a seat near the aisle. While the interiors here are in keeping with airport lounges elsewhere, the clean white look gives it a more refined ambiance.
As you walk through the dining area, you’ll realize that the interiors take on a slightly different approach. The visible pipes by the ceiling give this area of the lounge a rather industrial feel although the color scheme remains mostly the same. The room curves as one transitions from lounge to food, with the communal dining tables at the center following a similar diagonal pattern. These tables (there are about three of them) are a great way to meet and strike up a conversation with fellow passengers and I did notice quite a few getting to know each other this way.
If you prefer to dine in a setting that’s more private, you’ll find smaller dining tables by the window (that overlooks the departure area of Terminal 1). Whichever your preference, you’ll find the buffet spread directly in front of you.
The dining format at the Qantas Singapore Lounge consists of a generous buffet spread. Think: various types of salads (the types with quinoa, couscous and other fancier ingredients), hot dishes, soup and a tempting spread of desserts. During my visit there, I chanced upon some local delicacies such as glutinous rice with coconut cream and pandan chiffon covered in gula melaka. There were some western options as well including crème brulee and a selection of fruits.
While the buffet already has enough to keep one going, I would recommend saving tummy space for the ala carte items instead. The menu rotates from time to time. During my visit, I chanced upon Prawn Noodles as well as Crispy Pork Pau.
Staff interaction was excellent and I could compare the level of service to a hotel club lounge. Not only would orders be proactively taken and plates cleared but I also noticed a distinct effort to strike up a conversation with passengers. This is definitely something I’ve not experienced before in an airport lounge, not even at the luxurious but relatively impersonal The Private Room of Singapore Airlines.
After having my fill of noodles, pau and some desserts; I then made my way to the bar. Unlike the self-service format elsewhere, the Qantas Singapore Lounge actually has a bartender manning the bar at all times. I glanced upon the coffee selection. It wouldn’t be an Australian carrier if Qantas didn’t have decent coffee and at their lounge, they offer homegrown Vittoria-branded coffee. I started off by ordering a latte.
I was quite impressed with the result. After waiting for a couple of minutes, my cup came to me with latte art and all. Seriously, it wouldn’t look out of place in a hipster café.
For those feeling thirsty, the bartenders can also whip up a cocktail or two. I attempted to order a Singapore Sling but was immediately offered an alternative – the signature cocktail of the house.
I was up for a relatively short flight but I wanted to check what the shower facilities are like. The Qantas Singapore Lounge has 20 shower rooms. This lounge by far has the most number of shower rooms in Changi Airport, according to the attendant. I went in to have a look.
Most shower rooms are of the same size but there are a couple of family shower rooms available which has a little seating area inside, aside from the standard toilet, sink and shower.
Is the Qantas Singapore Lounge the best airport lounge in Changi Airport? It could very well be. While you don’t get served with Lobster Thermidor here, I thought the venue has one of the best offerings overall. The food and drink selection is certainly nothing to complain about while the seating spaces are well-appointed and modern. The service is fantastic as well. If there’s any gripe I have, it’s that I didn’t get to spend more time here. I heard the lounge service takes on various formats at different times of the day. As I was leaving, I spotted the bartender preparing evening cocktails.
Seemed like I missed the best part.
Operating Hours: 2:30 PM to 11:PM daily