Qantas' new first class lounge in Singapore is now open, offering an elegant pre-flight respite for Qantas first class flyers, along with Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge members and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents.
An official media opening for the Qantas Singapore First Lounge (to use its proper name) will be hosted by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce on Monday December 2, 2019, but eligible travellers don't need to stand on ceremony: as of today they can make a beeline to Changi Airport's Terminal 1 D-gate wing, just past the Aerotel airport hotel and outdoor swimming pool.
Although this is at the opposite end of T1 to the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge, strolling between the lounges will take less than than ten minutes from door to door (Changi's T1 D gates are often used for Airbus A380 flights, and this part of the terminal could see an increase in superjumbos while other twin-aisle jets are directed to the C gates).
First (class) impressions
First impressions are always telling, and in the case of the Qantas Singapore First Lounge, you begin to get a hint of the design language and materials: Carrara marble and terrazzo, light European woods and perforated panels, touches of brass and green.
It's very close to the concept images, which were in turn developed from extensive VR sessions which saw the lounge begin to take digital shape over a year ago.
Inside there's seating for 240 travellers, which will put an end to overcrowding in the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge (which itself has also recently been extended to add 74 seats and boost total capacity to almost 600 passengers, compared to some 460 guests when the lounge debuted in April 2013).
Many of those passengers – especially during the stopovers of QF1 and QF2, as well as leading up to Qantas’ wave of evening flights from Singapore to Australia – will head to the dining room at the far end of the lounge.
This features a live cooking station plus a cocktail bar serving Champagne, seasonal spritzes and unique Singapore-inspired cocktails such as a mojito made from the local Calamansi fruit (they also do an exceptional espresso martini, but we don't know if the repertoire extends to the classic Singapore Sling).
Again, these concept image show more of the dining room, which has clearly been designed around offering plenty of seating during those peak periods.
Neil Perry, Qantas’ Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service, told Executive Traveller "it’s super-exciting to have a full kitchen at our disposal when we're designing a menu," and he promises that favourites from the Qantas first class lounge network, including the iconic salt and pepper squid, will appear along some local Singaporean favourites.
Halfway along the lounge's shotgun-straight footprint is the beginning of a more open seating area, which continues through a second tender bar with several laptop-friendly benches so that you can pair your spreadsheet with a side-serving of squid and a cocktail.
Travellers will also find plenty of AC/USB power sockets plus a variety of seating, from plush armchairs to shared sofas and banquettes.
At the opposite end to the dining room is a slightly more private area with U-shaped banquette seating and a ‘virtual skylight’ overhead.
Earlier concept images show a collection of individual seats taken straight from the design pages of Qantas' new Chairman's Lounge in Brisbane, but coloured here in emerald green (rather than cream as in Brisbane).
Adjacent to this and located just behind the reception area are ten spacious shower suites stocked with LaGaia Unedited First spa products – the same products as now appearing at the day spa at Qantas' Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges – while overhead, blue LED lighting panels will assist travellers get their body clocks back into sync when hopping between timezones.
Qantas designer David Caon sought to weave together familiar elements of Qantas' own aesthetic as well as a local Singaporean influence.
“We're trying to create a sort of a lighter palette that’s sort of softer and blends in with the greenery, which is very Singapore and important for wellness as well as that regional aspect of the design,” Caon told Executive Traveller.
“But it’s also having a sort of tonal difference. A lot of what we're also trying to focus on is texture, so rather than having a lot of contrast and a lot of different colours we're trying to bring a really nice texture to everything, so that everything is quite tactile and beautiful.”
The Qantas Singapore First Lounge is open daily from 2.30pm until midnight.