The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Afloat - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

THE new Vir­gin Aus­tralia lounge at Cairns Air­port for its busi­ness-class and pre­mium Ve­loc­ity pas­sen­gers has the agree­able feel of a chic restau­rant, al­beit one that fea­tures the com­ings and go­ings of air­craft be­yond a 180-de­gree bank of pic­ture win­dows. It’s on the up­per level of ter­mi­nal two, reached via long, white cor­ri­dors that feel a bit hos­pi­tal-like, save for the prospect of the oc­ca­sional (and cov­etable) framed Billy Missi linocut. The colour scheme of red, grey and pur­ple works well in the airy space and there’s an ar­ray of seat­ing, from stools at bars and work­sta­tions to comfy chairs, in­clud­ing a row of low-slung loungers for plane-spot­ters check­ing out the tar­mac traf­fic. There’s a meet­ing space, busi­ness fa­cil­i­ties, free WiFi and plugs for recharg­ing all those es­sen­tial de­vices. In the chic black-tiled lava­to­ries you’ll find Grown Alchemist hand­wash, and on the buf­fet de­signed by Vir­gin Aus­tralia’s con­sult­ing chef Luke Man­gan there’s a chang­ing se­lec­tion of food and ex­cel­lent barista-made cof­fee or Madame Flavour’s in­fuser pods in blends such as earl grey with le­mon myr­tle and laven­der. Vir­gin Aus­tralia op­er­ates 78 ser­vices weekly in and out of Cairns. More: vir­gin­aus­tralia.com.

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