Qan­tas lounge LHR Ter­mi­nal 3

Business Traveller - - CONTENTS - Molly Dyson

BACK­GROUND Qan­tas opened its new Heathrow lounge in Novem­ber 2017, ahead of the launch of its di­rect London-Perth ser­vice ear­lier in March 2018 (re­viewed on busi­nesstrav­eller.com). The lounge is air­side, just be­yond the shops as you make your way to the gates. It’s avail­able for pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling in Qan­tas or Emi­rates first or busi­ness class, as well as cer­tain Qan­tas, Emi­rates and Oneworld fre­quent flyer mem­bers. It is sim­i­lar to the lounges Qan­tas op­er­ates in Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore and Bris­bane.

WHAT’ S IT LIKE? Im­pres­sive and well de­signed, spread over two floors with an el­e­gant stair­case link­ing the two.

Staff at the two re­cep­tion desks are pro­fes­sional and at­ten­tive, and an­other staff mem­ber wel­comes you just be­yond to ex­plain the lay­out. The more com­pact ground floor has a din­ing area, small gin bar, and one of the two break­fast buf­fets; the larger up­per floor is where you’ll find a big­ger cen­tral cocktail bar, an­other break­fast buf­fet, an ar­ray of seating and flex­i­ble work­sta­tions, and the six shower suites.

De­signed by Woods Bagot – an in­ter­na­tional ar­chi­tec­tural firm founded in Aus­tralia, but with London of­fices – the lounge takes its in­spi­ra­tion from the UK cap­i­tal, with stylish touches and ex­pen­sive-look­ing ma­te­ri­als through­out.

When I ar­rived at 9am, the two break­fast buf­fets had al­ready been set up. The à la carte brunch menu is avail­able in the ground floor din­ing area from 9.30am, and on my visit in­cluded three op­tions: poached egg on toast with bub­ble and squeak, ri­cotta hot­cakes with ba­con, herb mas­car­pone and roast tomato; or poached egg with salmon, buck­wheat noo­dles and raw cour­gette strips. I opted for the con­ti­nen­tal-style buf­fet in­stead.

This spa­cious ground floor din­ing room serves sim­ple à la carte menus through­out the day, plus af­ter­noon tea. There’s proper cof­fee from an espresso ma­chine and barista.

Up the stair­case is a se­lec­tion of seating ar­eas, from com­fort­able leather chester­fields near the cocktail bar to booth seating closer to the break­fast buf­fet.

With its white coun­ter­top and mod­ern brass chan­de­lier, the round bar looks like some­thing more akin to a five-star ho­tel than a tra­di­tional air­port lounge. The drinks se­lec­tion is ex­cel­lent with pre­mium Aus­tralian and Euro­pean brands. As it hap­pened to be St Patrick’s Day, the bar­tender mixed up a some­what green con­coc­tion, and had bot­tles of Guin­ness chill­ing in an ice bucket.

Af­ter break­fast I made use of one of the six spa­cious and beau­ti­fully ap­pointed shower suites (com­plete with com­pli­men­tary As­par toi­letries), then camped out on one of the chester­fields to watch the air­craft out­side and catch a glimpse of the morn­ing news on one of the large flatscreen tele­vi­sions. There’s fast wifi for catch­ing up with emails or other work.

VER­DICT Qan­tas has cre­ated a space where pas­sen­gers can al­most for­get they’re in an air­port ter­mi­nal un­less they look out the win­dow. It’s com­fort­able, quiet, and such a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence that one could spend hours in it and hardly get rest­less.

The round bar looks like some­thing more akin to a five-star ho­tel than an air­port lounge

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