Qantas lounge LHR Terminal 3
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