Calamansi Mojitos. Crayfish laska. Lattes. The Qantas Lounge offering in Singapore has long been known for its tastebud teasers. However, it’s now going to be known for wellness and wickedly ‘well to do’ workspaces (as well as a bunch more tongue curling dishes) thanks to the addition of a lavish new First lounge, which officially opened its doors yesterday.
The new First lounge is a luxury space spread over 1,000 square metres at Singapore’s Changi Airport. As Qantas announced yesterday, this First lounge will operate in tandem with the airline’s existing International Business Lounge, “providing capacity for 240 customers and a bespoke offering for Qantas’ First Class passengers and top tier frequent flyers.”
Ready to tour behind-the-scenes of our brand new Singapore First Lounge? Tell us where we’ll find you: the open kitchen, cocktail bar or under the artificial skylights. pic.twitter.com/Lfs6mEM3P5
— Qantas (@Qantas) December 2, 2019
As for architectonics, the new build was designed by Australian designer David Caon in collaboration with Kelvin Ho of architecture and design firm Akin Atelie, and features a number of Singaporean influences across the look and feel of the lounge as well as the food and beverage offering.
Of the new lounge, David Caon said, “We wanted customers to feel a sense of calming luxury as soon as they walk in to the First Lounge, so we combined some of the classic Qantas First Lounge design features, such as the prominent marble and oak seen in the Sydney First Lounge, and added an authentic Singaporean twist featuring plenty of greenery.”
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the opening of the new lounge is a reflection of the airline’s extensive premium investment in the region: “Since our A380 flights have returned to Singapore, we’ve seen an increase in demand for premium travel which has also translated to an increase in the number of travellers enjoying our lounge hospitality.”
“This is our fourth Qantas First Lounge, and each time we build an entire new lounge facility from scratch, we speak to our frequent flyers to get a better understanding of how customers like to spend their time in the lounge and tailor it accordingly,” Joyce added.
“Our customers told us their key priorities when travelling through or from Singapore is space to relax and do some last-minute work, a quick shower, and a meal before departure so they can maximise their sleep onboard.”
Qantas Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service Neil Perry said the dining experience is inspired by Singapore’s vibrant culinary culture.
“The Singapore food scene is one of my favourites in the world. The iconic hawker markets and fine dining restaurants inspired us to design a menu that gives customers an authentic taste of Singapore without leaving the airport,” said Mr. Perry.
“Singapore cuisine has an incredible balance of flavoursome ingredients which influenced new signature dishes like the grilled skate in browned sambal butter with capers.”
For those that like to eat like they’re in Australia at all times, there are also classics like poached eggs with mushrooms and salsa verde on sourdough, as well as First Lounge classics like the chicken club sandwich with salt and pepper squid, which Mr. Perry says is “intended to cater to [Qantas] customers and their taste buds regardless of where they are on their journey.”
The new lounge can be broken down into three categories: dining and bar, wellness and workspace.
Dining & Bar
An open kitchen will serve up a Rockpool a la carte seasonal menu with Singapore’s vibrant dining culture in mind. This will include tea smoked duck breast with pickled cabbage and Chinese mustard and a laksa with crayfish, bok choy and fried shallots, as well as old favourites like salt and pepper squid with green chili sauce.
As Qantas announced yesterday, “the lounge also features a cocktail bar with lounge seating, serving French champagne, seasonal spritzes, unique cocktails inspired by Singapore, like a Calamansi Mojito – made from the local Calamansi fruit, Singaporean and Australian beer – and a variety of Australian wine.”
Non-alcoholic healthy beverages such as kefir and kombucha, barley water and a Rockpool ‘House Lemonade’ are available too, along with an all day barista service with Vittoria coffee and a selection of savoury bar snacks and fruit.
As Qantas announced yesterday, “Wellness continues to be a major inspiration and the new Qantas First Lounge brings the outside in. Live greenery features throughout the lounge to soften the space and bolster the atmosphere, while the use of natural materials and colour palettes is designed to help relax customers.”
“A unique faux ‘skylight’ in the shower suites and lounge area will replicate natural daylight and help adjust the body clock as customers transition through multiple time zones.”
Although much of the attraction of business class is time-wasting at altitude, it is occasionally appropriate to bust out the laptop. To that end, business travellers will have the choice to work in an open, communal setting or individual lounge chairs with high dividers, in this new Qantas First lounge. USB and charging ports are also found throughout the lounge, as well as wireless printing, Wi-Fi and TV screens.
Where does this First lounge sit in the context of 2019?
This new premium space is Qantas’ fourth First Lounge across its global network, joining Sydney, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. The opening is part of the multi-million-dollar investment for customers on its Singapore services and complements the expanded Qantas International Business lounge at Changi, which combined now offers seating for more than 800 customers.