Do be advised that this review was completed during Pre-COVID times, so the experience may differ as circumstances change around the world!
- Introduction – The Long Way to New York
- Review: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 Plaza Premium Lounge
- QF82 Qantas A330 Economy Class Singapore-Sydney
- Review: Sydney Airport Terminal 1 SkyTeam Lounge
- QF11 Qantas A380 Economy Class Sydney-Los Angeles
- QF3203 American Eagle Embraer RJ175 Los Angeles-San Francisco
- Review: Hilton San Francisco Financial District (Double Double Deluxe Room with Bayview)
- AS110/790 Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Economy Class Sacramento to New York via Seattle
- Review: Hilton Times Square (King Deluxe Room with City View)
- Review: Embassy Suites by Hilton Walnut Creek (Double Double Bed Suite)
- Review: Doubletree by Hilton San Francisco Airport (Double Double Deluxe Room)
- Review: QF50 Qantas B787 Economy Class San Francisco-Melbourne
- Review: Melbourne Airport Terminal 2 Plaza Premium Lounge
- QF35 Qantas A380 Economy Class Melbourne to Singapore
I reached Melbourne International Airport in the wee hours of the morning, even earlier than the lounge opening hours itself. I did have a good rest in the earlier flight on Qantas’ B787, but I was feeling peckish nonetheless.
Melbourne only has one international terminal, so it was easy to navigate around. Moreover, all the lounges were located side by side. You had the airline lounges; Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Air New Zealand, so your options were pretty good. If you were like me with no status at that time, you would go for the Plaza Premium Lounge, and it’s not an option to belittle as well. In fact, it might be even better than some of the premium airline lounges.
I was the first to enter promptly at 6am sharp, and as a result, I had the whole lounge to myself, taking my time to saunter through the place. I didn’t hold back taking many photos of this beautiful lounge.
Firstly, upon registering, there is a walkway that would bring you to the inside of the lounge.
You will first see the live food station, presented in an open dining concept, complemented with a spacious dining area, with sofas and bar chairs as options. I will come back to the food options further down this review.
Walking deeper into the lounge, there was a sideway consisting of more individual armchairs, and then a separate area with more private pods. There was also a designated children section, where some colouring materials and dummies were provided. The toilets were on the opposite side of the seating area, and were shared with the neighbouring American Express Lounge. No showers were available.
I chose an individual armchair to settle in, and proceeded on to the food station. There was on demand dining, cold cut serves, and what I believe to be the most extensive drink and dessert option I’ve ever seen.
I went for a hearty breakfast of the usuals, paired with a Iced Chai frappe. It was sublime, the perfect pick-me-up.
I then tried to do some work, but those individual armchairs were rather tight for space. I then moved to the sofa dining area, which proved to be more conducive. At this time, the lounge was still rather empty, with fewer than 10 passengers present.
Soon, I was on my second round desserts. A tad early at 745am but could you blame me? Besides, my body clock was still on America’s time..
I then caught some shuteye at the private pods before waking up due to the fragrance of something spectacular. I had a few hours before my flight to Singapore was departing, so I decided to catch up on some work, and heh more food.
It turned out that the chefs were preparing lunch, and today’s mains were Thai curry and Korean stew. I had that along with a cup of white chocolate mocha and some fruits.
As I got ready to leave, the chefs laid out more lunch options. There were appetisers of sweet potato soup, garlic bread, and beer on tap was also available.
The Plaza Premium Lounge at Melbourne International Airport has both its strong and weak points. If you haven’t noticed, the food options were spectacular, and very well delivered. The staff was also very attentive and offered suggestions to their speciality food items. However, one weak point that was glaring that was the lack of shower suites, which was even more disappointing considering that I had a long layover. For those of you who do have Qantas status, the Qantas Business Lounge does have shower suites, so you can consider that.
Sydney and Melbourne are the main air hubs for connecting passengers in Australia, and both lounges I visited in Sydney and Melbourne are more than decent. The Sydney lounge I visited does get crowded with SkyTeam passengers, but has glorious tarmac views and shower suites. Melbourne has awesome food options but no views and shower suites. My personal opinion would be to go for a Melbourne connection if you had a shorter layover, and a Sydney connection if you had a longer layover. It also seems that Plaza Premium Lounge is opening its own Sydney lounge, so that’s something to weigh as well. Needless to say, you won’t go wrong with either option; both has its perks.
Which lounge would you visit? Let me know in the comments below!