Some lounges pride themselves on their exclusivity; they’re the domain of the elite, into which you can’t even buy yourself entry. Others, like pay-to-use lounges, allow travellers, regardless of ticket type, to experience a little luxury before flying; a chance to stretch out in a comfy armchair before being hemmed in on a plane. Like The House lounge at Sydney International Airport, as MARK HARADA finds out.
At check-in for my mid-afternoon flight, I’m given directions to The House … because if you don’t know the House is there, you might walk right past it. It’s just to the left of the Amcal chemist, I’m told. It’s also close to my gate (60) – just a minute or two away. Box ticked.
Past the small but swish reception area, I walk down a chandelier-ed stairwell. Turned down, mellow music greets me as I enter the smart-looking space. It’s quiet – probably on account of my early arrival – with only around 10 people already here, so I have my choice of anywhere to sit. The cosy-looking armchairs to my right or the plentiful places in the sizeable dining area? Feeling peckish, and with one eye on the smorgasbord in the corner, I settle on a spot near the food.
Today, much of the dining area is reserved for British Airways flyers and those looking for a la carte fare – such as pan seared halloumi, vegetable laksa or churros with chocolate sauce.
For everyone else, the buffet offers a fine selection of cold and hot food, from a tangy Mexican salad that’s literally full of beans to a pasta puttanesca. A cream of pumpkin soup isn’t great (a little on the watery side), but there’s a nice selection of cakes or whole fruits to finish the meal, depending on how healthy you want to get. My soy cappuccino is also pretty good.
Next to the coffee machine is a fully stocked bar, with a range of craft beers, wines and spirits as well as non-alcoholic drinks like freshly made smoothies and juices.
Among the row of high chairs where I move to, there are plenty of charging ports, as there are elsewhere in the lounge, so your devices can stay well-juiced while you use the fast wifi.
For other entertainment, there’s one large monitor showing local commercial television, newspapers, magazines and books (which whilst ornamental, I’m assuming can still be browsed).
Down a hallway to the bathrooms and showers, there’s a family room for kids to enjoy along with prayer rooms.
All told, it’s a comfortable lounge with ample room and great views out onto the tarmac. There’s plenty of staff too, ensuring quick service and a near spotless space.
For $77 (for a maximum of three hours) or $51.30 for children, it’s also pretty good value. Definitely, a nice option to consider for yours or your clients’ next departure from Sydney.
- Location: Sydney International Airport T1 (Airside). Follow the signs to gates 51-63 and you’ll find The House is located before gate 50.
- Opening hours: 5am – 10pm (7 days)
- Access: Pay-to-use lounge (Pre-bookings at executivelounges.com or on the day at reception). The facility also partners with carriers including Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways and multiple mainland Chinese airlines, among others.
- Cost: $77 for adults and $51.30 for children
- Operator: Executive Lounges (by Swissport)
The writer accessed the lounge as a business class traveller with Air Vanuatu.
Also, check out our recent review of Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge at Sydney Airport, which offers a reprieve from the busyness of Australia’s largest hub.
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