Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, has four terminals. Terminals 1 and 3 have domestic flights, Terminal 4 is for budget domestic airlines, and international flights depart from Terminal 2. Most of the best airport lounges can be found in the international terminal. We review the best airport lounges if you are flying in First or Business Class or if you have a Priority Pass or relevant credit card.
If you are staying in Melbourne, we have reviewed the best executive club lounges at hotels in Melbourne. Wherever you are flying, book your flight and hotel via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels including the Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more.
Typically, our free benefits at luxury hotels include:
- Room upgrade to next category
- Complimentary breakfast for two per bedroom
- Complimentary Welcome Gift
- $100 USD equivalent Hotel experiential credit per room per stay
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Free Airport Lounge Access
If you have not paid for Business Class or First Class, you can access airport lounges for free if you have an unlimited Priority Pass or an Amex Platinum card. To get extra bonus referral points and advice on the Platinum American Express and other free lounge access credit cards, have a read of our best credit cards for luxury travel.
1. Qantas International First Lounge Melbourne, Terminal 2
Qantas has some of the best First Class lounges in the world, and they can be accessed by Oneworld Emerald elite members. This Qantas lounge can also be accessed by First Class travelers flying on either Qantas-operated flights or Emirates flights with an EK flight number along with one guest.
The Qantas International First lounge is the only dedicated First Class lounge at Melbourne Airport. It is extremely smart with stylish blue sofas and carpets and massive floor-to-ceiling windows. Near the entrance are work desks, two office suites, and a boardroom. There are lots of separate partitioned seating areas and then a cafe area by the windows that offers a lovely place to eat with a view of the planes.
The food menu has been designed with chef Neil Perry and is all à la carte. The food is cooked to order and is fresh, with dishes like roast pork, club sandwich, cheeseburger, salt, and pepper squid. As well as things like chips, rocket and parmesan salad, and seasonal vegetables as sides. A really nice spread of food which is beautifully cooked. You can eat in the restaurant bit or at the bar with a cocktail or any other drink you might wish for.
There’s also a 20-minute complimentary massage and spa treatment for First Class passengers. If you are flying First Class on Qantas, a lounge manager will call you 24 hours prior to travel to set up a time for you. Non-Qantas First Class guests can book as they arrive in the lounge (subject to availability). This is the best airport lounge in Melbourne. You are one of the lucky few if you have access.
2. Emirates lounge, Terminal 2
The Emirates lounge is accessible to First and Business Class passengers, elite members of Emirates’ Skywards frequent flyer program, Qantas premium passengers, and Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers.
This lounge is in the usual Emirates lounge in style with intricate partitions and mustard-hued seating, but I particularly like the positioning of the seats, in fours next to the window, so you can look down on the planes. There are lots of groups of four seats in this lounge, not all by the window, plus restaurant-style seating by the buffet and really good hot and cold food.
The hot food includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian options with soup of the day, pasta, roast potatoes, vegetable Jaipuri, vegetable curry, poached salmon, chicken parma, and beef brochettes. There’s also a round display with an array of while plates on it offering preprepared cold dishes including salads, cut fruit, cheese, and beef carpaccio, plus you can pick on pre-cut carrot and cucumber strips, or you can bypass all the good savory food and go straight to the cake, also on this round display!
For drinks, there are two champagnes, Moët and Veuve Clicquot, plus spirits, wines, beers, and soft drinks in cans in the fridges. You will also find a prayer room in this lounge. It absolutely ticks all the boxes, and it’s the best Business and First Class lounge in Melbourne airport.
3. Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 2
Right next door to the American Express lounge (reviewed below), you will find the Plaza Premium Lounge, which can be accessed by anyone that wants to pay for their lounge access. It is free for travelers holding a Priority Pass and American Express Platinum cardholders.
This lounge is about double the size of the adjacent American Express Lounge, and I have selected this lounge as one of the best in Melbourne airport because of the live chef station, although it lacks great views.
Inside the lounge, there are lots of funny little private booths to work in, along with a cafe area for when you want to eat. The food seems to be better than the Amex lounge next door because you have live cooks cooking up pasta, seafood laksa, and fresh eggs in the morning.
That said, I prefer the stylish look of the American Express lounge, so if you have access to both, you might want to pop into this lounge for a bite to eat and then sit in the other lounge for the marginally more stylish atmosphere. On the other hand, this lounge is larger, so it can be easier to get a good seat in the Plaza Premium Lounge than the American Express lounge.
Beyond the live cooking, there is a hot and cold buffet that includes bread and fillings, so you can make sandwiches and then toast them. There are plenty of juices and a barista for hot drinks. There are also all the usual spirits and wines. This lounge shares bathrooms and showers with the American Express Lounge, and they are modern and smart.
4. American Express lounge, Terminal 2
There are two American Express Lounges in Australia, the American Express Lounge Sydney, which is one of the best airport lounges in Sydney, and the American Express lounge, Terminal 2 in Melbourne. This lounge is small but very smart with a boutique feel and is free for Amex Platinum Card Members.
It has a dining area and a relaxation area. The dining area has cafe tables and chairs, booths by the wall, and some communal tables. The second room has more comfortable chairs and couches. The single seats along the wall are a bit strange as they are private and all facing the same way (they do not face each other, so you can’t socialize from these seats. Some even have a screen side to give you privacy. This is great if you want privacy, but the screen may block your view if you enjoy people watching.
Unlike a Centurion Lounge, the food quality is OK but nothing special. Expect a fridge with cans of fizzy drinks and bottles of still and sparkling water. There’s also a soda fountain and coffee machine as well as alcoholic drinks in a self-serve area with spirits, wine, and beer. There is also a barista who makes coffee, which many say is the best at Melbourne airport.
For breakfast, there are cereals, processed sliced bread to go in a toaster, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and veggies. There’s a pancake machine, and hot options include scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, sausages, and bacon. The Plaza Premium Lounge is adjacent, and the American Express Lounge shares bathrooms with the Plaza lounge. These bathrooms are modern and smart.
5. The Qantas Club, Terminal 2
This lounge is relatively newly refurbished and offers a very good but sometimes very busy Business Class lounge for international Qantas, Oneworld, and Emirates First and Business Class passengers.
The lounge is nice looking with a big manned bar in the middle. The two bar staff serve alcohol and coffee, and you can enjoy your drink on a variety of seating, all placed quite closely together. There are plenty of outlets for charging mobile devices in this lounge, and there are large windows overlooking the planes.
There is a cafe area with a buffet offering potatoes with bacon bits, cheese, sour cream, bowls of salads, olives, cold cuts, cheeses, profiteroles, cookies, etc. There are bathrooms in this lounge, but they are dated, although they do have showers.
6. Air New Zealand and United Airlines lounge, Terminal 2
The Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Melbourne was refurbished in 2017 and is super smart with 60’s style string curtains partitioning different seating areas and a color scheme that reminds me of a Virgin Atlantic airport lounge.
You can access this lounge if you are an eligible Air New Zealand and Star Alliance Gold status member or are flying First or Business Class on Air New Zealand and United Airlines.
The lounge can be found on the Ground Level of Melbourne International Terminal 2, next to Gate 15. The decor within the lounge is a mix of pinky-red (dusky red) chairs and black chairs. There are floor-to-ceiling windows that actually look out towards the planes, but as you are on the ground floor, you will be looking up at rather than down on the planes.
There are lots of single sofa seats plus by the window, there are lots of benches with stools offering views and power points that are ideal for working on. There is also a kid’s room and showers.
There’s a hot and cold buffet, and at breakfast, there are three hot dishes; eggs, sausages, and hash browns, as well as a pancake machine. There is a much larger choice of cold items, including Greek yogurt, fruit salad, almond & coconut milk, mixed berries and banana smoothie, banana and passionfruit smoothie, plus raisin bread, Danish tart, croissants, spicy fruit loaf, muffins, and crumpets.
Alcoholic drinks include local New Zealand wine, bubbles, and craft beer.
7. The House, Terminal 2
Etihad’s premium lounges in London, Sydney, and Melbourne were rebranded as “The House”. The House lounge is open to Virgin Atlantic premium-class passengers, members of Virgin Australia’s lounge program when they are traveling on flights to New Zealand. In mid-September 2019, this lounge joined the Priority Pass network, but members have to pay a discounted $20 USD per person to enter. You can also pay to use this lounge. At the entrance to the lounge is a wall of gold with Etihad branding on it.
This lounge is slick and feels more like a luxury hotel than a room in an airport. The restaurant part of the lounge offers white tablecloths and waiter service. The rest of the lounge has sofa seats to relax on set on a chocolate-colored carpet.
The a la carte has six menu items; soup, warm goat’s cheese crostini, porcini gnocchi, chicken, burger, and a cheese plate. The buffet isn’t great in this lounge, but it has salad, chicken, and stir-fried beef with rice but no vegetable sides and no vegetarian main dish. For dessert, the only choice is a chocolate caramel slice. On the bright side, there’s a full-service bar with spirits, beer, wine, smoothies, and barista-made coffees. Shower facilities are also available.
While this lounge looks great, the choice of food lets it down.
8. Cathay Pacific lounge, Terminal 2
The Cathay Pacific lounge can be found in the Satellite Concourse, Level 1, just below Gate 6. It is open to premium passengers flying on Oneworld airlines.
The lounge is on the basement level of the airport, so the dark space is harshly lit, plus it feels dated and a little worn. Yes, there is comfortable seating and work cubicles, etc., and reasonable food, but it doesn’t feel luxurious, although it does have a shower.
If you have a Priority Pass or an American Express Platinum Card, you might prefer to use the Plaza Premium or American Express airport lounges rather than this one, even if you are flying Cathay Pacific.
If you do decide to visit this lounge, the food you can expect at breakfast is both Western and Asian, with hot options including steamed dumplings and siu main, omelets, and pies. Cold dishes are soup, salad, yogurt, muffins, tarts, and fruit. It is not a great spread, and the food is nowhere near as good as the live food stations in the Plaza premium lounge outlined above.
9. SilverKris Lounge, Terminal 2
The SilverKris Lounge is located right next to the American Express Lounge. It has both a First and Business Class section. Both lounges suffer from the same dated brown decor and lack of natural light or interesting light. There are no views, and to be honest, due to its small size, this lounge feels claustrophobic.
There’s a business center, shower facilities, a decent buffet with Asian and Western hot and cold dishes, and a great range, but the setting is not great. If you have a Priority Pass or an American Express Platinum Card, you might, once again, prefer to use the Plaza Premium or American Express airport lounges.
The First Class part of this lounge also offers a cooked-to-order menu, and you’ll find high-end Champagne as part of the self-serve alcoholic drinks, but in other ways, neither lounge is particularly appealing.
10. Marhaba Lounge, Terminal 2
The Marhaba Lounge can be accessed by any passenger who pays the entrance fee. This lounge is located on Level 3 of Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 2 and can be accessed via the escalators near Gate 10. The lounge has plenty of natural light and great views. There are loads of armchairs with power outlets to relax on and a cafe area near the buffet. There are also massage chairs, but the lounge lacks style and atmosphere and feels dated with non-specific decor.
You can order barista coffee, pick up something at the buffet, or order from the a la carte noodle station. The buffet has roast potatoes, rice, roast vegetables, Japanese chicken curry, stir sesame beef, and soup. Cold options include salads and cheeses and decent desserts, including Weiss mango ice cream and raspberry cheesecake. Free alcohol includes five spirits, two bottles of red wine, juices, and beers. This lounge is OK, but I am not sure whether it is worth an entrance fee. I would probably use the restaurants in the terminal instead.
11. Virgin Australia Lounge, Terminal 3
The Virgin Australia Lounge lounge is located before security, an unusual location much like all of the best airport lounges in Berlin, but the position doesn’t really work as you have to leave quite a time before boarding to ensure you clear security and can get to your gate in time.
Virgin Australia Upper-Class passengers, Virgin Australia Lounge members, American Express Platinum cardholders, Velocity Gold frequent flyers, and Gold frequent flyers with Etihad Airways, Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic all have free entrance in this lounge.
There are loads of seats in this lounge, and it is super smart with floor-to-ceiling windows to one side looking out at the planes. The designers have used lovely swathes of wood throughout to make the lounge feel modern and luxurious. There’s a business center, reservable meeting rooms, barista coffee, and in the afternoon, attendants hand out finger food.
The buffet has some lovely salad offerings, including beetroot, lettuce, baby sweetcorn, and cucumber, with loads of choices in dressings. You can also enjoy cold pasta, cold cuts, cheeses, and rice.
Alcohol becomes available at 11 am with red, white, and sparkling wine and Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Peroni Leggera on tap. Bathrooms and shower facilities are also available.
12. The Qantas Club, Terminal 1
You will have access to this airport lounge if you are a Qantas or Emirates domestic passenger, a Qantas Platinum frequent flyer, a Qantas Club member, or a Oneworld member flying on Qantas.
The lounge is big with floor-to-ceiling windows to one side, which looks over the planes. The seating is red and grey and fills a really big space. In fact, this lounge area, in many ways, feels like a gate because it’s such a big space. There is also a cafe area with lots of communal tables along with a play area for the kids and a business center with booths along with showers.
You will find all sorts of jars of snacks by the coffee machines, including liquorish, sweeties, and biscuits. Then the main buffet is very decent with bread, Mulligatawny soup, toasted sandwiches (you make your own on the toasters), various salads plus potato salad, with lots of dressings, and fruit. There’s a manned bar area with complimentary alcohol and an espresso machine if you want a barista coffee.
13. The REX Lounge, Terminal 4
The REX Lounge is accessed by passengers flying with Regional Express as well as Priority Pass, LoungeKey, and Lounge Club members. The lounge has only got a cold buffet, but it does have self-serve beer and wine, a business center, and a couple of massage chairs. There’s a coffee machine but no Barrista coffee like many of the airport lounges in Melbourne. It doesn’t have toilets or showers either, so guests have to use the main terminal toilets.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
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