Qantas runs a surprisingly large operation at the smallish Melbourne Airport. Qantas has flights to Los Angeles and Asia on an A380, as well as several flights with codeshare partner Emirates. The company runs a dedicated first class lounge (similar to what you may have seen at Los Angeles Airport).
The lounge occupies the upper floor on top of the Gate 6 area and is open early for the departing Emirates flights. It will greet you with understated luxury when you enter.
There are no food buffets here – all the food is à la carte.
I ordered several items from the breakfast menu – bircher muesli, yogurt, pancakes and a custom-made smashed avocado on sourdough toast.
I thought they were really great, though the pancakes were a little burned. Even with breakfast, the whole open bar is served if you so wish (I abstained).
The piccolo latte (the closest variant to a cortado in Australia) was fantastic; most city baristas would not be able to make it better.
The service staff seemed well trained and exceedingly friendly. Everyone had a Sofitel name tag, suggesting that Qantas has outsourced the catering operation to the hotel chain. Well, they have done that well.
The lounge uses its own free WiFi, which is fast and you will be able to do work here. There are about 50 seats in the main seating area and about the same amount in the restaurant area. Plus there are two cubicles which both have a fantastic view towards the apron. You can also enjoy the full menu there and work if you so desire.
A free spa treatment is available to every guest but call ahead to book, as it often fills up quickly. The treatment I received from a highly trained therapist was very good.
In sum, the Qantas First Class Lounge Melbourne is a destination in itself, with top-notch food, a relaxing vibe, superb staff and a spa that would stand on its own even without a captive audience. Now if Qantas would only open up more award space on their A380 to Los Angeles…