Lounge Review: dnata Lounge | Singapore Airport | Terminal 1
Arriving a bit early at Singapore Changi Airport, I was is in need of a shower and nourishment before my departure to Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific does not operate their own lounges at Singapore Changi Airport but contracts with dnata, an airport ground services and catering company, to provide access to the dnata Lounge.
Cathay Pacific passengers with lounge access includes OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald flyers and those traveling aboard Cathay Pacific in First or Business Class. While passengers are directed to the dnata Lounge in Terminal 1, they may also access OneWorld partner lounge. This includes the Qantas Singapore Lounge, SATS Premier Lounge, and the British Airways Lounge and Concorde Bar. Priority Pass passengers may also access the dnata Lounge.
The dnata Lounge is located post-immigration and it took a bit of time to clear immigration as there were long lines and they did not move quickly. But while the lounge is post-immigration, it is pre-security. In Terminal 1, each gate’s boarding lounge has it’s own security controls. Be sure to keep this in mind when planning how much time you have in the lounge before boarding.
The dnata Lounge in Terminal 1 is located on the upper level of the shopping concourse. Look for the signage towards the escalators. There are multiple clusters of lounges so be sure to watch for the signage indicating the dnata Lounge. Once at the top of the escalator, you’ll notice the large neon-blue “dnata” signage to your right. The lounge check-in desk is located just to the left of the “dnata” signage and on walk-up I was greeted by the front desk staff. I simply showed by Cathay Pacific boarding pass and was granted quick access.
As I had spent a hot and humid day outside exploring Singapore, a shower was in order before departure. The front-desk staff directed me in the direction of the shower suites which are not staffed. I was directed to simply select any shower suite that was open, which I suppose indicates it’s been cleaned. Nearly all the suite were available and nearly identical. I selected one of the suites at the very end of the hall that was slightly larger than the other suites.
The amenities in the shower suites are very basic. I use my own toiletries but none were provided in the suite. A plastic wrapped towel was provided and placed on a seating bench. There’s a very large shower and sink area.The cleanliness of the shower suite wasn’t terrible but it could have been better. It just felt good to change into fresh clothes and take a quick shower.
After my shower, I headed back out to main lounge seating area to explore the rest of the lounge and grab a late lunch. I scoped out the lounge before cozying up in one of the lounge’s armchairs. There’s lots of different seat options including plush armchairs, sofas, and high-table work space. The decor is dark and modern which encourages a quiet atmosphere. There are electric outlets spread out liberally throughout the dnata Lounge. WiFi is of course provided in the dnata Lounge and the connection was fast and consistent. The dnata Lounge is quite large in size and even as more passengers filled in over time, it never got crowded. Never more than maybe a third full. The seating areas are clean and well maintained.
There a couple of food and drink options in the dnata Lounge. In the center of the lounge, there is the main hot buffet with various Indian and Singaporean hot dishes like noodles and curries. There’s also two coffee stations that feature Hudsons coffee out of Melbourne, Australia. There’s a staffed bar sponsored by Chivas but I didn’t see a bartender but once. There are self-service alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well. I was quite hungry so I indulged in the hot buffet food options. The hot food options were actually quite tasty.
I spent about 90 minutes in total at the dnata Lounge and took a bit of time catch up on some work. It was soon time to board and allowed an extra 10 minutes for security screening at my gate. It was about a 5 minute walk from the dnata Lounge my boarding gate, D32. Overall, I have to say the dnata Lounge is a fairly nice option for a contract lounge. While it doesn’t’ compare to Cathay Pacific’s own lounges, it’s decent enough. My only notable dislike was the shower suites and the so-so cleanliness. But overall, it’s a quiet, comfortable lounge for grabbing a bite to eat and catching up on work pre-flight.
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