#nykflies: Dnata Lounge, Terminal 1, Singapore Changi Airport

I visited the Dnata Lounge in Terminal 1 during my recent trip on Cathay Pacific in July 2016 (Trip report here). This lounge is relatively new, having opened just earlier this year in Nov 2015. Prior to its opening, passengers travelling on Cathay Pacific were using the rather dated and basic Skyview Lounge.

This was my first time visiting the Dnata Lounge and I felt it was a major improvement from the old lounge. I found the decor much cozier than the Skyview, although there was no view of the tarmac. Overall, I was pleased with my experience.

Seating – Rating: 4/5

There are two main seating areas in this lounge. The area to the left of the entrance is the dining area. This is the only area with proper dining tables and seats. As this is also where the food station is, the area is brighter and busier than the main seating area.

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If you prefer to sit at somewhere quieter, there are sofas in the main seating area on the right. I’ve tried both individual and couples sofas and they were equally comfortable. The couple sofa is wide enough to sleep on.

Each sofa is also equipped with a personal universal power outlet and USB charging points which is very handy. If you want to do some work before you depart, there are workstations in the lounge that you can use. Free wifi is provided in the lounge.

I preferred the main seating area as the lighting in the area was more soothing. However, the side tables were too low to eat from, so I had to hold the plate on my hands. Just one minor gripe.

Food – Rating: 2.5/5

Food was available ala buffet style. I happened to be at the lounge when they were in the midst of switching from the breakfast to lunch menu, so I was lucky to be able to sample both menus.

To be honest, the food options were not very impressive. They were okay for an independent lounge, but I would not be happy if this was an airline-owned lounge or if I had to pay to enter.

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There were both Asian and Western options for breakfast. For Western, there were omelette, sausage, pancakes, muselli and croissant. Except for the omelette, the rest of the stuff tasted like processed food from the frozen section of the supermarket.

The Asian selection was slightly better. There were steamed pork buns, assorted dim sum and congee. The Century Egg Congee was surprisingly very delicious. It was very smooth – comparable to those you get in Hong Kong. It was the only item on the menu that was worth a mention.

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The lounge staff turned the table around for lunch shortly after I had my fill. Unlike the breakfast menu, the lunch menu was slightly more tuned towards the Asian palette. There were Nasi Lemak, some sort of curry, and chinese-style stir-fried vegetables. If I had remembered correctly, the only Western option was pasta.

The only dish that piqued my interest was the Nasi Lemak. I wasn’t hungry but I had some to sample the taste. Well, the rice was so bland that it could pass off as white rice. The sambal was mild – it was more sweet than spicy. The fried chicken was quite flavourful though. It was crispy and had a strong gingery aroma. Overall, the Nasi Lemak was disappointing. I expected more for Singapore’s de facto national dish.

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Apart from the main buffet spread which changed with the meal timings, there were also sandwiches and bite-size pastries that were available on the counter throughout the day. The mushroom quiche was not bad.

There was a coffee counter manned by a barista from Hudson’s Coffee. I was looking forward to getting some good coffee as this is one of the highlights of the Dnata Lounge

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The cappuccino was a huge flop. It was was very diluted and the foam was flat. It tasted like it came from an instant coffee machine. Even a Starbucks coffee would fare better than this.

Service – Rating: 3/5

The lounge attendant at the counter was friendly and polite. She took my lounge invitation and allowed me into the lounge without any delay.

Even though I had minimal interactions with the rest of the lounge staff, I observed that the busboy tried to put the plates down carefully when clearing the tables. I am not sure if he had done that to prevent disturbing guests who were resting, but I found that very thoughtful.

Eligibility

Quote from Dnata’s website:

Passengers of Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta, Finnair, Air Asia, Air Mauritius, Bangkok Airways, Drukair, Myanmar Airways International, Fiji Airways, Xiamen Airlines and China Southern are welcome at the lounge.

Location

The lounge is located in the Transit area (Airside) of Terminal 1. There are clear signage throughout the terminal to guide you to the lounge.

To get to the lounge, turn right after clearing the departure immigration. Take the escalator next to Hermes, and go up to Level 3. The lounge will be on your right (There’s a huge ‘Dnata’ lighted sign outside the lounge so you can’t miss it).

Opening Hours: 0330hrs to 0230hrs, Daily

Website: http://www.dnata.sg/t1lounge.html

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