The new-look American Express lounge at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney is now open after a complete refurbishment.
The lounge now offers more seating for Card Members, an open kitchen with a newly curated menu, a brand-new bar and a new waiting area at the entrance.
American Express Lounge Location
The lounge is located on Level 1, opposite door 39. From the main entrance (door B north), the lounge is located to the right on the first floor.
It would be impossible to miss the lounge as it is well signposted with directions.
Access is complimentary for all American Express Card Members and granted on a first come first served basis, with all card members able to bring up to 3 guests. Premium (Centurion, Platinum and Platinum Business) can invite up to 5 guests and access the lounge via the express entry.
The lounge has three distinct spaces; the waiting area, casual social area and the dining area, with a maximum capacity of 160 guests, but can serve up to 400 guests during an event. An electronic paging system monitors guest access from the waiting area to the main lounge.
The waiting area is immediately after the entrance and is sufficient for 30 guests, featuring low tables with deep blue ottomans.
The entry to the main lounge features the traditional American Express green wall.
Turning right after the main entrance is the casual social area that has a mixture of different seating options.
This area is perfect for small groups to enjoy a drink prior to an event or show. I would suggest a maximum group size of 6 for ideal comfort.
Running the length of the main feature wall is a cushioned bench matched with low tables and ottomans from the waiting area.
In the centre are two sets of chaise lounges and matching chairs, finished in a deep blue velvet.
Around the structural support column is a black and gold chrome seating area, with a column that offers some privacy for dining. It is suitable for couples but may feel cramped if full.
The centre of the dining space consists of banquette seating and velvet dining chairs, matching the colour scheme of the lounge.
To the left of the dining area; there is a selection of low tables and ottomans perfect for drinks and snacks.
The most advantageous new feature of the lounge is the window that runs along the right-hand side. This provides an abundance of natural light which was absent from the previous lounge.
Also running down the right-hand side of the lounge in front of the window is a row of black and gold cocktail tables that brings together the styling of the banquet seating and the column seating.
Food & Drink
The addition of the open kitchen allows waiting staff to deliver food from the newly curated menu to your table within 10 minutes.
The cocktail table close to the kitchen will give you the option of watching the chefs prepare your fresh meal.
The menu is small but perfect for a quick bite to eat pre-event. It caters for a range of dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian.
If you have a sweet tooth like me, I can promise you will enjoy the trio of strawberry, mango and cherry tartlets.
A small selection of drinks and confectionery are available for consumption from the waiting area kiosk.
With every purchase over $15 you will receive a complimentary bottle of water, which is convenient for taking into the arena.
The styling of the new bar is clean and neat, it ties in well with the open kitchen and has similar styling as other American Express lounges.
The bar is stocked with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a limited selection but covers all the basics; wine, beer, cider, cocktails, spirits, soft drinks, teas and coffees.
Toilets are located outside of the lounge but only a 15-second walk from the entrance. There is a pass out system in place so that you do not need to queue or show your American Express card to gain entry again.
Free WiFi is available throughout the lounge and provides a solid 50+ up/down
There are also complimentary portable device chargers available from the bar.
American Express and their interior designers, Decorative Events & Exhibitions have done a fantastic job in revitalising this lounge, which now has a more premium feel.
With the introduction of the natural light and new furnishings the lounge now provides guests with a spacious and trendy vibe, perfect for relaxing pre-event.
On the downside, there may be a wait when the lounge is at maximum capacity, but the introduction of the waiting area is a bonus.
Things we like
- Natural light from the open windows
- Fresh food from the open kitchen, served quickly to tables
- Waiting area
Things we didn’t quite like
- Banquette tables are not ideal for eating due to the restrictions of placing legs under the table
- The downlights provide a harsh bright light once the sun has gone down