The independently-operated Marhaba lounge occupies one of the best real estate positions in Melbourne Airport. It offers barista service and impressive dining options, and for those of you who love Japanese beer, then you are in for a treat.

I was able to revisit this lounge as part of the Melbourne Airport 2018 Excellence Awards and here is my take.

Lounge details & location

The lounge is located at Level 3 of Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 2 and can be accessed via the escalators near Gates 10 and 11.

My location
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Normal operating hours is from 6:00AM until midnight daily except Thursdays where it opens early at 3:00AM to accommodate guests flying on Philippine Airlines PR208 which departs at 4:40AM.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne

Lounge seating

The lounge occupies the old Emirates Lounge space. Located upstairs, it has plenty of natural light and great views, rivaling the Qantas First Class, Emirates Business & First Class and Etihad lounges.

The lounge is spacious and can accommodate up to 200 guests. Unlike many other lounges though, there is no separate area made available for a kids zone.

Upon entering the lounge, you have two options, you can turn right where you walk along a long corridor with arm chair seats or go straight ahead and access the dining room and barista coffee station.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seating area

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seating area by the window

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne by the window

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne by the window

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne by the window

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne tv and reading materials

At the end of the corridor, there are more seats. Turning left leads you to even more seats, as well as the bathroom and a large empty room that was once the Business Centre. You eventually reach the dining room by which time you have almost done a full circle of the lounge.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seating area

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seating area

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seating area

Every seat has access to a power outlet and UBS charging port, which comes in handy when you’re running low on battery power.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne seat with power outlet and USB port

The décor of the lounge is quite bland, which takes away from the overall ambience of the lounge, especially when compared to the Plaza Premium lounge for example.

However, a welcome feature of the seating is the inclusion of two electric massage chairs, which can especially come in handy when connecting between medium and long-haul flights.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne massage chairs

Food & drink

This is where the Marhaba lounge excels, with six hot food options along with a la carte noodles station, offering wonton, beef and udon noodles.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne hot food counter

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne al carte menu

The menu is skewed towards Japanese and Asian cuisines, which is understandable given that predominantly Asian carriers make use of the lounge.

During our visit, the buffet had roasted rosemary potatoes, fried rice, roasted vegetables, Japanese chicken curry, stir sesame beef and minestrone soup.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne Japanese Chicken Curry

There were also prepared cheese platters and pre-mix salad bowl. Dessert included Weiss mango ice cream, raspberry cheese cake and normal cheese cakes.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne dessert

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne food

There is no bar in the lounge, but guests can use the self-serve station, which includes five spirits, two bottles of red wine, five variety of juices and six different brews of beer to choose from.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne spirits and wine

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne juice selection

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne beer selection

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne Vivid Tea

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne juice

A barista service operated by Hudsons coffee is available within the lounge however.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne barista service

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne barista service

Amenities

Notwithstanding the fact that the lounge was refurbished by Marhaba, a number of legacy United Airlines facilities remain and are beginning to show their age.

The toilets were clean, but the perfume they used was quite overpowering, a warning to anyone who can be allergic to strong scents.

During our visit, the shower was dirty with visible thick soap scum and grime on the shower wall tiles and base. Hopefully this is an oversight by the cleaning crew and not a regular occurrence.

Marhaba Lounge Melbourne shower

The Wi-Fi speed was decent, download/upload 18.4mbps/19.17mbps.

Lounge access options

  • By class of travel: Business class guests travelling with Japan Airlines, Royal Brunei, Hainan, Beijing Capital, Philippines Airlines, China Airlines, Tianjin and Xiamen Airlines.
  • By day pass: User pay lounge, $65 per adult, $35 per child.

Other Melbourne lounge overviews

Summing up

The lounge meets the expectations for a user pay lounge, with a good variety of catering options, comfortable seats and good Wi-Fi speed to work. Arguably it is better than some airline operated lounges in Melbourne Airport.

While individual taste will always come into play, we felt that the décor lacked warmth and ambience.

We could not ignore the fact that the showers were dirty when we visited, and this has been reflected in our rating. However, we would happily revise our rating if we can determine this was a one-off oversight.

What is great

  • Barista service
  • Buffet offers six cuisines
  • Massage chairs
  • A la carte noodle station
  • Decent Wi-Fi speed
  • Power outlets and USB port for every seat, except the dining room.

What is not great

  • Dirty shower
  • Dated bathroom and showers from the United Airlines days
  • No bar and only five spirits on offer.
Marhaba Lounge Melbourne overview was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by Nelson Yap