Believe it or not, the 17th largest airport in the world, and 6th largest in the Asia Pacific region, with around 60 million passengers passing through each year, has only one airport hotel.
Well ok, that’s not quite true. The ‘Transit Hotels’ are available for airside passengers who need to sleep on a long layover between flights, but they are not otherwise available to the public. To access them – you must already be airside, and to stay there you must have an onward flight to catch from Singapore.
The reason of course that there are so few hotels at Changi airport is simple. Just 20 minutes in a cab, and you can be in the downtown core, Marina Bay, Orchard, etc… with a plethora of hotel options. If you’re stopping over for a whole day, it makes little sense to stay at the airport here.
If you do stay though, you won’t be disappointed by the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.
Rooms: 320 in the original section + 243 in the new wing, opened in 2016
Connected to terminals: Yes, at T3 and via SkyTrain to T1 & T2, or bus to T4
Check-out: 12pm (day use rooms also available)
Note that I was entitled to 2pm late check-out with my IHG Gold status, further extensions to this were chargeable at a rather steep S$35++ per hour.
The hotel is a short walk to the north end of Terminal 3. It can be reached from both arrivals and departures levels.
Even if you aren’t travelling to or from Terminal 3 – Terminal 1 & 2 are connected via a SkyTrain that takes about 4 minutes.
Traveller Tip: At the moment, due to the construction of the JEWEL megamall (think ion@Changi) – if you arrive or depart from T2, you must go on the Skytrain via T1 or walk through the MRT station – this will add 10 minutes to your journey.
Terminal 4 is more difficult (in every way!) and if your flight lands there you’ll have to take a bus to Terminal 2, before either walking through the MRT or going on the SkyTrain via T1. The same applies in reverse.
The Crowne Plaza Changi T3 has been awarded the world’s best airport hotel for 3 years in a row. Whilst we agree – please don’t think that means we ‘rate’ Skytrax awards. There are many question marks over their impartiality and we usually disagree with a large number of their ratings.
Frankly, a dizzying array – but it’s quite simple really as the rooms are mostly the same format just with different views. In the original wing – which is where the lobby, pool, gym and lounge are all located, there are King-Bed Premier Rooms and Twin-Bed Premier Rooms.
After that, you can select Runway View, Pool View and Pool-access. If you don’t choose any of those, you’ll save yourself S$20+ per night and get the same room type, just with a view of the approach road and the other terminals.
Traveller Tip: If you are noise sensitive – avoid the Runway View. Some reviews have pointed out that despite best efforts made to soundproof the windows, the room can still be quite noisy.
Noise levels in Pool and Pool-access rooms will always be at the mercy of other guests (and their offspring).
The “Club” rooms are effectively identical – you are just paying more (usually around S$50 per night) for access to the club lounge. We’ll go into more detail on why this is a good option later on.
The new wing houses the Business Rooms, which are smaller but still very well equipped and are very good value for money – just don’t expect a choice of views.
We chose the King-Bed Club Room and were quite pleased with the view of the approach road, opposite terminal and runway (in the distance).
Club King-Bed room
As we’ve said above, this is effectively the same as the King-Bed Premier Room, only with club access.
Considering this part of the hotel was opened nearly 10 years ago, the room is in very good condition. Clearly, some parts have been refitted over the years, which is a good sign.
The entranceway has a mini-bar, capsule coffee machine and a small wardrobe – hidden by a sliding door that moves across to hide the amenities when open.
The room opens out to a desk area, wall-mounted TV (with USB port), a leather sofa that splits in the middle to create two chairs instead if preferred, and a large and comfortable King-size bed.
Floor-to-ceiling windows run along the far wall and are equipped with day curtains and heavy blackout curtains for daytime sleeping.
The bathroom includes a separate freestanding shower cubicle and bathtub. The amenities provided were by The White Company, and more items were available on request in the case of an unscheduled stay without your own toiletries.
All power points are multi-standard sockets and are available next to the bed and at the desk. The “Handy” device next to the bed is a rather clever addition for out of town travellers. Everything from concierge services, international calls, and restaurant recommendations – all on the smartphone provided in the room. You can even take it with you if you go out exploring during the day to stay connected. More on Handy here.
Check out the VR 360 degree tour below – a feature we’ll hopefully be including in many of our future reviews.
Now – here is where we think the real value comes. Crowne Plaza has created an exceptionally good product here.
The Club Lounge is located on the same level as the pool and gym. On entry (via key-card) you are greeted with a small reception.
Further into the lounge an array of different and quirky designed sofas and seats are available, as well as a long sweeping leather couch in the corner. There is a small formal dining area, overlooking the swimming pool, and at the back is the buffet and bar section.
A business area with a printer and two computer terminals is also available.
In the morning, breakfast is served from a separate dedicated kitchen. The spread was comprehensive and very good quality. Eggs were made to order and the buffet was continuously replenished and staffed. Halal options are also available.
Coffee, Teas and soft drinks are served throughout the day.
In the evening, cocktails and canapés are served. Frankly, as it was such a pleasant place to be, it could easily have acted as a replacement for dinner and we were quite happy to continue sitting there sipping rather good quality wine.
Two red and two white wines were offered, along with a selection of other drinks.
The staff were friendly and attentive and the lounge was kept clean at all times.
Despite the hotel being busy and near capacity – the lounge was never busy. So it does appear that the “Club Access” is somewhat of a hidden gem.
For access to this lounge (assuming your IHG status doesn’t already qualify you) then you’ll be paying around S$50 per night. Assuming you’re travelling as a couple, for that you are getting two comprehensive breakfasts, drinks throughout the day, two hours of free flow cocktails, wine, beer and canapés – all for S$50. All in all – exceptional value (arguably, even if only one person is staying).
Obviously, in the surrounding 4 terminals, there are many food and beverage choices (even though you’ll be restricted to land-side / public area options). However, despite this, in terms of convenience, cost and quality – we’d rather while our hours away here.
The pool is located within a central courtyard and is mostly sheltered from the direct sun by the lattice structure on the outside of the hotel. A good-sized open area is perfect for swimming laps, whilst there are some smaller jacuzzi pods and shallower area for children.
Towels and sun loungers are provided, and there is a food and drink menu available for poolside dining, or an afternoon beer.
The gym is large and well equipped with cardio machines, free weights, mats and benches. It was quiet, even at peak times.
‘Essence Vale’ is the on-site spa for easing away the aches from a long flight.
Honestly, we didn’t try any of the other restaurants in the hotel – the Club Lounge was good enough! There are two hotel restaurants, along with two bars, all of which are well reviewed. The In-Room dining menu is comprehensive, and as you would expect it’s available 24 hours.
One vital and relatively standard option at airport hotels is the ‘day use room’. For travellers with long or unsociable connections, this provides the opportunity for a decent sleep and freshen up before checking in for the next flight, even when you arrive in the morning and leave in the evening.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport offers day rooms at a $180 rate for an 8-hour period falling between 8am and 8pm so you could do 8am-4pm or 12pm-8pm, or something in between. For the full 12-hour period 8am-8pm, it’s $200 (not bad – 4 hours for $20 more)
To book the day room, you’ll need to email the hotel directly or fill out the online reservation form. See here for details.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is clean, modern has great facilities, a great club lounge, represents good value and beyond doubt, has an unparalleled location – with superb access to the city and all of Changi’s terminals.
We actually liked this particular airport hotel so much that we’d consider it as an option for a novelty stay-cation, even if not travelling out on a trip!
Example rates for a one night stay in March 2018:
- Business Rooms from S$233 per night
- Premier Rooms from S$249 per night
- Premier Pool View Rooms from S$266 per night
- Premier Runway View Rooms from S$275 per night
- Club Rooms from S$299 per night
Stayed December 2017