Last renovated nearly six years ago, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 2 is renowned as the “poorer cousin” to the equivalent T3 facility. Despite departing from T3, we took a trip on the SkyTrain to pay a visit earlier this month and see if it deserves its reputation.
After immigration, turn left and proceed towards the E gate side. Signs will direct you towards an escalator that takes you up to a mezzanine level, with a small collection of lounges (DBS Asia Treasures, SATS, KrisFlyer Gold and SilverKris).
An elegant entrance way splits into two corridors, to the left for the business class section and right for first class. This review only deals with the business class section. We’ll have a T2 first class lounge review later this year.
Opening Times: 24 hours
Multi-standard Power Sockets: Yes (in the business centre, Type G three-pin UK style elsewhere)
USB Charging Sockets: No
To the left of the entrance, around the food buffet are long, high dining benches and smaller 4-seater dining tables.
To the right of the entrance is a large open section featuring low down armchairs with side-tables, decorated with orchids and soft light lamps. Between some seats are UK style power sockets, but not multi-standard or USB charging sockets, so you may need an adapter.
The mood of this lounge is markedly different from the T3 SilverKris Lounge. Dim lighting and dark colours make it quite sultry.
The lack of windows, in any form, even overlooking the departure area (as in T3) is not good. Combined with the low ceilings and dark lighting – it can feel slightly claustrophobic. We found that for an evening flight that the moody atmosphere was quite relaxing, however on a day time flight it could be disorienting.
The other noticeable difference – the noise level. We arrived at 7pm. The lounge had quite a number of guests, but finding a pair of seats wasn’t hard. It was silent. So quiet we felt the need to whisper. Great for getting some work done, relaxing or even taking a nap. Not so great for taking a phone call or having a conversation with your travel companion.
Still, we prefer quiet any day over the zoo-like state that the massively oversubscribed T3 SilverKris lounge turns into in the evenings between 8-12pm.
This is where this lounge shines above many others. The buffet spread, both hot and cold features a wide array of western and regional dishes. All are continuously replenished, freshly cooked and have good flavours. The food is basically the same as the SilverKris T3 lounge in terms of options and replenishment.
The Indian cuisine options available in Changi’s SilverKris lounges are always a personal favourite, and the SilverKris T2 options didn’t disappoint on this visit.
Cold options include a selection of meats, cheese, salads, sandwiches (good for grab and go), fruit, desserts and snacks.
Hot dishes vary throughout the day depending on meal time. The evening spread included some Western stews and pasta dishes. Local options included noodles, curries, sauced fish and chicken dishes.
Champagne is always a must for us when using an airline-affiliated business or first class lounge. It’s often a good indication on how valuable an airline considers its premium class passengers and the experience overall. Good quality champagne that is readily available gives off the impression that your enjoyment of this luxury experience is of top priority and money is no object. Conversely, only offering a sparkling wine (or even no option at all), smacks of cost-cutting, third-party lounge style, or a sub-standard premium product.
This may sound elitist but remember how much a ticket to this privilege costs. This is where airlines make the majority of their profits too. Not to mention that the industry is remarkably competitive and consumers are well informed. With brand loyalty counting for less than before – it’s important to show customers you care. Champagne in the lounge is essential.
So, do they serve Champagne? Yes, but on request only. Some time ago, it would be left in an ice bucket for self-service. Since sometime around 2011, things changed.
If the change had been precipitated by wanting to offer passengers a service where they didn’t have to pour it themselves e.g. manned bar service, then I would have appreciated it as an improvement. Instead, as instructed by a sneaky sign, you have to wave down one of the service attendants, usually preoccupied with cleaning, clearing and replenishing. They will then disappear into the back room, only to return, sometime later with a glass of bubbles.
The cynic in me (and some of our readers) would say that if we don’t see it poured from the Charles Heidsieck bottle when how do I know it isn’t some cheap sparkling alternative. Recent changes to the London Heathrow lounge have meant that only prosecco is available until 5pm (Singapore Airlines have obviously decided we shouldn’t be enjoying French luxuries before a socially acceptable drinking hour).
We really hope that they don’t go down the same path with this clear cost-cutting in the SilverKris lounges in Singapore.
Traveller Tip: If travelling from LHR – The United Club and Air Canada lounge at London Heathrow T2 are both available to Singapore Airlines business and first class passengers, and to Star Alliance Gold members, and will happily serve you Champagne in the morning (from a manned bar no less at the United Club).
So to remedy my doubts, I asked to see the bottle whilst the assistant poured it. For such a strange request, she was remarkably obliging and my fears were allayed. When we asked for another round, it was undeniably still the Charles Heidsieck despite not seeing the bottle this time.
Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve – France – 4.1/5 on Vivino
Wine choices were good quality and tasty. Only one white was on offer, with two reds.
- Mud House Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (2015). 3.9 stars on Vivino
(a Mainly Miles personal favourite!)
- Castello di Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva, Italy (2013). 3.7 stars on Vivino
- Château Siaurac Lalonde-De-Pomerol, France (2013). 3.9 stars on Vivino
A wide selection of soft drinks and beers are offered in the fridges. Along with another Mainly Miles favourite novelty item – a draft beer tap allowing you to pour your own perfect drink, into an iced mug taken from a dedicated fridge. Tiger beer isn’t the best quality, but we’ll take any draft beer over drinking from a can any day.
A selection of premium spirits and condiments are available for self-service cocktail making. The large Boncafé coffee machine makes an above average cup and a wide selection of TWG teas are on offer.
We picked up acceptable speed test results from the lounge Wi-Fi network during our visit.
- Download: 4.94 Mbps
- Upload: 5.18 Mbps
- Ping: 20 ms
A large business centre is available near the entrance that is equipped with iMacs and multi-standard power sockets. Around the corner from this, rather unusually there are phone booths. We think a hangover from when an actual payphone would be your only choice. Now they serve as a good place to have to take a call on your mobile whilst preserving the silent ambience of the lounge.