Changi Airport Hotels Reviews

Review: YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore's newest hotel is designed for a bit of short term R&R between flights. We checked it out on opening night to see if it fits the bill.

Bed TV

Hotel facts

  • Opened: 12th April 2019
  • Rooms: 130
  • Location: Jewel Changi Airport
  • On-airport: Yes (in public area)
  • Connected to terminals: Yes, directly to T1, T2 & T3, and by bus to T4 (via T2)
  • Check in: Flexible
  • Check out: Flexible
  • Minimum stay: 4 hours

Location

The YOTELAIR at Changi Airport is located in the brand new Jewel complex, centrally located between Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

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The Yotel entrance is on Level 4 of Jewel. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

It is directly above the pedestrian walkway linking Jewel with Terminal 2. Simply take the lift up to Level 4 (the walkway from T2 enters at Level 3), or one of the escalators.

From elsewhere in Jewel, the hotel is well signed so you should have no trouble finding it.

About YOTEL & YOTELAIR

UK-based YOTEL initially targeted the ‘cabin hotel’ concept at airports. It opened its first hotel at London Gatwick Airport in 2007, later expanding to the city’s Heathrow Airport and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

In 2011 the group ventured into the city centre, with the opening of a YOTEL in New York. Downtown locations have since followed in Boston, San Francisco and of course right here in Singapore with the opening of the group’s 610-room Orchard Road property in late 2017.

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The company rebranded its airport locations as YOTELAIR in July 2016, to differentiate them from those in city centre locations. You can now find these hotels at the following airports:

  • Amsterdam Schiphol (Airside)
  • Istanbul (Airside)
  • Istanbul (Landside, branded as YOTEL)
  • London Gatwick (Landside)
  • London Heathrow (Landside)
  • Paris Charles De Gaulle (Airside)
  • Singapore Changi (Landside)

With the Orchard Road YOTEL opening as the first such property in Asia, the YOTELAIR at Changi Airport is also the first of its kind in the region.

Note: For ease of readability we will not fully capitalise the YOTEL brand name for the remainder of this review.

Our stay

We had already secured tickets for the first public Jewel preview day on Thursday 11th April. The Yotel was opening the following evening, and any guests staying there prior to the official public opening of Jewel (on 17th April) are automatically entitled to access and use the facility.

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Our Jewel preview ended up being three days, thanks to our hotel stay. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We decided that was a good opportunity to review Singapore’s latest hotel on its opening night, also giving us two further preview days to explore the new Jewel facility.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our Jewel preview article, which summarises our experience at Changi’s latest attraction.

Check in

As you enter the hotel lobby, which Yotel calls ‘Mission Control’, you’ll notice three self check in stations at a central podium.

Whatever time of day or night you’ve booked your room for, these podiums are where they want you to check in and issue your own room key.

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The self check in podium in the lobby. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We went ahead and tried it out, but unfortunately the self check in system did not recognise our booking.

Luckily there are manned information counters right alongside and the friendly staff were happy to assist, checking us in ‘traditional style’.

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Information counters in the lobby. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There are lifts to the side to take you to the cabins on the second floor of the hotel (201-261), however our room was on the main level.

Corridors are certainly functional but designed with clean lines, modern signage and the brand’s signature purple in the carpet.

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Corridors in the Yotel. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We got our hopes up when we arrived outside our room right at the end of one of the corridors, with one of Jewel’s large triangular windows right alongside. Did our room have an outside view?

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Don’t get your hopes up for a view from your room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Alas it did not. Indeed none of the ‘cabins’ in this hotel feature any external windows, so if the idea of this gives you claustrophobia then this isn’t the hotel for you!

Premium Queen room

Entering our ‘Premium Queen’ room, the first impression wasn’t too surprising. Small!

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The Premium Queen room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The space is certainly used very efficiently here, with the double bed taking up most of the room almost against the wall on two sides. Luggage storage is under the bed, and two clothes hangers are provided on the wall.

At the far side opposite the door a long landscape mirror gives the impression of more space, while the bed itself faces a large flat screen TV. By the entrance are the air conditioning and lighting controls, and on the same side of the room there is a set of narrow storage shelves.

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Storage shelves. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Here you’ll find complimentary bottled water, tissues, a pen and paper and your TV remote control.

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Complimentary water. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This small area, believe it or not, is also home to your desk. The purple section extends to the horizontal position, so you can work here sitting on the small fold up stool, also provided in a specifically designed recess at the side of the bed.

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Functional yet effective, work space is also accounted for. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There were four controls for the room lighting, allowing you to choose between the pink recessed light behind the TV, soft lighting behind the storage shelves, overhead / bathroom lighting and a night light to help you find your way to and from the bathroom at 3am without blinding yourself using ‘full bright’.

If you need an iron and ironing board, these are available on request from reception.

You don’t have to venture far to find yourself in the bathroom, which runs along the back of the cabin. It won’t be any surprise to find yourself in here – you’ve been able to see it through the glass screens since entering the room.

Speaking of glass screens, there is a privacy curtain which pulls across the windows above the bed and the glass door into the bathroom, if required.

The bathroom features a rain head shower in the far corner (yes, it’s a good one), with a conventional shower head option for those who prefer it. Alongside are the toilet and a small sink.

Toiletries are by Australia’s Urban Skincare Co. These include hair wash and body cleanser in the shower, and hand cleanser by the sink.

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Urban Skincare Co. toiletries. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Two dental kits are also provided in case you didn’t pack your toothbrushes in your hand luggage. There is also a hairdryer provided.

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Dental kits and a hairdryer are provided. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Back in the bedroom (well, you never really left!), a small ‘Up / Down’ button alongside the bed allows you to incline the head end and in turn free up some space at the foot end, which moves away from the TV wall. The movement is motorised, so no effort is involved here.

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Bed head fully inclined. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

You can stop and start the motion at any time, thereby selecting your optimum reading or TV viewing angle.

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Don’t think hospital, think perfect TV viewing angle! (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Obviously for sleeping simply lower the bed head back to fully flat position.

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Movie view with the bed head inclined, taken from the bathroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Overall the room is well designed, there’s pretty much a space to store everything, fittings and fixtures are modern and in our room at least, everything worked.

The bed was very comfortable and with no windows in your soundproofed ‘box’ it’s extremely quiet and conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Wi-Fi and connectivity

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available during your stay, and you can log in with your name and email address.

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The Wi-Fi was very fast during our visit, so you should certainly have no problem getting some constructive work done if you need to.

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Below the storage console at the side of the room, and above the desk when extended, are two multi-standard power sockets and two USB charging sockets.

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Power sockets should take any plug type you use. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Another clever connectivity option is “casting” (streaming from your personal device) to the TV. This was easy to set up and we watched a couple of YouTube videos from my iPhone with no issues.

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Casting to the TV is simple to set up. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you have your favourite TV series downloaded you will be able to keep watching in the room on the big screen.

Family Cabin

The only other room type available at the Yotel is the Family Cabin.

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Family Cabin. (Photo: Yotel)

It accommodates up to four people, ideally two adults and two children as the room itself is equipped with a double bed and a bunk bed (though adults aren’t banned from the latter!).

Gym

A fully equipped 24-hour gym is located on the upper floor of the hotel. It benefits from natural light with a couple of large windows overlooking Terminal 2.

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Workout with a view at the Yotel. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There’s a good selection of free weights and cardio equipment. Towels and bottled water are provided as well as a cold water dispenser.

Shower Rooms

If what you need during your transit at Changi is not really to sleep, but just to shower, the Yotel has several dedicated shower rooms designed for you to freshen up before your next flight.

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Shower Room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

These are available at S$20 + GST for 1 hour use. Towels, Urban Skincare toiletries and a dental kit are included, and there’s also a hairdryer.

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Shower Room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you also like the idea of getting some exercise, the hotel also offers the option to use the gym and a shower room for S$30 + GST for 2 hours.

In-house guests of course have complimentary unlimited use of the gym, and a shower in their own room.

Club Lounge

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Something you wouldn’t expect in a ‘cabin hotel’ is any form of Club Lounge.

The Yotel’s version ‘KOMYUNITI’ isn’t quite like the executive lounges found in major hotels, however it is open to all guests and provides 24/7 complimentary tea, coffee and water on a terrace with a view of the Jewel complex.

It’s located just off the reception area alongside the entrance. If your room is on the upper floor of the hotel you can also access the lounge directly down a flight of stairs.

One thing we did notice is a distinct lack of power sockets in the Club Lounge area, so if you plan to sit here with your laptop or mobile phone, you’ll have to make sure it’s well charged in the room beforehand.

Note that when we took photos in the Club Lounge it was set up with some Breakfast items like cereal, toast and muffins.

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Complimentary tea and coffee is available 24/7 in the Club Lounge. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

You can also order food and drink in the Club Lounge, there are four hot food options and a selection of beers, wines and spirits. All of these attract an additional charge, and food is designed to be eaten in the lounge itself not your room.

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Club Lounge menu. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

With an extensive selection of bars and restaurants in the Jewel complex, it’s probably better to venture outside the hotel. For snacks and soft drinks there are also vending machines provided in the hotel itself, but again you don’t have to go far in Jewel to find a supermarket.

Rates

There are four time-based options for a room at YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport. You can choose between 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours and 24 hours.

Opening rates are currently available until 31st July 2019, as follows.

Opening Rates (until 31st July 19)
Premium Queen Family Cabin
Daylet (4h block) S$80++ S$96++
Daylet (6h block) S$100++ S$126++
Daylet (8h block) S$120++ S$156++
Overnight (24h block) S$140++ S$164++

From 1st August 2019 the hotel reverts to variable pricing based on demand, with the following table showing ‘best available’ rates.

Best Available Rates (from 1st August 19)
Premium Queen Family Cabin
Daylet (4h block) from S$96++ from S$120++
Daylet (6h block) from S$121++ from S$150++
Daylet (8h block) from S$146++ from S$180++
Overnight (24h block) from S$175++ from S$205++

The alternative: Crowne Plaza

The only other airport hotel at Changi in the landside (public) area is the Crowne Plaza, directly attached to Terminal 3 and indeed now linked to the Jewel by a pedestrian bridge, taking just 5 minutes.

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The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport has full hotel facilities, including a pool. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Previously the Crowne Plaza offered only two ‘day use room’ options; an 8-hour period falling between 8am and 8pm (so you could do 8am-4pm or 12pm-8pm, or something in between) for S$180++ and the full 12-hour day period 8am-8pm for S$200++.

Recently the hotel has introduced 4-hour, 6-hour and 8-hour day use room options (we can’t think why!). The pricing structure for a Deluxe Room is now as follows:

  • 4-hour usage between 8am – 8pm: S$120++
  • 6-hour usage between 8am – 8pm: S$160++
  • 8-hour usage between 8am – 8pm: S$180++

The 12-hour full day period option (from 8am to 8pm) has been withdrawn. Usage for more than 8 hours, or outside these ‘daytime’ hours, attracts the prevailing overnight rate, which is variable but tends to start from around S$200.

Interestingly these day use rates almost exactly match the ‘best available’ Yotel Family Cabin rates from 1st August 2019 onwards, however the Deluxe Room at the Crowne Plaza only accommodates two people.

For one or two people therefore, the fair comparison is with the Premium Queen room at the Yotel. At the Crowne Plaza you are paying 20-30% more than the best available rates at the Yotel, however you do get the advantage of being able to use the hotel swimming pool and (much larger) fitness centre.

Other alternatives at Changi

The Crowne Plaza isn’t your only alternative to the Yotel if you’re flying out of Changi. The airside area of the airport, which Changi refers to as the ‘Transit’ area, is home to three hotels plus at least one ‘nap room’ lounge facility.

To take advantage here you’ll need to be flying with an airline that allows early check in.

Not all airlines offer this, but as we mentioned in our article previewing the Jewel, an increasing number will from 17th April 2019 onwards either at their own desks or at the Jewel Early Check in Lounge.

For example if you’re flying with Jetstar you’ll be able to check in 12 hours before your flight, with Scoot it’s 18 hours, etc.

This gives you the option to proceed through immigration and use one of these airside hotel facilities as an alternative to the Yotel / Crowne Plaza.

Options include:

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The Aerotel at Changi’s T1 transit area is an alternative option. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Another option for a short stay are the nap rooms at the Plaza Premium lounge in T1. We recently reviewed it, and the mini hotel rooms are good quality (though not en-suite, you’ll have to use the main lounge showers and restrooms).

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The Plaza Premium lounge at T1 also offers pay per use nap rooms. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Single rooms are available from S$75 for 3 hours, including 3 hours additional lounge usage.

Summary

The YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport does exactly what it promises. It provides a clean, comfortable place to catch up on some sleep and freshen up before your next flight.

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(Photo: MainlyMiles)

For us a significant highlight was excellent connectivity, and here it comes in a few forms:

  • Walking distance to Changi’s three main terminals.
  • Fast and free Wi-Fi.
  • Simple content streaming from your personal device to the in-room TV.

Additionally, the property benefits from a ‘Club Lounge’ (of sorts) and a well-equipped gym, features you don’t always find in a ‘cabin style’ airport hotel designed for short transits.

The staff were very friendly and couldn’t do enough to assist with any queries we had during our stay. Having said that we were there on opening night and so clearly everyone involved was excited and well briefed for the event.

We’ll have to leave it to future reviewers to judge whether the same high customer service standards are being maintained, but the early signs are positive.

The jewel in the crown of this hotel is probably the Jewel itself. With countless dining and shopping options on your doorstep, not to mention attractions including a cinema, there’s definitely much more to keep you occupied here than in the transit area of the airport.

That said, the adjacent Crowne Plaza boasts much bigger rooms, almost equally simple access to Jewel, and also provides full hotel facilities, for around 20% more than the Yotel is charging.

Which hotel at Changi is right for you will depend on the nature of your journey or transit. With the opening of YOTELAIR at Changi, another great option is available and we think you should definitely consider it.

Review Summary
Review: YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport
Summary: Located right in the heart of Changi’s new ‘Jewel’ complex, the Yotel offers clean, comfortable rooms and benefits from a club lounge, gym and hourly rates for short stays.
Author: Andrew
Visited: April 2019
Among ‘capsule’ hotels:
Rating: 4star.jpg
4 out of 5

Book Here

Note that the website only supports overnight bookings at the moment. For ‘Daylet’ bookings of 4, 6 or 8 hours, contact +65 6407 7888 or email singaporechangi.reservations@yotel.com.

(Cover Photo: Mainly Miles)

4 comments

  1. Hi Andrew, lovely and very comprehensive review, thank you! One note though, I’ve recently tried to book a 24-hour overnight stay and was told by Yotel that it is not flexible and check in will be at 2 pm and check out at 12 noon the following day. Just wondering if you were informed any differently?

  2. Thanks for the review. I stayed at a Yotel once in Boston (with a window) because hotels there are very expensive due to less competition. And I wanted to try out the whole micro-hotel trend.

    I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza Changi and liked the size of the rooms, amenities, proximity to the food court in the basement level of the airport, which was huge and inexpensive. It is also easy walking distance from my flights at T3.

    I decided to book Crowne Plaza again for my trip this year for the above reasons, and it is value for money. Yotel seems more expensive for what you get or not get and the price difference is not great enough to sacrifice luxurious comfort for hip, small, new. But I am glad Yotel is there to keep Crowne Plaza from price gouging too much.

    1. Yes the Crowne Plaza is a great hotel and nice option. You also benefit from being 5 mins by covered walkway from Jewel (check the dining options there, including basement food court!).

      We’ll be back at the Crowne Plaza to review their new Business Room category soon.

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