Arriving from Jakarta meant I disembarked at Changi Airport Terminal 2. However this did not deter me from making my way to Terminal 3 since it was just a short skytrain away. Unlike other airports where the various terminals might be separate buildings, Changi is actually one huge terminal in the shape of the alphabet ‘H’ and Terminal 2 and 3 are at the opposite ends. This would mean a long roundabout if one was to walk, but Changi Airport made it convenient by installing a skytrain or light-monorail system and it has separate skystrain systems heading to Terminal 1 and 3 from the departure points. Upon arriving in Terminal 3, I headed straight for the Silver Kris Lounge. As I presented my First class boarding pass, I was led to the First class section of the lounge. For a look into the Business Class section of the lounge, I posted my impressions here during my flight to Guangzhou.
As one of the lounge agents escorted me, I casually mentions about ‘The Private Room’ and she brought me to the end of the First class lounge where there was another agent manning a counter underneath the sign that leads to this exclusive lounge specifically for First class passengers travelling on Singapore Airlines. This is what SIA does for its premium passengers, ensuring some exclusivity and providing the best for its customers.
While the First class lounge offers little in differentiation compared to the Business class section, it does have less people. The Private Room, on the other hand, is close to empty and features furnishings that would grace luxury hotels around the world.
The name ‘Private Room’ is fitting considering the fact that this part of the lounge has individual solo loungers by the windows, while the main foyer has well-spaced out armchairs for groups. There are definitely lots of space to relax. The first thing I did was to head to one of the 2 noise-insulated rooms that has a couch with an ottoman. This allowed for some privacy in case guests wants to ‘Facetime’ or ‘Skype’ with family members. I do think they could have more of these rooms though since Cathay Pacific does have a few cabanas complete with bathtubs. Other facilities in The Private Room includes a kids play room with vanity sinks and countertops to change diapers I guess.
Service was outstanding in the lounge as once I got into the room, I had a staff who came over to offer me beverages and food. As I was not hungry yet, I took the offer of mineral water and she brought it over with cold towels, placeholder and straw. It’s like calling for room service! After conversing with my family, I proceeded to the sit-down dining area which once again resembles the interior of a posh restaurant. The staff came over with food menus while taking orders for drinks. And surprise, this lounge actually offers fresh juices and I was able to ask for a custom apple and carrot juice since they do offer them individually. Being able to enjoy what you like and are used to at home while being out and about is luxury at its best!
I ordered a 3 course meal from the menu starting with a Chinese-style wintermelon soup for starters, a rosemary roasted lamb leg boulangere and a phish food ice cream sundae. The soup was delicious and I liked it so much I actually ordered another bowl. One interesting thing I noted was that the First class lounge does serve Wintermelon soup as well in those big pots at the buffet counter but the colour was slightly different and I thought it was catered by a different kitchen. However the lamb leg was a bit on the dry side and was not very well presented. It was not as tasty as I would prefer it to be but still better than some lamb dish I have ordered in the past.
I forgot to take a photo of the phish food ice cream, but it was one of the largest ice cream sundaes ever served and was served with a variety of toppings from chocolate sauce, shavings and almond slices. It was a very ‘chocolatey’ dessert and extremely heavy on the calories such that I only finished half of it. Definitely a great way to end the meal though.
It was back to the room for me after the meal to check on my e-mails and catch up on the morning news. After a short while in the lounge, a staff member came over to check up on how I am doing and offered to bring me anything I might need. I requested for more of the apple and carrot juice and this was once again brought to me with a placeholder and straw.
After a short while in the lounge, I head for the shower to freshen up since I have a longer flight in the evening. Sadly the shower rooms in the First class section was the same as those in the Business class section with the same built-in metallic soap dispensers by the wall that is really unfriendly to use. If they wanted to use soap dispensers, they should at least use better ones like the shower rooms in Cathay Pacific’s lounges. At least there was still enough space in the lounge to place my hand carry luggage and the furnishings were maintained in good condition. From the showers, I head out to the terminal to change some Indian rupees and shop for some travel gadgets. I did not find what I was looking for in the Apple reseller at Terminal 3 though and thus returned to the lounge shortly thereafter.
Compared to Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class lounge, I do think there was something lacking. I did enjoy the food provided but I think SIA should have added more day rooms with bathtubs and beds maybe to make full use of the large empty spaces. The Private Room has been described by visitors as ‘a lounge within a lounge’ and I think that was apt which means there is really nothing special about it in terms of hard amenities. Though I really enjoyed the atmosphere, ambience and the extra attention by the staff of the lounge and that for me makes a whole lot of difference.