Singapore’s Changi Airport Hotels

Singapore’ Changi Airport has been named the World’s Best on many occasions, and for travelers who have either passed through or have had long layovers, will understand why.

It is a reflection of Singapore itself, a modern, upscale, affluent, and spotlessly clean environment that is just a pleasure to experience. With its numerous duty free shops, money changers, restaurants, massage shops, and help desks, the visitor will never become bored or get lost. All of the terminals are connected by a modern transport system in the form of a train that runs every two to three minutes. The signage for directions anywhere is such that it is very easy to navigate from point A to point B. Each terminal has storage facilities for luggage, both plane side and street side of security. The numerous monitors strategically placed clearly show departure times and gates and there are even signs indicating the amount of time it will talk to the different concourses. For customers who are fortunate to be able to fly in business class, or have a membership of some airline club, the facilities are first class.

I have had many layovers in Changi, some of only two to three hours and some of eight or more. Singapore Airlines lounge for example, provides a full bar and fabulous snacks that are fresh. Soups, sandwiches, Chinese dishes, curries, savory snacks are all available, and changed depending on what time of day it is. At breakfast time, eggs or omelets may be served. Their lounges also have shower facilities for the long haul weary travelers. I have used these many times after a trans-pacific flight before connecting to another in route to somewhere else in Asia.

For passengers who have to stay overnight, the airport has Transit Hotels, one in each terminal. An example would be that the arrival of an incoming flight is later than the departure of an outgoing flight on the same day. Outside the airport, is the superb Crowne Plaza Hotel, but passengers will be forced to clear immigration and customs on the way out and the next day have to check in and pass through immigration and security. An example of a travel itinerary I had, is that I left Chiang Mai, Thailand in the afternoon, but could not make the only daily flight to Male, Maldives which left at 9:00 am. I had to check into a hotel somewhere. I suppose I could have stayed in the Singapore Airlines Lounge, but I really needed to sleep, laying down. Knowing about the need for an overnight stay in advance of my travel, I checked my luggage all the way through from Chiang Mai to Male, and made sure I had a change of clothes and necessary toiletries to get me through the night. If you stay at a Transit Hotel, then you cannot clear customs and immigration and hope to get back in, which is a warning for those who may get the urge to have a quick sightseeing tour of Singapore.

The Transit Hotels allow you to book rooms in six hour blocks, which is about right for a pretty good rest. I have stayed in one these hotels during the day as well as the night. Once I landed in Singapore on a trans-pacific flight at 6:00 am but my connection wasn’t until 2:30 pm. I was able to get a good 5 hours sleep on that occasion.

The rooms are pretty basic and you can have your choice of one with or without a bathroom. I always chose the former. There are no windows and no noise, which means they are designed perfectly for what they were intended for, either a power nap or a good few hours’ sleep.

The example I mentioned above, where I flew from Chiang Mai, I arrived at Changi around 7:00 pm. After checking in at the Transit Hotel, I wanted some action for the rest of the evening. I was faced with a night out on the town at an airport. To be honest, I didn’t expect much, but I did find a decent restaurant and was able to enjoy a miniature pub crawl.

After that, it was a short walk back to my hotel room to enjoy a good night’s sleep until my early morning wakeup call came in at 6:00 am. I checked out at 7:00 and went to the Singapore Airlines lounge and ate breakfast.

The Transit Hotels are perfect for taking the stress out of travel, and almost enjoyable

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