Although Justin is the more committed aviation geek in our relationship, even I got a little giddy when I saw we’d been assigned a Runway View room at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Even after all these years I still get a frisson of excitement each time I go to an airport and the prospect of staying overnight at the ‘World’s Best Airport Hotel*’ at Singapore Changi Airport really bought out my inner travel geek.
*The hotel was named World’s Best Airport Hotel and Best Airport Hotel in Asia at the 2015 & 2016 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
Situated just outside Terminal 3, you have to pass through immigration to get to the Crowne Plaza Hotel – gaining us an additional passport stamp I wasn’t expecting on this (our wedding and honeymoon) trip. The entrance to the hotel is inside the terminal building though so you don’t have to walk far once through passport control.
The first thing I notice about the hotel is how large it is. I’ve stayed in transit hotels in Singapore and Abu Dhabi before and they were little more than corridors with rooms. The Crowne Plaza is a fully functional hotel though, complete with spa, gym, restaurants, pool, bar and meeting rooms – it just happens to be minutes from the runway.
As the hotel is aware we are honeymooners we are directed to a separate check-in area and served immediately. (This is a nice touch they offer all honeymoon/wedding couples coming through the hotel.) We are directed to our room and a few minutes after we arrive a chocolate cake arrives to make our stay even sweeter!
Our Club Room delivers on the runway view it promised. We draw back the curtains to marvel at the Singapore Airlines aircraft parked immediately in front of us, noting the surrealness of being in these luxury surroundings so close to the airplanes. Whether sat at the desk, soaking in the bath or lying in bed, you have great views of the arriving and departing planes. I think Justin could have sat and watched them all night if it weren’t for the fact we’d come here to sleep!
Despite the proximity to the runway the room is wonderfully quiet. We sleep well but awake early due to the time difference and growling tummies. Deciding that first we would like a swim we don the hotel robes and slippers and head to the outdoor pool, which the hotel frames on 3 sides. A mixture of palm trees and modern architecture make this one of the more attractive hotel pools I’ve swum in – the only reminder of our location are the aircraft that pass overhead every few minutes.
After our swim we head to the Club Lounge where Club Room guests can enjoy a private breakfast overlooking the pool as well as drop in for complimentary snacks and drinks throughout the day. (We just missed the cocktails and canapés the previous night.) The Club Lounge has a slightly smaller buffet selection than can be found in the Azur Restaurant, so we pop in there too to sample a few more pastries and suss out the Asian breakfast dishes that we’d like to try on our next visit.
Before leaving I have a quick meeting with Aileen Yong, the charming marketing manager for the hotel. She shows me some of the Suites (perfect for families), as well as the pool access rooms, which would have been my next pick if the runway view rooms weren’t available. I’m interested to learn that the hotel is popular with domestic guests; Changi is a shopping and dining destination for Singaporeans and they often find locals booking staycations at the hotel during the holidays. I think this is itself says a lot about the style, comfort and location of the hotel. The hotel is so popular, in fact, that they are currently building an extension – soon there will be an additional 243 rooms on offer just next door to the current premises.
But it’s time for us to leave. We take the covered mezzanine walkway to Terminal 2 where we board our flight to Thailand feeling refreshed and well-fed. I’d always thought Changi was one of the best airports to transit through but now I know it’s a great place to stay the night too.
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