Singapore Airlines (SQ) has a number of lounges at their home airport Changi. As a First Class passenger, you have access to the First Class lounges in Terminal 2 and 3, but there is something unique at Terminal 3 that’s worth making the trip there, even if you are flying out of Terminal 2: The Private Room, SQ’s most upscale lounge offering, exclusive to First Class passengers departing on a first class SQ flight! After living in Singapore and having spent a lot of time in the SilverKris Business Class lounge, I was curious to find out what The Private Room has to offer.
I was welcomed at the familiar SilverKris lounge reception. But instead of being sent on my way to the Business Class lounge, the staff escorted me to the First Class section of the lounge. The First Class lounge is a very nice offering on it’s own. It features a large seating area and a large buffe area with lots of food and drink available. It is not quite as large as the Business Class lounge next door, but it certainly doesn’t feel “exclusive”. That changed when we reached the very end of the lounge and entered the lounge in a lounge in a lounge: The Private Room (TPR). The main feature of TPR is its exclusivity: By requiring an outbound First Class ticket and not making any exception even for their most valuable guests, PPS Solitaire, who spent S$250,000 over 5 years with them, there are very, very few people in the lounge. My guide asked whether I’d like to rest or dine and despite having eaten on my inbound flight, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to try the food (and I had 5 hours to kill). so I was seated in a space that resembles a fine dining restaurant, with tables set far apart, with white table cloth and heavy chairs.
The wait staff was at my table within seconds and offered the menu, two pages of appetizers, salads and soups and main courses. There is also a two-page selection of wine and champagne. I opted for a salad and the roasted duck with a glass of French red wine. The staff was friendly and attentive and the food and wine arrived quickly. The salad was very fresh and the duck with potatoes was very tasty, even though the presentation of the food was uninspired. It was the most enjoyable meal I had at an airport lounge and beats your typical buffet offerings as well as the service at the United First Class lounges in Hong Kong or Tokyo, by a long shot!
If you’d like to refresh, there are shower cabins located near the toilets, equipped with a shower and sink and the typical amenities, including shampoo, soap, dental and shaving kits, combs, lotion, mouthwash, etc. I liked the back-massage jets of the shower – certainly pleasant after a long flight. The room did feel a little small, with limited space for your luggage and no toilet in the suite itself – I prefer the larger Lufthansa or United shower suites I have used in the past.
There are also seating areas that are very spacious and separated into smaller spaces for additional privacy. It’s the most spacious, quiet and least busy lounge I have seen anywhere. You also have access to two small rooms with a comfy chair and ottoman and one family room with a changing table and sink in the back of the lounge if you need even more privacy. I wish the passengers in the lounge during my visit who had loud phone calls in the main area would have made use of those rooms! If you are looking for some entertainment, there are two giant screens with seats and a sofa in front of them for some movie or TV time.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet and a nice dinner, the Private Room is the perfect place to wait for your flight. It allocates more space to each guest than any lounge I’ve seen, is as quite as you’ll find in an airport and the staff is very attentive.
It still doesn’t add to the best ground experience in my book though: I’d rate Thai Airway’s First Class lounge in Bangkok with wonderfully relaxing massages higher and that is also supported by the better ground experience: being welcomed at the gate and taken to the lounge (or next gate) with a buggy was a nice touch! And I still have to experience the Lufthansa First Class loung in Frankfurt with the associated Porsche ride to the plane! It does put the lounge experience with American carriers to shame though, with regards to ambiance of the space, privacy and food! If you are flying out of Changi in Singapore Airline’s First Class, you should certainly give it a try!