Review: Singapore Changi Airport Transit Hotel

Filed Under: Hotel Reviews, Hotels

Introduction: Flying Halfway Around The World For Half A Day
Review: China Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Taipei
Review: China Airlines Lounge Taipei
Review: China Airlines Business Class A330 Taipei To Singapore
Review: Singapore Changi Airport Transit Hotel
Review: British Airways Lounge Singapore
Review: SATS Premier Lounge Singapore
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 767 Singapore To Tokyo
Review: Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Haneda Airport
Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 777 Tokyo To San Francisco

I don’t think there’s an airport with more amenities than Singapore’s Changi. From a swimming pool to a butterfly garden to a movie theater, the airport has it all. But those aren’t the only practical amenities the airport has for transit passengers.

There are also several airside transit hotels at Changi Airport, which proved very useful to me this trip. I arrived at Changi Airport at around 1:30PM, and my next flight to Tokyo was at 1:50AM, leaving me with about 12 hours. I knew I wanted to get some rest, so I started doing some research on which transit hotel I should stay at.

Per Changi Airport’s website, here are the available transit hotels, along with their pricing:



My initial preference was to book the Aerotel Changi Airport Terminal 1, as it looked quite nice, and was also in the terminal I’d be departing from. However, based on the transit hotel’s website, they didn’t have any availability for the time I wanted to stay. I still sent them an email to see if they maybe had something available.

My second choice was the Ambassador Transit Hotel Terminal 3, given that I was arriving in that terminal. It also seemed to be sold out, and I sent them an email as well.

Within a day I heard back from both hotels. As luck would have it, the Terminal 1 transit hotel actually had availability, even though the website suggested it didn’t. Meanwhile the Terminal 3 hotel was sold out. So I booked the Terminal 1 hotel, which was my first choice anyway.

I decided to reserve an eight hour block for an “M” room. I didn’t go with the smaller and cheaper “S” room since they don’t feature private showers and bathrooms, so I figured it was worth the premium.

My eight hour room block cost 130SGD (~96USD), which seemed reasonable for the convenience.

Upon arriving at Terminal 3 I followed the signage to the Skytrain.

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Terminal 3 Singapore Changi Airport

The Skytrain station was just a very short walk from my arrival gate, so I took that towards Terminal 1.

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Skytrain to Terminal 1 Singapore Changi Airport

I knew the Aerotel was located near gate D41, which is at the far end of the terminal. So I followed the signage in that direction.

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Terminal 1 Singapore Changi Airport

While it was quite a hike, Changi Airport is one of the more pleasant airports to walk around, in my opinion. It’s sort of like walking through a mall that just happens to have gates.

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Terminal 1 Singapore Changi Airport

Eventually there was signage dedicated to the transit hotel, rather than just following signage towards gate D41.

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Terminal 1 Singapore Changi Airport

The walk took about 10 minutes, and then I found myself at an escalator leading up to the swimming pool and transit hotel.

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Transit hotel signage Singapore Changi Airport

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Escalator to transit hotel Singapore Changi Airport

Immediately at the top of the escalator was the reception desk for the Aerotel.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi reception

It’s interesting that the reception desk is in the terminal, rather than there being some dedicated lobby.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi “lobby”

The guy checking me in was rather abrupt, though I think that was simply his attempt at seeming competent and confident. The check-in process took a few minutes, as I had to sign a bunch of things and pre-pay for my room.

I had originally reserved the room from 1PM until 9PM, but my inbound flight was late, so he proactively updated the time of my reservation from 1:45PM until 9:45PM, which I appreciated.

He also explained that I’d receive a complimentary meal with my room, though I declined. He was shocked, and said “but it’s included!” I said I’d think about it.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi complimentary meal

Opposite the reception desk there was a single door leading to all the rooms.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi door to rooms

Past the door was a beautiful hallway that made me feel like I was in a legitimate hotel. Based on the reception desk being in the terminal, I wasn’t expecting that.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi hallway

I was assigned room 49, which was one of the first rooms on the right.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi M Room entrance

As you can see below, there are 50 M & L rooms, while there are 18 S rooms.

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Aerotel Transit Hotel Singapore Changi floorplan

The room itself was gorgeous, easily the nicest airside transit hotel I’ve ever seen. It featured two beds. They were firm, though not uncomfortably so. The pillows were rather thin, though since I was alone I could use all four pillows (two under my head, and two to hold).

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Transit hotel room Singapore Changi Airport

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Transit hotel room Singapore Changi Airport

Across from the beds was a desk with a chair, as well as a lounging chair.

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Transit hotel room Singapore Changi Airport

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Transit hotel room Singapore Changi Airport

At the desk were international outlets, which I was happy to see (you’d think they’d be a given, but you’d be surprised…).

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Transit hotel room international outlets Singapore Changi Airport

I’d note that the room doesn’t have windows. While there are shutters at the far end of the room to create the illusion that there are windows, that’s not the case. That’s a good thing, since it means the room is completely dark with the lights out, even in the middle of the day.

There were also a couple of bottles of complimentary water, a kettle, and some coffee & tea.

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Transit hotel room complimentary coffee & tea Singapore Changi Airport

The bathroom was a decent size and functional, with a sink, shower, and toilet.

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Transit hotel room bathroom Singapore Changi Airport

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Transit hotel room toilet Singapore Changi Airport

The shower featured two shower heads, including one mounted to the wall, as well as a handheld one. There was a dispenser on the wall with shampoo and body wash. You had to squeeze the bottle to dispense from it, which sort of grossed me out as a (selective) germaphobe.

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Transit hotel room shower Singapore Changi Airport

In the drawer by the sink were several amenities, including a toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, etc.

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Transit hotel room toiletries Singapore Changi Airport

I managed to get a solid six hours of sleep, which really helped me recharge between long flights.

One other thing I’d note about the hotel is that they don’t have their own wifi network, but rather use Changi Airport’s free wifi network. Personally I find Changi’s system to be quite annoying, as you need to enter your cell phone number and get an activation code. In my case the code never arrived (and I tried several times), though one of the front desk associates used his phone to get me a code, which I thought was nice.

While I didn’t actually use it, I couldn’t help but check out the pool. After all, it’s not every day you can go swimming at an airport.

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Transit hotel revolving door to pool Singapore Changi Airport

The pool is open daily from 6AM until midnight, and you can purchase access from the hotel reception for 17SGD (~13USD).

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Singapore Changi Airport pool hours & cost

The pool has a beautiful deck with a bar, should you want any drinks.

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Singapore Changi Airport pool deck

The pool itself is a good size, and there was just one family there when I visited. There’s also a hot tub attached to it.

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Singapore Changi Airport pool

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Singapore Changi Airport pool

I’d note that there’s also a gym that transit hotel guests have access to, though I didn’t have a chance to photograph it.

Aerotel Changi Airport bottom line

This transit hotel was fantastic, possibly the best airside one I’ve ever visited. The room was fresh and nicely appointed, and you even get access to a pool and gym, along with a free meal. If you have a long layover, I think getting a room at a transit hotel is a great option. Even the best first class seat can’t compare to a real bed.

Even if you don’t want a room at the transit hotel, it might be worth visiting so you can swim in a pool, which is a cool novelty for an airport.

If you’ve stayed at an airside transit hotel, which was your favorite?

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  1. This might be a dumb question, but are you able to leave the hotel, run around the airport, and return to your room?

  2. Hey Lucky,
    Thanks for this detailed article w/ Changyi Airport transit hotel.
    With SQ flying directly from SFO-SIN arriving late at night starting this fall, this would be a good option if i chose not to go outside the airport. Very informative!!!

  3. Nice review of the Aerotel at Changi. I was thinking about the Ambassador hotel the last time as an option but seems the Aerotel is better with the private showers.

    By the way, with the Changi Wifi, you can just go to the Info desk at the airport and they’ll give you the pin with your Passport. (those pin texting service can be finiky especially with international numbers). At least the WiFi is reasonable fast to get work done.

    Ps. Are the the legendary “luckycoins” on FlyerTalk? Any chance there’s going to be another KIX-SEL trip report? 😉

    Oh and if you wish for some free walking tours in Vancouver, please do book a flight from SFO to YVR. Send me an email to the comment email 😀

  4. @Garrett: Yes. The room is a hotel room. You have a key. So you are free to roam around T1, T2 and T3 to visit the 24 hour shops and restaurants.

    I have only stayed at the transit hotels at SIN T2 and T3. T3 is a much much much better terminal than T2, and the T3 transit hotel just seems nicer – maybe because of the nicer terminal. The T2 and T3 transit hotel rooms are pretty much identical. T3 has a free movie lounge next to the hotel check-in desk.

    Also, Changi airport offers free Singapore city tours to transiting pax. You just need to show your passport and onward boarding pass. I have not taken this tour, however.

  5. Looks nicer than some Hiltons I’ve been in recently… Also you should have gotten the Hainanese Chicken Rice! I can’t imagine visiting SG without having one (even if only for seven hours). Granted, it won’t be hawker centre quality but prob still decent.

    Love SIN as an airport and Singapore as a whole.

  6. If you are looking for a day stay at an airport hotel, this website
    will list available properties for the same day arrival and departure.
    Once you know where you want to stay, you can also try booking directly with hotel.
    I am not sure whether Crowne Plaza Changi Airport offers a day rate but they have guaranteed late checkout up to 6 pm as far as I remember. Was upgraded to suite last time.

  7. Question about the pool, if just paying for a swim and not a room, are there changing rooms where one can also keep luggage? Is access limited for a certain amount of time?


  8. If you have an overnight stopover in Singapore, I highly recommend the Crowne Plaza at Changi Airport. It is probably the best airport hotel I have ever stayed in and whilst you have to clear immigration to access, you won’t be disappointed.

  9. @54austin:

    I did just that. I had a couple of hours transit and went to pay to use the pool. There is a locker room, just like at a local swimming pool. There were about a dozen lockers big enough for a large roller, a couple showers, and washroom toilet stalls. They provide you with a towel. There is also a bar there if you want to purchase a drink.

    I really had a lot of fun there, but didn’t actually see many planes land/takeoff (its not under a runway). But you can look out to one side and watching plans on the apron at gates come and go.

    Would definitely do it again. One more tidbit: Sunscreen is a must!!!

  10. @Paul:

    Thanks for the follow-up. One more question, do the lockers have a keypad to set a passcode or should I bring a small lock?

    Thanks for the info!

  11. I am trying really hard to remember… I think it was a pay locker where you insert a coin and twist to lock and pull out a key that you can bobby pin to your swimsuit.

  12. Just stayed there a couple weeks ago. Absolutely the best transit hotel we’ve used, so agreed with you. (Word of warning: Don’t EVER use the transit hotel in Delhi!!! Total sleaze…) We had checked out Ambassador, one of the other transit hotels at Changi on our way to Bali and this one is new, impeccable, far superior. For us, worth the walk and train to get to from the terminal we arrived at. For such a short stay, it was worth not having to leave the airport to stay at the Crowne Plaza, which was considerably more $$$. Also agree that Changi is the most user friendly airport anywhere, a delight! Puts others to shame. Wish there was a global system of superior transit hotels like these….just dreaming….

  13. Can you use the in transit hotels if you are arriving for a cruise? Our transit is arriving international flight in very early am while it is too early to check into traditional hotel and taxis are reportedly double the price at during the night. Would far rather do several hours in the transit hotel to rest after day and a half of travelling, explore the airport and/or do the tour before heading to the ship.
    Any thoughts? next flights would be couple of weeks later due to water and ground transport.

  14. A plane lover question : Any of the transit hotels actually have rooms that overlook runways or taxiways or gates (with lots of traffic hopefully) ? Thanks for the very informative article. B

  15. Hello. Thank you for sharing such an informative video.

    I’m will be transiting at changi airport next month with my two other friends. Although there are three of us traveling together, I’m planning to book a room(with only 2 beds). May I know if they allow 3 people to share a room with two beds? Will the receptionist do head count when we check in.
    Thank you=)

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