Review: Singapore Airlines The Private Room Singapore Airport (SIN)

Review: Singapore Airlines The Private Room Singapore Airport (SIN)

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NAME: Singapore Airlines The Private Room
Airport: SIN
DATE: December 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Singapore Airlines' The Private Room is an exclusive lounge with luxurious decor, restaurant quality dining, nap rooms, and shower suites. However, the lounge also has a few quirks...
25
The Long Way to Abu Dhabi
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During my long journey to Abu Dhabi, I had the chance to check out some of Singapore Airlines’ lounges at its Changi Airport hub. In the past couple of years, Singapore Airlines has completely redesigned its lounges in Terminal 3.

In this installment I wanted to review Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room, which is the carrier’s most exclusive lounge. Then in the next installment I’ll review the Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge (and I also recently reviewed the Singapore Airlines Business Class Lounge).

So, how is Singapore Airlines’ best lounge? There’s a lot to like about this lounge, including an elegant design, restaurant quality food and drinks with table service, nap rooms, and beautiful shower suites.

However, the lounge isn’t perfect — aside from the nap rooms, the lounge doesn’t have any special amenities, and Singapore Airlines’ first class ground services are otherwise lacking. I think this ranks as one of the world’s 10 best first class lounges, but it’s definitely in the bottom half of the list. Let’s get into the review.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room location

Singapore Airlines’ most impressive lounges at Changi Airport are in Terminal 3, with The Private Room, the First Class Lounge, and the Business Class Lounge, sharing one entrance. Singapore Airlines’ lounges are located in the center of the terminal, closest to the A gates. When you’re in the central shopping area, you’ll see an escalator leading up a level to the lounges.

Singapore Changi Airport terminal

The easiest way to identify the location of the lounges is by the art glass installation, featuring Singapore Airlines’ batik motif. This includes 105 handcrafted art glass pieces, and measures 12 meters wide and 3.8 meters tall, so it’s hard to miss.

Singapore SilverKris Lounge entrance

You’ll then find yourself in the lounge’s central reception area. The entrance to the Business Class Lounge is to the right, the entrance to the First Class Lounge is to the left of that, and the entrance to The Private Room is to the left of that.

Singapore SilverKris Lounge entrance

If you see an agent at the desk on the left, they’ll admit you to the lounge and escort you into The Private Room, which is down a winding, bronze hallway.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room entrance
Singapore Airlines The Private Room entryway

Singapore Airlines The Private Room hours

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room is open daily from 5:30AM until 2:30AM, so it just closes for three hours each night. This covers virtually all of Singapore Airlines’ departures from Changi Airport, though it does cut it tight for some flights.

For example, I was on a 6:50AM flight from Singapore to Jakarta departing from Terminal 2. Security is at each individual gate, so realistically you don’t really have time to use The Private Room in the morning prior to that flight, other than maybe for a few minutes. That’s also why I used the lounge the night before, since I knew I wouldn’t have time to review it in the morning.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room entry requirements

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room is intended exclusively for passengers traveling in Singapore Airlines’ A380 Suites Class or 777 first class. There’s no way to access this lounge via status or by flying first class on a partner airline, and you’re not allowed to bring any guests.

To address a couple of potential scenarios:

  • You can use The Private Room either prior to your Suites Class or first class flight, or after it; you can use this exclusively as an arrivals lounge, or prior to connecting on another flight (even if it’s not in Suites Class or first class, and even if it’s not on Singapore Airlines)
  • Using The Private Room in the calendar day prior to your flight isn’t an issue, if you have an extended transit; for example, I entered the lounge at around 8PM, with a flight just before 7AM the following morning

So, what makes the access requirements of the less exclusive Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge different?

  • The Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge is open to PPS Club Solitaire members, since is the carrier’s top tier status
  • The Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge is a standard Star Alliance first class lounge, so can be accessed by first class passengers on Star Alliance partner airlines
  • The Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge allows all eligible travelers to take a guest, while The Private Room doesn’t

As you can tell, The Private Room is the real first class lounge for Singapore Airlines passengers, while the Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge is the Star Alliance compliant lounge, for travelers on partner airlines and select elite members.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room layout & seating

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room is 950 square meters (10,000+ square feet), with seating for nearly 80 guests.

As you enter the lounge, the first thing that you’ll see is a marble table with a chandelier above it. This is the part of the lounge that connects the various areas, including the entrance, nap rooms, bathrooms, and main lounge area.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room entryway

In terms of layout, The Private Room is a very straightforward lounge. The lounge is in a rectangular shape, and what you see below is the entirety of the main lounge area. There are two walkways going all the way through the lounge, essentially with “three” rows of seating — it’s almost like walking down the aisle in the premium cabin of a wide body jet. 😉

Roughly the first two-thirds of the lounge consists of various seating arrangements for relaxing, while the last one-third of the lounge consists of the restaurant area.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room layout
Singapore Airlines The Private Room layout
Singapore Airlines The Private Room layout
Singapore Airlines The Private Room layout

In the center row, you have the largest and least private sitting areas, which almost feel like mini-living rooms, and they’re in a variety of configurations, with some areas consisting of a couch and two chairs.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating

Then along the right side of the lounge, you have roughly half a dozen semi-private sitting areas, with most accommodating one to two people each.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating

You’ll see a similar concept on the opposite side of the lounge, with each area having a seat and a coffee table.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating
Singapore Airlines The Private Room seating

In the above area, I appreciate how just about all the sitting areas have conveniently located plugs, as you’d hope for with a new flagship lounge that opened in 2022. After the above area, there’s a soundproof booth, so that you can make a phone call in private, without disturbing others. Of course as I witnessed, the people who most need these are also the people who are least likely to use these…

Singapore Airlines The Private Room quiet room

Then in the back of the lounge is the dining area, which features 14 dining tables, each accommodating two people (though tables can be moved together for larger parties).

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area

In the back of the dining area is a beautiful kitchen counter type display, though it’s largely for show — food and drinks in the lounge aren’t self-serve, and most things come from the kitchen.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area

There is a small table with a food display, though I’m not even sure if guests are intended to help themselves to this, or what.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dining area

Back near the entrance, The Private Room has a play room for kids, though it’s quite modest, and it’s really more of a TV room than anything else.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room kids play area
Singapore Airlines The Private Room kids play area

If you ask me, the one major catch with The Private Room is that it has no natural light. One side of the lounge has a panel of windows looking into the concourse, which I suppose is nicer in Singapore Changi than at other airports. But still, there are no direct views outside from the lounge, which isn’t ideal. Then again, with the busiest hour in the lounge being around midnight, perhaps that’s not a huge deal.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room view

All-in-all, I found The Private Room to be elegantly designed. It has very comfortable seating and a dining room that looks like what you’d expect at a very nice restaurant. However, I’d say it doesn’t feel quite as cozy as Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge, but rather feels a bit more like a traditional airport lounge.

I’d also say that I wish there was a bit more variety in terms of seating options. For example, with all of these individual sections, it would be nice if there were some workstations, or at least somewhere to be able to comfortably work on a laptop, other than at a dining table.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room food & drinks

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room has an a la carte concept for both food and drinks, and the servers in the lounge are extremely attentive. No matter where you sit, you’ll be presented with the menu. Drinks are available in the main lounge area, while food is available in the dining room area.

Below you can find The Private Room drink menu.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room drinks menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room tea menu

Below you can find The Private Room food menu, including the breakfast menu (5:30AM until 11AM), lunch menu (11AM-6PM), dinner menu (from 6PM onwards), all-day vegetarian menu, and all-day dessert menu.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room breakfast menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room lunch & dinner menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room lunch & dinner menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room lunch & dinner menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room lunch & dinner menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room lunch & dinner menu
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dessert menu

Upon arriving in The Private Room, I first had a seat in the non-dining area, as I was waiting for my friend Toby to join me. He’d be flying with me to Jakarta, and yes, it’s that Toby. To start, I had a still water and a flat white. To be honest, as someone who loves coffee, the flat white could’ve been better. I’m not sure if they’re using machine coffee, or if there’s just room for improvement with the barista skills.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room coffee & water

When Toby arrived in the lounge, we had an excellent dinner, starting with some champagne. Many airlines serve great champagne onboard flights, but then skimp on the ground… not Singapore Airlines, though! The airline serves 2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, one of the three champagnes it serves onboard in first class.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room champagne
Singapore Airlines The Private Room champagne

Toby also ordered a Singapore Sling… no comment.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room cocktail

As a starter, we ordered the wagyu ribeye to share (it was listed under mains, but it seemed like a good appetizer), and it was delicious.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dinner

As a lover of Indian vegetarian food, I ordered the tandoori paneer tikka masala with ghee pulao, which was tasty.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dinner

Toby ordered the poached lobster with caviar, which the menu specifically described as being a whole lobster. While the dish was beautifully presented, it was a very small portion. So I’m not sure if there was a miscommunication there, if they’re serving the world’s smallest lobsters, or what.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dinner

So Toby instead treated that as a second appetizer, and instead ordered the roasted lamb rack with lyonnaise potato and sautéed spinach, which he enjoyed.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dinner

Then for dessert, I ordered the chocolate parfait with strawberry and granola, while Toby had the white fungus soup with goji berries and red dates.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room dessert
Singapore Airlines The Private Room dinner

The food quality and presentation was excellent across the board, and the service was friendly.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathrooms & showers

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room has bathrooms and showers near the entrance to the lounge. Everything about these feels super high-end.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathrooms & showers
Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathrooms

The men’s room had a few sinks, stalls, and urinals.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom
Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom
Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom

Something I’ve never seen before is that the bathroom not only has a sink specifically for children, but even has a stall for children, with a much smaller toilet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in any airport lounge, let alone in an international first class lounge that’s this exclusive.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom
Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom

The lounge was spotlessly clean and was constantly refreshed. There were also a variety of amenities in the bathroom, ranging from dental kits to Lalique fragrance.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room bathroom amenities

The Private Room also has four shower suites.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room shower suites

The shower suites each feature a sink, a toilet, and a walk-in shower. These are among the nicer shower suites you’ll find in any airport lounge, and I found the ventilation to be quite good. Toiletries were in reusable containers from COMO Shambhala.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room shower suite
Singapore Airlines The Private Room shower suite
Singapore Airlines The Private Room shower suite
Singapore Airlines The Private Room shower suite toiletries

Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap rooms

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room has four nap rooms, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. I love the concept of nap rooms, as it’s the most useful amenity if you’re looking to get some rest between flights.

The nap rooms are available for a period of two hours. However, if there’s no one waiting to use one of the rooms, then you can extend your time in the nap room. Another thing to note is that you can even use these nap rooms while the lounge closes from 2:30AM until 5:30AM (The Private Room isn’t actually “locked,” since it opens up into the rest of the lounge), so at that time you’d get a minimum of a three hour block.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room area

The four nap rooms are down a central hallway, and they seem to be quite similar.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap rooms
Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room

My nap room featured a twin bed, a desk with a table, and a comfortable chair, which can recline quite a ways. While the bed might not necessarily look that comfortable, the mattress is extremely well padded, so I dozed off in no time.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room
Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room
Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room
Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room

There’s even a blanket and some slippers provided, for added comfort.

Singapore Airlines The Private Room nap room amenities

While I love these nap rooms in theory, there are some very odd quirks to them, which I can’t quite wrap my head around:

  • The door of each nap room has a window, so there’s no privacy in the bedroom and anyone can look in; that’s a bit confusing, since I’d assume that it’s fine to take off some of your clothes if you’re getting into bed, but perhaps that’s not the intent?
  • The lights in each nap room just turn on randomly at certain intervals, and this seems to be an ongoing issue; this doesn’t reflect the end of a reserved period, but rather the lights just randomly turn on, so get ready to constantly be woken up
  • The nap rooms don’t become fully dark, but rather there’s a bright panel of lighting along the ceiling and wall
Singapore Airlines The Private Room constant lighting

So ultimately these nap rooms are still a good place to get some rest, though do manage your expectations in terms of privacy and light.

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room is one of the world’s most exclusive first class lounges. The lounge is elegant, serves restaurant quality dining and great wine, and offers nap rooms and luxurious shower suites.

This is an excellent first class lounge, but it’s not quite the best in the world. Some downsides to the lounge include the lack of natural light, the fact that there’s not much variety in seating, the nap rooms having some issues, and there just generally not being another x-factor (like some amazing spa, a gym, etc.).

If you have access to The Private Room, definitely leave some time to enjoy it… however, I wouldn’t leave too much time.

What’s your take on Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room?

Conversations (25)
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  1. adam stuart Guest

    was fortunate to spend time in the lounge a few weeks ago before my flight to sydney the service was perfect .. as was the waygu skewers grabbed a shower and a nap i couldn’t care less if there no tarmac views!

  2. Howie Guest

    Hi @ben do you think they serve dinner in TPR until 2am? I’m arriving 1am from NRT then taking 9am to LHR.

  3. Derek Milne Guest

    An excellent piece but in my opinion the " old " private room was better as iy had natural light and you could see the runways etc and also linen table cloths i have used the " new" private room now twice since it has opened and still find it very " cold"

  4. Peter Brown Guest

    Far better than US carriers lounges. As for security this is Singapore not the crime ridden USA.

  5. Paul Guest

    I last visited 5 or 6 years ago during the late afternoon and early evening. I found it somewhat desolate, with 2 other guests during my 2 hour stay. I don't like crowded lounges but being in one that is mostly empty and impersonal isn't pleasant for me. I had an okay light meal and moved over to their SilverKris lounge where it was more lively but not crowded.

  6. Jkjkjk Guest

    This lounge doesn’t even have a locker for transit passengers to explore the airport or jewel. What a shame. They could’ve had security at the lounge for that. So security isn’t an issue for an airport that doesn’t check your luggage coming in.

    Also, you can fly suites from south asia and the contract lounge would even have complimentary foot massage while you don’t have any of that in private room.

    The Suite...

    This lounge doesn’t even have a locker for transit passengers to explore the airport or jewel. What a shame. They could’ve had security at the lounge for that. So security isn’t an issue for an airport that doesn’t check your luggage coming in.

    Also, you can fly suites from south asia and the contract lounge would even have complimentary foot massage while you don’t have any of that in private room.

    The Suite I was on even ran out of Krug “due to supply chain” issue BS.

    SQ F ground service is sub par and left a lot to be desired and their in flight service are showing as well.

  7. HCW Guest

    Wowowow! The nap room looks awesome. Significant changes to the old private room! Thanks for sharing!

  8. JCL Guest

    If your extended transit is really extended, say 36 hours, can you still access the private room the entire time? Travelling SQ first to SIN, then connecting to SQ business after a 36 hour layover…

  9. SSS Guest

    @Ben any thoughts on the number of PPS Solitaire members? PPS Solitaire get access to the First Class lounge, but I’ve often wondered how much load they would add to the Private Room.

    1. JK Guest

      It would be great if they gave PPS Solitaire's Private Room access when they reached say, 100k. I know there are milestone earnings above 50k for upgrade certificates but why not have a stretch goal to incentivise even more loyalty?

  10. DaBluBoi Guest

    Merry Christmas :)

  11. Nick Dorey Guest

    Amazing facility. Loved my time spent in the Private Room last Feb/March on my way to and from Melbourne. Impeccable service, absolute tranquility and the best shower rooms.

  12. 54austin Guest

    Hi there - did you get a sense that the nap rooms get busy at a certain time? Do they allow two people to share one room (one on the bed and one in the chair)? Thanks!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ 54austin -- Yep, two people can share the rooms with the bed and the chair. When the lounge is busy (around 9PM onwards), the nap rooms do tend to get busy. I got the sense that they're otherwise pretty readily available. Interestingly we weren't the only ones who spent a night in the nap rooms, because all four were occupied when the lounge closed at 2:30AM.

  13. FMLAX Guest

    No comment on the Singapore Sling? Is that because it's one of the best tiki drinks and Singapore Airlines makes one of the best Slings? So there's no point in saying anything else? ;)

  14. JK Guest

    It's interesting they only expect a maximum of 14 guests / pairs to be eating any any given time but they have a huge bank of flights to Europe and also to SYD and NRT late evening or shortly past midnight. It must be quite busy very late evening (if F cabins are busy that is). Looks like there is ample space to lounge in other areas if not dining.

    Great they also cater...

    It's interesting they only expect a maximum of 14 guests / pairs to be eating any any given time but they have a huge bank of flights to Europe and also to SYD and NRT late evening or shortly past midnight. It must be quite busy very late evening (if F cabins are busy that is). Looks like there is ample space to lounge in other areas if not dining.

    Great they also cater for small children although you have to wonder how often they are in the F cabin, surely it happens but I can't imagine it's very common. Again excellent review and impressive that you got so many good quality photos.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JK -- Funny you mention that, because I agree in theory, but my experience was the opposite, surprisingly. Around 12AM the lounge was the busiest, and nearly every single seating "pod" was taken in the main sitting area. However, not a single table was taken in the dining room area. I guess many Singapore Airlines Suites Class and first class passengers just don't eat prior to the flight, because they know there's a feast onboard?

    2. Chris Guest

      Or normal people that aren't just lounge maximizers don't like to eat around midnight and already dinner at a more normal time?

    3. Zymm Guest

      When I was there a few months ago you didn't have to sit in the dining area to eat. I was there in the morning, using it as an arrivals lounge for a few hours and while I didn't have a full meal I did have a couple small dishes

  15. Steve Guest

    Looks a bit better than my 2018 visit. I can't understand the lack of luggage lockers for F passengers. I had 8 hours. Each time I wanted to take a walk around the airport, I had to take everything with me.

  16. Peter Guest

    The access on arrival is actually published here (footnote 4):

    "Suites and First Class customers arriving in Singapore on Singapore Airlines flights may use either The Private Room or the First Class SilverKris Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport."

    https://www.singaporeair.com/saar5/pdf/flying-withus/lounge/SilverKris-Lounge-and-KrisFlyer-Gold-Lounge-Access.pdf

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Peter @ Deo -- Fantastic, thanks for the heads up! I'll update the post to reflect that.

  17. Deo Guest

    Ben - A small correction.

    Singapore now officially publishes that Suites/First passengers arriving it in Singapore can use The Private Room upon arrival.
    Published criteria here (footnote 4) - https://www.singaporeair.com/saar5/pdf/flying-withus/lounge/SilverKris-Lounge-and-KrisFlyer-Gold-Lounge-Access.pdf

    It used to be unofficial, but they've made it official now.

  18. hbilbao Guest

    Happy holidays, Ben!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ hbilbao -- To you as well, thanks for reading and participating! :-)

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Steve Guest

Looks a bit better than my 2018 visit. I can't understand the lack of luggage lockers for F passengers. I had 8 hours. Each time I wanted to take a walk around the airport, I had to take everything with me.

3
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ 54austin -- Yep, two people can share the rooms with the bed and the chair. When the lounge is busy (around 9PM onwards), the nap rooms do tend to get busy. I got the sense that they're otherwise pretty readily available. Interestingly we weren't the only ones who spent a night in the nap rooms, because all four were occupied when the lounge closed at 2:30AM.

2
Peter Guest

The access on arrival is actually published here (footnote 4): "Suites and First Class customers arriving in Singapore on Singapore Airlines flights may use either The Private Room or the First Class SilverKris Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport." https://www.singaporeair.com/saar5/pdf/flying-withus/lounge/SilverKris-Lounge-and-KrisFlyer-Gold-Lounge-Access.pdf

1
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