Swimming During A Layover At Singapore Changi Airport

Filed Under: Travel

Today I had a 12 hour layover at Singapore Changi Airport, consistently ranked as one of the world’s best airports. My layover was from 1PM until 1AM, and my primary goal was to sleep, given that I slept a total of three hours on my flights from Los Angeles to Taipei and from Taipei to Singapore (I was working for most of the Los Angeles to Taipei flight, since it was during US business hours).

For the layover in Singapore I booked the Aerotel Transit Hotel Changi Terminal 1 for a nine hour block, which was great for some much needed relaxation.

It was probably the best designed airside transit hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It really felt like a legit hotel in terms of the hallways.


The room was gorgeous, and very practically designed, given that it didn’t have any windows. That might sound like a negative thing, but I thought it was ideal for a transit hotel, given that it’s intended to sleep all hours of the day. This avoids any sort of light from coming into the room.


On top of that, the room itself was actually nice, rather than just being fine when you account for the fact that it’s airside.


But what set the hotel apart was one of the coolest airport amenities out there — an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the tarmac. Where else do you get to swim airside while enjoying fresh air and the smell of jet fuel? I’d say that the hot tub is pretty awesome as well, but given the temperatures in Singapore, that’s rarely enjoyable…


Best of all, you don’t need to be a guest at the transit hotel to use the swimming pool. You can buy access directly to the pool for just 12USD.


Changi Airport is generally ranked as one of the world’s top airports. It’s probably my favorite, in spite of the fact that I don’t think the architecture is that stunning (it feels more like a really nice shopping mall than an airport, which is probably the intent…), and also don’t love that the floors are mostly carpet, which seems impractical.


However, the amenities are endless, from a pool, to a gym, to a movie theater, to an outdoor terrace, to a butterfly garden.

If you find ourself faced with a long layover at Changi Airport anytime soon, consider going for a swim.

Would you take advantage of the Changi Airport pool during a long layover?

  1. I would totally use a pool if I had a long enough layover and the weather was suitable. The Grand Hyatt DFW has a rooftop pool overlooking the tarmac.

    My concern with a hotel not having windows is how would you escape if there was a fire right outside your room? Or, am I being a little too paranoid?

  2. How are you supposed to dry a swimsuit, though? Plus, I guess you’d need to have it with your carry-on since your luggage is still checked through. Are you carrying wet swim shorts in your flight bag? Or did you nude it up.

  3. One year when going to Disney World, we had a late arrival and stayed at the Hyatt at the Orlando airport. Great rooftop pool! Watching planes take off and land overhead. Took a limo the next day to the Contemporary Hotel for two weeks of Disney fun!

  4. I love the carpet, personally… I find it brings down the noise level, with all those roller bags not clipping over tiles everywhere!

  5. I agree with @H about the carpet – I also think it’s more comfortable to walk on, given the sometimes long distances you’re walking there.

    Ben, you said: “also donā€™t love that the floors are mostly carpet, which seems impractical.” Out of curiosity, why does it bother you that it may be less practical than a hard surface? IME, it always seems clean.

  6. I always hit up the oasis wellness lounge thru priority pass when i’m here; great way to get free fish spa massage

  7. @Moonpuncher – ROFL, Buy the cheapest trunk you can buy at the airport and throw after use !!!

  8. @Susan You’re not being paranoid, as in many places, a room can’t be considered a legal bedroom if there’s no window under building codes.

  9. Hey Ben, would you mind to tell how much does this hotel room costs? For the 9-hour block you used it. Thank you!

  10. Instead of just hitting the pool, you should have tried local food in the food mall, or taken the FREE Singapore Tour instead šŸ™‚

  11. @Wilson:

    Totally agree with you about trying the local food. During my only visit to Singapore (many years ago!), my husband was in Singapore on business, so I was exploring the city by myself during the day. I ended up going to a place where there were just the locals. I had no idea what any of the menu items were, but I pointed to one of the pictures of the food which looked interesting, and ate with the locals. Best experience in Singapore.

  12. If I didn’t have any ear issues during the landing, I’d totally go for a swim! Normally at pools there is this spinner that helps dry the swimsuit a lot quicker.
    Was it a year or two ago when you bought those really cool swimming trunks with the planes on them? Did you ever get to wear them? This would have been a great opportunity to do so!

  13. I’ve stayed at the transit hotel at Changi a few times. Less expensive than a two star in Singapore proper and you don’t have to take a taxi to town. Clean, efficient and moderately priced rooms.

    A couple of other good things about this airport. Largest damn koi I’ve ever seen in tropical ponds. A free two hour tour of Singapore with guide and bus transport if you’re in transit for four hours or more, free baggage check and bypass customs. There are also lounges offering a buffet, massages, bar and pools for a small sum. Sweet. I rank Changi #1.

  14. No idea why you find carpet impractical. The carpets used in Singapore Changi airport have been scientifically tested to allow better traction with trolleys and at the same time produce minimal noise, and easy on the legs. You are the first I heard complaining about it.

  15. I was at Changi in May and knew nothing about the swimming pool option. I spent all my time in the SilverKris Lounge. Next time ……

  16. Scientifically proven better?! Those scientists never dragged my suitcase through that airport.

  17. A carpet with a good design would help give the place a bit of class…. can’t say the same for tiles unless you are gunning for the granite or marble types.
    Couldn’t agree any more about the noise reduction with carpet; plus it’s cheaper and more practical when it comes to refreshing the look.

    Would be even better if theirs was an infinity pool cascading air-side.

  18. also remember that there are a couple of free city tours that are offered. You don’t have to clear immigration as they are arranged by the airport themselves and I think you stay on a bus with commentary the while time

  19. Hey Lucky,

    Glad you were able to enjoy Changi. I’m working with the airport and also an avid reader of your blog so it’d have been a great experience being able to meet you. Hope you’d be back in this part of the world soon!

  20. To answer your question: No. I always head out to the Geylang district or little India for food since I don’t eat on aircraft and drink myself silly at the 1-Altitude; sometimes, I head out to see my in-law’s family if they are at home and not out of the country.

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