Singapore Airport is one of travels little pleasures. Changing planes and being in transit on the way to or from somewhere exciting is rarely much fun. But Singapore Airport takes away much of the pain for travellers. As does Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel Singapore. It’s one of the absolute best and is well located for an extended transit through Singapore’s Changi Airport. It’s no surprise that the hotel was named World’s Best Airport Hotel and Best Airport Hotel in Asia at the 2015 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel is the type of modern ‘design hotel’ that Singapore is doing so well lately. The hotel is designed on a Contemporary Asia theme, channelling tropical plants and textiles. These themes are literally woven into the very fabric of the hotel.
Eye-pleasing lines and smooth flowing walls in warm timber tones are soothing for tired travellers. It looks great and just feels good – making weary travellers feel better is what its all about. The link bridge from Changi Airport is a timber screen wall with a staggered pattern based on Indonesian Ikat fabrics. The lobby lounge faces a rainforest garden dripping with tropical orchids. Furniture takes inspiration from tropical fruits, both in colour and form. There are benches like slices of papaya while chairs use the concept of “peel” and “seeds” in the detailing of fabrics and cushions. The carpets are in fruit colours dotted with striking seed motifs. It might sound a bit much, but it actually works really well.
Lush gardens are visible from everywhere in the public areas. There’s even surprising views upwards to rainforest trees through a water covered skylight.
At the guest room level the hotel transforms from a city/airport hotel into a resort hotel. The entire building is encased in see through a screen derived from orchids. The orchid screen transforms painted wall into a three-dimensional flower textile which also provides 60% shading to the entire façade, cooling the building and saving energy.
Within this screen is a series of courtyards framed by room blocks and open ventilated corridors. Of the two large courtyards, one is water filled with a huge swimming pool and deck while the other is a lush tropical garden filled with rainforest trees.
The room blocks are painted in ivory, indigo and burnt sienna colours of Malaysian batiks. Along the corridor, perforated screens overlay the coloured walls in popular contemporary Malay colours of acid green and orange s, creating a warp and weft of weaving that shimmers and changes with the angle of sunlight.
Soundproofed guest rooms are thoughtfully designed and exceed expectations. Deluxe rooms are 36m2 deluxe rooms while suites are a spacious 72m2. All come with standing rain shower, bathtub with a view, 1.8m work desk and iPod docking station. Rooms feature natural light in the bathrooms, huge windows with blackout curtains and spaces to spread out luggage.
Guest rooms follow a theme of calm nature as a soothing respite from the strains and artificial environment of travel. The rooms function equally as a space to rest and recuperate or as a working space for business travellers. The carpet is designed as an abstraction of light sparkling through leaves and the green and oak tones are continued throughout. An artwork wall of Plumier flowers on the bathroom glass creates impact in the room and filters the view.
Day use rooms are available.
Splendid: Premium bedding with quality linen and an abundance of plump pillows. Fluffy bathrobe and slippers feel plush. Light switches are logically located and air-conditioning is efficient and quiet.
Quiet zones within hotel minimise guest disturbance while guaranteed wakeup calls, enable travellers to sleep easy and not worry about missing the next flight.
Adequate: powerpoints on desk are well located however covers are loose and wiring is exposed – doesn’t look safe though powerpoints do work and I had no issues.
Could do better: There’s something a bit odd going on with the drawer where the inroom safe is stored: sliding robe door prevents it from being opened.
Splendid: Quality amenities including tooth brush, razor along with an invitation to call reception if you’ve forgotten to pack other essentials. Double-head rain shower, walk in glass cubicle, freestanding bathtub (regrettably untested). Good lighting, quality hairdryer and large mirror. Can’t fault it.
Restaurants: Azur restaurant draws on ancient tradition of ceramics in China and Southeast Asia with glazed Thai tiles in ultramarines and greens and vases made in traditional shapes in centuries old “Dragon kilns” in China. Vertical screens and mirrors transform the ceramics into a blue textile that wraps the restaurant. Regrettably I did not have time to dine.
Club Lounge: Located on level three the Club Lounge offers evening canapes and drinks along with breakfast daily. Service is exceptional. As is the food and drinks on offer. The lounge is furnished with intimate tables for two and long tables for shared dining, quite areas for working and reading along with a lounge area with plump sofas and TV screens.
My tip: pay extra for a room that includes Club Lounge access.
Spa and/or gym: Onsite fitness centre has treadmills, stationery bike, weight machines and free weights, open 24 hours.
Swimming pool: Two pools – one indoors and one outdoors both with sun lounges and full poolside service (food and drinks).
If you go
Getting there: The hotel is located at Terminal 3 and is a short walk from Terminal 2 via a covered linkbridge. If you’re coming from Terminal 1 take the Skytrain to Terminal 3.
VIP Meet and Greet service is available which includes escorted pick up from arrivals hall to hotel and seamless check in.
We love: Complimentary wifi throughout the property. Club lounge access
We loathe: Leaving was hard! I actually wished that my layover was longer so that I could have enjoyed more of the lavish facilities.
Couples will love: King beds, walk in rain showers, oversize bathtubs.
Families will love: Two swimming pools with plenty of room for young ones to burn off excess energy.
Verdict: Highly recommended
Fiona Harper was a guest of Crowne Plaza Changi Singapore Airport