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Singapore - Changi
- Free access for ANZ Black, Diners Club cardholders
- Masseuse had poor English and massage skills
- Stone cold 'hot' food at the buffet
- Limited refreshments with no alcohol
- Free fish spa treatments for Priority Pass members
Offering travellers massages, nail treatments, foot baths and even two fish spas is the Airport Wellness Oasis lounge at Singapore Changi Airport, conveniently located in Terminal 1 for Aussie travellers flying with Qantas, Emirates, British Airways and Jetstar.
Even if you already have access to the superb Qantas Singapore Lounge, or indeed the often-quieter Emirates Singapore Lounge, neither offer in-house spa treatments, which is where the Airport Wellness Oasis really shines – or tries to, anyway.
Location & Impressions
After clearing passport control in Terminal 1, turn right and follow the signs to the Transit Hotel – en route, you'll find the Airport Wellness Oasis directly below where the old Skyview Lounge used to be.
If you're connecting between flights at Singapore Airport or are making the trek over from another terminal, keep your eyes peeled for signs pointing towards Gate D41, which is directly opposite.
On first glance, this isn't your typical airport lounge – there's much less focus on productivity, with more importance given to relaxation, as the name implies.
Paid-up members of Priority Pass, DragonPass, Airport Angel, Lounge Club and Lounge Pass can visit the Airport Wellness Oasis in line with the conditions and fees governing their own membership plan.
The lounge also welcomes ANZ Rewards Black and ANZ Frequent Flyer Black cardholders from Australia via the Véloce network, Diners Club cardholders from around the world and MasterCard World and World Rewards cardholders from the Middle East via Lounge Key.
Add to that list passengers booked on economy Starter Max tickets with Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Pacific who don't have Qantas Frequent Flyer status or Qantas Club membership.
(Jetstar's Business Max customers along with Qantas Club members and Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyer members travelling within the Jetstar family can instead visit the Qantas Singapore Lounge.)
Basic entry includes use of the general lounge space, showers and access to the buffet, while a number of treatments are available for purchase from all travellers, whether or not their wallet packs one of the cards above.
Members of Priority Pass and Lounge Pass receive a 10% discount on any paid treatment – although as the menu excludes the 7% GST, you'll still be paying close to the printed price. Add to that a free 20-minute fish spa treatment, and free access to the lounge's shower facilities.
With alcohol and massage not the best of combinations, you won't find any bubbles here.
Instead there are soft drinks in the fridge – adjacent to the Coca Cola taps that only dispense water – along with juice, coffee and tea.
It's relatively slim pickings at the buffet, which on our visit had rice, the remains of what appeared to be chicken and spring rolls that looked warm but were stone cold...
... plus a few snacks like cereal, instant noodles, sandwiches, muffins and cake.
That's pretty tragic for an international lounge – especially in an aviation megahub like Singapore Changi – and gets my first-ever one-star rating.
Put it this way: you wouldn't come here to get things done.
But if you did need to check emails during your stay there are leather chairs scattered throughout with handy cocktail tables for holding your drink or sandwich...
... along with free Wi-Fi which is fine for basic web browsing, pulling in 1.77Mbps, sending out 0.32Mbps and with ping speeds of 136ms.
Fortunately the lounge has much more to offer travellers intent on relaxing, and that's fair game for a 'wellness oasis'.
For the ladies is a nail salon, with treatments starting at SG$30 (A$29.25) for an express manicure...
... through to SG$155 (A$151) for a mani-pedi with gel nails, including GST.
There are also private treatment rooms for full body massages, sleeping rooms available for hire and kneeling chairs for head, neck and shoulder massages.
We took one for a spin, spending around A$35 on the 20-minute 'neck and shoulder + herbal tea' package – and afterwards, was glad to have declined the initial upsell attempt to a 30-minute massage "for only $10 more".
The masseuse's English skills were incredibly limited, ignoring several of my requests to use less pressure until communicating as much with gestures – while her massage technique included aiming squarely for joints and bones rather than muscle tissue, which required a number of "ow"s until the message was clear.
More enjoyable was the fish spa: if you haven't been to one before and it's included at no extra cost with your Priority Pass or Lounge Pass card, it's a great and convenient way to experience one.
The lounge has two identical tanks to cater for busy times, which are at the rear of the seating area.
First, wash your feet with warm water and soap...
... then wander over to the tanks, perch yourself on the edge and watch as the fish eat away at your dead skin.
It doesn't hurt in the slightest... it tickles a little and feels odd at first, but sure beats the neck and shoulder massage.
Our advice: if your wallet packs an unlimited Priority Pass or Lounge Pass card, stop by the Airport Wellness Oasis only for that free fish spa treatment, and then move elsewhere.
Consider visiting the newer SATS Premier Lounge – found next to the Qantas and Thai Airways lounges – which we've pegged as the best lounge available for Priority Pass members at Changi Airport.