Reviews

Review: Singapore Airport's new arrivals lounge: Changi Lounge at Jewel

Great after an early morning arrival, the Changi Lounge at Jewel makes for a relaxing start to the day: for the most part...

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, November 27 2019
Singapore Airport's new arrivals lounge: Changi Lounge at Jewel
Country

Singapore

City

Singapore

Airport

Singapore - Changi

Alliance

Priority Pass

Airline

Any

Cabin-class

Any

Notes
The Good
  • Freshen up after your flight with a shower and working space, before going into the city
The Bad
  • Poor buffet catering is the lounge's Achilles' heel
X-Factor
  • Access for passengers arriving (and also departing) on any airline
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Whether you've just touched down in Singapore after a long flight or are looking for somewhere to relax before beginning your journey, the Changi Lounge at Jewel welcomes both arriving and departing passengers.

Through its affiliation with programs like Priority Pass, passengers can stop by when flying with any airline in any class of service, whether that's a middle seat down the back on a quick hop with Scoot, through to a luxurious Suites Class experience on Singapore Airlines: everybody is welcome.

Location & Impressions

You'll find the Changi Lounge at Jewel, which is linked with Terminal 1 in the public area of the airport but can be accessed by those using other terminals too, via the complimentary inter-terminal Skytrain.

Passengers arriving into Terminal 1 – such as on flights with Qantas, Emirates and British Airways – will find this lounge easiest to reach, by following the signs to Jewel and then to Changi Lounge straight after baggage claim and Customs:

For departing passengers, the Changi Lounge is also conveniently located opposite the early check-in facilities at Jewel, where bags can be tagged and sent through to many flights, including those departing from other terminals such as with Singapore Airlines.

As you walk out of early check-in, you'll see the Changi Lounge straight in front of you – otherwise, it's on the right-hand side of the corridor here on level 1 in Jewel, if you're walking from Terminal 1 or the Skytrain.

(If Jewel's widely-recognised Rain Vortex is on your right-hand side and Terminal 1 is to your left, you're also going the right way.)

Whatever way you reach the Changi Lounge, be aware that what looks to be a reception desk at the entrance – complete with a chair and computer – isn't actually reception.

Instead, the service desk is inside the lounge and around to the right, as was discovered after patiently waiting outside for over 10 minutes, given there's no signage to direct you through, which would be particularly helpful given airport lounges seldom have reception hidden from view at the entrance.

Nonetheless, once you're through and processed, the lounge itself has a modern and upmarket feel – as it should, given it only opened in 2019 as part of the broader Jewel complex.

Do be aware though that there are no restrooms here – instead, you'll be directed outside via a side door to use the public facilities in Jewel, and can return through the same path via a supplied PIN code.

The Changi Lounge is open 24/7, so whether you're flying throughout the day, late at night or arriving first thing in the morning, the lounge will be open and waiting.

Access

Visiting the Changi Lounge at Jewel is possible via a number of airport lounge membership programs, as well as for purchase at the door.

Depending on how you enter the lounge, the inclusions are different – here's what you need to know.

Priority Pass, Lounge Club, LoungeKey and DragonPass members

Present your membership card and same-day boarding pass to visit for up to three hours, in line with your usual membership plan.

This is possible either after arriving into Singapore on a flight from any airline into any terminal, or from four hours before an onward departure: still with a maximum visit time of three hours, to ensure you make it through passport control and security screening in time for boarding.

Visiting via these lounge programs also includes use of the shower, and one can of Tiger beer. Use of the nap room and meeting rooms, à la carte dining, and further alcohol consumption is subject to payment.

Paying for lounge access and facilities at Jewel

For walk-up guests, a three-hour visit costs S$38 for adults and S$27 for children aged 3-17, with those younger admitted without extra charge.

This includes basic use of the lounge, although not the shower. For that, the total price of the package increases to S$50 per adult and S$39 per child (aged 3+).

Alternatively, travellers can pay for use of the lounge's nap pods only, at a cost of S$34 for the first hour and S$20 per additional hour. This can also be 'added on' to an existing lounge visit (either when paying for entry or using a membership card), at a cost of S$20 per hour.

Finally, use of the meeting rooms is a separate purchase, available at the following rates – shown as for the 8 / 16 person meeting rooms:

  • One hour: S$160 / S$280
  • Two hours: S$280 / S$400
  • Four hours: S$400 / S$640
  • Eight hours: S$600 / S$960

Paying guests do not need to show an inbound or outbound boarding pass: only when using membership cards like Priority Pass, which require that the passenger have a same-day flight as a condition of utilising that membership.

Dining

On the dining front, buffet fare is included with every admission, with an evening visit finding starters like soups, bread and spring rolls – although sitting on a plate with no heat source, the latter were stone cold and best left alone.

These were joined by basic salad ingredients and dressings, along with sweet bites.

There's also a line-up of hot food available, although it wasn't replenished or replaced during the visit, and trying small bites of what remained didn't find a star dish, with the rice the complete opposite: being stale, hard and crunchy, rather than soft and fluffy when it's fresh.

Otherwise, a small selection of non-alcoholic drinks are available via a self-service fridge.

There's an espresso coffee machine, too.

After finding a staff member to have the milk replenished, the latte produced was acceptable as far as machine-made coffee is concerned, improved by stirring before drinking.

Guests who visit the lounge via an independent lounge program (as opposed to paying at the door) are also offered one complimentary can of Tiger beer, which can be claimed at the bar, or from a staff member when the bar is unattended.

A broader range of alcoholic drinks are available for purchase. Expect to pay S$15-17 for a glass of wine or a spirit, up to S$197 for a bottle of Bollinger NV Champagne, including local GST and the lounge's "service charge", which are added on top of the menu prices.

À la carte meals are similarly offered for sale until 9pm each evening, including local favourites such as chilli crab, chicken curry and roast duck – but with the complimentary buffet lacking freshness and flavour, we weren't tempted to try anything else.

Work

Whether you're taking care of emails after a long flight or sending off the next batch before your onward departure, a quiet business nook can be found in the far corner of the lounge, with computers and printing facilities.

Assuming that most travellers carry their own tech, most of the other seats in the lounge cater to laptop and casual working too, with AC and USB power points a-plenty.

For more serious laptop work, the tables in the dining area may prove more suitable, given the working benches in the business zone are all occupied by computers. However, power points in this area are scarce.

Separate to the main lounge space, meeting room facilities are also available for hire, but the use of these isn't included with a standard pay-in visit or the swipe of a lounge membership card.

The lounge doesn't provide its own WiFi network although Changi Airport's public WiFi is easily usable, with Executive Traveller tests finding average download speeds of 43Mbps and average uploads of 59Mbps, when connecting from inside the Changi Lounge.

Relax

Other than productivity facilities for business travellers, the bulk of the lounge lends itself well to relaxation, with a variety of seats catering to groups and families:

Solo travellers won't find any difficulty in securing a seat, either.

Many seats offer access to power – the easiest way to find the nearest outlet is to look for the lamps, although there are sockets elsewhere too, such as built into most of the cocktail tables.

A selection of reading material is available, including the day's newspapers and a range of magazines:

Shower suites are here as well – again, lounge program members can use these for free, while those purchasing entry at the door pay a higher admission charge.

Futuristic nap pods can be found in a separate room, but an extra fee applies to all guests, as outlined in this review's Access section.

With the lounge open 24/7, these could be a useful option for passengers arriving very late at night with an early departure the next day, where the time and hassle of checking into a hotel may not leave much time for sleep, in between settling in and waking up for check-in.

Summary

Offering shower facilities, space to work, refreshments like espresso coffee and a sea of power points, the Changi Lounge at Jewel is a great place to visit after arriving on an early morning flight as a place to refresh and begin the day.

However, the lacklustre buffet spread makes the lounge less appealing for evening visits, either upon arrival where you'd otherwise just head straight to your hotel, or before a departing flight, given the myriad of Priority Pass lounges available after passport control: most of which provide a much higher standard of catering.

Also read: Check out Changi Airport's shiny new Jewel

Chris Chamberlin visited Changi Lounge using an airport lounge program membership card, maintained at his own expense.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 328

Pretty stingy on the alcohol front, not sure why anyone would be going out of their way for this lounge.

With a few exceptions, most airport arrivals lounges don't offer alcohol at all - for example, the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge in Hong Kong charged for all alcohol (until it closed earlier this month), regardless of how you entered: and it's not something business travellers would really be looking for before heading into the office. Where it'd be more noticeable would be when arriving late in the evening and wanting to stop past for a nightcap, or when using it as a 'departure' lounge after doing early check-in.

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 25

It is still beyond my understanding how any lounge operator/designer can think a lack of toilets is acceptable!


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