Inside Singapore Airlines’ new First Class lounge, The Private Room

These two all-new flagship first class lounges cap an extensive SGD$50m makeover for the airline’s SilverKris lounge hub.

By David Flynn, May 30 2022
Inside Singapore Airlines’ new First Class lounge, The Private Room
Executive Traveller exclusive

Singapore Airlines’ first class flyers have reason to rejoice – and sharing their cheer will be first class travellers on other Star Alliance carriers from Changi – with the long-awaited opening of the new First Class lounge and The Private Room.

And it would be a mistake to think of these as mere renovations: indeed, they’re about as ‘new’ as you can get – everything has changed, even the actual location of the lounges within Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge precinct at Changi T3.

To be precise, the new First Class lounge and The Private Room sit within largely the same footprint as the previous Business Class lounge (which has in turn taken over those lounges’ former space and expanded as well).

This allowed Singapore Airlines to completely reimagine its two flagship first class lounges, with the help of hospitality specialists Hirsch Bedner Associates – and the result is, well, very typically Singapore Airlines.

Don’t expect flashy or extravagantly over the top. Don’t count on the flourishes of other airlines’ first class lounges, such as day spas or F1 racing simulators.

Instead, settle in for a contemporary yet almost timeless design of understated elegance that hints rather than shouts, is subdued rather than ostentatious.

The focus on Singapore Airlines’ new First Class lounge and The Private Room is on creating a refined, relaxing space without the busy-ness or bustle.

Join Executive Traveller for your exclusive preview of Singapore Airlines’ new First Class lounge and The Private Room at Changi Airport, ahead of their opening to the public at 6pm on Tuesday May 31.

Location

Singapore Airlines’ new First Class lounge and The Private Room at Changi Airport are part of the SilverKris Lounge complex, along with the Business Class lounge (the KrisFlyer Gold lounge sits further along the same upper level of Changi T3).

All three lounges share the same reception area, which welcomes travellers with a massive curved 8K Sony Crystal LED display featuring an animation of Singapore Airlines’ batik motif.

This is inspired by the airline’s iconic sarong kebaya worn by female cabin crew and ten flowers native to Singapore (in turn, Singapore Airlines has drawn upon the scent of six of those flowers to develop a signature Batik Flora scent used in the lounges, and even developed an aural interpretation of the motif as a new instrumental-based soundtrack).

After pausing to admire the batik animation, business class travellers veer to the right while first class flyers, perhaps appropriately, turn left.

At this point there are seperate corridors into The Private Room (curving left) and the First Class lounge (straight ahead)  – no longer must you cut though the Business Class lounge to get where you’re going.

Access and opening hours

Although the SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room are both reserved for first class flyers, they have different access requirement.

  • the SilverKris First Class lounge has room for 134 passengers booked into first class on Star Alliance airlines departing from Changi, along with member of Singapore Airlines’ elite Solitaire PPS Club regardless of their travel class (Solitaire is the top tier of PPS, which in turn crowns the KrisFlyer ladder and is based on your spend on first class and business class airfares, but not premium economy or – shudder – economy)
  • The Private Room is an exclusive haven for up to 78 high flyers in Singapore Airlines’ own first class cabins, including the Airbus A380 Suites

As for opening hours, both the SilverKris First Class and Business Class lounges are open around the clock, 24 hours a day; The Private Room is open from 5.30am to 2.30am.

Dining

Both the SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room feature dedicated dining rooms with an upmarket menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with a barista and bar service.

The First Class lounge retains its buffet approach to dining with a live cooking station where a chef prepares favourites such as egg breakfast options, roti prata, pasta and noodle dishes, wagyu sliders and of course satay; the the Champagne is a 2006 Piper Heidsieck Rare Millesime.

Travellers on the wave of morning flights out of Changi can also visit a ‘breakfast station’ serving freshly baked waffles and pastries.

The capacity of the dining room has been doubled to comfortably accommodate over 50 travellers, including a series of cosy booths suitable for families or friends travelling together.

 

The Private Room’s own dining room has seating for 28, split between long elegant banquettes and smaller tables for two or four.

An extensive à la carte menu boasts treats such as wagyu burgers and satays, and laksa with lobster; the Champagne is a 2007 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.

Relaxing

Across both lounges, Singapore Airlines offers wide variety of seating in both the SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room, with settings for groups of two, three or four.

And despite the compact size of The Private Room, Singapore Airlines and Hirsch Bedner Associates have come up with some clever ways to let travellers find the style of seating to suit their preference.

Spanning the section of The Private Room from the entry to the dining area, one side of the lounge is given over to a series of open tables and chairs with shelving dividers…

… the other side of the lounge contains discrete nooks with a two-seater sofa…

… while the middle sees several larger areas which SQ calls ‘rooms within the room’, for groups of four flyers.

 

Working

As you‘d expect, there are AC AND USB outlets a’plenty: the former are of a universal design so they’ll accept any plug type without an adaptor, the later rely on the standard USB-A socket.

The SilverKris First Class also has many two-seater modules with wide tables, LED reading lights and a cluster of AC/USB outlets along with wireless charging… 

… and the latest iteration of Singapore Airlines’ high-walled ‘productivity pods’, with the same core features but greater privacy.

 

The SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room each have their own fully-private meeting rooms with seating for six.

Use of these rooms are complementary, although they are offered on a walk-up basis rather than being booked; and due to their co-location at the edge of each lounge, a partition between them can be removed to create a single space for up to 12 people.

If sensitive matters need to be discussed over the phone, head for the privacy booth in the SilverKris First Class lounge or the larger ‘privacy pod’ – which is more like a tiny office – in The Private Room.

 

Day rooms

For making a long stopover between flights on Singapore Airlines’ extensive worldwide network, the SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room each have four private ‘day rooms’ where you can recharge with a quick power nap or grab a longer, deeper snooze.

Oddly, these rooms can’t be booked in advance – they are available only on a walk-up ‘on demand’ basis, and are limited to a rolling two-hour session. If there’s a queue of bleary-eyed travellers, two hours is all you will get; otherwise, your stay could stretch to four hours or more.

Two of the SilverKris First Class lounges’ four day rooms have a bed fitted with a Tempur firm mattress on their ‘Zero G bed base’ for full-body support, a variety of massage options “and a unique zero gravity setting that allows for a complete weightless relaxation experience.”


The other two day rooms have an adjustable Poltrona Frau recliner; in each room there’s also a small table for woking or just somewhere to plonk your briefcase or backpack so it’s out of the way.

Yoga blocks, mats, and essential oils from Singapore Airlines’ wellness partner COMO Shambala are also available upon request. 

The only change to the day rooms inside The Private Room is that each of the four rooms is larger and has both the bed and recliner.

Freshen up

Ideal for either after or before a long flight, both of Singapore Airlines’ first class lounges have spacious, well-appointed shower suites.

There are five shower suites in the SilverKris First Class lounge, and three in The Private Room – the latter with COMO Shambhala amenities.

That’s it for our quick ‘first look’ at Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris First Class lounge and The Private Room – watch for more on the SQ lounge front in the following days.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 2

Can't come soon enough. We flew to Zurich from Oz last week and both ways the Krisflyer lounge was an absolute zoo. On the way there we ended up sitting in the terminal as it was more comfortable than the lounge which was standing room only.

We flew SING-SYD last week and at 9pm, there was a queue outside the lounge and it was 100% capacity for seating. Had to sit on the floor for 15 mins to wait for a seat , shameful. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 24

I'm a regular SIA A380 Suites flyer and SIA has seriously miscalculated by not having natural light in the new Private Room and First Lounge. I hope this replacement is worthy.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 42

I really hope they do something about the dimming lighting in the first lounge. It's like a football stadium.  Not pleasant waiting for a flight at 2 in the morning under those conditions.

07 Feb 2022

Total posts 1

Doesn’t inspire any innovation in lounge concept and design. Something they need to look closely at Cathay Pacific and Qantas. 

A total let down.

31 Oct 2017

Total posts 7

I'm curious if the shower stalls have rectified the problems with the business class showers when they opened in November.  The business class shower doors open outward only but are flush with the floor.  This means that if a shower rug is in front of the door then the door pushes it away.  Naturally, the door should either have been designed to open inward or the door should have been installed higher than the floor.  To boot, the rain shower and wand buttons were reversed at installation.  SQ has put stickers on the wall to reimagine what should have been.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 103

Thanks David - missed out by a day (would have had access tomorrow PM) so glad to read this.

04 Sep 2019

Total posts 32

See you next friday TPR

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 346

Looks OK   The old Private Room was questionable at  best except for the Heidsieck Blanc Des Millenaires vintage (last i had was 1995).  Showers just OK, lounge barely passable especially after the Skytraxx Award winning Best First Class Lounge Swiss Zurich E Gates 2019  and qatar's Al Safwa First, even Cathay First at HKG and Lufthansa First lounges MUC FRA and Frankfurt First Class Terminal.  This  change has just made them competitive with rest of worldwide First offerings, stil lno buggy to gate and then security again  - At least Swiss Lufthansa have private pass and hand baggage screening for First 

Look, if it means not having to compete with 5 other lounge guests for a seat, it's a win.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2017

Total posts 1

I have to disagree with some today about the new look for the Private Room. The old one had this feel of grandeur set in days gone by where you feel like an elite... this current looks like any other First Class lounge out there ..if i ever get an oppurtunity id try it with an open mind 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 870

Been in the business class lounge it was like sardines no spare seats anywhere, been in the private room and it was totally amazing 5 star from start to finish.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 24

The new Private Room is cold and charmless. Visited twice recently on a European trip. The endless browns and grey-on-greys and curved walls and boundless marble make for a drab and rather oppressive environment.  The lighting design did not, as was claimed, make up for the absence of external windows.  Overall sense was of sitting in an overdesigned renovated railway station.  The service was attentive and the menu was good, though, with relief, I did duck into the First Lounge next door for some more traditional Singaporean food from the buffet. The old Private Room needed an update, for sure, but this new version feels neither luxe nor welcoming. An opportunity missed by SIA.


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