Airport hotels don’t get much more ‘airporty’ than the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.
Like the best airport hotels, it’s the shortest of strolls from the airport itself: in this case that’s Singapore’s Changi Airport, and specifically Terminal 3. We’re talking maybe five minutes from baggage claim to bed.
And if you want a reminder that you’re staying at an airport rather than downtown, just look out the window.
Now that’s an airport hotel.
These are the hotel’s Premier Runway View rooms which pretty much straddle Terminal 3, the home base of Singapore Airlines.
In the case of my room, that meant being right on top of boarding gate B6 – while just below the window, the SkyTrain trundled back and forth to terminals 1 and 2.
So with jet engines firing up outside and SkyTrains rumbling below, how’s the noise? As you’d expect, the rooms are well sound-proofed thanks to heavily-glazed windows – although you can still hear that yes, you’re unmistakably staying at an airport.
But despite T3 hosting flights around the clock there was never anywhere near enough noise to bother me of a day or wake me during the night.
It also made for a pleasant view at sunset.
Not a fan of the tarmac? The alternative Premier Changi View casts its vista to the airport and its iconic tower, which is now being transformed by the ambitious Changi Jewel project due to open in early 2019.
‘Premier’ rooms are the starting point at the the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.
They sport a clean contemporary design, and at a spacious 36m² are the same size as Club rooms, which – as you’d have guessed from the name – include access to the hotel’s Club Lounge.
While most hotels perch their club or executive lounge at the top floor, the winged layout of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport makes more sense for the lounge to be centrally located closer to ground level.
It’s on the third floor, adjacent to the outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, which are both set in landscaped tropical gardens.
This is directly behind the striking lattice facade which resembles frangipani petals and provides shade and heat-reflection, as well as making the hotel such an immediately recognisable part of the Changi landscape.
The lounge ticks the boxes for providing an ‘escape’ from your room if you’ve got work to plough through, and there are two meeting rooms for client catch-ups.
However, I preferred heading down to the hotel’s Azur restaurant (below) for breakfast – it’s noisier than the Club Lounge but has a far more extensive selection – and to be honest, the lounges’ ‘evening canapés and cocktails” were also uninspiring compared to many other hotel lounges I’ve visited.
The lounge actually peeks through that metal facade and you can see the Jewel taking shape.
The airport’s own terminals shouldn’t be overlooked for dining options, with the basement levels of both T3 and T2 packed with eateries plus conveniences such as pharmacies and mini-marts.
As you’d expect from any airport hotel, the average stay is just 1-2 nights. This can be as simple as a one-night stay for someone breaking their journey, or a business traveller using the hotel as their base for meetings both in the city and the east coast Changi Business Park as well as at the hotel itself.
The hotel is also close to the Singapore Exhibition Centre. While Marina Bay Sands has soaked up a lot of the Red Dot’s conference and expo business, the exhibition centre is still popular for large-scale trade and home-maker fairs.
A taxi from the hotel to downtown Singapore costs around S$25 for the half-hour ride, and the Changi Airport MRT station – which sits at the end of the green East-West line – is less than five minutes’ walk away.
David Flynn stayed as a guest of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel.