Coming in fifth place and voted as one of the World's Top 10 Airport Hotels by the World Airport Awards, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport sits quietly in a corner of Terminal 3. That being said, the entrance to the hotel cannot be easily missed as clear signage from the MRT Station and around the terminal points you towards the property. Once in a while, a hotel exceeds my expectations by showing me what it has to offer. My recent staycation at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport over the weekends has inspired me to take more photos than usual as I really liked what is done with the overall property design. Email communications with the hotel were also replied promptly which is always a good telltale sign of a healthy property.
The walls of the walkway allowed natural lighting to come in, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that I believe will be beneficial for weary travelers. Personally, the airport is a pretty cold place (metaphorically speaking and otherwise). However, the passageway actually created this bridge of distinction between a place of hospitality and a place of transit.
The location of this hotel is excellent for both business travelers and guests coming for staycations. There is a supermarket approximately ten minutes walk away with a range of dining options that cater for different tastes and budgets. Many of these restaurants are also open 24 hours so you can be sure to satisfy a midnight craving or a post-flight hunger pang.
The check-in process was almost painless and since I was approximately an hour early, I had to wait a couple of minutes while they checked on the condition of the room. As an IHG Platinum member, I was upgraded to a Club Room on the executive floor with direct pool access from my room. I was also offered a 4pm late check-out (which was highly beneficial since it started pouring around 12pm), two welcome drinks at the bar, a fruit platter as well as some discounts for laundry and restaurants within the hotel. I went up to check out my room once I was told that my room was ready. However, upon reaching the entrance of my room, I realised that there was a pair of work shoes in front of the door and I pressed the doorbell to check if there was indeed someone in my room. Surprisingly, housekeeping was still in the room and so I showed myself to the Club Lounge while I waited for the room to be ready (for real this time).
The Club Lounge was vacant when I visited and I was quickly offered a drink by the staff after selecting a seat overlooking the magnificent garden pool. The coffee was a standard caffeine infused beverage that one may expect from a coffee machine. On this note, I do not remember the last time an Executive Club Lounge actually served real coffee. My room was ready in about five minutes after sitting down, and I was told that my room was special because it was one of the few rooms with direct access to the pool.
The room like most modern hotel rooms, came with a deep soaking tub behind a glass wall that overlooked the bedroom (and more importantly, the TV). The bathroom also came equipped with in-built speakers to make sure whatever you're watching is audible even when you're enjoying a good soak. I really enjoyed the almost-symmetry arrangement of my bedroom. The floral mural across the walls and bathroom glass actually did create a rather soothing effect to the overall atmosphere of the room. While instant coffee was provided, one thing that was lacking in the room however was a coffee machine. However, being on the executive floor meant that I could hop over the Club Lounge quickly for a caffeine fix whenever I wanted to.
As mentioned previously, one of the full-length window panels open up to the swimming pool directly. While one may question the difficulty of taking a lift down to the pool level, having it literally at your door step is a luxury due to the ease of access.
IHG Platinum members also enjoyed complimentary internet that was accessible via my room. It is worth noting however that a more expensive and supposedly higher speed internet was available at an additional fee. Like most other IHG properties, this complimentary internet (24 hours) was available for up to 4 devices. The spacious work desk that overlooks the beautiful garden area, allows for the business traveler to catch up quickly on work before the temptation of taking a dip in the pool takes over.
One of the benefits of club rooms is the cocktail hour where drinks and canapes are served. The cocktail hour for Crowne Plaza Changi Airport ran from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, offering a range of alcoholic beverages and evening snacks. Apart from the delicious Shiraz that I was offered, I particularly liked the sweets that were served. A club room is always a good decision if you intend to have a drink of two at the hotel.
I was unable to resist the temptation for a swim after the cocktail hour (although swimming after drinking is questionable). However, it is worth knowing that the pool isn't heated. While some may call the cold refreshing, it was not pleasant to me initially. Once you're warmed up however, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the surroundings, the control tower and the regular flight take-offs from the pool. Times like these, you'd wish you have a pool access room.
Bathroom amenities were from The White Company. The invigorating scent from these products was the perfect complement to an after-swim rinse down.
Light sleepers need to note that the sounds from airplanes taking off are not completely blocked off as the rooms are not sound-proof. That being said, as a relatively light sleeper myself, the noise did not affect me much as I didn't have trouble sleeping. In fact, I thought the beds were amazing to sleep in. Additionally, the rooms are designed to allow for natural lighting to come into the bathroom and the entrance. To ensure that you have near complete darkness, it is highly recommended that you draw the blinds for the bathroom and at the entrance of the door.
I chose to have breakfast at Azur on level two instead of the Club Lounge as I fancied a little more variety over privacy. Featuring two open concept kitchens, the restaurant offered a mix of Western and Eastern cuisines for her guests. IHG Rewards Club members have a reserved seating area which is positioned strategically in front of the omelette station.
After breakfast, I took a leisurely stroll back to the room as there was no need to rush. The 4pm late checkout for Platinum IHG Members is definitely a much appreciated luxury. I enjoyed a lazy afternoon by the pool (after the rain has subsided) and watched as the planes went by. After returning to the room after my swim, I requested for some additional bath amenities to be sent up. However, these were never sent up and I just requested it from a housekeeping staff who was around the corridor approximately twenty minutes later. This is actually the first property that I have encountered to fail in delivering additional amenities.
After checking out, I went to the Lobby Lounge to redeem my 'Welcome Drink' (which was evidently my departure drink). I really liked how the natural light illuminates the entire area while boasting a garden view. A quiet weekend at this amazing property topped off with a glass of Merlot. There's really not much more I can ask for... except maybe for that heated pool dream to come true.
Book your next Crowne Plaza visit here.