Review: Inside The Private Room (Singapore)

The Private Room is the pinnacle of Singapore Airlines’ (SQ) airport lounge offerings globally. Its creation had the effect of removing top-tier Solitaire members of the exclusive PPS Club flying business/economy class from being able to access SQ’s flagship lounge. There is only one, at Singapore Changi’s (SIN) Terminal 3.

After waiting an age in the ‘private’ SQ first class immigration, we charged up the escalators to the SilverKris Lounge and presented our golden boarding pass at the attendant.

Contrary to our experience on our previous visits, the attendant didn’t escort us through the first class lounge to the private room. This horrified the attendant at the entrance to first class lounge, who took it upon himself to be shocked – shocked – that we had been unescorted for the few dozen metres between reception desks, and took it upon himself to hustle us through the first class lounge into The Private Room. Honestly, you could not get lost going between these lounges, so it seems odd that this is the only time SQ ground staff ever escort you anywhere.

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Upon being escorted past the agent standing guard at the entrance podium, we were in The Private Room, which has an assistance desk on the right which never seems to be staffed.

The Private Room is really just a lounge, the ‘private room’ branding is really just marketing gimmick. It could have easily been an extension to the first class lounge, and perhaps that was what it was originally designed as.

The attendant asked where we usually sat and ushered us to our usual seats.

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The Private Room doesn’t allow guests, so it is just passengers departing Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) in SQ’s first/Suites cabins. Amusingly, once when we had a guest from another class of service, the agent at the SilverKris Lounge entrance actually suggested (in front of the guest) that we ditch the guest as we otherwise wouldn’t be able to use The Private Room. We proceeded to invite our guest into the first class lounge. The next attendant we encountered was very concerned to inform us we could order food in The Private Room and have it delivered to the first class lounge to share with our ‘guest’. Bizarre.

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We sat in the restaurant to start with, which we find very pleasant.

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We took a look at the breakfast menu. While it is perfectly acceptable to go off-menu and order something not on the menu, that is a little difficult to do with breakfast. The buffet is terrible here, particularly at breakfast time, so we didn’t even bother getting anything from it.

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We ordered waffles, which tasted a lot better than they looked.

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Here is the all important drinks menu (click to enlarge). At the time of our visit, SQ served Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame in The Private Room.

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The below image shows basically the full length of the lounge – it is not massive, but there aren’t many people that use it either. The furniture on the left is cleverly arranged with dividers between pairs of seats that face each other from a massive distance (too far to talk quietly it seems).

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At the back of the lounge are a few computers (no printers)….

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… two cellphone rooms …

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… and one family room…

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The bathrooms are located just after the entrance to the lounge and we were surprised to see the panel behind one of the toilets open.

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The showers aren’t great ‘shower suites’ and amenities are dispensed from the wall.

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In no time, the waiter roaming the lounge approached us and informed us by name that our flight was boarding, but not to worry as we ‘still had time’.

One of the strong disadvantages of SIN is that security is conducted at the gate and SQ don’t seem to have priority security lanes or provide an escort service from the lounge to the plane (although if you ask to arrange a golf cart to the gate, they do it – but its not automatic like it is with Thai Airways International (TG) at its hub in Bangkok (BKK) and most people don’t know that it can be requested).

The Private Room provides a peaceful haven for the busy traveller. While perhaps not as impressive as Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, nor as stunning in visual appeal as Qantas’ First lounge in Sydney, it is a high-quality product and its visitors which number few  certainly make it feel close to being a private room.

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