It’s been 5 years since we last visited the Crowne Plaza at Singapore’s Changi Airport, and as far as airport hotels go, we were impressed with the features and amenities it had on offer. Now, we revisit the Crowne Plaza just after the opening of its new Jewel Wing, which adds another 243 guestrooms to the existing building’s 320 rooms.
The Jewel Wing extension of the Crowne Plaza comes in concert with Changi Airport’s own ‘Project Jewel’ – a massively sprawling expansion with an additional runway, a mega-terminal, and even more retail outlets, all with an eye on doubling overall capacity in the coming years and retaining its crown as Asia’s premier transportation hub.
Location & Impressions
For a long layover, or a quick business meeting in Singapore with colleagues before heading to other destinations, it’s difficult to beat the Crowne Plaza’s location connected directly to Terminal 3. We got off a flight in Terminal 1 and thanks to a very short customs queue and no luggage to collect, we were able to make it to the hotel lobby in less than 10 minutes.
The Crowne Plaza itself is an impressive building – the orchid-inspired outer membrane helps regulate heat and noise, and there’s a tropical resort ambience that suits Singapore’s humidity and heat rather well.
The 10-storey Jewel Wing extension to the Crowne Plaza is in a separate building (pictured above to the right of the main building) that’s a 2 to 3 minute walk from the main hotel building – this is probably its biggest annoyance, but all things considered it’s a small price to pay for its prime location within the terminal.
To suit the varied nature of incoming and outgoing flights from the 24-hour airport, the hotel offers early check-ins and late check-outs, as well as an express check-in option. The staff is friendly, and after checking in, we make the trek over to the newly-opened Jewel Wing and eagerly anticipate what changes have been made to the rooms since our last visit.
The Crowne Plaza retained what we has liked about the hotel previously, which is that it’s well setup for business travellers in terms of amenities and is still far better than any other airport hotel we’ve stayed at.
There are a number of different rooms available, including standard Business rooms, Deluxe rooms, and Suites, as well as Premier rooms where you can opt for either a pool view, or a runway view. There’s also the option of a Club room which gives you access to the Club Lounge...
...with a separate breakfast area plus evening cocktails and canapés.
The standard Business King rooms feature a large, king-size bed (a twin version is also available)...
...a small seating area alongside...
...and a dedicated work area complete with an ergonomic Herman Miller low back office chair – this solves the pain of using a dining chair at an uncomfortable table height that so many other hotels seem to prefer offering.
While the work area has both international power sockets and USB ports for charging your devices, it would also have been nice to have a socket near the bed.
The bed faces a large smart TV (with Airplay functionality)...
...and there’s also a Bluetooth speaker so that you can play your own music easily – both features that we loved.
The Crowne Plaza also provides a kettle and some instant coffee / tea making facilities, so if you’re after an espresso you’ll need to head out, but we did welcome the three bottles of complimentary water, especially in Singapore’s weather.
Another amenity was the aptly named ‘Handy’ phone – a smartphone that’s complimentary for your stay and allows you to call 11 different countries for free, and also use it to tether data from while you’re out and about.
The bathroom is spacious and features a separate bath tub...
...and amenities by Orla Kiely.
Thanks to the double glazed glass, noise from the airport is kept at a minimum. During our two night stay we heard quite a few aircraft take off, but the noise was not more than the room's air-conditioning unit. There are also dedicated “Quiet Zone” rooms available that promise minimal noise and distractions if you’re an especially light sleeper.
Working at the Changi Airport Crowne Plaza is bolstered by a number of features. In-room, there’s the separate working area with a comfortable office chair, as well as complimentary wired and wireless internet with decent speeds for most light business tasks.
Also offered up is wireless printing – once your documents have printed, you can collect them from the on-site Business Centre (pictured below) or have them sent up to your room.
Other business services can be provided by the staff of the Business Centre, but this is not staffed 24 hours (there’s rather odd manned hours of 2PM to 11PM, weekdays only), so you may have to get in touch with reception instead.
Apart from in-room dining and the canapé selection in the Club Lounge, the Crowne Plaza also offers two on-site restaurants.
Azur is the hotel’s main restaurant...
...serving up a mix of Asian and Western dishes in both buffet and a la carte style. We had breakfast here on both mornings and found the buffet range to be plentiful and diverse, with western, Chinese, and even Indian selections. There’s also Imperial Treasure, which focuses on Cantonese Cuisine and speciality dishes.
Externally, there’s a number of options within Changi airport itself, or you can opt to spend 30 minutes on the MRT to head into town, which is well worth it for some authentic Singapore Chili Crab.
The Crowne Plaza also has a lobby lounge for drinks and snacks...
...with an attached outdoor area....
...as well as the more casual retro themed bar’75 offering up a pool table and sports on the televisions.
If you want to relax at the Crowne Plaza Changi airport, the outdoor landscaped pool is not to be missed, and unlike the Aerotel transit hotel we wrote about last year, there aren’t pool passes sold to the public, so you may just find it a little less busy.
For the gym junkies there’s a 24-hour fitness centre with the usual mix of treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights.
Overall, the new Jewel wing of the Crowne Plaza ends up offering the same features and amenities that we encountered on our first visit, but there’s really not a lot to complain about - especially considering you don’t really lose any features that a well-appointed four or five-star hotel might offer, and you’ve got the convenience factor of being a stone’s throw from the airport terminal.