In May 2022, Singapore Airlines finally unveiled the much-anticipated revamp of The Private Room, capping a $50-million renovation of the flagship First Class Lounge that was initially announced back in July 2019.
Having previously visited the older edition of The Private Room, I was feeling very excited to see the newly refurbished space firsthand prior to my Singapore Airlines First Class flight to Hong Kong.
While my previous experience was overall positive, I couldn’t help but feel that the lounge was slightly lagging behind the competition in terms of top-tier ground experiences, so I was intrigued to see what Singapore Airlines has done with the renovated space.
The Private Room by Singapore Airlines – Access
The Private Room is Singapore Airlines’s flagship First Class lounge and its most exclusive ground experience. In fact, only Singapore Airlines’s own First Class and Suites Class passengers have the privilege of entering this exclusive space.
First Class passengers travelling on other airlines and even the airline’s PPS Solitaire Club members are relegated to the nearby SilverKris First Class Lounge. Furthermore, eligible passengers are not permitted to bring any guests.
The Private Room is one level above the main departure concourse, located on the third floor of Terminal 3 of the Singapore Changi Airport.
To find the lounge, you must first clear immigration and make your way towards Concourse A. From there, an escalator provides a leisurely ascent to the lounge area, affording views of a sprawling 491-square-foot art installation along the way.
As you approach the reception area of The Private Room, you’ll come across a massive, curved LED display that showcases a mesmerizing animation of Singapore Airlines’s iconic batik motif.
Prior to the renovations, The Private Room was known as a “lounge-within-a-lounge-within-a-lounge”. You had to walk through the SilverKris Business Lounge and the SilverKris First Class Lounge before finally arriving at The Private Room.
The new layout directly links The Private Room to the entrance, eliminating any confusion. However, the reception area is still shared by all three lounges within this “lounge complex”, with Business Class passengers directed to the right and First Class passengers to the left, where the First Class Lounge and The Private Room are located.
Upon presenting my Singapore Airlines First Class boarding pass, I was promptly escorted into The Private Room. While the SilverKris First Lounge was directly ahead, The Private Room was located down a subtle curving hallway to the left, marked by its illuminated name prominently displayed on the wall.
The Private Room by Singapore Airlines – Seating
Heading inside The Private Room, I immediately found myself in an enclave of exclusivity. A corridor of opulent marble and lustrous bronze walls ushered me into the main area of the lounge.
I passed the reception area, where an elegant marble-topped table played host to a beautiful flower arrangement. Above, an awe-inspiring chandelier is particularly eye-catching, featuring an intricate installation made up of 107 carved crystal aquatic ginger flowers.
A staff member is stationed at the desk, readily available to assist with any needs you may have during your visit or any inquiries about your upcoming flight.
My first impressions were off to a very favourable start, noting the bright and high-end finishes that marked a significant improvement from the outdated and yellowed décor of the previous lounge. Indeed, the new lounge featured a beautiful burst of colour with its rich turquoise carpet that ran throughout the space.
I must say, this was undoubtedly one of the most visually impressive lounges I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, second perhaps only to the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Doha.
The seating area of The Private Room was thoughtfully designed with three distinct “rows”. Along the left-hand side of the space, individual seating areas are carefully tucked away, utilizing partitions to create a cozy, intimate setting. Adorned with wooden and sophisticated bronzed accents, these nooks almost resemble your own private library.
If you’re travelling in a small group, you’ll appreciate the larger alcoves in the middle and on the right-hand side of the lounge. These seating areas are designed for two to three people, or those who simply prefer a more communal space.
Along the right-hand wall, a collection of plush sofas provided an additional comfortable seating option that could be suited to small groups, families, or solo travellers.
The centrepiece of The Private Room was a striking glass-and-light sculpture, featuring blue glass fixtures arranged to resemble suspended raindrops or sea glass.
Additionally, tucked away within the lounge are small private rooms – ideal for conducting a personal phone call or tending to work obligations.
Conveniently located at each seating area, universal power outlets and USB ports are readily available to keep you connected and charged while visiting the lounge.
Note that the Private Room isn’t exactly the largest airport lounge. Instead, it’s a cozy and intimate space, accommodating a maximum of only 78 passengers at any given time.
Fortunately, due to the exclusive nature of the lounge and its high standards for admission, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. During my visit, the lounge didn’t feel overly crowded or congested at any time, and I only saw a handful of other passengers in here during the morning bank of departures.
It’s worth noting that there isn’t all too much natural light inside either, nor any panoramic views of the airport runway or apron, which are common hallmarks of many of the world’s most luxurious First Class lounges that you unfortunately won’t find here.
The Private Room by Singapore Airlines – Dining
At the far end of the lounge is where you’ll find the dining area, with seating for up to 28 people. The dining area comprises a mix of banquette seating and dining tables arranged in the centre of the space and along the walls.
The banquette seating along the outer edge of the lounge is mildly tucked into striking illuminated chrome alcoves.
The far end of the dining area is home to a striking coffee bar that’s tended to by a barista. The bar was adorned with rich, dark marble countertops, complemented by the warmth of mocha wooden touches and flawlessly polished glass.
A stunning wine wall can also be found in this area, featuring the airline’s best available drink selection for First Class passengers, including 2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
I sat down for a meal, and was introduced to my waiter who welcomed me and handed me a menu encased in a sophisticated leather holder and asked for my drink preferences.
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The dining tables are all proactively set with fine plating and tableware.
My morning flight schedule meant that breakfast was on offer during my visit, with service available from 5:30am to 11am. Lunch is served until 6pm, and then dinner is served onwards until late.
I opted for the tantalizing lobster laksa, which arrived at the table in a steaming bowl with fragrant spices and a rich coconut broth.
This was certainly one of the most complex-looking bowls of laksa I’ve ever seen, and the dish tasted just as amazing as it looked. The tender chunk of lobster meat was perfectly complemented by the spicy and sour flavours of the creamy, aromatic laksa broth, and I quickly polished off every bite.
I also enjoyed the dim sum delights as a side dish, which were presented on a platter and accompanied by a dipping sauce for a seamless fusion of flavour and texture.
The lunch and dinner menus looked very attractive as well, such as roasted pork belly don and lobster medallion ikura angel hair. I’d most definitely love to return to this lounge to sample more of the menu in the future.
For the most part, food orders are taken by the attentive waitstaff and served directly to your table from the menu; however, there’s a limited breakfast spread at the back of the dining area featuring cereals and muffins.
After completing my initial breakfast sitting, I went off to explore the rest of the lounge, and then I returned for a second breakfast sitting shortly before leaving to board my flight.
This time, I challenged the staff to go off-menu and see if they could whip up an elevated version of Singapore’s famous fish ball noodles.
They mentioned they didn’t have fish balls but substituted for fish cakes, resulting in an excellent bowl of noodles that was as delectable as I’d hoped – of course, complemented by a glass of 2008 Taittinger Comtes to wash it all down.
The dining experience at the Private Room is truly exceptional. The food presentation was impeccable, with stunning plating and tableware, such as the trapezoid-shaped napkin ring. Moreover, the flavours and creativity of the breakfast items were superb, setting a very high standard for the dining experience onboard your upcoming Singapore Airlines flight.
The Private Room by Singapore Airlines – Other Facilities
To the left of the entrance of The Private Room, guests can find the shower rooms, bathrooms, and nap rooms.
Despite not needing a shower, I took the opportunity to freshen up in one of the spacious and tastefully appointed private shower rooms.
The upgraded design features opulent grey marble tiling and black granite countertops with intricate veins of silver and gold, all contributing to a luxurious atmosphere.
There are three shower rooms in total, with the third being the most spacious. Each room is equipped with high-quality amenities from Lalique.
Adjacent to the shower suites, there are separate restrooms for men and women. These restrooms feature the same opulent design as the shower rooms, complete with marble and luxurious Lalique amenities.
One of the most notable improvements in the newly refurbished Private Room is the addition of four nap rooms. These rooms are particularly useful for travellers on long transit flights.
Access to the nap rooms are granted on a first-come, first-served basis for a two-hour duration; however, if no other guests are waiting, you can take additional time.
Keep in mind that some of the nap rooms have a proper bed, while others just have a daybed, depending on what you’re looking for. Rooms 2 and 3 come equipped with a proper bed, while the other two only feature a daybed.
Each room is appointed with tasteful décor and a desk, serving as an ideal space for a quick power nap in between flights or catching up on some work.
Lastly, The Private Room also offers a modest kids’ play room, complete with a high chair, bean bag chair, and video games.
Singapore Airlines SilverKris First Class Lounge
In addition to the extensive overhaul of the Private Room, there was a comprehensive redesign of the Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 lounge precinct as a whole. This included the Singapore Airlines SilverKris First Class Lounge next-door to the Private Room, which I popped by to check out.
Those travelling in First Class on Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners can access the lounge, as well as Singapore’s Solitaire PPS Club elite members.
Upon arriving at the SilverKris First Class Lounge, guests are greeted by a communal high-top table to the right and comfortable grey modular armchairs in pairs of two to the left.
Moving forward, a captivating rounded bar comes into view, with a striking visual design that features 119 illuminated Lalique crystal sculptures of ginger blossoms, reflecting the airline’s signature batik pattern.
The lounge’s central area is a versatile space that serves as a dining area, relaxation zone, and work area, with comfortable seating for groups of two or three. Private pods are also available for those who prefer a more secluded workspace.
At the far end of the lounge is a spacious dining area, equipped with ample dining tables. There’s a comprehensive buffet selection, as well as barista coffee and bartender service; however, unlike The Private Room, there is no à la carte dining offered in this lounge.
In keeping with the luxurious amenities of The Private Room, the SilverKris First Lounge also features private rooms for making phone calls, four nap rooms, a modest playroom, and six luxurious private shower rooms and restrooms stocked with Lalique amenities.
The newly refurbished Private Room by Singapore Airlines is an undeniably impressive space, offering significant improvements upon the previous edition in the form of reimagined interiors and elevated relaxation facilities.
What’s more, the top-tier catering that The Private Room was known for has been effortlessly preserved, and some of the dishes being served up in the dining area – such as my magnificent bowl of lobster laksa – are sure to leave you craving more even as you head out to board your luxurious First Class flight.
With that being said, I’d say that The Private Room still doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of some of the world’s best First Class lounges with their exclusive and inimitable perks, such as Air France’s or Lufthansa’s private chauffeur service, Qatar Airways’s hot tub, or Swiss’s private nap rooms.
Nevertheless, The Private Room sits squarely in the “best of the rest” category, boasting exceptional interiors and atmosphere, top-notch à la carte dining options, and attentive, polished service, and is well worth your indulgence for a few hours’ time if you have the privilege of turning left at the entrance to Singapore Airlines lounge complex at Changi Terminal 3.