Above: The hotel lobby.
The city-state’s newest five-star lodge reinvents the airport hotel.
By Evelyn Chen
Photographs By Darren Soh
The gardens here are so lush you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you’ve checked into a trendy tropical resort instead of an airport hotel. Shimmering red batik at the reception desk and fresh-cut exotic flowers displayed throughout the lofty, black-and-gray tiled lobby provide an appetizer to the Asian-accented room decor within. It’s smart without being overly ritzy; elegant without being pompous.
Connected to Changi Airport’s Terminal 3, the 320-room Crowne Plaza is just a three-minute stroll from the nearest MRT station for trips into the city. As far as the east coast of Singapore is concerned, you won’t find a more strategic location than this.
Rooms To Book
Opt for one of the 27 suites. Fitted with oak paneling, neutral-toned furnishings, and floor-to-ceiling windows, each of these 74-square-meter oases boasts a spacious living room/study, a snug bedroom with designer reading lamps planted on either side of the headboard, and a big bathroom stocked with White Company toiletries. Rooms facing the busy runway offer the best views; double-glazed windows reduce the sound of jet engines to a seductive silence.
There’s a certain buzz about the dark, sleek all-day restaurant Azur that I attribute to its utterly exuberant buffets. At S$42 (about US$30) a head, the gourmet-quality dinner spreads are particularly good value: think rocket leaves with balsamic dressing, tataki tuna with cracked pepper, and cooked-to-order penne heaped with seafood. For those who don’t mind putting a sizable dent in the expense account, there’s fine-dining Cantonese cuisine at Imperial Treasure on the first floor.
In a word: seamless. The staff is proficient and professional, from the telephone receptionist to the waiters. All in all, I enjoyed a hassle-free stay.
Guest rooms come with wireless Internet access, but between the hotel’s state-of-the-art gymnasium, spa, and turquoise-tiled swimming pool, you’ll be tempted to keep your laptop latched. For those who really do mean business, there are 950 square meters of banquet and meeting space, as well as a well-equipped business center.
If you have time for only one indulgence, make it high tea at the Lobby Lounge, where you can pick from one of seven sinful desserts or opt for the Crowne Jewel, an assortment of tarts, canapés, and scones served on a sterling-silver tray.
75 Airport Blvd., Changi Airport, Singapore; 65/6823-5300; ichhotelsgroup.com; doubles from US$182
Originally appeared in the October/november 2008 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Singapore”)