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Qantas #776 Perth (PER) to Melbourne (MEL) Business Class
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Crown Plaza Singapore Airport and Airport Terminal and Lounge
I selected the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport for my stay in Singapore for a few reasons. It is physically connected to the airport terminal which meant that it was easily accessible for my late night arrival and morning departure in a couple days. It is also connected to the public transit system to take me into downtown in about 50 minutes. Finally, the price point worked compared to the other options I was researching. I normally stay at Hilton properties to maintain status and keep the perks of a Diamond member, but the Hilton properties in Singapore were more expensive than I wanted to pay and had point redemption rates that were too high. I’m also a member of IHG and have stayed at a number of their properties. Crowne Plaza falls under that umbrella and I knew it would be a good place to stay. I could’ve transferred Chase Reward points to pay for the hotel but it would’ve been 80,000 points for two nights – the $540 all-in seemed like a much better option.
The hotel itself is connected to Terminal 3 on the arrivals level and the upper departures level. You walk through a very dark hallway to get to the lobby and reception which is a little odd as the main terminal building has a tremendous amount of light. Decorations were up in the hotel for the Lunar New Year celebrations. Adjacent to the lobby check-in is a café area and the pool beyond.
Check in took a little longer than usual as I had to fill out forms asking if I had been to China recently or was feeling sick at all due to coronavirus concerns. My room was located in the newer Jewel wing of the hotel. Down more dark hallways I went having to use my room card to open a couple door to finally reach the elevator bank and up to my room.
The room set up had a small desk area and closet close to the entry, the main bed space, a small seating area, and then the bathroom separated by sliding glass doors. The room, really the bathroom, had a large glass window facing the other hotel tower and the lower airport access road. I liked the finishes, the separate tub from shower, and the bed was comfortable. WiFi was included and the speeds were decent for general web browsing and emails. The part that I found awkward with the room layout is that the only window is in the bathroom. A blackout shade is provided to create privacy from the outside otherwise everyone would see your business. But, in order to keep the light flowing from the bathroom into the rest of the hotel room the doors separating the bathroom and bedroom are glass. Great for letting light through, not great in that the bathroom is essentially transparent to anyone in the room. It wasn’t a problem for me as a solo traveler but I can imagine problems with more people staying in a room like that.
Breakfast wasn’t included in my room rate but I did opt for the buffet which was $35SGD plus tax and included a range of western and eastern options. The restaurant was on the second level above reception and was across from a small late-night bar in the hotel as well. I felt that the buffet was worth the price given the great variety of options and the overall good quality of food.
Changi airport recently opened a new attraction and shopping hub landside called the Jewel. It is a circular building with shops and restaurants around a covered central garden area. It covers more than five floors with parking levels under that. The top floor is an adventure / ropes course you can buy tickets for, but the main attraction is the central garden and tallest indoor waterfall of over 40 meters. The water used is recycled rain water and is pumped from the bottom of the fall back to the top. You can walk around the center on multiple levels walking through plants and seeing the views of the waterfall. I went twice to see it, once in the morning to actually see the waterfall start at 9am and then later in the evening there is a light show on the 30 minute mark starting at 7:30pm which is synchronized to music. It definitely is worth it to stop here while in Singapore.
Check out was easy on Tuesday and I walked into the large Terminal 3 departures hall. I had to find the Singapore Airlines business check in to drop off my bag and get my ticket, and then I headed into the main terminal.
To get into the departures area, they only scan your boarding pass to make sure that you have a valid ticket and then you go through for a photo and thumbprint to track your departure. Actual security screenings only happen right at the individual gate areas which means you need to plan on extra time to get to your gate. I headed to the main Singapore KrisFlyer lounge which sits right at the beginning of the A gates. It has multiple lounges within it. When you enter you are directed left for business class or right for first class. There is a third lounge, the Private Room which is within the first class lounge and is exclusively for Singapore Airlines First and Suite passengers. I’ve been in it before and the exclusivity is nice. The business lounge is large, yet when I was there in the morning it was very full and a little awkward to get photos of. There are large open seating areas, some smaller, more intimate ones, and then a main buffet area which was set up for breakfast.
The lounge has general bathroom facilities and then separate shower rooms that are shared between the first and business class lounges. WiFI was complimentary but slow given the large number of people in the lounge. No boarding announcements were made although several passengers were called to the main desk while I waiting in the lounge. I left the lounge about 20 minutes before boarding to head to my gate, A17. It was quite a trek to get down to the end of the terminal for the gate, but multiple security lines were open and I was quickly through into a large secure seating area for four different gates. Our flight to Perth was the only flight departing at this time so available seating was plentiful and we had a good view of the A350 taking us all as a backdrop.
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