Singapore Airlines: The Private Room Review

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The Private Room is the flagship first class lounge for Singapore Airlines, located at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). It’s a very exclusive lounge in terms of who can enter and also the with respect to the layout of the lounge’s entrance. But the lounge doesn’t offer a lot of stand-out features beyond a great dining experience. Here’s a complete review of the Singapore Airlines Private Room.   

Arriving to the lounge

We arrived from Bangkok after flying J on Cathay Pacific’s A350 about four hours before our flight on the new Singapore A380 first class suites from Singapore to Sydney.

I was originally hoping to get the Singapore first class check-in experience which is super exclusive. It has a beautiful private entrance area, you’re given your own immigration line, and you exit just outside of the Singapore lounge. But when we transferred terminals from our arrival it slipped my mind about the private check-in and it was just easier to check-in at the standard first class desk.

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The first-class check-in desk.

In retrospect, I wish I would’ve made a better effort to find the private check-in area because I think the VIP check-in is a major component to the first class experience and help sets the tone for your Private Room visit. You can see what the first class check-in experience is like here.

Where is the Private Room located?

The Private Room is located at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal three on level 3, post customs and immigration. Security is at the gates so you’ll still have to make time for getting through security when planning your visit.

Entering the Private Room

Upon entering the main SilverKris lounge we were greeted by a Singapore staff member and then led through the business and first class lounges to the Private Room entrance.

As many others note, the Private Room is “a lounge within a lounge within a lounge” since you have to make your way through the business class and then through the first class lounge in order to access the Private Room, which makes the lounge feel extra-exclusive.

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The Private Room entrance.

It’s my understanding that the Private Room is for those departing SIN in first class on Singapore Airlines while the first class lounge is for those flying first on Star Alliance partners or with certain elite status (PPS members). It seems that some people flying first class into SIN and connecting on a lower class flight (business class or economy) on Singapore Airlines can gain access, too. You can read more about their lounge policy here and here.

The Private Room lounge experience

As soon we entered the Private Room, the first thing I noticed was how utterly quiet it was. It was like the basement of a law school library — not a sound. I personally don’t like lounges like that because my brain can barely handle the silence. I love quiet but not silent.

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The Private Room entrance.
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The Private Room information desk.

I decided I’d first walk around for a little bit and just check out everything that the Private Room had to offer.

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The Private Room seating options.
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The Private Room furniture.

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After giving the lounge a quick walkthrough, I realized that there’s honestly not a lot to the Private Room.

It’s essentially a large, very elegant lounge room with a dedicated section for dining but not much else. There’s no spa, no day suites/nap rooms, no fancy bar, no gimmicky relaxation room, etc.

They do have some features you’d hope to find in a lounge, though.

There’s a a small computer area with one Mac and a PC. 

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The Private Room work area.

There’s a couple of small private rooms in the back which look like they could function as phone call rooms or maybe even nap rooms. 

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The ultimate private rooms?

There’s also a small family area.

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Family area at the Private Room.

There are also two very large TVs that come surrounded by comfortable seating. The TV area at the end of the lounge is much more private than the other, which is in a more open area. 

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Huge TV.

The Private Room also comes with views of the tarmac and runways but these can be obscured. There are vent-like structures outside the window which obscure the view and they lowered the drapes as the sun lowered so the views were a bit limited.

I did think it was funny how they dropped the drapes and left them just over the line where the sun would hit you square in the face if you were sitting by the windows. I guess they were trying to preserve the view? 

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Limited views of the tarmac.

Overall, the Private Room venue is impressive and the chairs and furniture do look elegant but in a very classic or old-fashioned type of way. The style and design is not extremely appealing to me but also not majorly flawed. It all just seemed very old-school to me and in need of some refreshing.

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This room could use some refurbishments.

The Dining experience

The dining area is found beyond the rectangular pillars toward the back of the Private Room.

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Entrance to the dining area.

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The dining room has that same old-fashioned luxurious vibe to it but looks and feels even more stately. I sort of felt like I needed to pop a cigar in my mouth when I walked in.

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The Private Room dining area.

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The padded leather seating, white table cloth tables, flooring, and wall decor create a very distinguished feel to the dining space and you really do feel like you’re stepping into pure luxury when you enter.

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I knew that the dining experience was the strong suit of this lounge so I was looking forward to that. At the same time, since I would be flying the new Singapore Suites for the first time, I didn’t want to eat or drink too much. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re full on a flight after just appetizers with a whole line-up of food left to be reviewed.

I first checked out the “buffet” which is quite small but did have some delicious sweets and cheeses, while other items like the sandwiches, nuts, and other snack items looked pretty standard.

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Cheese options.
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The Private Room desserts.

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We sat down and were offered a lunch menu. One thing that slightly irked me was that we were given the lunch menu and not told that they would be switching to dinner in less than 10 minutes. Just a few minutes after we ordered lunch, the server asked to replace our menus with the dinner menus, so it would have been nice if they told us dinner was just around the corner since the lunch menu only tells you when lunch begins.

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I was originally hoping to try the lobster but was a little bummed when it wasn’t on the menu. So we both decided to keep things simple and order the U.S. Prime Beef Burger with capiscum relish, portobello mushrooms, onion jam, and a tiny fired quailed egg. These burgers were nice and juicy and very tasty, although admittedly I wish I would’ve tried some satay or dim sum.

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We also tried the chocolate cakes. The cake slice taken from the buffet was better than the slice ordered from the menu, although neither piece was the most delicious piece of cake I’ve had.

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I also tried some of the chocolates and they were great.

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Up to that point, things felt a bit ordinary but then we ordered the champagne.

During our visit the Private Room served Dom Perignon 2006 which was definitely a highlight of the total lounge experience. Once they brought out a bottle of Dom, things felt a little bit more exciting and lively in the Private Room for us. 

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Dom always helps to get the party started.

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Below is the full menu for the Private Room when we visited but be advised that it’s subject to change.

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The Private Room menu.
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The Private Room menu.
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The Private Room menu.
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The Private Room menu.
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The Private Room menu.
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The Private Room menu.

Overall, the dining is a definite strong point for the Private Room and could go toe to toe with many other flagship first class lounges. I just wish I had planned my lounge visit to the Private Room more around the dining.

The service

After downing a bottle of Dom, we took over a couple of seats and I tried to get a little bit of work done before our flight (in reality I was way too buzzed to actually get anything done).

We grabbed two seats near the corner of the lounge but despite being off in the corner, the servers (who felt more like butlers) were still very good about coming by and checking on us every few minutes and offering more champagne. Attentiveness is definitely not lacking in the Private Room.

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Our two seats faced each other and came with UK power outlets (you should be able to request an adapter from the front desk). These seats are pretty private for couples but many of the seats are not super private and out in the open. I really liked the private pod-like suites at the new Korean Air First Class lounge and it would have been nice to have truly private options for seating (though there are the two fully private rooms).

The Private Room atmosphere

After a while, I wanted to get up and walk around because it just felt “dead” in the Private Room. I wasn’t expecting it to be bouncing like a night club or anything but something about it made me feel like I was missing the party somewhere else. I wandered through the first class lounge to check it out but it really didn’t have much going on either.

The first class lounge was much more modern looking and it had a bar but there were still hardly any people in the lounge.

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Singapore first class lounge.
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Singapore first class lounge.
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Singapore first class lounge.
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Singapore first class lounge.

I did like how you could look out onto the gates though. That view at least brought some energy to the lounge.

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Singapore first class lounge.

I would’ve wandered farther to the business class lounge but we spent all our time in there last time we flew Singapore’s A350 from Singapore to South Africa. On that visit, the business class lounge was packed and so I just decided to stay put.

I strolled around The Private Room for a little bit longer to check out some of the other features like the shower rooms and bathroom, which are both pretty solid.

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The Private Room bathroom.

The bathroom is very spacious and clean. There are three sinks with a huge stack of towels between the sinks.

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There’s also a number of amenities including toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, comb and a couple of other items.

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There’s also a shoe cleaner/shiner? in the bathroom.

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The shower rooms are found within the bathroom and are very nice with a beautiful sink and shower.

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The Private Room shower room.

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After that, I had pretty much seen everything the Private Room had to offer and we decided to head down to boarding for the new Singapore Suites!

Final word on the Private Room

The Private Room experience is impressive but honestly not very special for a first class flagship lounge.

Outside of free-flowing Dom Perignon, great dining, and a very exclusive feel, there’s not anything very notable about the Private Room. The atmosphere seems to lack, especially compared to lounges like Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse. And the decor while elegant feels very old fashioned.

So overall I think the Private Room is surely worth visiting but mostly for enjoying some fine dining and drinking some nice champagne.

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