Singapore (SIN)

Singapore’s Changi Airport is an Airport Hotel Guru favorite for it’s thoughtful design, extensive shopping and range of activities. How many other airports have an indoor pool, music bar and cactus garden?! In terms of airport hotels, though, Singapore effectively has only two: one amazing (in its way) behind security in the airport itself and one that is serviceable. Fortunately, the airport is well connected to city center by underground train. See below for more about all your options.

Overall Best Singapore Airport Hotel:

Ambassador Transit Hotel

sintrans Singapore (SIN)Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Changi each host an incredibly convenient Ambassador Transit Hotel inside the airport security. While not exactly the lap of luxury, the rooms at these transit hotels are clean, comfortable and practical. A six hour block for a single is a reasonable S$51.50 (approx US$35, Euro 24) for a budget room. However, the Airport Hotel Guru strongly suggest springing the extra S$22 for a more cheery standard room that includes an en suite bathroom. Unlike the budget rooms, most standard rooms also have a window with interesting views out onto the happenings of the airport tarmac. The transit hotels are in the secure area of the airport and so best geared towards passengers with long layovers. Staying at the transit hotel before an early morning flight isn’t possible unless you can somehow check in to your flight the evening before. However, the Airport Hotel Guru routinely stays at the Ambassador when landing in Singapore late at night. Instead of waiting for our luggage to appear on the baggage claim belt, then making the tired trip to the city center and spending a small fortune on a hotel there, we overcome our jet lag with an overnight at the airport and head into Singapore the next day. Doing that, you can not get your checked in luggage and then go to the transit hotel! However, the airline will automatically pick up your bag and store it for you at their office for you to pick up the next morning. (We were skeptical this would work the first time we tried it, but in our two dozen late night stays at the Ambassador we’ve never had a problem getting our checked luggage the next morning).

Rooms at the Ambassador Transit Hotels tend to fill fast, so book as far in advance as you can. Obviously, it is more convenient to stay at the hotel located in the terminal you are landing in, but there’s nothing requiring you to. We are partial to the transit hotel in Terminal 1 because it is located across the hallway from the swimming pool. The airport itself has free wireless internet, though the signal only reaches a few of the Ambassador’s rooms.

“The Other” Singapore Airport Hotel

Changi Village Hotel

The Changi Village is the only property outside of the airport that meets our definition of an airport hotel. In a city full of wonderful hotels the Changi Village doesn’t do much to distinguish itself, but it is a perfectly nice. The rooms feature flat screen TVs and high thread count sheet. Some rooms have water views and there’s a small, though scenic, rooftop pool. Rooms have only wired internet, for a charge of S$26.75. The airport shuttle is complimentary and operates throughout the night, but only runs to the airport once an hour. The Changi Village Hotel is a good choice if you have an early morning flight or just want to escape the bustle of central Singapore.
sincvh1 Singapore (SIN)
sincvh2 Singapore (SIN)

Hotels Convenient To The Airport By Underground Train

If Singapore’s two airport hotel options (described above) don’t appeal to you, a good strategy is staying at a property convenient to an underground train Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station. Changi Airport is at the end of the MRT’s East-West line making hotels near the Bugis, City Hall or Raffles Place stations ideal choices. Those three stations are located in prime areas of the city state and neither requires a change of trains to get to the airport. The last train from the airport leaves around midnight, the first train from Bugis / City Hall / Raffles Place to the airport leaves around 6am.

Some Hotels Within A Five Minute Walk Of The Bugis MRT Station:

InterContinental – The Airport Hotel Guru’s favorite luxury hotel in Singapore — amazing service, exceptional rooms and free in-room internet (a semi-rarity in Singapore). Directly connected to the MRT station.

Some Hotels Within A Five Minute Walk Of The Raffles Place MRT Station:

Swissôtel The Stamford – The best views of the properties mentioned in this review (this is Singapore’s tallest hotel) with an outstanding location directly above the MRT station.

Fullerton – Impressive modern facilities in a classical 1928 building. Rooms have PlayStations as well as internet. 3 minute walk to the MRT. Approx S$700


Some Hotels Within A Five Minute Walk Of The City Hall MRT Station:

Fairmont Singapore – High quality hotel geared more towards business travelers than tourists. Across the street from the City Hall MRT.

Carlton Hotel Singapore – A high-service refined hotel. Wired in-room internet costs S$27 for 24 hours. Five minute walk to the MRT. Approx S$230

Excelsior Hotel Singapore – Typical business hotel, not as nice as the Fairmont or Carlton. Approx S$250 for a basic room but worth paying around S$100 more for an upgraded room that includes free internet. Three minute walk to the MRT.


SIN Airport Info:

Singapore Changi Airport

If the Airport Hotel Guru had to experience a flight delay we’d want it to happen at Changi. The airport has all sorts of plush relaxation areas. The airline lounges here tend to be well above average (especially Singapore Airlines excellent business class lounge). And there are lots of attractions to explore, including a koi pond, sunflower garden and music bars. At the Rainforest Lounge you can rent a comfortable cubical to nap in. There’s free wireless throughout the airport.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian 05.19.09 at 3:42 pm

I appreciate your wide coverage. Changi is one of the best airport in the word. Nearby fine hotels are also an added value….

Ian’s last blog post..Turtle Bay Resort

Horodos 07.01.09 at 4:55 am

Singapore Changi Airport is indeed one of the best airport i’ve seen. The new, and the first Singapore Airport Hotel …Crowne Plaza Hotel…is Elegant, Stylish, Chic And Graceful…

You can also find many other hotels and interesting places if you travel to Singapore

Milan 11.17.10 at 12:50 pm

I’ve worked in Singapore 5 times over the last 3 year. It’s a very small city and there’s a walking bike path next to the airport that takes you all the way into the city. It’s close to Bedok which is next to the famous East coast fish market!

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