Review: Singapore Airlines “The Private Room” First Class Lounge

Singapore Airlines has a lovely first class check-in experience. Your car turns off before the main portion of the terminal, left into the first class check-in where there are porters out front to assist with baggage. You’re guided inside to a desk for seated check-in in a large room with plenty of furniture that’s probably never used.

You walk out with your boarding pass and go through departure immigration with no queue. Directly ahead of you then is the escalator up to Singapore’s lounge compound.

At the entrance of the SilverKris lounge (business class) you show your boarding pass and are escorted in. You’ll walk through the first class lounge which is really for partner airline first class passengers, and then in further to the Private Room which is for Singapore’s first class passengers.

The Private Room is really just two large rooms, a main lounge and a dining room, with a couple of smaller rooms at the back.

The dining room features a buffet, which I always give a miss in favor of made to order food off the menu.

The highlight of The Private Room is the cooked to order menu, which you can take in the dining room or anywhere else in the lounge you wish. Servers come around to take orders and see if there’s anything they can get for you to drink as well. Service is a plus in the lounge.

It’s hard to say goodbye to Singapore without ordering some satay, even though I was saving my appetite for pre-ordered meals on the plane.

When the lounge was conceived they weren’t going to have any menus. You’d simple ask them to make you something. Feedback from customers on this idea was negative, most people don’t want to think about what they might want, it also creates an air of uncertainty, much better to prompt with options to choose from. Although they’re still happy to customize.

What’s missing from the lounge are views. The lounge has no spa, either. The restooms are lovely for what they are of course.

There’s also no real service to or from the lounge. You don’t need it to get from first class check-in to the lounge entrance, it’s directly in front of you, but considering the distance from the lounge to some of the gates in the terminal it would be a nice improvement if there was someone to prompt you when it was time to depart for your flight and even take you there.

There are a couple of golf carts at the front of the lounge, and I imagine they’d help you with those in an emergency, but they’re really for special needs passengers rather than provided as a matter of course for first class passengers.

When the Private Room first opened it was so exclusive that even first class passengers on award tickets weren’t welcomed. This is not an elite lounge and it’s not open to partner airline passengers.

Still it’s really just a large room with good, which is nice, but for one of the world’s best airlines in their home market not to offer a first class lounge experience comparable to Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong (whose first class lounges are available to top tier elites in addition to first class passengers) is a gap. And it’s one reason that Singapore’s flagship lounge experience doesn’t make my top 10.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Been there twice. Nice lounge with pleasant staff. But it reminds me of a large hotel lobby with no one around. Sort of Twilight Zone-ish. The menu seems to be the same as when I was there two years ago. The last time there I decided to walk over to the Business Class lounge and it was much more lively, of course. It was actually a relief to be there. Very odd experience.

  2. Totally agree that it is just “nice”. What disappointed me most were the shower rooms, inside the main bathroom with no ventilation or much else to recommend them.

  3. I was offered a ride in the buggy a couple of months ago as I was staying in the transit hotel which is a little walk from the lounge. Very disappointed also that the Blanc des Millenaires on the menu (which, in my view, is a fantastic champagne) had been replaced by a Dom Perignon (decidedly mediocre). The food is the star absolutely but spending time in the lounge itself is a soul-sapping experience. It’s s harder to imagine a place with less atmosphere.

    I agree with you that it’s not in the top 10 of FC lounges worldwide (let’s hope the long promised refurb makes a difference… if it ever actually happens).

  4. Been there 3 times All very lack-lustre experiences! – I agree its probably better to do a quick sit down meal then Scape to the Business lounge. SQ offers no transit services to F pax so expect a schlepp to a farway gate – and when F on an A380 has only 3 pax but the double beds are taken by staff who politely say they are pre-reserved by other F pax (NOT!! – we were all in our outdated A380 mock-F suites!!!) and then you see Sq crew sleeping its kinda another reason not to fly SQ. BTW the Private room looks tatty, aged and I get better service in the immaculate SYD MEL and HKG SQ F lounges. Really lets face it with bad aircon, crowds, lack of F transit services, Id say SQ fails very badly CX is not quite as bad but the “new” Bridge and Pier F lounges are tatty, dirty but at least they have slumber rooms. Lets stick to LH F LX F with wonderful F lounge and private hotel rooms at E Gates and even TG F where ground service for transit pax mean there is nosclepping and a smoking room in the F lounge or even ANA F at Narita is better than an SQ private room experience. Just my 5 euros/yen/schekels worth!

  5. My highlight was ordering a mimosa with Don Perignon. However I do agree that the lounge itself was boring.

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