Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

We started our September term break with a bang! After the stressful and fast-paced Term 3 at school, my hubby was elated to celebrate the end of term and wind down on Teachers’ Day with a weekend staycation at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.

An air-conditioned seamless link bridge from Terminal 3 at Changi Airport connects the hotel to the airport, so whether or not you’re checking in for a staycation or for a longer transit period, you’d have no problem locating the hotel.

It was our second time staying at Crowne Plaza and the kids simply loved the beautifully furnished lobby. Can you tell that there’s a fruit theme here? icon smile Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

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Spot the watermelon, mangosteen and papaya

There are water features aplenty along the walkways and corridors:

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This time we had the privilege of staying in a Club Room on Level 3 – the same floor as the pool. We were greeted with a generous fruit platter and the kids quickly helped themselves to their favourite fruit!

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The chic soundproofed room (yes, we hardly heard any planes!) with floor-to-ceiling windows is spacious (36sqm) and the calming cappuccino and soft green colours are very soothing.

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Monkeying around with their favourite fruit!

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The beautiful flower motif on the glass panels adds to the tropical feel of the place but the white and muted tones of browns continue to provide a tranquil haven for a restful stay.

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Not only is it aesthetically appealing, the flowers are very strategically placed too such that you can continue to watch TV from the washroom yet remain out of sight from peeking eyes (if any! haha!)

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Refresh in the separate bathtub or rainfall shower:

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The amenities in the room include a nespresso machine, an iPod docking station and a collection of refreshing shampoo and shower gels.

amenities%2520in%2520room Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The last time we stayed at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, we had a room that overlooked the Sky Train station so the kids spent much of their time staring out of the windows. This time, as mentioned, we stayed on the same floor as the pool. And the cool part of our room was that we had another door in the room and it opened up to lead us directly to the pool area!

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Apparently, eating outside the room, lounging by the poolside is more fun!

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The pool area near our room

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The main pool area

There’s no kids’ pool or kid-friendly features at the pool though and the pool is pretty deep for kids with most parts of the pool at 1.2m. But I don’t know of any other hotel that features a view like this from the pool!

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The water is pretty cold too so it’s best you just jump in straight! icon biggrin Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

We lounged for awhile after the swim then headed for the Club Lounge for refreshing evening cocktails and canapes.

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The food was exquisite and we literally didn’t need dinner after simply eating the canapes!

club%2520lounge%2520food Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

At all other times, you can head to the Club Lounge for a coffee/tea and delectable cookies.

 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

On our first morning, we went for breakfast at the Club Lounge. There are generally less people during breakfast hours at the lounge compared to the restaurant so it was very cosy and exclusive. The spread, however, is less comprehensive upon comparison.

On the second morning, we decided to try out Azur for our complimentary breakfast buffet. Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can still dine there.

AZUR Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

As mentioned, there are more options available at Azur – there’s an egg station where you can choose how you want your eggs done, a noodle station where noodles are cooked on the spot for you, fried noodles, porridge, chapati and so on, while the lounge offers mainly a continental breakfast menu.

breakfast%2520buffet Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

The staff at both the Club Lounge and Azur are very polite and attentive.

Overall, we had a very pleasant stay! The proximity to the airport which offers a multitude of dining options, a supermarket, free playgrounds, a wide array of shops where GST is absorbed regardless of whether you are flying (click here for the full list of participating merchants which absorb GST), planes to admire from the viewing galleries, completes the entire vacation experience!

And if you’re jetting off somewhere, remember to check out my post where I share 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport (transit areas).

10%2520features%2520cover Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

75 Airport Boulevard
#01-01 Singapore 819664
 
[Note: Even though we love staycations and have stayed at many hotels in Singapore, I've only begun to document our stays of late so this is a growing list. You can read about our stay at Equarius Hotel, Festive Hotel @ RWS, Oasia Hotel, Village Hotel Katong, Village Hotel Changi]

Disclosure: Richly blessed this year, our staycation at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport was provided by Changi Airport Group. All opinions are mine.

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10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

To be honest, we’ll only be flying for the first time as a family this coming December. Besides the time that we were given the special opportunity last year to check out the spectacular massive topiaries of famous landmarks from across the world in the transit areas, we’ve not had a chance to step in since our last pre-children trip to Japan in 2007!

We were ecstatic to be given yet another opportunity to explore the transit areas of Changi Airport during the September holidays – it’s like a preview of the sights to expect at the transit areas and considering how much we discovered that day, I assure you that the next time you’re jetting off somewhere with kids in tow, please set aside A LOT of time after checking in to explore the transit area!

I shall start with my personal favourite, though the rest of the features are not in any order of preference icon smile 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

1. Sunflower Garden (Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3)

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

Did you know that there’s a Sunflower Garden at T2? I’ve never been to a sunflower garden or seen so many sunflowers together and it was indeed such a happy place to be at! There are 500 sunflowers in the Sunflower Garden and it was just such a sight to behold.

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

Interesting backdrop for the sunflowers too! The airport’s really such an unlikely place to find a sunflower garden (or any garden for that matter).

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

The kids got to see bees upclose as well and the bees were busy at work so there’s little worry about getting stung by them.

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

And here’s my favourite picture which was taken (and edited) by David (Daddy of Dana from Princess Dana Diaries):

Changi10 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

And here’s what else the kids found out they could do there besides admiring sunflowers, studying bees and gazing at airplanes – picking pebbles! LOL.

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

A chance to admire the planes upclose!

2. Orchid Garden & Koi Pond (Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2)

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport
Be wow-ed by the delightful hues of the 30 species of orchids that greet you at the Orchid Garden. The Orchid Garden is home to rare orchids and their hybrids, including the seasonal display of Singapore’s national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim.

Unlike the Sunflower Garden, this is an indoor garden so if you prefer the air-conditioned comfort, this one’s for you.

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

orchid%2520garden 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

There’s something fascinating about watching the koi swim while you’re on a bridge.

We’re not permitted to feed the koi at this garden – the kids were fondly recounting their experience of koi feeding during our Village Hotel Changi staycation. You can, however, feed the koi at the Koi Pond at Terminal 3, during feeding times.

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

3. Enchanted Garden (Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 2)

More gardens, you say? The Enchanted Garden – Changi Airport’s newest garden – is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill garden. Equipped with motion sensors, your stroll through the garden would trigger sounds of nature and blooming flowers while fibre-optic and LED lighting, embedded in the pathways, form a mesmerising carpet of sparkling lights.

enchanted%2520garden 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

The centrepiece of the garden comprises four giant glass bouquet sculptures, carefully decorated with 56,000 pieces of stained-glass mosaic. Combining light and the plethora of colours, this is bound to delight everyone.

There’s also a viewing deck to admire the garden, koi and archerfish:

DSC 2914 1 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

What captivated the children most were the natural sounds of the rainforest and they spent some time trying to identify what they heard:

DSC 2918 1 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

If you’re a fan of gardens, then you’d be ecstatic to know that there are a total of five themed gardens in the three terminals. Besides the three gardens in Terminal 2, there’s also a Cactus Garden at Terminal 1, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3:

cactus%2520garden 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

Photo Credit: Changi Airport

and the Butterfly Garden at Terminal 3.

4. Butterfly Garden (Terminal 3, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 2 & 3)

Nestled in Terminal 3, the Butterfly Garden is home to over 1000 butterflies. Adding to Singapore’s list of firsts, it is the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport.

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It felt so surreal to be amongst the flying butterflies in an airport!

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You’re free to observe the butterflies and even to touch them (gently, of course).

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The kids can also gain insight into the life cycle of a butterfly. If you’re lucky, you can even witness the birth of a gorgeous butterfly as it exits its pupae stage and takes its first flight at the Emergence Enclosure!

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It’s my first time seeing the various stages of the pupa stage, and I was fascinated!!

5. Entertainment Deck (Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3)

If you have a gaming streak or you’re a movie buff, and have finished your nature trail in the terminals, there’s an entertainment deck where you can enjoy yourself for FREE! Not that we had to pay for any of the nature trails but y’know, it’s really rare that we get to game or watch movies for free.

entertainment%2520deck 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

Over at the entertainment deck, there’s LAN gaming, an XBOX Kinect room, XBOX360/ PS3, an MTV booth (playing music videos on a 50-inch plasma television with great quality sounds piped directly to your seat) and a movie theatre (runs 24 hours)! Spoilt for choice? Yeah, definitely!

Movie theatres are located at Terminal 2, next to the Sunflower Garden, and at Terminal 3, near the Ambassador Transit Lounge at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 3. Visit the Fox Movies Premium website for the movie schedule for Terminal 2; Terminal 3 screens the latest movies of different genres.

6. The Social Tree (Terminal 1)

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

At close to 9 metres tall, The Social Tree is Changi Airport’s largest interactive installation and located in the terminal’s Central Piazza, right after immigration counters and set against the backdrop of aircraft bays.

It allows travelers to snap a photo at any of the eight touch-screen photo booths, jazz it up with effects and icons, and share their photo memories instantly onto the colourful and animated crown of the structure!

Changi01 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

Taking our photo at the booth (photo courtesy of Princess Dana Diaries)

Travelers can also post photos and videos taken at the booths on their social networking profiles or email it to themselves. It’s really so simple we just had to take a couple of shots!

So what are the photos for? Taking a photo at the Social Tree is more than just to satiate needs to take selfies wherever people go. It is wanting to be part of Changi Airport’s history – by leaving behind a photo or video of themselves which will be kept for 100 years. Travelers and their families can retrieve and re-live their digital memories at Changi Airport from this memory capsule… so when my grandchildren jet off somewhere next time, they would be able to view our photos! #ifeeloldalready

social%2520tree 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

7. Woodblock Rubbing Stations (Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2, available at Terminals 1 and 3 and also at the public area in Terminal 3)

Just next to the Orchid Garden is one of the popular woodblock rubbing stations. We used to head to the public area at T3 just for this after our dinner because my girl loved it so much!

Woodblock rubbing was a popular Singapore art form in the 50s and 60s. The kids were so thrilled with their woodblock rubbing of icons they are so familiar with (e.g. Changi Airport, the Singapore Zoo, rickshaw)

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

8. Swimming pool (Terminal 1, Level 3)

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Located near the Departure Transit Lounge East on Level 3, the Balinese-themed swimming pool is free for guests of the Ambassador Transit Hotel. If you’re not a guest of the hotel, a fee of S$13.91 is charged for the use of the swimming pool and jacuzzi, including the use of the shower facilities, a towel and a complimentary non-alcoholic drink from the bar. Operating hours: 7.00am to 11.00pm, daily

9. Indoor Playground

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

After an afternoon of exploring the airport, the kids still managed to go berserk at the playground. Where in the world do they get their energy from???

Anyway, if you have time to kill and the kids love playgrounds, you can literally grab your coffee (there’s Wangz Cafe just right next to the playground) and you can sit there and enjoy yourselves!

My photo shows the playground at Terminal 1, Departure Transit Lounge West, Level 3, but there are playgrounds elsewhere in the airport. There are two playgrounds at Terminal 3 –

  • Next to SATS Special Service Lounge at Departure Transit Lounge Central, Level 2
  • Outside gate holdroom A16 – A20 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2

and there’s one at Terminal 2, next to Family Zone at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2 (but it’s currently closed for upgrading).

10. iShopChangi

If you have kids, you would know it’s almost impossible to do proper shopping with them in tow. And since I’m sure you’d agree that they’d rather spend the time they have in the transit area exploring nature, playing games or working out at the playground, here’s the ultimate convenience Changi Airport has provided!

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

You can shop online at home on Changi Airport’s online retail portal, www.iShopChangi.com, leisurely, without the ‘are-you-done-yet’s and tug-of-wars, and pick up your purchases at the collection centre located at the transit lounge of your departure Terminal on the day of your flight (there’s one at each terminal).

Besides these 10 awesome features, if you’re travelling with young babies or toddlers, you’d be glad to know that there are over 20 baby care stations (check out the directory) where you can tend to your little ones with the privacy you deserve.

Not all baby care stations are as impressive as this one featured though icon smile 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

 10 awesome features not to be missed at Changi Airport

There’s so much to do at Changi Airport that we’ve never imagined possible at airports. Who’d have thought exploring nature possible at an airport? With the multitude of food choices, comfort of carpeted floors, abundance of places to rest and snooze (see the list here – no wonder it was voted to be the best airport in the world for sleeping!), free foot massage machines to ease your weary feet, free internet connectivity, free charging points for your electronic devices, free 24-hour entertainment, and art installations to provide soothing and calming relief from the stresses of travel, Changi Airport truly deserves to be the world’s most awarded airport with over 460 awards (and counting).

If you’re still unsure what you want to check out while in transit, Changi Airport has got it planned for you based on the number of hours you’ll be in transit – click for recommended transfer experiences.

Disclosure: We were invited for a blogger staycation programme by Changi Airport Group to explore the wonderful opportunities and experiences that the airport provides. All opinions are 100% mine.

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