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.