After a first-class flight on Singapore Airlines from Seoul/Incheon, Republic of Korea (ICN) to Singapore (SIN), I was anticipating what I hoped would be my first visit to the Private Room, an invitation-only area inside one of the KrisFlyer first-class lounges at SIN. Because I was departing to Bangkok, Thailand in business class, getting in was uncertain.
Posts about this around-the-world trip:
Luang Prabang City Tour
Singapore Airlines’ Private Room is private. It is open to those flying first class on Singapore Airlines only. That makes access more limited than access to American Airlines Flagship First Dining. First-class passengers on other Star Alliance airlines, top Star Alliance elites, and top KrisFlyer elites are excluded. They may use the Singapore Airlines First-Class Lounges at SIN.
Would the airline view me as a business- or first-class passenger? While the Singapore Airlines call center stated that I would have access to the Private Room, some reviews I read said only Singapore Airlines passengers departing in first class had access. Even if the call center was right, that doesn’t preclude someone at the lounge getting it wrong.
Upon arriving at Terminal 2, I went to the Singapore first-class lounge there where I was sure I had access. The agent inspected my boarding passes. Without being asked, he suggested I might want to go to the Private Room in Terminal 3. Case closed. But with a layover of almost five hours, I was in no hurry and before proceeding to the Private Room, I spent some time in the Terminal 2 first-class lounge. I rate that lounge as business class plus.
Location And Hours
The Private Room is in the KrisFlyer lounge on Level 3 of Terminal 3 near Transfer Desk A. To get to the Private Room one must present credentials at the entrance to the KrisFlyer lounge and then be escorted through the business- and first-class lounges.
The Private Room is open from 05:30 to 02:30 daily. It was easy to get there from Terminal 2 because Terminals 1, 2, and 3 at are connected airside by the SkyTrain which is always running when the Private Room is open.
The Private Room Seating
The Private Room is essentially one long, open room with a dining area on one side and limited tarmac views on the other side.
Some think the furnishings are dated. I find the homy decor soothing and relaxing and conducive to working, thinking, or chilling (hopefully more of the last two).
At the back, there is a small work station for those needing to appear productive.
Rooms offering seclusion are located at the rear of the lounge.
A large-screen TV is positioned in the middle of the lounge. There was no sound when I was there.
Because the room is open, sound could carry. There just aren’t a lot of people in the lounge normally, and passengers kept their voices down when I was there.
The Private Room Dining
Without a doubt the highlight of the Private Room is the quietly elegant a la carte restaurant.
These are the lunch menus from my visit. The alcoholic beverages are outstanding for a first-class lounge in Asia.
The menu is extensive compared to what is offered in the Cathay Pacific first-class lounges at HKG, American Airlines Flagship First Dining, or the Qantas first-class lounge at LAX.
Those without time for a three-course meal can order from an express menu.
I added Dom Perignon to go with Waldorf Salad, Baked Chilean Sea Bass, and Almond Beancurd Longan dessert.
The meal and service were superb. The Private Room is one of the few lounges that matches a good restaurant for food.
After the meal, I had more Dom in the Private Room and then explored the adjoining first-class lounge. The ability to go back and forth between the two lounges is a plus. Those preferring a more contemporary look can dine in the Private Room then relax in the first-class lounge.
Terminal 3 first-class lounge bar and seating
The first-class lounge has decent buffet food if very fast dining is desired.
The Private Room has a wait staff in the seating area who brings drinks from the bar or keeps the Dom flowing. Somehow it seems more formal to me to be waited on by men (weird). The lounge has WiFi, its own bathrooms and showers, a flight monitor and a nursing room.
The Private Room is a great first-class lounge though not in the same league as the Lufthansa or Air France first-class lounges. I think the Private Room should be evaluated as a lounge and a restaurant separately. As a lounge it lacks features and services like massages, shoe shines, amazing shower rooms, or escort service to the gate. As a restaurant, however, in terms of the quality of alcoholic beverages, variety of the menu, and ambiance, the Private Room surpasses American Airlines Flagship First Dining, Cathay Pacific’s The Wing and Pier, the Qantas First Class lounge at LAX, and all of the Japanese, Korean and Chinese first-class lounge restaurants. Anyone who has the good fortune to visit the Private Room should think of it as a restaurant rather than a lounge. It is the best airline lounge restaurant I’ve dined at.