On my way back to Australia, flying Singapore Airlines A380 suites from Hong Kong to Singapore, I had the opportunity to check out The Private Room by Singapore Airlines while waiting for my connecting flight onboard the refurbished 777-300er in first class.
I’m flying Singapore first class again in December so I will update this review with a full check-in and ground experience (Singapore Airlines has a separate wing at T3 for first class passengers to check-in).
In Hong Kong, I was given a “golden ticket”, an invite to one of the most exclusive airport lounges: The Private Room. Even the name sounds mysterious and exclusive…
In this post:
How To Access The Private Room
To gain access to The Private Room, you need to be flying Singapore Airlines first class. Even if you’re flying first on another Star Alliance partner, you will not get access to The Private Room but only to the Singapore Airlines first class lounge. Even Singapore Airlines top elites PPS Solitaire status holders can’t get into this lounge.
However, if you’re arriving in Singapore first class but departing on Singapore business class, you are entitled to use the lounge on your stopover. For example, if you fly in from Europe or the US on Singapore Airlines in first class but connecting on a Singapore Airlines flight in business class to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane etc. (those routes don’t even get SQ First) you can still use The Private Room.
The Private Room is located within the First Class wing of the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge. All passengers to this lounge enter through the same entrance, business class passengers turn left, first class passengers turn right, and TPR (The Private Room) guests are escorted through the first class lounge, into TPR.
There is a separate agent guarding the TPR entrance and to enter you need to either present your Singapore Airline First Class Boarding pass or golden TPR invite.
As a first-time guest, there is anticipation and excitement about entering the inner sanctum of this legendary lounge. Soon you will be rubbing shoulders and toasting champagne with the rich and famous… finally, you’ve made it.
And then you enter the lounge…
and start thinking, is this it?
The Private Room has been open for almost 10 years, even though it’s elegant and far from ugly, it’s getting a little bit dated. It feels luxurious to some degree, but I don’t think a refresh would hurt after 10 years of duty. The lounge consists of a long hallway with comfortable big chairs and seating areas at the window and opens up into a dining room with leather couches and crisp white linen tables decorated with orchids. In the left of the dining area is a small buffet area but of course, dining a-la-carte is the objective here.
The whole feel is that of a private members club with parket clad wooden floors and brown leather seats adorned by table lamps on marble tables that look fancy, but you’d never want in your house.
The first thing you notice when entering TPR is how quiet it is; this is especially noticeable since this place doesn’t get busy, at peak time I counted 6 other people in the lounge. I think a little background music would take the edge off the awkwardness.
At the end of the lounge is a small computer area and 2 small rooms with glass doors and lounge chairs which can be used to make those “sensitive business calls” or simply to rest for a little in between lobsters and satay.
Food & Drinks at The Private Room
I sat down in the dining area and ordered the “assorted satay” as a starter and the Wok-Fried lobster as a main. No complaints about the satay but I thought the lobster was completely ruined by the cheese sauce it was dressed in, the noodles it came with – I didn’t even touch. That said, on other occasions I’ve enjoyed some outstanding lobster (see pictured below).
The Private Room Champagne
The champagne on offer in The Private Room is the most excellent Dom Pérignon or Piper-Heidsieck Millesime 2002 Rare (usually served in the First Class Lounge). A bottle of this nectar of the gods will set you back $290 at Dan Murphies, and it’s a welcome break from the Dom Pérignon, and Krug served in first class.
The Private Room Shower Facilities
TPR guests have access to their own bathroom and shower; I had a quick shower in between flights, and the whole place was spotless with all the amenities one might need. The shower rooms are very well designed with plenty of space to get changed and a dry area to keep your bags.
Singapore Airlines The Private Room Conclusion
Although it’s very exclusive, The Private Room by Singapore Airlines is far from the most exciting lounge in the world. I think the only reason it gets hyped up so much is because of that exclusivity – only Singapore first class passengers can enter. Unlike other top class lounges such as Qantas first class, Emirates first class etc. which grant access to code-share partners as well as top elites flying in economy or business. I think the X-factor of this lounge is the food offering (which is also hit and miss from what I’ve seen in other reviews) and the beverage menu (especially the champagne).
It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours to relax before your next flight, but for anything longer than 5 hours I would recommend getting a room at the brand new Aerotel inside the terminal which also has a gym and a swimming pool.