So this was one of the most interesting hotels I stayed at in 2019. I just had the one night and day in Singapore, the first of the trip, and so I wanted a place to stay at the airport. There were three options I could see at the airport, the Crowne Plaza which was the poshest and most expensive, the Airport Transit Hotel (where I would stay on the way home) but that was no good as you need to stay in the transit area and can’t head out into Singapore, and the curious YotelAir Changi, in the expanded Terminal 1 but on the other side of passport control. Very close to the area to go to check in early (I think up to twelve hours) this was the option I went with. I wanted to head in to the Gardens by the Bay and return to Changi for my 430pm flight to Kuala Lumpur, so checking in in the morning was perfect for me.
Plus, it looked very shiny, something of a concept hotel and according to the pictures and reviews, robots which could check you in and bring things to your room. Before I go any further, I did NOT see ANY robots.
The concept seemed to me to be inspired by the Japanese Capsule Inn, you stay in a ‘capsule’ which is mostly soundproof, comfy, modern with places to plug things in, a mattress and pillow etc. It’s a business travel concept where people travelling for business can save a bit of money and the owners can pack a lot of people in.
I’m not sure if the rooms at YotelAir Changi are indicative of the chain – there’s one in Singapore city and one at the new Istanbul Airport – but they are brightly lit, there’s a bath room separated by glass, a TV, a desk that pulls out, the bed has a remote and it flattens or you can put the top half off, which is how I found it when I arrived. The size of the room is the size of the bed fully flat plus maybe a metre wide area to one side of it. The bathroom actually is a pretty decent size, and has a ‘rain’ shower – something that seems to have taking the accommodation industry worldwide by storm, and a fad that doesn’t impress me that much to be honest. I prefer an angled shower, and I may just be driven to doing a whole posted devoted to why I don’t like the ‘rain’ shower – that’s a large shower head (wide) which sits flat above the person in the shower and drips on them. And I reckon most of the places I stayed in Oct-December 2019 were fitted with this shower head. And on previous trips I never saw a single one that I can remember!
There were a raft of switches for all the different lights, a curtain that goes over the glass between room and bathroom – ‘for privacy’ it said. To be honest, it was just me in that room and I can’t imagine it being much fun sharing the room. The bed was a decent size, don’t get me wrong there, but otherwise it’s a tight fit and if you have large bags, you’ll struggle for a place to put them.
The checkout time, be warned, is 9am. You could pay to extend it, which I was going to do but the guy at check in was kind enough to give it to me for free. Well, I was checking in around midnight. You can buy a bunch of food items and the like from vending machines, instant noodles, drinks etc. There were a couple of bottles of (free) water in the room too.
The location is good, obviously, and near the JEWEL stuff which is new and people like to see (I believe) including a large indoor waterfall. It wasn’t so easy to find though, the signage was confusing and intermittent and in the end I had to walk a fair bit and take the train as I arrived in terminal 2. But that’s not a criticism, that’s just where the hotel is.
The process of just going down to the bottom level for early check in is great, not available for every airline but if you’re in a situation like I was it really works perfectly. Drop your bags off and get your boarding pass up to twelve hours before your flight.
Cost-wise, well it’s around $200 AUD so $135 ish USD. Transit Hotel starts at $160 AUD for six hours (the minimum) and the Crowne Plaza starts at around $280AUD I think. For the size of the room, that’s pretty steep, so you are mostly paying for the location. It was spotlessly clean and very modern. The bed was comfortable even if the room was extremely small. It was space well used though. I remain disappointed that no robots greeted me or were anywhere to be seen.
Value for Money: 3/5
Total: 19.5/25 (78/100)
Thanks for stopping by today – May the Journey Never End!