As one of the world’s busiest international airports, Singapore Changi Airport is the centre of an expansive network of flights. With planes arriving and departing at all hours of the day, you might find yourself needing a place to get some beauty sleep inside the terminal while awaiting your next departure.

Yes, you could settle down outside a quiet gate like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. Or, you could head to Aerotel Singapore. It’s the only airport transit hotel in Asia to boast an outdoor swimming pool.

Aerotel Singapore pool umbrella
The resort vibe is not something you’d traditionally associate with an airport.

Sipping a cocktail and taking a dip sounded like a welcome change of pace compared to a conventional airport lounge. Along with the prospect of an overnight transit, I made the Aerotel my pit stop after flying in from Sydney to Singapore on SQ222.

Aerotel Singapore location and how to access

The 70-room Aerotel Singapore is located airside in Terminal 1 of Changi Airport, near gate D40. This means you need to have arrived on a flight and/or have a boarding pass for the onward flight. Here’s a quick guide on getting to the Aerotel:

  • Checking in for your flight in Singapore: you must drop your checked luggage, receive your boarding pass and go through the immigration gates before you can access the Aerotel. Some airlines offer early check-in at Changi – with Singapore Airlines, it’s up to 48 hours before departure.
  • Transiting in Singapore: you can proceed straight to the Aerotel after landing in Singapore. If you don’t have an onward boarding pass, you may be able to get it from a transfer counter airside. Do not exit the airport via immigration unless you can get back in with an onward boarding pass.
  • Getting around: Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are connected airside. Most flights arrive and depart at these terminals, so it’s relatively easy to get to Aerotel by walking and/or Skytrain. (Terminal 4 is connected to Terminals 1 and 3 by an airside bus).

Making my way from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1

Since my Singapore Airlines flight lands in Terminal 3, I make my way over to the Skytrain to transfer to Terminal 1. After being deposited at the Transfer C area, it takes a brisk six-minute walk to cross the terminal and reach Transfer D.

Take note of signs saying ‘Transit Hotel’ in Terminal 1. These will point you towards the escalator that goes up the hotel. Here at last!

As soon as I reach the next floor, I feel the atmosphere change from a bustling airport to something more serene. The Aerotel lobby is vast and there are plenty of seats behind the escalator if you need to wait for someone. Past the counter is the Library Lounge area, which I explore later.

First, it’s time to get a much-needed nap.

Aerotel Singapore entrance
Welcome to the Aerotel Singapore.

Aerotel Singapore Double Plus room

Weary travellers will find three different room categories here including Family Rooms (sleeps four) and Solo Rooms (for one and with shared bathrooms). But you’ll most likely end up in a Double Plus room, which is a comfortable 32-34 sqm space with two super single beds and a private bathroom.

The rooms are located in a vast corridor, sealed off from the lobby with heavy doors. It’s eerily quiet here, and I’m not bothered by any airport noise throughout my stay.

Inside the Double Plus room

The Double Plus room is contemporary and features two comfortable single beds with good-quality linens. One end of the room has a working desk and a 42″ TV, in case sleeping is not top of your agenda.

Between the beds is a shared console with universal power outlets and light switches. And though I don’t realise it until the morning, the rooms also have great window views of the airport apron outside.

All-in-all, the Double Plus rooms are perfectly sized for a shower and sleep, with just enough space for two people to move around in.

The private bathroom is similarly clean and modern-looking. I’m glad to report the rainfall shower is refreshing and just what I need after half a day of travel. But only a generic 2-in-1 shampoo and shower soap pump is provided, so bring your own amenities if you need them.

There is no dedicated Aerotel WiFi network. Instead, guests can connect to the Changi Airport Free WiFi. It’s reasonably fast at 28 Mbps in both downloads and uploads – grunty enough to tackle most work and streaming needs. I initially have trouble connecting to the network when I get off the plane, but it’s working by the time I reach Aerotel.

In-room dining

Each booking comes with a complimentary meal for the number of guests booked. Aerotel Singapore offers a mix of Western and Asian meal sets around the clock.

A full room service menu is also provided if you’re even more peckish. Mains hover around SG$16 (AU$17.5) each – definitely pricey for Singapore standards, but still affordable for most travellers staying here. Each room has free in-room tea and coffee, though you’ll need to purchase all other drinks.

You can also leave your room and dine at one of the airport’s many food and beverage outlets. As for me, Singapore Chicken Rice is an easy pick. I request for it to be delivered at 7:00 am.

Sure enough, the next morning, I get a knock on the door right on time. The chicken rice set is tasty – I enjoy the silkiness of the meat, paired with the seasoned rice, chilli and pickled vegetables on the side. It could do with some soy sauce as a condiment, but otherwise, it’s still a very enjoyable hotel brekkie.

Delicious: the Singapore Chicken Rice set for breakfast.

Aerotel Singapore Rooftop Pool & Bar

One of the major drawcards of Aerotel Singapore is the pool deck. Where else can you strip into your bathers and take a swim, while a superjumbo jet takes off above you?

Open from midday to 10:00 pm daily; pool access is complimentary for all hotel guests. Non-hotel travellers can also purchase entry for a fee of SG$23 (plus 7% local tax and 10% service charge), either online or at the desk.

The pool itself is blissfully cool against the warm Singapore air. It’s not particularly deep though, so I find it’s best suited for frolicking around rather than doing laps. Plenty of cabanas and sunbeds are dotted around the pool for whiling the hours away.

The Aerobar is your one-stop shop for food, beverage and accessories. I’m tempted to try the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail and pair it with a serving of beef sliders. The burgers are moreish and accompanied by crispy french fries.

View the full Aerobar menu here [PDF] →

Each changeroom has key-operated lockers, so my passport and other tech are stashed away safely while I’m in the pool. Behind the changerooms is a planespotters delight – a viewing deck that oversees part of Terminal 1.

If a visit to the pool is on your Changi checklist, don’t forget to pack bathers in your carry-on (or buy a set from the bar). And with no drying facilities, be sure to leave time for them to air-dry while you relax under the umbrellas. Aerotel can also supply plastic bags so you can wrap up your bathers and wash them at your next destination.

Aerotel Singapore Library Lounge + Fitness Corner

While not a proper airport lounge as such, Aerotel Singapore has the ‘Library Lounge’ that hotel guests can use anytime. It’s a cosy communal area where you can get some work done or just flop on the couch and watch some TV. You could also eat your meal here instead of in the room.

Want to work up a real sweat? Head upstairs to the Fitness Corner to give the treadmill, bike or free weights a go. Back downstairs, tea, coffee and infused waters are on offer to quench your thirst.

Some of the 8 sqm Solo rooms and shared shower facilities are also located inside here, so I can see the appeal of relaxing in this shared ‘living room’ when you’re not sleeping.

The Christmas decorations and emphasis on wooden tones give a relaxing feel to the lounge. It’s certainly nice to have a breakout space, though I don’t imagine most travellers would be staying here long enough to need a change of scenery.

Booking a stay at Aerotel Singapore

Flexible room rates start from around AU$220 for a six-hour block in a Double Plus room, with extensions costing around AU$24 for each extra hour. But cheaper rates kick in if you’re looking for a 12-hour block or longer. Remember to log in with Plaza Premium’s Smart Traveller program, which automatically discounts the rate by 10%. It’s free to join, so getting the discount is a no-brainer.

Aerotel Singapore booking screenshot
All rooms also come with a meal, which you can take at any time.

A stay at the Aerotel is not cheap, but the rates are quite competitive compared to other airport hotels. For example, the luxurious landside Crowne Plaza commands upwards of AU$350 a night on the same dates, and you need to exit through immigration. The competing Ambassador Transit Hotels in Terminals 2 and 3 start from AU$266 for a six-hour block.

If I had a transit stay in Singapore, I’d choose the Aerotel at those rates. In fact, I’ve made a booking (at my own expense) for another overnight transit in August 2023, because of Aerotel Singapore’s convenience. Walking from the gate to a hotel bed without exiting the airport means more sleep.

Plus, the rooftop pool is undeniably cool.

See you next time, Aerotel Singapore.

Photography by Brandon Loo, who travelled to Singapore at Point Hacks’ expense. He stayed at the Aerotel Singapore as a guest of the property.

Aerotel Singapore, Changi Airport was last modified: December 8th, 2022 by Brandon Loo