So I have finally arrived in SIN after one of the longest flights that I have ever taken and i'm happy that it is SIN - the best airport in the world. I still have a long way to go as you can see from my schedule below:
I reserved a single room at the Aerotel in T1 for USD 38 (EUR 33,68) for a block of 6 hrs starting at 08:00. QR leaves from T3 and UA arrives at T2, so why go to a transit hotel in T1 when there are also two hotels at both of those terminals? The QF lounge. I have read many spectacular reviews about this place and wanted to visit it right after my stay.
Since i had some time before my check in at the hotel, I tried to get into the DNATA lounge in T3 to get a shower. At the entrance the receptionist seemed perplexed that i did not have an invitation but I showed her my QR online boarding pass that I printed. She consults with another member and they redirect me to the transit desk to get a boarding pass and invitation from QR. She mentioned that she needed to scan something I guess the online pass did not suffice and to be fair I did not see a barcode on it.
I decided to just browse around and do some shopping and then go to the hotel. Here are a few snapshots of the airport .
T2 Orchid Garden.
We now who rules in SIN. They seem as charming on the ground as well as in the air as passengers stop them to ask questions and they reply with a smile.
i purchased a small Braun alarm clock before heading to the Aerotel. Good thing that decided to test it and it was defective (a good brand and something purchased in SIN - how shocking). After my rest I went back to the electronics shop and was given an exchange without any problems.
The check in was quick and efficient and soon i was in my cubicle. Single rooms do not have windows but they are cozy and has shared WC's. The meaning of "shared" is not like you are in a gym where you are exposed. You actually get a private WC with shower just like you would in a lounge, only that it is not ensuite.
Library with gym and pool upstairs.
WC's at the end of the hall.
After a refreshing shower and a short nap (about 1:30 hr) I headed to the QF Lounge which opens at 14:30. The lounge is almost next to the BA one but I found the QF lounge so good that I did not bother to go there and stayed at the QF for the entire time.
The lounge is comfy, warm and welcoming. It is every spacious with different sections and the staff is quick and accommodating. Aesthetically it is a beautiful lounge except for the "industrial" ceiling which gives it an unfinished look. This is a matter of personal taste but I feel that this works against the harmonious ambiance of the lounge design. It's too stark of a contrast.
As you enter the lounge, you will find the bar right after reception. On the left side is the lounge area and to the right is the dining room.
You could either help yourself to the buffet OR order "a la carte" from the restaurant. They have native chef Neil Perry"s "Spice Temple" inspired dishes and cocktails at the restaurant and there menu is limited to two items only. On my visit i had the chicken laksa which was fantastic. The broth was creamy, rich and spicy made even better with a dash of sambal and a sprinkling of fried shallots. The first buffet table as you enter the dining room area contains salads followed by desserts.
The buffet for hot items is located past the restaurant.
I had the lamb with roasted aubergine and jasmine rice. The lamb was tender and flavorful but it needed a bit more salt.
The lounging area had very comfortable chairs and electrical sockets to charge electronics. However, please be aware that just plugging your cord is not enough. You need to flip a switch in order to charge. I learned about this as i noticed that my laptop was not charging.
A few things that i sampled throughout 6 hrs stay here.
A neat feature of QF lounges is the cart with the snack "du jour". This time they had french fries. I asked for ketchup and mayo but they did not have mayo on the cart. :(
Right before leaving i requested a shower. Even when the lounge was busy I was still able to get one immediately. The room was spacious with Aspar brand toiletries.
I left the lounge by 20:10 to T3 for my flight. At the transfer desk I requested my boarding passes and the agent there asked for proof of continuation for my trip leaving Egypt. That took me by surprise and i had to request a code from the info desk in order to access the internet and pull the info from my email. I was issued my boarding passes and an invitation to the DNATA lounge which I did not bother to use since I was running a bit tight.
I arrived at the gate and there was a security check which I did not expect but was handled quickly. I ended up discarding a bottle of water that I had brought from my previous flight.
The crew was also at the gate waiting area and there was about a 10 min. delay in boarding.
QR A350 at the gate. This is my second A350 experience after the AY one last year.
Boarding commenced and there was a friendly FA at the door greeting passengers as they entered.
Mood lighting was turned on and there was a pillow and blanket already on the seat.
Compartment for headphone and water on the left side of the seat.
Big individual screen.
The FA introduced herself and welcomed each passenger aboard. Pre-dept. drinks were offered and I had the signature lime mint drink served with a hot towel - too sweet for me.
The door closed and we soon taxied out. Good bye SIN.
Upon reaching cruising altitude the service began with distribution of pajamas and amenity kits. The pajamas were the gray ones that supposedly are being replaced by the ones from "White Company". I was given a L/XL one which fitted me fine. From what I have read the largest size for the new ones is L only. The amenity kit was the new one from BRIC'S. It is a sturdy case that feels a bit bulky. Toiletries are by Castello Monte Vibiano with its olive oil based products.
This was followed by a distribution of the menu.
Champagnes from the Wine menu.
QR proposes an" a la carte" protocol for meal services giving passengers more flexibility and control of the flight experience. As a result of this, I see more FA's working in the galley and at times it can get pretty busy with FA's coming and going through the cabin.
Most people prefer to have the dinner service right away so that they can maximize sleep time. I start with a Rose Champagne with nuts.
My table is set up.
Crusted hrimp amuse bouche with a thick & sweet soy based sauce.
The smoked salmon with goat cheese crumble, asparagus, orange and dill vinaigrette was very good in presentation and taste. I thought that the portion was generous for being an appetizer.
I wasn't inspired by the main dishes so i chose the most "exotic" one which was the roast sea bass in lemongrass skewer served with pandan rice in a red curry sauce. The dish was colorful and well seasoned, but I thought that there were too many different flavors competing for attention.
The cheese plate was beautiful with an interesting assortment of cheeses and accompaniments. i accompanied it with a glass of Sauternes.
Finally the chocolate indulgence cake with raspberry coulis and whipped cream. How can you go wrong with that?
To conclude the meal service a box of Godiva chocolates and hot towel.
i walked back to the bar area located by the second door to check it out. There was a bowl of fruits and a flower arrangement set up but nobody congregated there.
i like the curtain for the windows.
Before landing I had the steak sandwich which was delicious.
Soon we landed in DOH and disembarked through 2L.
Singapore - SIN
Doha - DOH
i'm glad that I stopped in SIN after a long trip and was able to take advantage of the transit hotel facility to rest and recharge. SIN is a fantastic airport that offers a lot of facilities to make travel easier for passengers. and its top reputation is well deserved.
The QF lounge in SIN was an amazing place to relax and grab some delicious food. QF really invested in this lounge to give passengers an optimal experience and it really shows in every aspect from the food to the showers and the service of the staff. I personally liked this QF lounge better than its counterpart in HKG.
This was my first time flying QR and I was impressed by its onboard product. The cabin and seats on the A350 are very comfortable and the all aisle access is a major advantage. The amenity kit and pajama are appreciated especially the pajama for a flight of this length. The crew was professional, very attentivel and paid attention to passenger's requests in a quick manner.
Catering was very nice in taste and presentation. Care was taken in the visual aspects of food and that is reassuring in a premium cabin. The wine list contained a wide assortment of choices that seem to please everyone.
I would love to fly on QR again in the future.
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