early morning arrival in Singapore

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May 12th, 2004, 07:44 PM
  #1
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early morning arrival in Singapore

We're getting ready to spend a few days in Singapore before heading over to Thailand. Our flight will be arriving at 6:30 am, after some 24+ hours in transit.

I'm not sure what to do with ourselves until check-in. Habit would send me to the hotel to drop off luggage and then bum about the city. After such a long haul, though, I'm doubting that's the best strategy.

I've read up on Changi Airport, and it seems they have facilities (pool, showers, massage, napping areas) beyond the usual airport. Has anyone taken advantage of these? Is it worth hanging out at the airport pool or lounge - strange concept to me - until a room is most likely ready?
evaluna is offline  
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May 12th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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I'd say to let your hotel know you have an early arrival. Many times hotels will let you into your room if they have one available and you've given them notice. I have stayed overnight at in the transit rooms at Changi. The rooms are clean but VERY basic. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of waking time in them! I suppose you might take advantage of one of the rooms for a shower and change of clothes before heading to your hotel.
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May 13th, 2004, 02:12 AM
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The nice amenities at Changi Airport are mainly on the airside (before passport control), including the transit hotel. Although you could check out what's available before going through Immigration, you probably don't want to leave your luggage unclaimed for long periods of time at the carousel (although it is perfectly safe). There are some amenities after passing through Customs, mainly some fast food, and a coffee joint (The Coffee Bean, local equivalent of Starbucks), but you can get that in town. I agree with Kathie - if you let your hotel know that you will be arriving early, often they will have a room ready for when you arrive. Assuming your 6:30 arrival, you should be able to get through Immigration and Customs by 7AM, maybe even 6:50 - so with a cab, you could be at your hotel by 7:30AM (things really are that efficient here). Breakfast in town would probably be a good idea - no shortage of places to go to.

If you have shopping on the to-do list, suggest you window shop on that first morning; most stores open at 9:30. Last two weeks or so, it's been frying pan hot here (32C or say 90+F) by early afternoon and plenty humid all day so I would think indoor things would be your choice before a noon-time check-in. You could also do a massage here, but would be quite a bit more expensive than in Thailand.

BTW I live in Singapore but am from New York and done the long haul many times -anyone doing so many hours on the plane deserves a medal!
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May 13th, 2004, 03:40 AM
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evaluna posted:
"Habit would send me to the hotel to drop off luggage and then bum about the city. After such a long haul, though, I'm doubting that's the best strategy."

I've done the trip to SIN many times, some for as short as a 6 hour turnaround from the midwest....and have also been to Europe many times from the midwest. Here's my take: If you can get any "nap time" at all during your 24 hour transit, I have found that I'm actually MORE awake when arriving in S.E. Asia, than I am "overniting" in a plane to London/Paris/etc.

Everyone's different, so you may not feel the same way upon landing, but I'd suggest that you keep your options open, and consider the idea that you'll actually be "refreshed" when you get there. In which case, bumming around SIN can be a lot of fun!!

Just remember that if you catch 2 naps of 4 hours each, that's approximately equal to the amount of sleep one would need in a normal 24 hour period....This is what always saves me.

Best wishes for a great Trip! Dave
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May 13th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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We have arrived in Singapore on the early flight few times and have always gone straight to the hotel and got our room right away. I agree with Kathie that you should advise the hotel your arrival time, and unless they were completely full the night before, you should be OK.
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May 13th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'd assumed that we wouldn't be able to get access to a hotel room straight away. The last time I travelled and had a need for early check-in I was 2 months pregnant...I had to wander about London for a few hours and then begged hotel staff to PLEASE give me any room available as I was near collapse.

So, we'll contact the hotel and advise of the early arrival, as many of you suggested.

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May 13th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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All of the above advice is very good. I will add one suggestion. If for some reason you CAN'T get into your hotel room early, have a nice breakfast. Then.... rather than shopping as your very first activity, (the malls here can be very crowded, noisy and generally an assault on your already jetlagged senses) I would suggest a relaxing stroll through the Botanic Garden. It's my sure fire cure for jet lag for everyone who visits me here and early morning is the nicest time to see the Gardens anyway. Take water with you, and there is also a place in the Gardens to buy drinks and snacks.
By the time you get back to the hotel, your room may be ready.
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May 14th, 2004, 05:00 AM
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We also arrived in Singapore about 6:00am. We stayed at the Oriental and to be certain they had a room for us at that time (since they would not gurantee without paying for the previous night) we had their car pick us up at the airport. Then they met us in the driveway when we got to the hotel and took us up to the room immediately. Of couse there is NO need to have pick up at the Singapore airport. I think we were the only pick up of everybody on the flight, but it sure made certain we had a room and added to our non-anxiety factor during and after that very long, long flight. I have used hotel pick up several times when I had early arriving flight and the hotels always took us immediately to our room.
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