There’s a moment where you check your watch on a long haul flight and realize there’s still eight hours to go. Usually I would greet this with a bit of a sigh and shift my weight in my economy class seat, but on my recent flight from Singapore’s Changi airport to Zurich I was thrilled to see there was still so much time ahead. I was having the best pyjama party in the sky and never wanted it to end.
That’s what happens when you find yourself not in First Class but in the level above, in the Suites on Singapore Airlines.
Introduced on the airline’s A380s in 2008, the Suites go beyond flat beds and offers individual private cabins with sliding doors that cocoon you in your own little lap of luxury.
My first Suite life experience started in Sydney airport where I checked in with a spring in my step and received my Express Pass to help whisk me through security and immigration as quickly as possible to make it to the lounge.
There I realized Sydney’s Singapore Airlines lounge is one place where you do want to turn right rather than left, as it is here that the First Class lounge is hidden away from the larger Business Class one. The lounge is stylish, with booth areas where you can work or hide away, but I made a beeline for the seat near the window where I could sip Veuve Clicquot and enjoy French Toast for breakfast. Sure it was a little early for champagne for some people, but this was a flight to celebrate and I was starting in style.
The lounge attendants were lovely and friendly and pointed out the A380 that I would soon be on, so I was able to watch it being moved to the gate. Then it was the moment I was waiting for.
The Singapore Airlines A380 Suites
Stepping into the suite world, taking my seat in 1A and being asked if I would prefer a glass of Dom Pérignon or Krug is the best start to a trip I’ve had so far.
In the weeks to come when I would show pictures of the suites to fellow travellers who asked what they were really like the most common response was “it looks like a train carriage!” and they weren’t talking about a commuter train when they said it.
There are 12 suites in a Singapore Airlines A380, one on each window with two in the centre, which can be either kept as single suites or transformed into a double.
The interiors were designed by French luxury yacht designer, Jean-Jacques Coste and you start the flight sitting in a plush soft leather seat upholstered by the Italian master craftsmen Poltrona Frau.
When it’s time to sleep, you don’t just lie on a seat that has gone flat. Instead, you step aside while the Singapore Airlines flight attendants transform your suite into a bedroom, with a plush mattress on a full sized flat bed (that’s 1.98m x 69cm or 78 x 27 inches for those wondering).
There you can sleep or maybe just pop your Singapore Airlines Bose headphones on and watch a movie in bed on the 23 inch flatscreen.
Givenchy Givenchy Givenchy
The night before I flew Singapore Suites I had a thought. What if they didn’t provide pyjamas? I know some airlines do and some don’t, and even when I fly economy I take my Virgin Atlantic Upper Class PJs with me to get changed into on long haul.
I sent my friend Mark, who knows his first class product, a text to check. Moments later the word came back. “They give you a Givenchy pair of pyjamas.”
Oh Givenchy! Just saying the name is fun. Wearing the pyjamas in the sky even more so.
But Givenchy has designed more than just the PJs in your suite. The duvets, cushions and blankets are all by the French house, as is the fine bone chinaware, and full sized crystal and silverware that appear at mealtimes.
As for the amenities kit, that’s a little taste of Italian luxury from Salvatore Ferragamo, with an 30ml Signorina fragrance, hand cream, face wipe and lip balm. After using the fragrance on my following cruises around Venice and the Mediterranean the Signorina smell now brings back very happy memories. Love.
Lobster Thermidor and more on Singapore Airlines
While there is an impressive and rather delicious menu to choose from when you’re up in the sky, if you’re flying Suites, First or Business Class on Singapore Airlines you can choose from an even larger menu before you fly through their Book the Cook service.
My first class guru Mark explained that he doesn’t usually do that as the selection is so good in the air, but if I wanted the lobster I may want to book ahead. I’m sorry? The lobster? My first Suites flight? You bet I want it!
I quickly logged on and found myself torn between a long list of dishes I wanted to try. The Lobster Thermidor was a given, and I was pretty sure I’d want the roast rack of lamb with mint jus, and most likely the dim sum for breakfast, but oh so many choices on offer.
Even the list of dietary meals that you could choose from was impressive. I knew there was no way I would go for the “bland meal” but was interested to see options including low cal, low fat, no carb, low lactose, and even an Ulcer Diet selection.
Then I saw something that stopped me short. Sautéed monkey head. What the?! I knew first class service often went above and beyond to provide unusual options for people but this was one step too far. Then as I was thinking what an interesting story that would be in itself, I read it again. “Sautéed monkey head mushroom with dried chilli”. Which is when I realised there was something called a monkey head mushroom. And calmed down.
So how was the food? Delicious, decadent, divine, everything I imaged it would be. Oh how will I ever cope in the back of the plane again?
Single Suite or Double Suite in the Sky
While the first leg of my flight from Sydney to Singapore had to be in 1A as I was going the full cliché for my first Suite flight experience, for my second leg from Changi to Zurich I decided to try one of the middle suites so that I try both forms of flying.
As I mentioned earlier, the seat format is 1 – 2 – 1, so the suites on either side have windows, while the middle suites are joined together.
This is ideal if you’re flying with a friend as the dividing partition can be brought down to create a double suite, and yes a double bed.
For those wondering, even though you can close your sliding doors to create a big bedroom up there, and you do feel like you’re in your own private world the window partitions have sections that can be peeked through so it’s not exactly a honeymoon suite. But it’s the closest I’ve been to in the sky.
I was travelling solo, but as the suite next to me was empty the attendants brought down the wall anyway and even made up both of the beds so that I could have a full slumber party feel going on in there. A slumber party with Dom Pérignon and delicious snacks on offer throughout the night may just be my new favourite kind.
There is a bit of a join between the two single mattresses, but I still loved spreading myself out and savouring every second. And it was here that I woke from a nap, checked my watch and was breathed a sigh of relief to find there was still eight hours to go and I hadn’t wasted too much time asleep. Time for another movie and some champagne… oh yes.
As I’m sure you can tell by now, flying Suites on Singapore Airlines may have ruined me for flying for life. Well, until I can afford to fly that way every time that is. One day, one day.
The only things that could have made the experience even better are spa treatments in the lounge, something that I have experienced in Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow Lounge and loved, and a limousine service to the airport, something I have yet to experience on a flight but have envied friends who have.
Oh yes, the lounge. One day I’ll have to give you a peek inside Singapore Airline’s Private Room at Changi Airport. Just as there’s a level above First Class on the plane, there’s a level beyond the First Class Lounge at Changi. But that’s for another day. I’m off now to dream suite dreams.
Amanda Woods independently purchased her Singapore Airlines Suites Class flights. With frequent flier points. She is now busily saving points to do it again.
Fancy some more airlines tales? See what it’s like inside ZA001, the first Dreamliner to fly, go behind the curtain to see what happens in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class or find out about the best seat in British Airways Club World. You can also find out what happened when there was a slight hiccup on this flight as you read about the best hotels close to Changi Airport.
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