This report comes from Rob Aldridge on the Singapore Changi Village hotel, near the busy airport.
As its name suggests the hotel is in Changi which is a small town near Changi airport. This is Singapores main airport. The hotel has 7 floors with a swimming pool on the roof. Aircraft fly close to the hotel. They actually advertise the hotels swimming pool as offering great views of aircraft arriving or leaving the airport and they are right. Aircraft noise is however minimal.
Changi has two runways some distance apart from each other. 20 Right is close to the hotel and aircraft registrations can easily be read off with a basic pair of binoculars as the aircraft come into land. When they use 20 Left for landings, normally only at busy times, then a good pair of binoculars or telescope are needed. Obviously an SBS box makes life a lot easier and also allows for spotting to continue when it gets dark which is at about 7pm. As with many Asian airports it gets very busy at night. It is a similar situation when they depart off 2 Left or 2 Right i.e. aircraft using 2 Left can be easily read off. Most of the time I was there the 20 direction runways were in use for landing traffic.
To get an even better view there is a beach area close to the hotel and from the beach great photographs can be taken.
The hotel has rooms that overlook the sea which if you tell them you want to watch the aircraft is what you will get given. However when we arrived at the hotel at 9am in the morning they said that none of these rooms were available and gave us room 751. Which was good of them since check in is supposed to be at 2pm. This is where I struck very lucky because this room not only offers views of the landing aircraft (When they are using 20s) but aircraft departing can also be seen at about 800 feet as they clime out. An SBS box or similar is needed to obtain the registrations as these aircraft are about two miles away and you see a tail on view of the aircraft. Aircraft cannot be seen landing on 02 runways from the hotel. They cannot easily be seen departing on 20 runways from the rooftop pool however most of the aircraft execute a loop and head back over the hotel. Those that don’t are normally those heading south e.g. to Indonesia and Australasia.
From memory other rooms that would give a similar view to 751 are 749 and 750. The higher the floor the better as there are trees that can limit the view. The rooms on the 7th floor are described as Quality rooms and I paid about 80 pounds a night.
A slight drawback to what is a nice hotel is that the fans on the roof do create quite allot of noise. During the day you don’t notice them but at night they can seem quite loud. It is not dissimilar to the noise you get on an aircraft. Nevertheless it didn’t distract from what was a great holiday. My wife and my son didn’t notice the noise and just assumed when I mentioned it that it was the rooms air conditioning which it isn’t.
The hotel has an hourly shuttle to and from the airport. It leaves the hotel on the hour and the airport at twenty to the hour. The alternative is to get a taxi from the airport, which for four of us cost $15. Another alternative if travelling from the city centre is to get the MRT to Tampines and then catch the 29 bus. The bus stops outside the hotel and costs about 75p. The bus station is next to the MRT and buses are frequent.
Outside of the hotel are a number of food outlets. There are also a number of mini markets similar to a local corner shop (alcohol is expensive in Singapore).
Singapore is also a busy Cargo airport and a typical day would see:
Nippon Cargo 747 (It departs at about 6am)
Fed Ex 777, MD11 (Or Dc10)
UPS 757 plus an occasional 767 or MD11
China Airlines 747
China Eastern and Shanghai MD11
Sinagpore Changi Village Hotel’s official website is http://www.stayvillage.com/Changi/index.aspx?page=home