[Accommodation Review] Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel (Opera Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (13 – 17 May 22)

The Location

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel sits along the main artillery road in Bangkok – Sukhumvit Road, which leads towards the city centre. The hotel is located about 5 mins walk from Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, and there are numerous food and shopping options surrounding the hotel. Despite not being situated in the heart of Bangkok, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is wedged between two BTS stations – Nana and Asok stations, and both are around 5 mins walk from the hotel, making exploring the city of Bangkok via public transport a breeze. Although the two stations are equidistance from the hotel, I prefer to walk to Asok station (despite being one station further to central Bangkok than Nana station) via the covered walkway with a direct link to the hotel that sheltered us from the hot sun in Bangkok. Besides the BTS, the hotel is also very well located within 6 mins walk to Sukhumvit MRT station, which gives us the additional choice of transport for exploring Bangkok.

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel façade

The Opera Suite

We originally booked the Prestige Suite and were given an upgrade to one of the three Opera Suites upon checking in due to my friend’s Diamond status with Accor. The 104m2 Opera Suite is spacious and decorated with both Thai elements and French themes in different parts of the suite. I like the small balcony attached to the suite, which gave us a spot to look out into the Bangkok skyline around the Asok area.

Living Room

The entirety of the living room unfolds before our eyes from the entryway the moment we enter the suite, where we get our first glimpse of the spaciousness of the suite. The wooden floorings and the dark brown dining table graced the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel with a sense of cosiness. The huge dining table furnished with four chairs sits near the entrance of the Opera Suite, providing ample space for the occupants to feast. Besides this for dining, we mostly used this table to place the things we bought. A marble-laid powder room next to the entrance to the suite provided us with additional toilet facilities, which also prevented the awkwardness of guests of the occupants of the Opera Suite having to bash through the bedroom to use the toilet.

Large dining table with four leather-clad chairs

The lounge area, located after the dining table, occupies most of the space in the living room. I like how Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel only furnishes the Opera Suite with practical furniture instead of over cluttering the space, giving the suite a sense of spaciousness and certainly more space for its occupants to move around. The lounge area is furnished with one five-seater couch, an armchair and an ottoman-like chair. I also find the dark brown wooden coffee table the right size and not unnecessarily large. The LED TV mounted by the wall seems to be a tad too small for the size of the living room. There are numerous channels (over 50 channels) on the TV catering to international guests. I find the TV channels boring as there are limited English channels on the TV (they do not even have Discovery Channel and the only National Geographic channel is in Thai). Most of the channels on the TV in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel are in the Thai language, and a few more are in various European and Asia languages.

The lounge area in the living room of the Opera Suite is very spacious
View of the entire living room of the Opera Suite in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel
The TV in the Opera Suite looks a tad small for the suite

The mini bar is placed inside the Thai-style wooden cabinet under the TV. The mini-fridge, well-stocked with overpriced drinks and snacks (as with most hotels), is hidden in the right-most cabinet. While cups, glasses, and tea are found on the left cabinet. The hotel uses the Illy espresso machine and provides Opera Suite quests with three capsules per day, and I find it weird that the hotel charges THB150 per capsule for extra capsules. However, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is generous with providing drinking water, placing them in strategic spots throughout the suite.

A Thai-influenced cabinet that houses the minibar

A large glass-top work desk sits in one corner of the living room by the floor-to-ceiling window, farthest away from the main entrance to the Opera Suite. The chair with the work desk is comfortable enough for guests to work for hours. I like that Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel furnishes an armchair with a small side table in the other corner, opposite the work desk. This armchair provides guests with a place to read a book or chill while looking out into the Bangkok skyline.

A sizeable work desk sits in the living room of the Opera Suite

Balcony

The Opera Suite is one of the few rooms in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel that comes with a balcony. While the balcony is not a large space, it is a great spot that we used to look out into the Bangkok skyline. The balcony has two large chairs and a table, but we find the chairs to be a little dirty to sit on.

There is a small balcony in the Opera Suite.

Bedroom

The bedroom of the Opera Suite in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is decorated with French elements, from the carpet to the bedside lamps. The bedroom occupies about 1/3 of the space in the Opera Suite, and the large king bed immediately caught my attention as I entered the bedroom. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent, together with the firm mattress and pillows that the hotel provides, taking away the fatigue from exploring Bangkok, leaving me refreshed the next day to explore the city. In addition, the powerful air conditioner in the suite contributes to the comfort, which took away the brutal Bangkok heat. However, I thought the available space on bedside tables was limited; despite being a fairly large table, the bulk of the table is taken up by the large bedside lamps and the telephone, which hardly works. Fortunately, the drawers at the bedside tables provided me with storage space for smaller items. In front of the king bed is a small sofa we can use to watch TV. However, we mainly use this bed foot bench to put our bags on.

The bedroom of the Opera Suite

Another LED TV is mounted on the wall opposite the king bed, which allows us to watch whatever we find entertaining on the channels in bed. This LED TV is the same size as that found in the living room of the Opera Suite, but the TV seems of the right size due to the size of the bedroom and the distance between the TV and the bed. The TV has the same entertainment options as that in the living room. An empty cabinet sits below the TV, providing additional space to put away our shopping from Bangkok.

The TV in the bedroom has the same channels as that in the living room of the Opera Suite.

The Opera Suite has three large wardrobes, ideally positioned outside the bedroom’s bathroom entrance. There are plentiful areas for us to stow away our clothing, and I think there are no problems with these wardrobes swallowing up to two weeks worth of clothes that guests might bring with them. In addition, the drawers in one wardrobe provided additional storage space for small clothing items. Here, we found the in-room safe, securely safekeeping our valuable items.

Bathroom

The Opera Suite bathroom screams luxury, using marbles from the floors to the sink counters. The first thing we saw when we opened the double-panelled doors to the bathroom was the oversized countertop with a double sink. I like the space at the sink countertop; despite the space occupied by bathroom amenities provided by the hotel, there is still space for us to put away the toiletries we brought for this trip. The additional drawer below the sinks allows us to put away our toilet bags. Extra towels are neatly folded inside the cabinets on either side of the drawer.

A glimpse of the bathroom from its entrance

The toilet and the other walk-in shower cubicles are located to the left of the sink. Beyond the glass doors is the porcelain throne in one cubicle and the shower equipped with rain and regular shower heads. The space at the walk-in shower is large enough for us to place our facial wash and glass with our toothpaste without feeling cramped. Sofitel Bangkok provides the luxurious French brand – Balmain shower amenities to guests of the Opera Suite.

The highlight of the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is the bathtub. The round bathtub is buried into the raised marble platform. Despite looking large, the practical space in the bathtub is rather small. Soaking in the bathtub allowed me to watch TV from the smaller TV mounted onto the wall or look out into the Bangkok skyline at the Asok area through the ceiling windows. Unfortunately, the remote for the TV was nowhere to be found in the suite at the time of our check-in. So we had to call the operator to request the TV remote.

The seemingly large bathtub in the bathroom of the Opera Suite
The bathtub may seem large, but there is a lot of wasted space in the design of the tub

Service

The Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel staff makes us feel welcome when we step out of the cab from the airport. The staff at the front door sprung into action like clockwork, opening the cab doors for us and unloading our luggage while another staff ushered us to the reception for our check-in. The queue at the reception was very light and was served by Ted, the duty manager, who processed our check-in efficiently and struck up a conversation with us on our visit to Bangkok. Ted acknowledged my friend’s Diamond status with Accor and accorded us an upgrade to the next category room. He took the effort to meticulously went through the details such as the timing and location for breakfast, the timing for afternoon tea and evening cocktail at Club Millésime lounge, and the location of the fitness facilities. Ted even provided information on the ideal way to the nearest BTS station.

Every staff we met at the hotel made us feel welcomed, displaying the warmth the Thais are so famously known for. When we were at the pool, the only staff operating the pool area brought us some drinks when we were settled into our sundeck chairs. The housekeeping staff brought us the items we requested with the biggest smile. The staff at Voilà! greeted us with the warmest smile every morning we popped by for breakfast. Finally, the Club Millésime lounge staff took care of us when we were at the lounge for afternoon tea. They took the time to introduce the food available and kept a distance, being ready to jump in to assist us so that we could enjoy the quiet afternoon tea.

I approached Diamond, one of the duty managers, to notify her of some issues with the suite and table arrangement issues at Voilà! during breakfast before we head out to explore Bangkok. Diamond listened with empathy, immediately addressed our concerns, and got the issues fixed when we returned to the hotel in the evening. The service at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel was impeccable, and every staff took very well care of us at the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is located on the 9th floor of the hotel. The pentagon-shaped swimming pool is excellent for hotel guests to do decent laps while holidaying in Bangkok. Perhaps due to the hot Bangkok climate, the water temperature in the salted pool felt just nice. I find dipping in the pool refreshing and is very effective in cooling off under the hot Bangkok sun. No trees or tall buildings surround the hotel so one can get a great tan anytime in the day. The swimming pool is very quiet at the time of my stay. Thus the number of sundeck chairs seems abundant. Thanks to the hotel’s mattress lying over the chairs, I find tanning on the sundeck chairs very comfortable. The chairs are so comfortable that I fell asleep while tanning. There are several cabanas around the pool, catering for families or couples who want to laze in the comfortable cabanas.

View of the swimming pool from the balcony of our Opera Suite

SoFit Gym

The resident gym – SoFit Gym, is located on the 9th floor in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. The gym is rather sizeable and well-equipped with machines that allow guests to perform total body workouts. Strength conditioning machines work every part of the major muscle group in the body, and different cardio machines like treadmills, static bikes, and elliptical machines. In addition, there are areas in the SoFit gym dedicated to free weight and yoga training. A staff manning the gym, ready to provide any workout advice while keeping the gym spick and span.

Club Millésime

Guests staying in the Opera Suite are entitled to access the Club Millésime lounge, occupying the entire 31st floor of the hotel. The lounge has three areas- the dining area, the lounge area and an office area. The dining area occupies about half the lounge area, mainly furnished with two to four guests dining tables. The lounge area is mainly furnished with sofa seats giving this area a very comfortable vibe and feels perfect for guests to spend their time reading a book. There is even a bar counter in the lounge area, which is not manned on our visit. However, staff patrolled the lounge area, ready to assist guests. Between the dining and the lounge area is a small office area. A few workstations and a printer cater to guests who had to work during their stay in the hotel.

Club Millésime lounge at Sofitel Bangkok

Due to the pandemic measures, the Club Millésime lounge is only open during afternoon tea and evening cocking at 2.30 pm and 5 pm, respectively, where finger food and desserts are made available on a variety of alcoholic non-alcoholic drinks. We visited the lounge only during the afternoon tea and were warmly welcomed by the lounge staff when we stepped out of the elevator. The staff introduced us to the food before showing us to the seat of our choice. Besides a handful of choices for the savoury dishes, most of the food is desserts. The food is delicious and is certainly effective in filling up our stomachs.

Breakfast at Voilà!

Buffet-style breakfast is served at Voilà! Restaurant taking up the entire 2nd storey of the hotel. There are options for western, Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines for breakfast. A variety of bread is situated in another part of the restaurant, far from the main food section. Here we found a small chilled cheese room. The food tasted great with a slight variation on different days.

Overall

We had a pleasant four-night stay in the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. The suite is large and comfortable and has everything found in a home. I particularly like the large dining table, which allows us to consume the take-aways and provides additional space. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent, and we had no trouble falling asleep every night. The facilities in the hotel are very well maintained, we particularly like the swimming pool on level 9. The service rendered by the staff at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel makes our stay even more pleasant. We were immediately met with welcoming staff at the reception, and whenever we requested items, it did not take the staff too long to send them to our Opera Suite. The hotel’s location is excellent, making it a great base for exploring Bangkok and an ideal place to rest for anyone visiting Bangkok.

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A350-900 (SQ711) – Business Class, BKK – SIN (17 May 22)

At the Airport

Check-in

Singapore Airlines check-in counters occupy row K in Suvarnabhumi Airport, situated in the centre part of the departure hall of the airport terminal. Most of the counters are dedicated to Economy class passengers and one for KirsFlyer Elite Gold members. Singapore Airlines dedicated two counters for its Business Class Passengers, located nearer the immigration gates. Queues for the respective classes of passengers are well-demarcated, and ground staff are seen standing by, ready to assist passengers to the correct queue. There was no queue at the Business Class counter. We were quickly greeted by very friendly ground staff at the Business Class queue, which led us to an empty counter and reminded us that we should have our digital Singapore Arrival Card submitted before we boarded the flight. The staff at the check-in counter quickly took over checking us in. She processed our check-in with much efficiency that it took her less than 5 mins to complete our check-in. Business Class passengers can use the Fast-Track lane in Row A, where Thai Airways check-in counters are located. There was no one in the queue, and all the immigration counters were open. We cleared immigration in less than 5 mins.

Singapore Airlines passengers check-in at Row K in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Singapore Airlines Business Class passengers can use the empty fast track immigration clearance channel.

Thai Airways Orchid Lounge

Singapore Airlines has a SilverKris Lounge for its Business Class and KirsFlyer Elite Gold passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Unfortunately, the Lounge was closed when we took our flight due to the pandemic. We were invited to use any of the airlines’ lounges under the Star Alliance network. We opted for the Thai Airways Orchid Lounge as it was the nearest to our boarding gate. The lounge staff warmly welcomed us at the Royal Orchid Lounge. Thai Airways has several lounges across Suvarnabhumi Airport. We used the Thai Airways Orchid Lounge at Concourse E, which is fairly small compared to the lounge at Concourse C. Despite the smaller scale, the facilities in this lounge rival that of its larger counterpart. There are plentiful seats in the lounge for passengers to relax and take a bite before our flight. Most of the seats are meant to relax and furnished with a side table, and some seats are furnished with a small table that provides a more comfortable dining position. The lounge is also equipped with two shower rooms for passengers to freshen themselves before their flight. I spotted a couple of closed meeting rooms due to low demand or as part of the pandemic measures. Food is served in a buffet style, mainly consisting of Thai food. The food at the lounge was mediocre at best: the Tom Yum prawn soup tasted blend; the beef was tough. The only tasty food was the fried prawn cake and the fried rice. Thai Airways Orchid Lounge also stocked up some finger food such as pastry and peanuts. There are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks fully stocked at this lounge for passengers.

View of the apron from Royal Orchid Lounge

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines has three versions of the A350-900 aircraft. However, the airline uses the 2-class non-ULR variant for this leg of the flight.

The Cabin

The Singapore Airlines aircraft used for this BKK-SIN segment is fitted with 40 regional Business Class seats and 263 Economy Class seats. Business Class onboard this version of Singapore Airlines A350-900 is arranged in a large forward section and a smaller aft section. In addition, the Singapore Airlines regional Business Class cabin is decked in an earthy brown scheme. With the appropriate use of cabin lighting during boarding, the Business Class cabin exudes a comfortable and cosy feel. Seats in Singapore Airlines regional Business classes are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving all Business Class passengers direct aisle access.

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class cabin

The lavatories are located in the forward and the centre of the two Business Class cabins. The brown backsplash at the basin and the downlights give the lavatory a premium feel. I like how Singapore Airlines attempts to reduce touchpoints in the fixtures in the lavatories with the installation of a motion-activated tap and a step for the trash. And all these are installed even before the pandemic. The lavatories are the right size and do not give one a claustrophobic feel. The lavatory is stocked with amenities such as toothbrushes, facial mists, hand lotion, and cologne that are not found in Economy Class cabins. However, the razors are not topped up, perhaps due to the short flight time.

The Seat

The Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats have a seat pitch of 60″ and 28″ wide and offer excellent legroom. The choice of leather in the seats in Singapore Airlines’ regional Business Class feels very premium and comfortable. A thick blanket and an oversized pillow are placed on the seat. Resting on the thick and fluffy pillow made me fall asleep despite the short 2-hour flight time. As this is a short flight, no mattress toppers are made available. Other than the three main modes – takeoff/landing, lounging, and flatbed mode, the seats are so customisable that passengers in the Singapore Airlines Business Class seats would find an angle that one would find comfortable. I find the fully flat 180 deg bed mode uncomfortable but found comfort in the seat at a slight elevation in its bed mode. The cocoon designed seats ensure passengers get maximum privacy, even for those sitting next to the aisle.

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seat
Legroom is excellent in Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats.

The touchscreen seat controls are fitted in a very convenient part of the seat, allowing passengers to adjust to the seats and find the optimal angle that maximises their comfort. In addition, there are some standard options in the controls providing passengers with the convenience of getting to these modes at the touch of a button. There is a small cabinet at the side of the seat where the noise-cancelling headphones are placed for passengers to store smaller items. Here, passengers can also charge their mobile devices via the two USB outlets or the power outlet. The cocktail table next to the seat serves the dual purpose of placing a drink cup and a space for passengers to stow their items.

Seat control and IFE controller
There seem to be some defects with my seat.

A solid wooden table is stowed underneath the PTV., which is large enough to provide a decent space for passengers to work on their laptops. I like the flexibility of folding the table into half its size when passengers do not require the entire table, making getting in and out of the seat easier. The ottoman under the PTV in the regional Business Class seat provided extra comfort for passengers to rest their legs on. There is a space under the ottoman for shoes or bags. Speaking of storage for baggage, each passenger in Business Class gets an entire overhead bin space to themselves. A coat hook is strategically placed next to the PTV for passengers to hang their coats. I used this hook to hang the mango sticky rice I bought at the airport before boarding. I find the placement of the seat pocket under the coat hook to be a tad difficult to reach. Otherwise, this would be an additional space for passengers to stow smaller items. Due to the pandemic, the seat pocket contents were reduced to the safety card and an airsick bag.

In-Flight Entertainment

The Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats are fitted with a large 18″ touchscreen personal TV. The touchscreen functions on the PTV are very responsive and are an alternate way for passengers to choose from the wide range of entertainment options from Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld. KrisWorld is loaded with movies, TV shows, music and games to keep passengers entertained even on a long flight. Business Class passengers are provided with noise-cancelling headphones, which effectively block out all sounds. The padded ear cups provided additional comfort when wearing. The IFE controller is stowed under the seat controls. The touchscreen mobile phone-like IFE controller is very easy to use, and the touchscreen function is equally responsive. One can display the flight map on the IFE controller while watching a movie on the PTV at the same time. In addition, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members can link their Singapore Airlines app to the IFE onboard. However, the onboard wifi must be switched on by the pilot (which is done so only after the aircraft reaches cruising altitude).

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class is equipped with an 18″ PTV
The touchscreen IFE controller resembles a mobile phone and is intuitive to use

Meal

Due to the pandemic, pre-departure drinks and snacks are not offered as part of the service in Business Class. After the seat belt signs were turned off in-flight, we were only served plain water. Singapore Airlines does not offer their signature “book the cook” service, nor was the famous satay service made available for this flight departing Bangkok. We were given three options to pre-book our meals – fish, chicken or seafood up to 24 hours before the flight. As we had pre-booked our meal, we were served first before the rest of the Business Class passengers got their food. Food was served at one go as this is a short flight, with fewer drinks and bread options. I chose the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet was well presented on porcelain plates, and the artichoke puree served by the side tasted delicious. The fish is cooked to perfection and still retains its moisture. The appetiser – Smoked Duck Breast, is tasty and not too tough. I did not like the Lemon Cheesecake, not that it is not delicious, just my personal preference. It is a pity that the bread came last after I had finished my meal. But I still enjoyed Singapore Airlines’ signature garlic bread.

I opted for the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet.

Service

Service in Singapore Airlines felt cold in the Business Class. Besides the standard greeting by the door and “your seat is down this aisle” during boarding, I feel service is no different from that in Economy Class. Bread during meal time took forever to come, served by a male pursuer with a touch and go service, who gave me the impression that he was rushing off somewhere. The absence of pre-departure drinks and snacks in Business Class signals cost-cutting measures in the guise of the pandemic. Even during meal service, despite pre-ordering our meal and being served first, there was no attempt to check if we required any drinks; we were being skipped!

Despite the coldness in service, Deniece (I hope I get her name correctly) shines out as the most personable pursuer. She introduced herself to every passenger under her charge and remembered our first names. She was seen patrolling the cabin and checking in with me if I needed anything whenever she walked past my seat and when I was not dozing off. Instead of going for her well-deserved break after the hectic meal service, Deniece would take the initiative to strike up a conversation with me when I was waiting for the loo. Service by Deniece felt personal, which is a stark difference from the rest of the crew onboard this flight.

Meal service

Afterthought

Singapore Airlines’ regional Business Class product is comfortable and provides various seating options, including a flatbed mode. Not many airlines provide 180 deg flatbed for their regional or short-haul flights. Kudos to Singapore Airlines for doing so. The seat provides passengers with privacy, thanks to its cocoon design. The seat I was in showed some signs of wear and tear, such as the armrest wouldn’t fold down as it was designed to. The large PTV makes watching the endless entertainment options offered by KrisWorld a pleasant experience. The food catering for this leg was delicious, and the fish retained its moisture. The service overall was a tad disappointing. The rest of the pursuers seem not to care about Business Class passengers other than those in their area of responsibility. I do find warmth and sincerity in the service rendered by Deniece. The way she welcomes passengers on the flight memorises and addresses passengers under her charge by their last name and notes passengers’ food allergies. I had a pleasant flight, thanks to Deniece.

Suvarnabhumi Airport airside

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A350-900 (SQ708) – Premium Economy Seat, SIN – BKK (13 May 22)

At the Airport

Check-in

All Singapore Airlines have operated out of Changi Airport Terminal 3 since the pandemic due to the closure of Terminal 2. As both my friend and I are KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, we can use the check-in counter in row 8, dedicated to Premium Economy Class Passengers and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members flying to all destinations served by the airlines. Despite the short queue at the counter, the movement of the queue was a little slow due to document checks before boarding. The document checks for Thailand were very straightforward, and we only had to show the ground staff our Thailand Pass. Our check-in was processed quickly, and we were headed to the customs within minutes.

SilverKris Lounge

As KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, we were invited to use the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. However, as the lounge was closed for renovation during our visit, we used the SilverKris Lounge instead, located next to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. The newly renovated SilverKris Lounge can be separated into two distinct areas. The area next to the entrance has more natural light and serves mainly as an area for passengers to lounge and relax, furnished with numerous armchairs. Further, into the lounge, the other area serves more as a dining area and is furnished mainly with dining tables. Food is served buffet-style in the dining area, furnished with a brown and earthy tone. The entrance to the First Class lounge is also found in the dining area of the SilverKris Lounge. The SilverKris Lounge was very crowded during our visit to this lounge, and we had a hard time looking for empty seats.

We used the SilverKris Lounge as the KrisFlyer Elite Gold Lounge was closed for renovation.

As we took the morning flight, food options available in the SilverKris Lounge were mainly breakfast. Food choice was extensive, ranging from local to western-style breakfast. The food was constantly top-ups by the diligent lounge staff ensured there was sufficient food to cater to the overcrowded SilverKris lounge. In addition, there are plentiful drink options ranging from soft drinks to fruit juices to tea and coffee and a bar for alcoholic beverages manned by a bartender whipping up cocktails for passengers. However, despite the comfortable lounge and the endless food options, we did not have a pleasant experience at the SilverKris Lounge, mainly due to the crowd.

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines uses one of the three variants of the A350-900 aircraft for this flight. The airline uses the 3-class variant for this flight, fitted with Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats. As Singapore Airlines do not sell Premium Economy Class for the SIN-BKK-SIN route, we were able to choose the Premium Economy Class seats by paying an additional S$41.30. Despite flying in the Premium Economy cabin, the service we received was the same as in the Economy Class (we had a near Premium Economy Class experience, such as priority check-in and lounge access due to our status with Singapore Airlines).

Singapore Airlines A350-900 safety card

The Cabin

The 3-class A350-900, Singapore Airlines aircraft, has 253 seats onboard, spreading across the three cabin classes with 42 seats in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy Class, and 187 in Economy Class. The Premium Economy Class cabin is a small section wedged between Business Class and Economy Class onboard the A350-900 aircraft. Seats in the Premium Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration. Due to the small number of seats, the Premium Economy Class feels more cosy and private.

Premium Economy Class cabin
Seats in the Premium Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Passengers travelling in Premium Economy Class share the same lavatory as those in Economy Class. The nearest lavatory to the Premium Economy section is located to the rear of the forward Economy Class section. The lavatory feels a tad small but sufficient for passengers to do their business. The lavatory is sparsely stocked with hand soap, a small bottle of facial mist and some toothbrushes. I was surprised to find Business Class toothbrushes in this lavatory; not too sure if it is intended or a way for Singapore Airlines to clear their Business Class toothbrush inventory. The lavatory was not kept clean by the cabin crew, probably due to the short flight and the passenger load. The lavatory floor felt sticky, and I spotted a used toothbrush on the sink top.

The Seat

The Premium Economy Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines feel very comfortable. The grey leathered recliner seat has a pitch of 38″ and measures 19″ wide, providing me with excellent legroom. A pillow and fleece blanket was provided on each seat at boarding. There are two seat control buttons on the right armrests, one for adjusting the seat’s recline and the other for deploying the calfrest. I thought the calfrest and footrest made the ride on the Premium Economy Class even more comfortable. However, the footrest did not seem to be able to fully deploy when I stowed my carry on bag under the seat in front of mine (it id advised to stow carry one baggage in the overhead bin to be able to utilise the footrest fully). However, when reclined and with the calfrest fully deployed, the Premium Economy seat feels very comfortable. It is so cosy and comfortable that I dozed off after breakfast while watching the inflight movie.

The Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Seat
Premium Economy seat recline buttons on the inside of the right armrest

The Premium Economy Class seat tray is stowed under the left armrest, which seems fairly small. But it is sufficient for its purpose of consuming meals on and a working desk for those who want to get some work done. A couple of USB charging outlets and headphone jacks are found between the two Premium Economy seats. Singapore Airlines also fitted two power outlets at the lower part of the centre console between the two seats for passengers who want to charge their laptops or tablets. On top of the overhead reading lights, each Premium Economy Seat is also installed with another reading light next to the seat’s headrest, akin to those reading lights found in Business Class seats.